EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 6/14/2008

Copyright 1997-2007 Eurobasket
WARNING:
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site!
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the report, nor will you attempt to do so.
More info:www.eurobasket.com


Men News

*****************************************************
ABA

Last teams and market news -by Gianni Pascucci
The American Basketball Association announced the addition of a new ABA franchise in at Modesto, California which will begin play in December. The team is owned by Saber Knott, a businessman with a great basketball background. The name team is Modesto Sabers, and the coach is T.J. Walker. The Sabers holds open tryouts this weeksnd at Modesto Christian High School. The Aurora Force, owned by former NBA star Kenny Battle, announced a tryoyut camp for tomorrow, Sunday, June 15th from 5-8 pm at Marmion Academy, 1000 Butterfield Road, Aurora, IL.For more information, call 877 811 5262 or email krbattle33@yahoo.com. The Georgia Gwizzlies announced they will renew the contract of Behdad Sami. The 'slam dunking' Sami just returned from Turkey where he averaged 17 points and 6 assists. The new ABA team Nashville Broncs announced the agreement with veteran coach Jan van Breda Kolff, who will coach th eteam starting from its debut next November, with home games at Municipal Auditorium. The new ABA team Arizona Rhinos will play in the Prescott area and is negotiating to play its 15 home games at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley when the 2008-09 season opens, according to team owner Kisha Spellman-White. The Rhinos have six players on their roster and are recruiting more, says Spellman-White. The owner has Prescott ties herself, having played women's hoops at Yavapai College in 1993-94 and again in 1995-96. The Rhinos' board of directors includes former players Ed O'Bannon, his brother Charles O'Bannon and Marion Todd Peat, a six-year NFL veteran who had stints with the Cardinals and Raiders. The ABA announced the addition of a second team to Detroit for the upcoming season. The Detroit Zafir has been reached in the league by another Detroit franchise, yet to be named, owned by Gerald Watson and Giovanni Johnson.

*****************************************************
ADRIATIC LEAGUE

Mijanovic becomes new coach of Helios -by Zeljko Zule

U-18 NT coach Rade Mijanovic has been named as new coach of Slovenian runner-up Helios on a two-year contract. After coaching Nova Gorica in B-1 League he led Krka to a respectable semifinals of Cup Spar and 3rd place in 2007-08 UPC Telemach League. Although, they qualified for the NLB Adriatic League.


.



*****************************************************
AUSTRALIA

Damian Martin returns on court -by Eurobasket News
Damian Martin (188-G-84, college: Loyola Marymount) of West Sydney Razorbacks recovered from serious knee injury which he suffered last year in his rookie season in NBL. He missed a big part of the last season because of it but he is finally 100% recovered now.

Martin started basketball career in Australian Institute of Sport. Later he moved to the USA spending four years at Loyola Marymount University (NCAA). In his senior season in Loyola he averaged 5.1 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.4 apg and 2.1 spg. In 2007 he joined West Sydney Razorbacks but he played only 10 games.

Martin was a member of Australian U18 NT which won gold medal on WC in Greece in 2003.


Boomers getting serious -by Eurobasket News
South Dragons player Mark Worthington (202-F-83, college: Metro St.) says the intensity in the Austalian Boomers camp in Perth has lifted and things are getting pretty serious.

'Training has certainly picked up from the last camp,' Worthington admits. 'It's good having the European guys like (Matt) Nielsen, (Damien) Ryan and (Brad) Newley involved this time.'

Those three, along with Patrick Mills and Andrew Ogilvy, from the American college system, have really stood out, according to the Dragons big man.

'I'm really impressed with the young kids and how they've picked things up,' Worthington says. 'Andrew Ogilvy in particular, is a very, very good player.'

'Wortho' hasn't forgotten about his good buddy and fellow Dragon Ingles, whom he says 'has been fantastic.'

Meanwhile, across the Tasman, Dragons centre Nick Horvath has earned a berth in the NZNBL championship series. Horvath's Wellington Saints beat the Nelson Giants 86-75 to advance to a best-of-three series against either Waikato or Auckland. Horvath had a double-double in the win, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

And in some late-breaking news, Dragons big man Matt Burston has been cleared to play for the Waverley Falcons in the Big V on the weekend.
Courtesy of nbl.com.au


*****************************************************
BELGIUM

News from Spirou Charleroi -by Eurobasket News

Former National Team member Gerrit Major (188-G-80, agency: Court Side) agreed terms with Spirou Charleroi. Gerrit played previous season for Euphony Bree, which was defeated 3-0 by Charleroi in the play-off final. His ex team Bree finished regular season on top with score 27-9. At the next stage they outsmarted Aalstar in two games 75-60 and 85-79. It was a kind of surprise as Bree suffered two home defeats in the final series. For 36 games in Belgian D1 Gerrit averaged 2.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.4 apg and 1.2 spg. It seems that was enough for Charleroi to sign two years contract with the player.
Before Bree, Gerrit Major played two years for Dexia Mons-Hainaut. At the first season the team participated in FIBA Europe Cup while a year later they played in ULEB Cup. In the past he also spent five years in Telindus Oostende. With them Gerrit became the Belgian championship winner in 2001 and 2002. He was a member of Belgian National Team 3 years.



Oostende Transfer News -by Peter Buyse


Telindus Oostende has announced the arrival of 3 new players. Jimmy Baxter (198-G-80, college: S.Florida), Kris Sergeant (193-G/F-78) and Lionell Bosco (176-G-81) are joining the team for next season.
Bosco signed a 2 year deal while the team and Kris Sergeant are about to conclude a deal for one season.
They furthermore reached an agreement with Jimmy Baxter for one season.
The arrival of these 3 players finalized their roster on the 1, 2 and 3 spots.

Bosco played 19 games for Leuven this past season and averaged 9.0ppg and 3.8apg.

Kris Sergeant scored 9.4 ppg and grabbed 1.8rpg in 23 games for Antwerp Giants.


Jimmy Baxter has been playing in Europe since leaving Southern Florida. he quit the basketball team after 12 games in the 2003-2004 season to become a full time track athlete. The reason for this being his Olympic aspirations, he was a 2 time C-USA high jump champion with a career best of 2.21m. Before that he balanced the 2 sports throughout his USF career.

Played among others for Oliveirense, Dijon, Pavia, Reggio Emilia and the past season in Latvia for Ventspils.

Played for Ventspils in the Latvian league, Baltic League and Uleb Cup. Had his best stats in Uleb Cup where in 12 games he averaged 19.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 1.9 apg. Baxter won the dunk contest at this year's Baltic league All Star Game.



*****************************************************
BELIZE

Christ for Life Clinches BECOL's Championship!!! -by David Magana
Last Saturday night at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio, the BECOL tournament concluded all the divisions played. In the U-20 division, St Ignatius High School (2-1) lifted the championship cup after defeating West Side (1-2) in game three 41 - 34. The Bermudez bothers (Garrett and Elliott) led St Ignatius with 10 pts while Frank Fuller scored 7 pts. In a losing effort, Anthony Codd scored 14 pts followed by Jose Luis Pech with 10.
Meanwhile in the Over-35 category, all three games in this series were decided by 2 points. Belmopan Bandits (2-1) defeated Benque Rockers in the last game by a score of 52 - 50. For the Bandits, Robert Allen led the team with 17 pts, 8 rbs, followed by Clive Sutherland with 10 pts, 5 steals and Clifford King with 10 pts and 3 steals. In a losing effort, Maino 'Skull' Bevans scored 16 pts, 11 rbs, Efrain 'Beep' Phillps 11 pts, 4 rbs and 3 assists and Marlon 'Snake' Villanueva 8 pts.
In the main event, Christ for Life (2-1) and Belize Bank Diamonds (1-2) entered the court with a 1 - 1 record. The game was very defensive as both teams knew that mistakes would cost them dearly. The Diamonds were playing their second finals in two consecutive years and twice they have been neglected the chance to lift up the cup. At the end of regulation time, it was Christ for Life coming out victorious with a score of 68 - 60. For the Champs, Jamie Gillett scored 16 pts, Korie Williams 15 pts, Mark Gentle 9 pts, 8 rbs and Linden 'Tahu' Galvez 9 pts. In a losing effort, Lester Cadle (188-G-80) scored 25 pts, 7 rbs, Michael Martinez 16 pts, 6 rbs and Milton Hoare 11 pts, 5 rbs.
Congratulations to this year's champs in the BECOl Tournament.


*****************************************************
BOSNIA

Play-off final: Reactions after first game in Sarajevo -by Eurobasket News
Igokea Partizan from Aleksandrovac suffered defeat in first game of the play-off final against Bosna ASA BHT on the road 79-84. One of the most important moments of the game happened in 35th minute when referees called fifth personal foul to Milijan Bocka (187-G-82). During his walk to the bench Bocka provoked Bosna's fans when they started to make troubles. Referees had to send out people from the part of the gym behind Igokea's bench. Management of Igokea decided to take its team out of the court where they waited to Bosna's fans to leave the gym. Ten minutes later Igokea returned on court and game was continued. Bosna played these five minutes better and thanks to Goran Ikonic grabbed 1-0 lead in final series.

'I want to congratulate Bosna on this win. We had a chance but unfortunately we missed to exploit it so we have to look forward to game number 2. We had an advantage of 9 points and it was important period for my team as we had to play much tougher after that. However, we made many mistakes at the offensive end and we paid high price for that. Basketball public in Bosnia saw on TV that I didn't make a foul on Williams but referee Damir Krunosic from Tuzla called it sending me on the bench. I think that it was the crucial moment of the game. Later I showed three fingers to Bosna's fans but I want to say that I am not a nationalist and basketball is everything in my life. If I hurt someone with that move I am sorry. Anyway I am sure we will be physically and mentally ready for the next game and I hope we will finish final series celebrating in Sarajevo' - said Milijan Bocka, guard of Igokea Partizan.

'I don't want to give any comment about the incident as well as about referees. We have to focus on the second game and I believe we can tie the score in the final' said Drago Karalic, head coach of Igokea Partizan.


*****************************************************
BURKINA FASO

Updating championship results, the Stallion is back... -by Michel Pacere
The male competition started on the Saturday 24/05/2008

May 24, 2008
- RCK # EFO
Score: 64-37 for RCK;
Best scorer: Yves ARISTE (RCK) with 26 points

- Kadiogo Bulls # ASTY
Score: 63-17;
Best scorer Isaac PALENFO (Kadiogo Bulls) with 19 points


May 25, 2008
- AS-Sonabhy # Faso Warriors
Score: 65-25 for AS-Sonabhy,
Best scorer Aboubacar SARA (AS-Sonabhy) with 19 points


May 28, 2008
- Faso Warriors # Kadiogo bulls
Score: ........... for Kadiogo Bulls
Best scorer: ..................


