EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 6/27/2008

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Men News

*****************************************************
  ARGENTINA   


Market news - by Facundo Iatzky
Quilmes: signed Travis Garrison (203-F-84, agency: CAA Sports, college: Maryland).
Ben hur agreed terms with Sebastian Cabello (202-F/C-82)
El Nacional signed Sebastian Castineira (196-F-78), Gaston Torre and Ramiro Heinrich
Regatas Corrientes resigned Juan Manuel Rivero (192-G-85)
Independiente Neuquen signed Martin Melo (197-F-82), Agustin Carabajal, Jervaughn Scales (200-F-71, college: Southern) and Federico Marin
Gimnasia Comodoro signed Jimmy Boston and Gary Buchanan (191-G-80, agency: Edge Sports, college: Villanova)
Lanus: signed Andres Rodriguez (202-C-77)


Good start for Argentina in TOP4 - by Facundo Iatzky
Argentina beat Chile in the first round of Top4 tournament played in Chile. In the second round they will face Uruguay. Argentina played very well since the first quarter, won 27-8 by Argentina. Paolo Quinteros (185-G-79) was the best player again.

Chile (40): L. Mndez 0, E. Arteaga 6, L. Sez 2, C. Prutzmann 1, J. Valencia 0 (st), M. Hernndez 