May 29, 2008
The stallion is back
- EFO # AS-Sonabel
The first big match of the season; the new old team of EFO (ex-Celtics de Bogodogo) lost his first match (against RCK); coach BADO and his players wanted to prove that they can do it. It was the first match for the electricians of Coach Achille.
The electricians started with Ibrahim OUEDRAOGO, Alain DIASSO, Norbert PARKOUDA, Roland BASSINDJA and BAYALA.
Coach BADO gave chance to Leopold BADO, Achille DIENDERE, ZARE, Ngaka OSAGYEVO;
For the first and second quarter, the electricians played very well; many fast breaks with Roland, Alain scores at three and two points and Ibrahim defend hard in the zone. At the halftime, we think that the stars of EFO will have a bad afternoon. We were wrong. At the end of the second quarter, Eric SALOU (the stallion) of the stars did a big entry in the match. First ball, first shoot, two points for his team; since this time, the stars begun to reduce the score. He was everywhere. Against that, coach Achille couldn't find the solution; every substitutions he took was a new problem for his team; Jacky MBATCHOU wasn't able to score his shoots; Sam COULIBALY can't scores his layup and Cedric HILAIRE scores against his team;
In the fourth quarter, ZARE began his show with cross over, Leopold helps his centers by playing rebounds. At the end of the quarter, the score was tied. Hermann OUEDRAOGO got two free throws for the stars. He scored the first and Ice gives the victory to his team by scoring the rebound.
Score 47-44 for the stars of EFO, best scorer: Eric SALOU (EFO) with 16 points



- ASTY # AS-Sonabhy
Score: 09-84 for AS-Sonabhy
Best scorer: Emmanuel PODA (AS-Sonabhy) with 18 points


May 31, 2008
- Kadiogo # Bulls EFO,
Score: 44-38 for Kadiogo Bulls
Best scorer: Cedric CONOMBO (Kadiogo Bulls) with 15 points


- RCK # Faso Warriors
Score: 57-34 for RCK
Best scorer Patrick BASSONO (Faso Warriors) with 16 points


June 1st, 2008
- AS-Sonabel # ASTY
Score: 78-26 for AS-Sonabel,
Best scorer Regis ZOUNGRANA (AS-Sonabel) with 20 points


June 04, 2008
- ASTY # RCK
Score: 35-92 for RCK
Best scorer: D. OUEDRAOGO (RCK): 18 points


*****************************************************
CANADA

Canadian Junior Men's Team learns FIBA Americas draw -by Simon Yau
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Canada's Junior Men will face Mexico, the Bahamas and host Argentina in the first round of the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championships. The draw determining the two tournament groups was announced Thursday by FIBA Americas.

The 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men will be played from July 14 to 18 in Formosa, Argentina, with eight teams taking part: Argentina, Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the U.S., Uruguay and Venezuela.

The draw breaks down as follows:

Group A: Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas
Group B: Puerto Rico, USA, Venezuela, Uruguay

'We're starting to develop a nice rivalry with Argentina,' noted Junior Men's National Team Head Coach Greg Francis (189-G-74, college: Fairfield) in reaction to Canada's bracket.

'We've also had some tough games against the Bahamas, but we're definitely looking forward to playing Argentina in Argentina,' concluded the coach, who conceded that the draw does have an impact in such a compact tournament format. 'We have got to play our game no matter what if we want to go to the [2009 FIBA U19 World Championships].'

The top four teams from this summer's FIBA Americas Championship will earn a berth at next year's junior men's world championships in New Zealand.

Canada's Junior Men finished 10th overall (4-4 record) at the 2007 FIBA U19 Junior World Championship, and will gear up for this summer's competition by playing two exhibition games July 4 and 5 against a team of University All-Stars as part of the Jack Donohue International Classic in Toronto.

The domestic games will take place at Ricoh Coliseum, and the event will be headlined by Canada's Senior Men facing the national teams of New Zealand and Lebanon. The junior games start at 4 p.m. and the seniors at 7 p.m.

In addition to the group draw, FIBA Americas also announced Thursday the complete schedule for the July tournament.

Canada will first tip off against Mexico on July 14, followed by games against the Bahamas (July 15) and Argentina (July 16).

The semifinals will follow immediately on July 17, while the finals, bronze medal and consolation matches will all take place on July 18

For a roster list and further details about Canada's Junior Men's National Team, visit: www.basketball.ca


*****************************************************
CENTRAL AFRICA

Sato triumphs in Italy -by Eurobasket News
Romain Sato (194-G-81, college: Xavier) together with his Montepaschi Siena is the best team in Italy as they celebrated their third title, the second in a row. Montepaschi completed a wonderful season beating Lottomatica Roma 92:81 for 4-1 in the Final series. Bootsy Thornton scored 17 points, Terrell McIntyre netted 16 and was nominated MVP of the finals. Romain Sato scored 10 with 8 rebounds and 4 assists to finish a great season in Italy.Roko Ukic paced Roma with 17 points, David Hawkins added 15, Rodrigo De la Fuente had 12 and Ibrahim Jaaber 10 in defeat. Montepaschi won the best-of-seven series 4-1 and finished the playoffs this season with an impressive 10-1 record. Roma led in the early going and the score was tied at 31:31 midway through the second period. Siena however catapulted themselves to a 49:40 halftime lead.
Romain Sato averaged 13.0 points per game in the regular season for his team. His stats were also great in the Playoffs as he poured in 113 points in 11 games having 10.3 points per game.
Closing the season it is a must to mention that Romain Sato finished third with Siena in Euroleague. In the game for the third place Montepaschi Siena beat Tau Ceramica Vitoria 97:93. Central African Romain Sato led Montepaschi at the third quarter with nine points, while Tau was lead by Pete Mickeal, who added extra seven consecutive points. Sato finished that night with 15 points and 9 boards that was one of the best games for him to finish the Euroleague season.


*****************************************************
CROATIA

Montepaschi too strong for Repesa and Ukic -by Eurobasket News
After first win in the play-off final of Italian Serie A, Jasmin Repesa and Roko Leni Ukic (195-G-84) were stopped by strong Montepeschi Siena. Regular season champion celebrated in game number five 92-81. It means that two Croatians have to be satisfied with score 1-4 in final series.

Montepaschi ended Serie A in style as they registered score 31-3 in regular season and 10-1 in play-off. Roko Leni Ukic showed wonderful performance in the last game collecting 17 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist for 27 minutes. He had 5 of 7 from the field, 2 of 3 for 3-points and 1 of 2 FTs. But his 17 points wasn't enough for Lottomatica to stay in the race for the title. At the front of around 6.000 Siena's fans the hosts couldn't make any bigger lead in the first stanza but they done it in the second period. Montepachi went on the half time with solid advantage of 9 points, 49-40. Third quarter belonged to Repesa‘s team but they couldn't get any closer than 7 points. With four minutes remaining Roko Leni Ukic scored for 77-72 and it seemed that Lottomatica will stay alive until the end but unfortunately to these two Croatians that didn't happen. Montepaschi put into the fifth gear finishing fantastic season at the front of their fans.

Roko Leni Ukic played 33 games for Lottomatica in Serie A regular season adding 11.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 3.2 apg. He also had 12 appearances in play-off averaging 12.2 ppg, 3 rpg and 2.8 apg. Almost the same digits Ukic has in Euroleague where he for 19 games he had 12.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg and 2.8 apg.

After short pause Repesa and Ukic will join Croatian NT on preparations for Olympic Qualifying Tournament.


*****************************************************
EUROLEAGUE

Efes Pilsen lands Milos Vujanic -by Dragan Jankovski
Point guard of Serbian National Team, Milos Vujanic (190-G-80), put signature on two years deal with Efes Pilsen.

'I got an offer which I couldn't reject. I am happy because I will play in Euroleague for the next two seasons. It was very important fact to me. Efes Pilsen is one of the best teams in Europe and I heard only good things about the city of Istanbul. I am very satisfied with new contract and I am looking forward to the next season' - said Milos Vujanic.

Vujanic started the last season in green PAO but in November 2007 Svetislav Pesic brought him to Dynamo Moscow. He played 13 games for Dynamo in ULEB Cup averaging 10.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg and 1.5 spg. He also played 13 games in Russian Superleague where he had a better stats averaging 12.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.1 apg and 1 spg.

Vujanic had an important role on World Championship 2002 in Indianapolis when Yugoslavian National Team captured the gold medal.


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

Pro A : Mohamed Hachad signs for Rouen -by Aurelien Hipp
qdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsdsqdqsdqsds

ASVEL Basket inks Ben Dewar -by Eurobasket News
Ben Dewar (196-G-81, college: L.Superior) put signature on one year deal with ASVEL Basket. After hiring of new head coach Vincent Collet, Devar is the second signing of ASVEL for the next season.

Dewar arrived to ASVEL from another Pro A team, Entente Orleans 45, where he spent last 3 years. Previous season Ben Dewar had 30 appearances for Orleans averaging 12.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 1.5 spg. Mostly owing to him Orleans avoided relegation with score 12-18 in regular season. Dewar got two important awards by Eurobasket for season 07/08. The first one was 'All-French Pro A Honorable Mention' and the second one 'French Pro A All-Defensive Team'. He represented his team on French Pro A ‘All-star game'. He also was one of Orleans' key players on season 05/06 when the team was champion of Pro B getting promotion to top level. That year he had 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2 apg and 1.3 spg in 32 games. Actually it was his first year with Orleans 45 when the team made one more great success and it was the final of French National Cup. In the past he also used to play for Pro B team Quimper UJAP as well as for Danish team Sjaelland. He was one of the best scorers in Danish championship with 24.1 ppg. Ben Dewar graduated at Lake Superior State Unversity (NCAA2) where he at the senior season averaged 23.9 ppg.


*****************************************************
FYRMACEDONIA

Vlado Ilievski captures the title in Italy -by Eurobasket News
As it was expected, Vlado Ilievski (190-G-80, agency: World Sport Agency) grabbed the title in Italian Serie A. His team outsmarted Lottomatica Roma in fifth game 92-81 finishing final series 4-1. After first three wins, especially after one in Rome, it was clear that Siena won't miss a chance to finish this season in style. They dominated in Italian Serie A from the beginning with fantastic score 31-3 in regular season. Later, in the play-off they smashed Upim Bologna 3-0 while Armani suffered the same. In Euroleague Vlado Ilievski and his teammates reached Final 4 in Madrid, what is another prove of their good shape this season.

In the last game Montepaschi wanted to take control on Lottomatica from the beginning but it wasn't an easy job. Still they finished first stanza 24-21. In the next ten minutes the hosts extended lead to 9 points. After the breather everyone expected from Siena to resolve question about the winner as they shows the best performance in third stanza during the entire season. But it didn't happen last night. Lotomattica succeeded to stay in the race decreasing its deficit to 7 before the crucial period. However, the hosts kept its lead strongly until the end defending the championship title in Serie A.

Vlado Ilievski contributed in the last game with 2 points and 2 assists for 13 minutes. He had 1 of 3 from the field and 0 of 2 from behind the arc. Ilievski played 34 games for Siena in regular season averaging 8.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg and 1.8 apg. He had a little bit lower digits in play-off where he had 11 appearances adding 3.5 ppg and 1.4 apg.


*****************************************************
GAMBIA

Two more Gambians to the D1 ranks. -by Rolando Delabarrera
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville is joining the Ohio Valley Conference. They will be official members in July and begin competition in the OVC during the 2011-2012 seaon. Saihou Jassey, the 6'6'' Gambian small forward, was a sophomore this year for the cougars. Mahamoud Jabbie reported that he will be transferring to Binghamton University of the American East conference (D1). Jabbie participated this past season for UNY-Oswego where he posted solid numbers at the D3 level. These two recent additions push the Gambian Division 1 player total to 6 at the moment. Tijan Jobe has signed with Indiana< Mohammed Conteh will play for Western Michigan and Abdulai Jallow is at James Madison. Dawda Njie has signed with Georgia Southern. Amadou Sambou is expected to graduate this year but there is no word as to where he will be attending school next year.

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

News from Hagen -by Daniel Poerschke
After loosing two brothers in Per Gunther (183-G-88) (183-G-88) and Phillip Guenther (178-G-85) to Ulm and Osnabruck, Phoenix Hagen of the 2. Bundesliga Pro A announced, that they signed another pair of brothers for the upcoming season: Kristof Schwarz (186-G-87) and Malte Schwarz (188-G-89) are coming from Regionalliga club SC Rist Wedel to Hagen. Hagen Head Coach Ingo Freyer is a native of Wedel and knows both players already for some time.

In the 1. Regionalliga West BBV Hagen re-signed Roman Hograefer (190-G-79), Patrick Fiedler (196-F-85), Marcus Hoehn (200-F/C-81) and Fabian Gentgen (191-G-87). Also Head Coach Adam Fiedler stays and Chris Harris (203-C-79) will remain as a player and the clubs head youth coordinator.


BSV Wulfen signs Ahmad Smith -by Moritz Korff
BSV Wulfen (Regionalliga West) announced the signing of Ahmad Smith (194-G-84, agency: Profibasketball.de, college: St.Bonaventure) today. The 23-year-old Guard from Alexandria, Va. will join the team for the 2008-2009 campaign as one of two import players. Smith spent his college-days at St. Bonaventure (NCAA1) and averaged 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a senior back in 05-06. As a pro Smith played in Ireland and Uruguay, before coming to Germany in February 08 to strenghten the second team of SVD Dortmund. He scored an average of 30.2 points in the 2. Regionalliga.

Two champions for Karlsruhe -by Moritz Korff

BG Karlsruhe (2. Bundesliga Pro A) announced the first roster moves regarding the 2008-2009 campaign. Dima Rastatter (200-F-88, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) will join the squad of the new Head Coach Peter Krautwald. Coming from Noerdlingen Rastatter inked a three-year-contract with Karlsruhe. In 22 games for the Pro A-champ Rastatter averaged 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per outing. The youngsters Michael Baumer (180-G-90) and Matthias Hurst (204-C-89) signed for the next two years. Both already had a couple of appearances in the Pro A during 2007-2008. A second newcomer will be Anton Kazarnovski (205-F/C-85, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement). He made an agreement with BG for two years as well. Kazarnovski scored 18.4 points a game for FC Bayern Muenchen in the Regionalliga South-East and helped Bayern to win the league in 07-08. The Israeli big man also made the Eurobasket.com First Team of the RLSO. Meanwhile, Stefan Svitek (203-F/C-77, agency: Pro Agents-Basketball Careers) will not return to Karlsruhe. The Slovakian veteran is going to shoot hoops in Luxembourg next season.

Also, an Assistant for Coach Krautwald has been found. Jan Michaelis will join the coaching-staff. Michaelis worked on the youth-program of ALBA Berlin so far.



Coach Loibl back in Chemnitz -by Moritz Korff
BV Chemnitz 99 (2. Bundesliga Pro A) has named Torsten Loibl the new Head Coach. 36-year-old Loibl returns to his hometown after two years in Japan. He took over the Japanese Superleague-team Toyota Alvark in 2006. He won the championship in his first season in Asia and was named the 2007 Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese JBL Superleague Coach of the Year. In his second season in Far East Loibl led his side to the Superleague-finals once again.

Westley stays in Noerdlingen -by Moritz Korff
The Giants Noerdlingen, champion of the 2. Bundesliga Pro A, will keep Omari Westley (201-F-82, agency: Profibasketball.de, college: Cleveland St.) for the 2008-2009 campaign. The 26-year-old came to Noerdlingen during this past season and managed to play 17 games, helping the team to capture the championship title. He led the Giants in scoring (15.4ppg) and grabbed 7.5 boards per contest. Westley made the Eurobasket.com All-2. Bundesliga Pro A 2nd Team and All-2. Bundesliga Pro A Defensive Team.

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

Rans Brempong joins Hanzevast Capitals -by Fred Roggen
Hanzevast Capitals announced the agreement with Canadian Rans Brempong (203-F-81, college: W.Carolina). Brempong signed a contract for one season with the Capitals. He played earlier in Holland for the Matrixx Magixx from 2005 till 2007 .
The 26-year-old powerforward played for the German Bayer Leverkusen in this past season and averaged 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Brempong is a very good inside player, and his versatility allows him to play in all the frontcourt positions.


West Brabant Giants adds Mathijs Hak -by Fred Roggen
West-Brabant Giants has added U-20 NT player shootingguard Mattijs Hak (187-F-88) to their roster for the upcoming season. Mattijs Hak signed a two-year contract with the West Brabant Giants and will be the back up for the starting pointguard coming season, technical staff wants to change him into a pointguard. . Mattijs Hak played previous season for Omniworld Almere but that team went bankrupt, he finished the season in the U-20 team of MyGuide Amsterdam.

*****************************************************
ICELAND

Stefanson is second with Lottomatica -by Eurobasket News
Jon Stefansson (195-G-82) nailed 2 points and made 2 boards for Lottomatica Roma that finished second in Italy. Montepaschi Siena celebrated their third title, the second in a row ion Italy. Montepaschi completed a wonderful season beating Lottomatica Roma 92:81 for 4-1 in the Final series. Bootsy Thornton scored 17 points, Terrell McIntyre netted 16 and was nominated MVP of the finals.Roko Ukic paced Roma with 17 points, David Hawkins added 15, Rodrigo De la Fuente had 12 and Ibrahim Jaaber 10 in defeat.
Montepaschi won the best-of-seven series 4-1 and finished the playoffs this season with an impressive 10-1 record. Roma struggled a lot and deserved a second position at least.


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

Kattash stays in Galil, but Galil might not stay. -by Yarone Arbel
Oded Kattash will stay in Galil for the following two seasons. The former coach of Maccabi, who came back to Galil at the end of the season to save the club from departing to the second division, re-signed for two more years despite heavy talks with Ironi Nahariya. At some point reports claimed Kattash has already agreed terms with Nahariya, but after a meeting with Galil's chairman, Khaim Okhayon, Kattash decided to stay.

Something that might not stay is Galil itself. Okhayon is discussing with several municipalities in Northern Israel the possibility to move the club, that made a name for itself and has been playing in the premier league for Galil Elyon almost 30 years in a row, after the local municipality refuses too give significant financial support.


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

Scudetto for Siena! -by Stefano Pini
Montepaschi Siena - Lottomatica Roma 92-81 (aggregate 4-1)
Siena can celebrate his third title, the second in a row. Montepaschi completed a wonderful season that could be also greater without the injury of Rimantas Kaukenas (193-G-77, college: Seton Hall) last winter. In Game 5 All Siena's 'Big Six' ended the game in double digit. Bootsy Thornton (194-G-77, college: St.John's) scored 17 points, 16 for Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson) that added also 5 assists and was nominated MVP of the finals, 15 for Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) with 4 steals, 14 for Rimantas Kaukenas , 11 points 8 rebounds and 4 assists for Romain Sato (194-G-81, college: Xavier), 10 with 8 rebounds and 4 assists for Shaun Stonerook (203-F/C-77, college: Ohio). But Lottomatica wasn't a sparring partner neither in game 5: Roma stayed in the game for 35' (77-72) thanks to the ability to find easy baskets close to the rim (70,3% by 2p.). In these series Ibrahim Jaaber (188-G-84, college: Pennsylvania) was a factor, it seems the kind of player that can play very well with a coach like Repesa. In the playoff is grown also Roko Leni Ukic (195-G-84): 12,2 points and 2,8 assists in 12 games played at good level. Montepaschi Siena is only the third team in the las twenty years able to do a 'repeat', made also by Benetton Treviso (2002-03 but with 2 different coaches, Mike D'Antoni and Ettore Messina ...) and Virtus Bologna (three titles in a row, 1992-95 with 2 different coaches Bucci and Ettore Messina ). Ferdinando Minucci and Simone Pianigiani seem ready to continue their dinasty.


Lega 2 market news -by Gianni Pascucci
Fabriano won' t have anymore a team in Lega 2: the Indesit Fabriano franchise was sold to a businessmen group from Roseto, and this town comes back in professional basketball. The first rumors around say that the coach of this new Roseto team could be Toni Trullo . Banco Sardegna Sassari announced the agreement with inside player Andrea Iannilli (207-C-84), last at Imola. Prima Veroli announced that Luigi Gresta won' t coach anymore the team in the upcoming season. His replacement could be inked soon.

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

Mandic signs for An Nasr -by Ali Ahmed
An Nasr basketball team management agreed terms with the Slovenian Coach Ranko Mandic for next season 2008/2009.




Awards/Achievements:
Slovenian League 1B Champion -92
Head Coach: Slovenian U20 National Team -97, 99
Olympic games for youngsters in Denmark Bronze medal with Slovenian U20 National Team -97
Slovenian League 5th place -00
Coach Assistant: Slovenian U18 National Team -00
European Championship 9th place in Croatia with Slovenian U18 National Team -00
Albert Schweitzer Junior Championships in Mannheim with Slovenian U18 National Team (GER) -00: Three of the Young teams players are in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets & San Antonio Spurs
FIBA cup Quarter Finals -00, 01
Slovenian Cup Finalist -01
Slovenian League Finalist -01
Adriatic League Finalist: lost to Union Olimpija in the final -01
Portuguese League Finalist -02
Portuguese Cup Final Four -02
Head Coach: Jordan National Team -05-06
Bahrain Regular Season Champion - 05
Syrian league championship (1st place) -07
Syrian cup winner -07
Asian clubs championship (2nd place) -07




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

Lavrinovic and Kaukenas are crowned in Italy -by Eurobasket News
Lithuanian Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) and Rimantas Kaukenas (193-G-77, college: Seton Hall) together with his Montepaschi Siena celebrated their third title, the second in a row ion Italy. Montepaschi completed a wonderful season beating Lottomatica Roma 92:81 for 4-1 in the Final series. Bootsy Thornton scored 17 points, Terrell McIntyre netted 16 and was nominated MVP of the finals. Ksystof Lavrinovic scored 15 points and made 3 rebounds, while Rimantas Kaukenas ended up with 14 points to finish a great season in Italy.Roko Ukic paced Roma with 17 points, David Hawkins added 15, Rodrigo De la Fuente had 12 and Ibrahim Jaaber 10 in defeat.
Montepaschi won the best-of-seven series 4-1 and finished the playoffs this season with an impressive 10-1 record. Roma led in the early going and the score was tied at 31:31 midway through the second period.Siena however catapulted themselves to a 49:40 halftime lead.
Ksystof Lavrinovic improved his stats in the play-offs even in comparison with the regular season. Averaging 13.1 points per game in the season, Lithuanian player improved to 15.2 points per game in the Play-offs. His rebounds stats were also increased from 4.5 to 5.2 per game. It was a great season for him and he was truthfully mentioned the Player of the Year in Italy by Eurobasket.
Rimantas Kaukenas averaged 14.3 points per game in the regular season. In 8 Play-off games he poured in 85 points that is 10.6 per game.


*****************************************************
NAIA

OCU hires Kevin Morrissey as assistant coach -by Eurobasket News
Two-time defending NAIA Division I men's basketball champion Oklahoma City University has named Kevin Morrissey as its assistant coach.

Morrissey spent the past four years as head coach at Sooner Athletic Conference rival St. Gregory's. Morrissey starred locally in his playing days at Oklahoma Baptist in college and Bishop McGuinness in high school.

St. Gregory's went 36-86 and captured five wins over ranked NAIA teams under Morrissey. The Cavaliers knocked off fourth-ranked Southern Nazarene, No. 18 Northwestern Oklahoma State and NCAA Division II member Northeastern State in going this past season.

'I'm very excited to have Kevin on our staff with his experience as a head coach,' OCU coach Tommy Wade said. 'Being from Oklahoma and the conference are pluses for him. He's going to add a lot to our staff. He's what I needed as a first-year head coach. He will make huge contributions to our program.'

Morrissey mentored St. Gregory's first NAIA all-American, Patrick Jones, who was also a three-time all-SAC selection and 2005 freshman of the year. St. Gregory's had four all-conference selections and two NAIA academic all-Americans under Morrissey.

Prior to St. Gregory's, Morrissey had served as assistant to Barry Hinson at Missouri State and to Bob Hoffman at Texas-Pan American.

Morrissey played collegiately at Oklahoma Baptist for Hoffman and Oral Roberts for Bill Self. With Oklahoma Baptist, Morrissey earned the Charles Stevenson hustle award in the NAIA Tournament as a senior as the Bison finished as NAIA runner-up in 1997.

In high school, Morrissey became an all-stater in leading Bishop McGuinness in Oklahoma City to the 1992 Class 4A state title game as a senior.
Courtesy of ocusports.com


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

Celtics increase Final Series lead to 3-1 -by Eurobasket
In their comeback season, the Celtics saved the biggest one of all for the NBA finals.
Boston rallied from a 24-point deficit and beat the Los Angeles Lakers 97-91 on Thursday night to take a commanding 3-1 lead in this history-rich series and move within one victory of a 17th championship that seemed impossible a year ago.
A rivalry between the league's two most storied franchises — with some of the game's biggest names and biggest moments — now has its biggest rally.
No team had ever overcome more than a 15-point deficit after the first quarter, and Elias Sports Bureau said it was the biggest comeback in the finals since 1971. One thing's for sure, it will forever be remembered in the annals of Celtics-Lakers lore.
When the final horn sounded, Paul Pierce (6'7''-F-77, college: Kansas), an L.A. kid playing in front of family and friends, doubled over in exhaustion and exuberance. The Celtics, the team he stuck with through 10 years, including a 24-win season in 2006-07, had done the impossible.
Pierce scored 20 points, Kevin Garnett (6'10''-F-76) had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Ray Allen (6'6''-G-75, college: Connecticut) had 19 points as Boston's Big Three, thrown together last summer by general manager Danny Ainge to revive a franchise accustomed to hanging banners from the rafters, put the Lakers on the brink of a summer vacation.
It took an epic comeback to do it, and now the Celtics can reclaim their place atop pro basketball with a win in Game 5 on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
No team has ever recovered from a 3-1 deficit in the finals.
Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78) scored 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting but the league's MVP couldn't rescue the Lakers when they needed him most. Lamar Odom (6'10''-F-79, college: Rhode Island) had 19 points — 15 in the first half — and Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80), whose addition in a midseason trade was supposed to give the Lakers their final piece to complement Bryant, had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Courtesy of Yahoo


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

Jordan Crawford leaves Indiana -by Kyle Stefan


Jordan Crawford leaves Indiana -by Kyle Stefan


Arkansas State hires John Brady as a head coach -by Eurobasket News
Former LSU head coach John Brady, who was fired on Feb. 7 just two years after taking the Tigers to their first Final Four in 20 years, has accepted the head coaching job at Arkansas State.

Brady started coaching career as an assistant coach in Mississippi State in 1982. Eight years later he moved to New Orleans, where he spent just one season. In 1991, after he leaved New Orleans, he became the head coach of Samford. Brady led Samford from 1991 to 1997 after what he took over LSU.

His new team, Arkansas State, is in the Sun Belt Conference along with the University of New Orleans, where Brady was an assistant under Tim Floyd. Brady is friends with Ronnie Arrow, whose South Alabama team won the Sun Belt regular season this year and is in the NCAA Tournament as an at-large, No. 10 seed.


Shay Boyle leaves Loyola University of Chicago -by Eurobasket News
Loyola University of Chicago announced resignation of its assistant coach Shay Boyle.

Last season was the third one for Boyle in Loyola. Actually, it was his sixth consecutive year as a member of Jim Whitesell's staff. From 2002-04, he served as assistant coach at Lewis under Whitesell, where he helped guide the Flyers to an impressive 47-15 (.758) overall record, a 29-2 home mark and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. At Loyola, he works primarily with the Rambler backcourt.

Boyle also has extensive experience working at prominent camps. Formerly the director of the Lewis Flyer Summer Basketball Camps, he coached at the Ray Meyer Basketball Camp and has worked camps at Notre Dame and Duke. He also has served as a team leader at the Chicago Bulls Training Academy in Lisle, Ill.


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

Brian Wethers and the Pistons enter the finals -by Eurobasket News
Waikato - Auckland 86:80

The Waikato Pistons proved they are worth the title series after they held off Auckland at home today. Brian Wethers (194-F/G-80, college: California) came up with a performance of the night posting 26 points, 8 boards and 3 steals to pace the hosts to the victory. The Pistons' import had to deal with a back injury throughout the last weeks but left all behind to carry Waikato in the first NBL Finals since 2003. Mike Homik (204-F-78, agency: Promotex, college: Albertson) recorded his season-high 13 points and the Pistons overcame ambitious Auckland to continue their season. The game was a battle of Brian Wethers and Casey Frank (203-F-77, college: N.Arizona). Tall Black scored 19 points, while Wethers answered with 17 as the home team enjoyed a 4-point lead at halftime. Jason Crowe was meanwhile scoreless in the first half. However he drained two trebles midway through the third stanza to give the Pistons a 63:60 lead. The Pistons maintained a 4-point cushion heading into the fourth term. The home side stretched the lead to 7 point in the final frame but the Stars were far from done. George Baker drilled a three-pointer and then fed Adrian Majstrovich (202-F/G-80) for an easy layup and Auckland climbed within 2 points with under 2 minutes remaining. Waikato answered with a stifling defense as the visitors were hold quiet for next 4 possessions. Jason Crowe hit a jumper with 34 seconds left in regulation to give the hosts a 4-point lead. Auckland never recovered. Pero Cameron (199-F-74, agency: Duran International) scored 11 points, while Jason Crowe provided 9 for the winners. Adrian Majstrovich answered with 26 points and 11 boards for Auckland. Casey Frank finished with 21 points (just 2 in the second half) and 7 boards in defeat.

Waikato: Brian Wethers 26, Mike Homik 13, Pero Cameron 11
Auckland: Adrian Majstrovich 26+11 boards, Casey Frank 21


*****************************************************
NICARAGUA

McKenzie suspended, again.. -by Gianni Pascucci
As it was easy to forecast, Noel McKenzie (188-G-78) has been suspended by the ACB league till the end of the 2008 season. The decision was announced by the league commisioner, Marlon Torres, in an official press release, and is a consequence of the aggression to import player Keyshawn Reed (183-G-84) during the game Tiburones-Tigres. of the last weekend. The ACB league decided also to punish the referees who were officiating that game, suspending them too for five games, and two other members of Tiburones, player Vandell Thomas (176-G-86) and coach Roger Hernandez, for the same period.

*****************************************************
NIGERIA

Eze gets Gold in Italy -by Eurobasket News
Benjamin Eze (207-C/F-81, college: S.Idaho JC) together with his Montepaschi Siena celebrated their third title, the second in a row ion Italy. Montepaschi completed a wonderful season beating Lottomatica Roma 92:81 for 4-1 in the Final series. Bootsy Thornton scored 17 points, Terrell McIntyre netted 16 and was nominated MVP of the finals. Benjamin Eze scored 4 points and made 3 rebounds to finish a great season in Italy.Roko Ukic paced Roma with 17 points, David Hawkins added 15, Rodrigo De la Fuente had 12 and Ibrahim Jaaber 10 in defeat.
Montepaschi won the best-of-seven series 4-1 and finished the playoffs this season with an impressive 10-1 record. Roma led in the early going and the score was tied at 31:31 midway through the second period. Siena however catapulted themselves to a 49:40 halftime lead.
Benjamin Eze averaged 8.9 points per game in the regular season for Siena. In 11 Play-off games he poured in 64 points for the Italian team that is 5.8 per game. His rebounds stats also deserve to be mentioned as he had 5.5 rebounds per game in the regular season and 3.5 in the play-offs.
It is a must to mention that Benjamin Eze celebrated the third place in Euroleague. Montepaschi Siena beat Tau Ceramica Vitoria 97-93 in overtime to clinch the third position. After a tough beginning of the game Nigerian Benjamin Eze's dunk gave Montepaschi 61-55 lead. He ended up with 4 points and 2 rebounds that time.


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

Colosos de Tumba Muerto and Caimanes de Rio Abajo won in CBS 2008.- -by Eddie Munoz
Colosos de Tumba Muerto won over Canguros de Parque Lefevre thier 1st game in CBS 77-67 The best scorers of the game were Angel Rivera 19 Points, Ivan Picart 15 Points and Jonathan Romero
10 Points by the winners and Randy Lay and Jorge Taton both with 12 Points, Akbar Lawson 11 Points and Michael Johnson 10 Points by Canguros. In the 2nd game Caimanes de Rio Abajo and Fieras de Juan Diaz began with a very defensive game in the 1st half but in the 2nd half Caimanes find the way to open a lead and finished the game comfortably. Ernesto Oglivie 19 Points and Richard Newball 17 Poiints were the best by Caimanes and Manuel Guevara 19 Point by the Fieras.


Munoz leading all the CBS scorers -by Gianni Pascucci
After the first three games, Joel Munoz (179-G-80, agency: HM Sports Agency) of Magnates is the CBS 2008 best scorer, with 62 points (20,7 ppg), followed by Jonathan King (187-G-90) (Toros) with 47 (15,7 ppg) and Colbert Prince (-G) (Toros) with 36 (12,0 ppg). Munoz is also the best 3-pts shooter, the top FT shooter and the best assist man of the league. Orlando Ortega (196-F-81) of Caimanes is the league top rebounder, with 19 rebs in 3 games (6,3 rpg), followed by Jonathan King (Toros) at 17 (5,7 rpg) and Ernesto Oglivie (202-F-88) (Caimanes) at 14 (4,7 rpg). The current main shot blopcker is, instead, Francisco Haughton (188-F-80) (Colosos) with 3

Standings - CBS
CBS Standings
 1. Caimanes 4-0 
 2. Fieras 2-1 
 3. Magnates 2-1 
 4. Navieros 1-1 
 5. Canguros 1-2 
 6. Colosos 1-3 
 7. Toros 0-3 


*****************************************************
PHILIPPINES

Magnolia rookie steals limelight from new imports -by Eurobasket News
Rookie guard Jonas Villanueva (184-G-83) took advantage of Mike Cortez's absence as he fired a career-best 12 points, nine coming in the final frame as he helped Magnolia beat Philippine Cup champion Sta. Lucia Realty, 80-74, in the Smart-PBA Fiesta Conference Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

The 6-foot Villanueva, who averaged just 4.4 points in his first nine games this conference, scored five straight points - a three-pointer and a lay-up against the outstretched arms of new SLR import Lee Benson, giving the Beverage Masters a 72-57 lead with 7:04 left in the game.

Another basket by Danny Seigle, who finished with 11 points, put Magnolia ahead, 74-57, with six minutes to play.

'As much as possible, every young guy wants to get (playing) minutes,' Magnolia head coach Siot Tanquingcen said of Villanueva, the team's ninth overall pick in the PBA Rookie Draft last August.

'Jonas is our up and coming point guard. He is learning from two very good point guards (Mike Cortez and Olsen Racela), but the good thing about him is he can move up to shooting guard. It speaks well of his talent,' he added.

Villanueva, a nephew of Jesus Is Lord (JIL) leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva, also came off the bench to collect four rebounds and four assists. In nine previous games he played, the one-time Fa Eastern U stalwart averaged just 12 minutes as the third point guard Cortez, sidelined due back spasms and the veteran Racela. He played 19 minutes against SLR.

'I know I have to wait for my time, and in this game kailangan tumulong,' said Villanueva, 25, whose previous high was 11 points in against Red Bull last Sunday, making it the second straight game he reset his career-high in scoring

The Beverage Masters improved their record to 8-7, while dealing the Realtors their fourth straight defeat to drop to 6-8. It also avenged an 86-88 defeat to Sta. Lucia in their first round meeting last April 6.

Magnolia's new import Amal McCaskill, an NBA veteran who replaced Jameel Watkins, finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds.

'I'm satisfied,' Tanquingcen said. 'Amal somehow gave us what we expected from him.'

'The main thing we're concerned is we can't relax, we have to make sure that we build on it. It's either we end up in the semis, or quarters or wildcard,' Tanquingcen.

Dorian Pena split his free throws and Don-Don Hontiveros, who had 12 points in his first game back after missing their last three because of a severe ankle sprain, nailed a jumper for a 78-67 lead when Sta. Lucia moved within nine, 67-76.

Benson, the Realtors' third import after Wesley Wilson and Jamar Brown, had 19 points and 17 boards, while Kelly Williams added 16 and 12 boards. Nelbert Omolon came off the bench to contribute 11.

Sta. Lucia, which was held to its lowest output this season, played without Joseph Yeo and rookie Philip Butel, who were reportedly suspended for the game by team officials for figuring in a fight with each other during a team practice last Monday. (WG)

The scores:
Magnolia 80
-- McCaskill 16, Hontiveros 14, Villanueva 12, Seigle 11, Pena 9, Pingris 7, Ildefonso 6, Tugade 5, Racela 0.
Sta. Lucia 74 -- Benson 19, Williams 16, Omolon 11, Espino 8, Mendoza 8, Miranda 6, Reyes 2, Aquino 2, Gonzales 2, Coronel 0.

Quarterscores: 20-16, 37-37, 60-51, 80-74.
Courtesy of pba.ph


Standings - PBA Fiesta Conference
PBA Standings
 1. Red Bull 9-5 
 2. Coca-Cola 9-5 
 3. Air21 9-6 
 4. Alaska 8-6 
 5. Magnolia 8-7 
 6. Talk N Text 7-8 
 7. Purefoods 6-8 
 8. Sta Lucia 6-8 
 9. Ginebra 6-8 
 10. Welcoat D. 4-11 


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

Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
Super 6
1. Arecibo 27
2. Carolina 26
3. Santurce 24
4. Guaynabo 23
5. Caguas 22
6. Fajardo 17
Others
1. Bayamon 16-16
2. Humacao 16-16
3. Ponce 15-17
4. San German 15-17
5. Mayaguez 7-25
6. Guayama 6-26


Arecibo is a finalist -by Luis Ramirez
The Arecibo Captains are now in the finals as they beat the Caguas Criollos 99-83. They will now await the fate of both Carolina and Santurce who are still in the race for the final spot in the Finals. Caguas took command of the game in the 1st quarter 27-20. In the 2nd quarter it was Arecibo who held the Criollos to just 13 points in that quarter while they went on to score 26 to take the lead as the 1st half came to a close 46-40. The Criollos kept up with the Captains in the 3rd quarter, but in the 4th quarter the Captains simply blew the Criollos away as they went on a scoring spree to take a commanding lead and finally the victory which assured them of going to the Finals. For Arecibo, Angel Figueroa scored 24 points and captured 11 rebounds followed by Rodney White and Bobby Joe Hatton both with 13 points. For Caguas, Bryan Bracey scored 25 points followed by 19 points of Peter John Ramos.

In other Super 6 action, the Santurce Crabbers remained in the hunt for that remaining spot in the Finals as they beat the front running Carolina Giants 98-76, thus keeping the Giants from claiming the Finals spot. Santurce took a 10 point lead in the very first quarter 28-18. In the 2nd quarter the Giants made an effort to close the score but they could do no better than to trim the lead to 8 points 49-41. Once again the Crabbers when on an offensive run in the 3rd quarter to widen the gap and finally in the 4th quarter the Giants were just outgunned as they lead continue to widen and the Crabbers have once again survived to play another day. The defending Champions would love a repeat of last year's Finals which pitted them against the Arecibo Captains. For Santurce, Alex Falcon scored 25 points followed by Rick Apodaca with 17 points. For Carolina, Alejandro Carmona scored 24 points and 11 rebounds followed by Alvin Cruz with 18 points.

In the final game of the night, the Guaynabo Conquistadors beat the Fajardo Cariduros 97-92. Both teams are now eliminated from reaching the finals with Santurce's win over the Giants. Guaynabo jumped out in front in the 1st quarter 31-27. The 1st half ended 48-44 in favor of the Conquistadors. In the 2nd half Fajardo would not be able to mount a serious threat and the Conquistadors had enough offense left to take this hollow victory. For Guaynabo, Kevin Sheppard scored 24 points followed by Jack Michael Martinez with 23 points. For Fajardo, Kevin Hamilton (193-G-84, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Holy Cross) scored 26 points followed by Benjamin Colon with 16 points.


*****************************************************
SERBIA

Efes Pilsen lands Milos Vujanic -by Dragan Jankovski
Point guard of Serbian National Team, Milos Vujanic (190-G-80), put signature on two years deal with Efes Pilsen.

'I got an offer which I couldn't reject. I am happy because I will play in Euroleague for the next two seasons. It was very important fact to me. Efes Pilsen is one of the best teams in Europe and I heard only good things about the city of Istanbul. I am very satisfied with new contract and I am looking forward to the next season' - said Milos Vujanic.

Vujanic started the last season in green PAO but in November 2007 Svetislav Pesic brought him to Dynamo Moscow. He played 13 games for Dynamo in ULEB Cup averaging 10.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg and 1.5 spg. He also played 13 games in Russian Superleague where he had a better stats averaging 12.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.1 apg and 1 spg.

Vujanic had an important role on World Championship 2002 in Indianapolis when Yugoslavian National Team captured the gold medal.


Play-off final - Partizan Igokea outsmarts Hemofarm STADA in game 1 -by Dragan Jankovski
Defending champion, Partizan Igokea, enjoys the first win in the play-off final against Hemofarm STADA. Black-and-white team was better 68-54 at their home court, hall Pionir.

It was a tough game for the reining Serbian and Adriatic league champion until the last quarter. Hemofarm showed itself as a very incontinent rival last night. It seems that players of both teams were under big pressure because the bet is huge. They missed many open shots in the first quarter. Partizan finished it shooting 5 of 15 while Hemofarm had just 2 of 13. Anyway, the hosts had 13-10 after first ten minutes. Later, players warm up but Partizan was not able to make any bigger lead. Same scenario was seen in third quarter which Partizan finished 16-15 entering into the final 10 minutes with plus 5. At the beginning of the last period the hosts finally broke Hemofarm's resistance so after 2 minutes they took double digits lead 52-42 keeping it until the end. It is important to be mentioned that visitors didn't have a lead during the entire time but still they was very close until 32nd minute.
Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) paced the winners to 1-0 in final series scoring 18 points. Power forward Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) registered double-double, 16 points and 12 rebounds while Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) stopped on 10 points and 5 rebounds. Slovenian guard Nebojsa Joksimovic (193-G-81, agency: Beo Basket) netted 15 points for Hemofarm while Rawle Marshall (201-G-82, college: Oakland) followed him with 13 points.

The second game will be played tomorrow in Vrsac.


Partizan Igokea - Hemofarm STADA 68-54
(13-10,18-17,16-15,21-12)

Partizan:
Tepic 18, Velickovic 16 (12 rebs), Pekovic 10 (5 rebs), Palacio 9 (4 as)
Hemofarm: Joksimovic 15, Marshall 13, Macvan 9 (5 rebs), Vukosavljevic 9 (4 rebs)


Zoran Erceg will sign with Olympiakos ! -by Nenad Ilijev
One of top Serbian prospects Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85) agreed to sign with Greek giant Olympiakos Pireaus. 6'11' tall forward was a key member of FMP Zeleznik in last couple of seasons. He averaged 14.0ppg and 5.5rpg in ULEB Cup this year. According to Greek media, Zoran is supposed to get 5,000,000 Eur for 5 years long contract. FMP Zeleznik will get 1,500,000 Eur as buyout. Erceg is the best scorer in Serbian Superleague at the moment (18.4ppg) and he is on newest Serbian NT roster.

Ninoslav Marjanovic moves to Cyprus -by Dragan Jankovski
Power forward Ninoslav Marjanovic (205-F-77) join Cypriot team Keravnos. Marjanovic spent last season in Greek team Egaleo. He played 18 games in A1 league averaging 7.8 ppg and 4.9 rpg. In the past he changed many teams such as Swisslions Takovo, Napredak Rubin, Igokea Partizan, Universitet Surgut, PAOK etc. With Igokea he became the winner of Bosnian National Cup in 2007. Four years before that he captured the same trophy but this time in Serbia with FMP Zeleznik. Long time ago he was a member of Yugoslavian U22 NT.

*****************************************************
SLOVENIA

Mijanovic becomes new coach of Helios -by Zeljko Zule

U-18 NT coach Rade Mijanovic has been named as new coach of Slovenian runner-up Helios on a two-year contract. After coaching Nova Gorica in B-1 League he led Krka to a respectable semifinals of Cup Spar and 3rd place in 2007-08 UPC Telemach League. Although, they qualified for the NLB Adriatic League.


.



Stats Leaders - 1A
1A Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 Jokic, Rogla 20.8
2 Trivunovic, Kraski 19.3
3 Juric, Kraski 19.0
4 Panic, Luka 18.6
5 Goodrich, Zagorje 18.4
Rebounds Per Game
1 Dawson, Polzela 3.0
2 Jovanovic, Polzela 2.8
3 Panic, Luka 2.7
4 Grkovic, Rogla 2.6
5 Laskevic, Helios 2.6
Assists Per Game
1 Dawson, Polzela 3.0
2 Jovanovic, Polzela 2.8
3 Panic, Luka 2.7
4 Grkovic, Rogla 2.6
5 Laskevic, Helios 2.6
Steals Per Game
1 Dimnik, Zagorje 2.1
2 Brolih, Rogla 2.0
3 Jokic, Rogla 2.0
Blocks Per Game
1 Dawson, Polzela 1.8
2 Sissoko, Rogla 1.4
3 Jakhel, Kraski 1.2
2FGP
1 Hukic, Olimpija 72.2
2 Kadic, Alpos 70.0
3 Krivec, Krka 69.0
3FGP
1 Booker, Olimpija 71.4
2 Mance, Helios 50.8
3 Sivka, Rogla 50.0
Free Throws
1 Ribezl, Alpo 94.7
2 Stevenson, Alpo 94.4
3 Finzgar, Luka 94.1


*****************************************************
SPAIN

Girona extends Sada and San Emeterio -by Natxo Mendaza
Despite of all rumours about the financial difficulties of the club, Spanish ACB member Akasvayu Girona officialized the extension of the contracts of Victor Sada (192-G-84) and Fernando San Emeterio (198-G/F-84), two of its best players this season. Thus, bot Sada and San Emeterio are expected to play in Girona for the season 2008-09, although it's rumoured that both could have big offers coming from other clubs. San Emeterio is said to have an agreement for three years with Spanish ACB champion TAU Ceramica, while Sada was listed as a target for several clubs in Spain. At the same time, Akasvayu made official that they wouldn't extend the contracts of Lithuanian center Tomas Nagys (208-F-80, college: Clemson) and Spanish guard Roman Montanez (193-G-79).

*****************************************************
SWITZERLAND

Latest news from Sdent BBC Nyon -by Eurobasket News
Baptiste Cransac (195-G-84) signed one year deal with Sdent BBC Nyon. Cransac spent last season in French N1 team GET Vosges where he averaged 6.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 2.3 apg. Before GET Vosges he used to play two years for another N1 team AS Golbey-Epinal. On season 2005/2006 Golbey-Epinal participated in French Pro B but it was faced with relegation.

Nyon also extended contract with 5 more players. They are Alexandre Pidoux (185-G-82), Lionel Bobetso (183-G-88), Gino Martinez (192-F-83), Xavier Paredes (203-C-83) and Gino Lanisse (200-F-81).

Of these five players Gino Lanisse had the best stats last season. He added 5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 0.5 apg. Lanisse is a member of Nyon since 2005. A year ago he got the prestigious award 'Swiss LNA All-Domestic Players Team-07' by Eurobasket.com. Before Nyon he used to play for Lausanne, Neuchatel and Geneve.

Guards Alexandre Pidoux had 3.8 ppg last season while Gino Martinez averaged 3.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 1.8 apg.

Two players who started career in Nyon, Xavier Paredes and Lionel Bobetso, also signed contract extension despite they didn't have a lot of chance to play last season. Bobetso had 2.1 ppg while Paredes played just one game.

All these players extended their contracts with the club for one more season. Beside them Nyon also promoted two youngsters Guillaume Chappuis and Kris Sacapano to senior team.

Nyon finished LNA regular season with score 9-13 and it didn't succeed to qualify for the play-off.


*****************************************************
U.KINGDOM

James Hamilton will spend another season with Jets -by Eurobasket News
Cheshire Jets that finished 2007 season in BBL with 9-24 record will hope for a better season in the next year. The last game of BBL season saw Scottish Rocks beat the BiG Storage Cheshire Jets 81:89 away from Scotland. The visitors opened up their largest lead of the game after an 8-2 opening to the third stanza made it 43:59.
In order to keep the roster and make some changes for good Cheshire Jets announced that James Hamilton (201-F-72, college: Iowa St.) will spend another season with the team. He averaged 15.4 points and 7.5 rebounds over a ten-year BBL career.In 2007/08 he posted 11.9 points and 8.7 rebounds in an average.
James Hamilton has great potential, both athletic and technical. He possesses excellent overall skills, can post-up or play facing the basket. James has range, can hit the 3 but lacks on free throw shooting. In 2007 season he and his Jets reached semifinals of BBL Trophy.
Meanwhile Worthing Thunder have become the latest BBL club to achieve Sport England. The team has recently added junior EBL teams to their program. It should be a great achievement for the club, and something from which we can can continue to build a great future for all at the club.
More infro about the market news is to go.


*****************************************************
ULEB CUP

ASVEL Basket inks Ben Dewar -by Eurobasket News
Ben Dewar (196-G-81, college: L.Superior) put signature on one year deal with ASVEL Basket. After hiring of new head coach Vincent Collet, Devar is the second signing of ASVEL for the next season.

Dewar arrived to ASVEL from another Pro A team, Entente Orleans 45, where he spent last 3 years. Previous season Ben Dewar had 30 appearances for Orleans averaging 12.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 1.5 spg. Mostly owing to him Orleans avoided relegation with score 12-18 in regular season. Dewar got two important awards by Eurobasket for season 07/08. The first one was 'All-French Pro A Honorable Mention' and the second one 'French Pro A All-Defensive Team'. He represented his team on French Pro A ‘All-star game'. He also was one of Orleans' key players on season 05/06 when the team was champion of Pro B getting promotion to top level. That year he had 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2 apg and 1.3 spg in 32 games. Actually it was his first year with Orleans 45 when the team made one more great success and it was the final of French National Cup. In the past he also used to play for Pro B team Quimper UJAP as well as for Danish team Sjaelland. He was one of the best scorers in Danish championship with 24.1 ppg. Ben Dewar graduated at Lake Superior State Unversity (NCAA2) where he at the senior season averaged 23.9 ppg.


*****************************************************
WBA

Standings
WBA Standings
 1. Decatur CK 4-1 
 2. Buford M. 3-2 
 3. Memphis B. 3-2 
 4. Tri-State 2-3 
 5. Mississippi HH 2-4 
 6. Cartersville W. 2-4 




*****************************************************

Women News

*****************************************************
AUSTRALIA - Women

Third big signing in week for Townsville Fire -by Eurobasket News
Townsville Fire received an extra boost yesterday with 190cm forward Tanya Smith (191-F-84) signing for the 2008-09 season.

The 23-year-old (pictured far left) will add depth to the Fire's line-up after averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds last season for the University of Hawaii Warriors.

Townsville Basketball general manager Tony Wade said he was pleased to have Smith on board.

'Our side has always had the potential to improve and I think we've added extra depth by signing Tanya,' Wade said.

'Last year we had too many inexperienced players and not a lot of height and that's no reflection on any of the players.

'It was just the fact we were caught out down the stretch on a number of occasions where players like Rohanee Cox and Jennifer Crouse were on the court too long.

'But Tanya's athleticism and her enthusiasm is going to be a huge benefit to us.

'She's six foot three with long arms and an arm span of six foot five (195cm).'

Smith was born in Sydney and has spent the past five years playing basketball in the US college system.

She was an outstanding contributor for the Warriors last season, being named player of the week for the league several times.

She finished in the top three for the most rebounds and was in the top 10 for points scored and assists.

She also was part of the 2007 Australian gold medal-winning team at the World University Games.

The tall timber had been Europe-bound, but was attracted to the lifestyle Townsville had to offer.

'We basically convinced her she can develop just as well in our WNBL system,' Wade said.

'We did want to look at a contract over a couple of years but we've agreed to a one-season contract so at the end she may explore her options in Europe.'

Smith's signing tops off a busy week for the Fire after earlier signing Rebecca Miles and Rachael Flanagan.

The side now has eight players on the roster and Wade said he was in negotiations with two other players who were expected to be signed next week. Smith is expected in Townsville in August.
By Natalie Peut for The Townsville Bulletin


*****************************************************
CANADA - Women

Sutton-Brown's effort for the Fever -by Eurobasket News
The San Antonio Silver Stars put on an impressive defensive performance to topple the visiting Indiana Fever with Canadian Tammy Sutton-Brown (193-C-78, college: Rutgers) . Sophia Young returned from a minor injury and fired 17 points to lead the Silver Stars to a 64:53 win over dangerous Indiana. Ann Wauters delivered 12 points, while Vickie Johnson had 10 to silence the visitors. Katie Douglas and LaTanya White answered with 13 points apiece for the Fever. The hosts led by as many as 19 points in the final period. Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 3 points and made 5 rebounds.
Canadian Kim Smith (186-F-84, agency: LBM Management, college: Utah) and Sacramento Monarchs improved to 5-4 record after registering two road wins in a row over the last two days. Nicole Powell and Crystal Kelly came up with 18 points apiece to pace the Monarchs past the Lynx in Minneapolis. The hosts opened the game better as they held to a 10-point lead midway through the first frame. However Sacramento struck back finalizing the first half on a 43:18 rally to build a 15-point buffer at the interval. Candice Wiggins scored 9 points in the third frame and the Lynx denied the deficit. They cut the distance to a single point midway through the final period but the Monarchs withstood. Patricia Penicheiro nailed 5 freebies over the final 15 seconds to seal the winning outcome for the visitors. Patricia Penicheiro, Scholanda Robinson and Laura Harper finished with 9 points each for the winners. Seimone Augustus nailed game-high 21 points for the Lynx. Candice Wiggins provided 17 points, 6 boards and 5 assists in defeat. Kim Smith ended up with 2 points for just 4 minutes in the court.


*****************************************************
CROATIA - Women

Anda Jelavic and Tihana Juric head to BC Moscow -by Eurobasket News
Anda Jelavic (173-G-80) and Tihana Juric (194-C-76) that recently celebrated the victory in Croatian Play-offs with Jolly JBS Sibenik beating Gospic 3-1 in the Final series are heading to Russia. That time Jolly JBS Sibenik outscored Gospic 62:45 and lifted the trophy for the second straight year. Anda Jelavic paced all the winners with 19 points.
It was another game of the best teams in Croatia and another triumph for Sibenik. In March Jolly Sibenik also triumphed in Adriatic League and it was again Gospic that tried to grab a title. With a dominance in the first half, Jolly led the game to the glory. Tihana Juric paced all the winners with 23 points to 72:66 win. Luca Ivankovic nailed 13, while Anda Jelavic scored 11.
Anda Jelavic and Tihana Juric are the key players and together can make lots of troubles for the opponnent team. Anda Jelavic played 10 games in Euroleague averaging 12.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.0apg, 2.4spg. In Adriatic League she played 19 games having 12.1ppg, 3.4rpg.
Tihana Juric had even better stats averaging 18.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.0apg in Euroleague. In Adriatic League she played 19 games and averaged 14.8ppg, 4.3rpg.
Anda Jelavic and Tihana Juric will join BC Moscow and will hope to compete with the team against Russian titans: Spartak, CSKA and UMMC.


*****************************************************
CUBA - Women

Aguilar pulls Spain to Beijing -by Eurobasket News
Cuba-Spain 68:82 (17-16, 18-23, 15-20, 18-23)

Spain became the first team to be sent to Olympic after quarterfinal game against Cuba. FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women saw the first battle of the next stage where Spain overcame Cuba 82:68. Trailing 16:17 in the opening quarter Spain reached the win that was highly appreciated by the fans in Madrid. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) led the winners with 28 points. Amaya Valdemoro (184-F-76) nailed 18, whilst Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) scored 11. Yayma Boulet collected 16 points and 8 rebounds in defeat. Yulizeny Soria (181-F-79) ended up with 15 and Yakelin Plutin (186-F-79) posted 14 for Latin Americans.Cuba still have a chance to reach Beijing, but they will now have beat one of the other quarter-final losers on Saturday and then win against another on Sunday.
Cuba did not taste a loss in the Group stage and did not mind taking control in the opening quarter against the hosts. The team from Latin America closed the period at 17:16 and hoped for the second quarter. Elisa Aguilar however buried one of her six three-pointers to give the lead for her Spain. The latter jumped in front in the contest for a 37:30 advantage. Yakelin Plutin drilled a three-ball to close the gap to just two points and Laia Palau's two free throws gave Spain a 39:35 advantage at the break.
Spain flew forward in the beginning of the second half taking the full responsibility for the game. Europeans drilled 20:15 in the third period for an eight-point lead.The closest Cuba would get the rest of the way was 52:46 after a Yulizeny three-pointer. Later on Spain dominated the court and led the game to 82:68 win.

Cuba:Yayma Boulet (193-C-83) 16+8 rebs, Yulizeny Soria 15, Yakelin Plutin 14
Spain:Elisa Aguilar 28, Amaya Valdemoro 18, Laia Palau 11


*****************************************************
CZECH REPUBLIC - Women

Czech Republic edges Japan to clinch the spot in China -by Eurobasket News
Czech Republic-Japan 76:64 (16-21, 11-5, 23-15, 26-23)

Czech Republic won the Quarterfinal game against Japan to clinch the spot in China. FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women saw another European team dominating the court. Czech Republic trailed 16:21 in the opening quarter, but won 76:64. Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) top-scored for the winners with 26 points and 8 rebounds, while Hana Machova (182-F/G-79) netted 19. Jana Vesela (194-F-83) collected 12 points and 7 rebounds and Petra Kulichova (198-C-84) was the queen under the boards grabbing 14 rebounds. Yuko Oga (170-G-82) led Japan with 17 points and Rika Tanaka (173-G-82) scored 13. Japan will need to win all the other games left to advance to Beijing. Japan will now take on Cuba on Saturday as they set out to claim the fifth and final spot for the Olympics.
The team from the Far East looked better in the beginning of the game and enjoyed 21:16 after the opening quarter. They led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter but the Czechs came back to lead 27:26 at half-time. A defensive 11:5 in the second period lifted them up to just one point in the game. The second half was the decisive in the game as Europeans dominated the court. A 23:15 in the third quarter saw them on top for 9 points deficit. To finish in a happy note, Czech Republic closed the game at 26:23 in the last period. It was a hard win for the team, but the road to the top place is not over.

Czech Republic:Eva Viteckova 26+8 rebs, Hana Machova 19, Jana Vesela 12+7 rebs, Petra Kulichova 7+14 rebs
Japan: Yuko Oga 17, Rika Tanaka 13, Noriko Koiso (183-C-74) 11


*****************************************************
ISRAEL - Women

McCain to Holon, Wabara to Elektra -by Eurobasket News
Abiola Wabara (183-F-81, college: Baylor) signed with Electra Ramat Hasharon in Israel. After a season for Raanana Hertzeliya this season Italian forward decided to change the team abroad.
It is the first signing for Electra Ramat Hasharon for 2008/09 season. Last year Wabara averaged 12.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Abiola Wabara helped Raanana Hertzeliya finish the season in 1st place for the first time in club history and made it all the way to the championship series. In the final sereis last game she topscored for her team with 18 points and 9 rebounds as Raanana Hertzeliya lost short to Ramla. Abiola Wabara will do her best in her new team the next year.
Meanwhile, Holon signed Brandi McCain (160-G-79, agency: Ronsport, college: Florida) who played for Ashdod for the past four seasons. The 2008/09 season will be McCain's 5th straight season in Israel and first outside of Ashdod. McCain, averaged 14.7 points and 3.7 assists per game in her previous year. In the 06/07 season McCain recorded 20.5 points and 3.5 assists per game.
Brandi McCain was one of the key players in the Cup semifinals when Elizur Ramla beat Maccabi Ashdod 82:76. McCain turned it over with less than two to play but things were far from over. She finished the game with 13 points producing a great game for her team.


*****************************************************
ITALY - Women

News from abroad -by Eurobasket News
Italian Abiola Wabara (183-F-81, college: Baylor) signed with Electra Ramat Hasharon in Israel. After a season for Raanana Hertzeliya this season Italian forward decided to change the team abroad.
It is the first signing for Electra Ramat Hasharon for 2008/09 season. Last year Wabara averaged 12.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Abiola Wabara helped Raanana Hertzeliya finish the season in 1st place for the first time in club history and made it all the way to the championship series. In the final series last game she topscored for her team with 18 points and 9 rebounds as Raanana Hertzeliya lost short to Ramla. Abiola Wabara will do her best in her new team the next year.
Raffaella Masciadri (185-F-80) and her Los Angeles Sparks closed on the Minnesota Lynx in the Western conference ladder after edging the Detroit Shock 80:73 at home yesterday. Lisa Leslie came up with 17 points, 12 boards and 5 blocks to lead the Sparks. Delisha Milton-Jones and Keisha Brown had 12 points each for the winners. Katie Smith answered with 16 points for the Shock. Deanna Nolan chipped in 14 points as Detroit suffered their 3rd loss in the season. The hosts enjoyed a 10-point advantage early in the fourth period but Detroit clawed their way back within a single point midway through the stanza. Delisha Milton-Jones and Candace Parker stepped up for the home team nailing jump shots and putting them away for good. Raffaella Masciadri produced 5 points and 2 assists for her team. The Sparks improved to 5-2 record after the win.


*****************************************************
JAPAN - Women

Czech Republic edges Japan to clinch the spot in China -by Eurobasket News
Czech Republic-Japan 76:64 (16-21, 11-5, 23-15, 26-23)

Czech Republic won the Quarterfinal game against Japan to clinch the spot in China. FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women saw another European team dominating the court. Czech Republic trailed 16:21 in the opening quarter, but won 76:64. Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) top-scored for the winners with 26 points and 8 rebounds, while Hana Machova (182-F/G-79) netted 19. Jana Vesela (194-F-83) collected 12 points and 7 rebounds and Petra Kulichova (198-C-84) was the queen under the boards grabbing 14 rebounds. Yuko Oga (170-G-82) led Japan with 17 points and Rika Tanaka (173-G-82) scored 13. Japan will need to win all the other games left to advance to Beijing. Japan will now take on Cuba on Saturday as they set out to claim the fifth and final spot for the Olympics.
The team from the Far East looked better in the beginning of the game and enjoyed 21:16 after the opening quarter. They led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter but the Czechs came back to lead 27:26 at half-time. A defensive 11:5 in the second period lifted them up to just one point in the game. The second half was the decisive in the game as Europeans dominated the court. A 23:15 in the third quarter saw them on top for 9 points deficit. To finish in a happy note, Czech Republic closed the game at 26:23 in the last period. It was a hard win for the team, but the road to the top place is not over.

Czech Republic:Eva Viteckova 26+8 rebs, Hana Machova 19, Jana Vesela 12+7 rebs, Petra Kulichova 7+14 rebs
Japan: Yuko Oga 17, Rika Tanaka 13, Noriko Koiso (183-C-74) 11


*****************************************************
OLYMPIC GAMES - Women

Quarterfinal schedule -by Eurobasket News
Madrid is on the way to start the quarter-finals of FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women. After the Group stage Brazil looked too good and has all the chances to prove its ambitions. Brazilian National team celebrated a narrow win over hosting Spain to claim the top place in the Pool C as Iziane Castro (183-G/F-82) led the winners with 18 points. Micaela Jacintho provided 17 points, while Kelly Santos had 10 for Brazil. Ana Montanana (186-F-80, college: George Washington) topscored with 20 points and 6 boards for Spain. Laia Palau had 17 points in defeat.
Latvian National team clinched the top spot in Group A, while Japan finished at the second spot and also booked their quarterfinal birth. Ieva Tare (185-F-74) finished with game-high 25 points for Latvia in the game between both teams. Anete Jekabsone-Zogota posted 18 points, while Liene Jansone had 16 points and caroms in a win. Ryoko Yano responded with 20 points including 6/12 three-pointers for Japan.
Czech Republic claimed the first spot in Group B and advanced to the quarterfinal. Angola clinched the second spot in the Pool and would play versus Latvia for the ticket to Beijing.
Cuban National team advanced to the quarterfinal stage meaning they became just a step away from Beijing. Belarus grabbed the second position in Group D defeating Chinese Taipei 81:65 in the last game. The latter started better, but could not stay on track with Europeans. Three other quarters saw Belarus claiming the victory and taking the ticket from the group. Olga Masilionene (181-F-80, agency: LBM Management), Yelena Leuchanka and Tatyana Troina led the winners with 13 points each.


Tonight's Quarterfinals schedule
12.45 Cuba-Spain
15.00 Czech Republic-Japan
17.15 Latvia-Angola
19.30 Brazil-Belarus


Quarterfinals, Europeans advance so far -by Eurobasket News
Cuba-Spain 68:82 (17-16, 18-23, 15-20, 18-23)

Spain became the first team to be sent to Olympic after quarterfinal game against Cuba. FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women saw the first battle of the next stage where Spain overcame Cuba 82:68. Trailing 16:17 in the opening quarter Spain reached the win that was highly appreciated by the fans in Madrid.
Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) led the winners with 28 points. Amaya Valdemoro (184-F-76) nailed 18, whilst Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) scored 11. Yayma Boulet collected 16 points and 8 rebounds in defeat. Yulizeny Soria (181-F-79) ended up with 15 and Yakelin Plutin (186-F-79) posted 14 for Latin Americans.Cuba still have a chance to reach Beijing, but they will now have beat one of the other quarter-final losers on Saturday and then win against another on Sunday.
Cuba did not taste a loss in the Group stage and did not mind taking control in the opening quarter against the hosts. The team from Latin America closed the period at 17:16 and hoped for the second quarter.
Elisa Aguilar however buried one of her six three-pointers to give the lead for her Spain. The latter jumped in front in the contest for a 37:30 advantage. Yakelin Plutin drilled a three-ball to close the gap to just two points and Laia Palau's two free throws gave Spain a 39:35 advantage at the break.
Spain flew forward in the beginning of the second half taking the full responsibility for the game. Europeans drilled 20:15 in the third period for an eight-point lead.The closest Cuba would get the rest of the way was 52:46 after a Yulizeny three-pointer. Later on Spain dominated the court and led the game to 82:68 win.

Cuba:
Yayma Boulet (193-C-83) 16+8 rebs, Yulizeny Soria 15, Yakelin Plutin 14
Spain:
Elisa Aguilar 28, Amaya Valdemoro 18, Laia Palau 11


Czech Republic-Japan 76:64 (16-21, 11-5, 23-15, 26-23)
Czech Republic won the Quarterfinal game against Japan to clinch the spot in China. FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women saw another European team dominating the court. Czech Republic trailed 16:21 in the opening quarter, but won 76:64.
Eva Viteckova (190-F-82) top-scored for the winners with 26 points and 8 rebounds, while Hana Machova (182-F/G-79) netted 19. Jana Vesela (194-F-83) collected 12 points and 7 rebounds and Petra Kulichova (198-C-84) was the queen under the boards grabbing 14 rebounds. Yuko Oga (170-G-82) led Japan with 17 points and Rika Tanaka (173-G-82) scored 13. Japan will need to win all the other games left to advance to Beijing. Japan will now take on Cuba on Saturday as they set out to claim the fifth and final spot for the Olympics.
The team from the Far East looked better in the beginning of the game and enjoyed 21:16 after the opening quarter. They led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter but the Czechs came back to lead 27:26 at half-time. A defensive 11:5 in the second period lifted them up to just one point in the game. The second half was the decisive in the game as Europeans dominated the court. A 23:15 in the third quarter saw them on top for 9 points deficit. To finish in a happy note, Czech Republic closed the game at 26:23 in the last period. It was a hard win for the team, but the road to the top place is not over.

Czech Republic:
Eva Viteckova 26+8 rebs, Hana Machova 19, Jana Vesela 12+7 rebs, Petra Kulichova 7+14 rebs
Japan:
Yuko Oga 17, Rika Tanaka 13, Noriko Koiso (183-C-74) 11



*****************************************************
RUSSIA - Women

Anda Jelavic and Tihana Juric head to BC Moscow -by Eurobasket News
Anda Jelavic (173-G-80) and Tihana Juric (194-C-76) that recently celebrated the victory in Croatian Play-offs with Jolly JBS Sibenik beating Gospic 3-1 in the Final series are heading to Russia. That time Jolly JBS Sibenik outscored Gospic 62:45 and lifted the trophy for the second straight year. Anda Jelavic paced all the winners with 19 points.
It was another game of the best teams in Croatia and another triumph for Sibenik. In March Jolly Sibenik also triumphed in Adriatic League and it was again Gospic that tried to grab a title. With a dominance in the first half, Jolly led the game to the glory. Tihana Juric paced all the winners with 23 points to 72:66 win. Luca Ivankovic nailed 13, while Anda Jelavic scored 11.
Anda Jelavic and Tihana Juric are the key players and together can make lots of troubles for the opponnent team. Anda Jelavic played 10 games in Euroleague averaging 12.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.0apg, 2.4spg. In Adriatic League she played 19 games having 12.1ppg, 3.4rpg.
Tihana Juric had even better stats averaging 18.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.0apg in Euroleague. In Adriatic League she played 19 games and averaged 14.8ppg, 4.3rpg.
Anda Jelavic and Tihana Juric will join BC Moscow and will hope to compete with the team against Russian titans: Spartak, CSKA and UMMC.


Petrovic signed with the defending champions -by Eurobasket News
Sonja Petrovic (189-F-89) signed contract with Spartak Moscow Region, the winner of the Women EuroLeague and Russian Superleague.
In the end of her outstanding season in France Sonja Petrovic top-scored for Bourges that capped their impressive LFB season in style. They toppled Montpellier in the second game of the Final best-of-three series to celebrate their 8th national title. Once again it was Bourges trademark defense that proved the difference at the end. Montpellier arrived to Bourges for their biggest fight. The tension filled the air in the opening minutes of the game with defense prevailing at the moment. Nevertheless Bourges seemed to be well in control of the situation. They kept on mounting the defensive pressure and held their counterparts to 6 fourth-term points to seal a difficult 52:45 victory at the end.
In French championship she averaged 6.9 points and 4.6 rebounds while in EuroLeague she had average 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds. Sonja Petrovic was voted as the best Young Player in Europe for the year 2007.
Spartak meanwhile had already some changes in the roster. Natalia Hejkova is no more the head coach of reining Euroleague champion, Spartak MR. She decided to leave the club despite two fantastic seasons in Spartak. Hungarian coach Laszlo Ratgeber agreed terms with reining Euroleague champion and will be the coach of the Serbian player. Sonja Petrovic looks forward for her new team and maybe for another title abroad?


*****************************************************
SLOVENIA - Women

Felc announces retirement -by Zeljko Zule
Former NT member Sabina Felc of Hit Kranjska Gora announced her retirement. She is regarded as one of the best Slovenian female basketball player of all time. Felc won Yugoslavian Cup 1989, nine Slovenian Championships (1992-1999, 2007) and nine straight Slovenian Cup titles (1992-2000).
.


*****************************************************
SPAIN - Women

Hot news from LFB champion -by Eurobasket News

The top scorer of the LFB last season, Roneeka Hodges (180-G-82, college: Florida St.), agreed terms with the LFB champion, Ros Casares Valencia. Hodges played last season in Gran Canaria where for 26 games in LFB she averaged 20.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3 apg and 1.4 spg. She also had 8 appearances for Gran Canaria in FIBA EuroCup. She finished the competition as a fourth scorer with 23.5 ppg also adding 6.1 rpg, 2.4 apg and 1.4 spg.


Before Gran Canaria, Roneeka Hodges played one season in WNBA team Houston Comets but she had only 3.5 ppg and 1 rpg for 29 games. In 2006 she had much better digits once again as a player of Houston Cornets. Her WNBA team reached semifinals in 2005 while a year later they stopped at one stage earlier. Last season she got an award 'All-Spanish LFB 2nd Team -08' by Eurobasket.com. Hodges netted 41 points against Zaragoza, what was their maximum previous season in LFB. In FIBA Eurocup she delivered 35 points vs Extrugasa.

'Roneeka is real 'killer' on the court. What is also very important she is very successful as well on the defensive end'- said Carme Lluveras, GM of Ros Casares Valencia.

The team also announced that Elisa Aguilar, Laia Palau, Amaya Valdemoro, Elena Tornikidou, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Marina Ferragut, Erika de Souza and Regina Palusna will stay in the club for one more season. Tamara Abalde will continue career in Rivas Futura.


The team from Valencia finished regular season on top with score 23-3. They outplayed Acis-Incosa in the play-off semifinals 2-0 while they was better than Perfumeiras in the final 2-1.



Aguilar pulls Spain to Beijing -by Eurobasket News
Cuba-Spain 68:82 (17-16, 18-23, 15-20, 18-23)

Spain became the first team to be sent to Olympic after quarterfinal game against Cuba. FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women saw the first battle of the next stage where Spain overcame Cuba 82:68. Trailing 16:17 in the opening quarter Spain reached the win that was highly appreciated by the fans in Madrid. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) led the winners with 28 points. Amaya Valdemoro (184-F-76) nailed 18, whilst Laia Palau (178-G/F-79) scored 11. Yayma Boulet collected 16 points and 8 rebounds in defeat. Yulizeny Soria (181-F-79) ended up with 15 and Yakelin Plutin (186-F-79) posted 14 for Latin Americans.Cuba still have a chance to reach Beijing, but they will now have beat one of the other quarter-final losers on Saturday and then win against another on Sunday.
Cuba did not taste a loss in the Group stage and did not mind taking control in the opening quarter against the hosts. The team from Latin America closed the period at 17:16 and hoped for the second quarter. Elisa Aguilar however buried one of her six three-pointers to give the lead for her Spain. The latter jumped in front in the contest for a 37:30 advantage. Yakelin Plutin drilled a three-ball to close the gap to just two points and Laia Palau's two free throws gave Spain a 39:35 advantage at the break.
Spain flew forward in the beginning of the second half taking the full responsibility for the game. Europeans drilled 20:15 in the third period for an eight-point lead.The closest Cuba would get the rest of the way was 52:46 after a Yulizeny three-pointer. Later on Spain dominated the court and led the game to 82:68 win.

Cuba:Yayma Boulet (193-C-83) 16+8 rebs, Yulizeny Soria 15, Yakelin Plutin 14
Spain:Elisa Aguilar 28, Amaya Valdemoro 18, Laia Palau 11


*****************************************************
WNBA - Women

The Monarchs win the second straight road game -by Eurobasket News
Minnesota - Sacramento 78:82

The Sacramento Monarchs improved to 5-4 record after registering two road wins in a row over the last two days. Nicole Powell (6'2''-G/F-82, college: Stanford) and Crystal Kelly (6'3''-F-86, college: W.Kentucky) came up with 18 points apiece to pace the Monarchs past the Lynx in Minneapolis. The hosts opened the game better as they held to a 10-point lead midway through the first frame. However Sacramento struck back finalizing the first half on a 43:18 rally to build a 15-point buffer at the interval. Candice Wiggins (5'11''-G-87, college: Stanford) scored 9 points in the third frame and the Lynx denied the deficit. They cut the distance to a single point midway through the final period but the Monarchs withstood. Patricia Penicheiro (5'11''-G-74, college: ODU) nailed 5 freebies over the final 15 seconds to seal the winning outcome for the visitors. Patricia Penicheiro, Scholanda Robinson (5'10''-G-83, college: LSU) and Laura Harper finished with 9 points each for the winners. Seimone Augustus (6'1''-G-84, college: LSU) nailed game-high 21 points for the Lynx. Candice Wiggins provided 17 points, 6 boards and 5 assists in defeat.


Standings
WNBA Eastern Standings
 1. Connect. S. 8-1 
 2. Detroit S. 7-3 
 3. Seattle S. 7-3 
 4. Minnesota L. 6-3 
 5. L.Angeles S. 5-2 
 6. Sacram. M. 5-4 
 7. Indiana F. 4-3 
 8. New York L. 4-4 
 9. S.Antonio SS 4-4 
 10. Chicago Sky 3-4 
 11. Phoenix M. 2-5 
 12. Washingt. M. 2-7 
 13. Houston C. 1-7 
 14. Charlotte S. 0-0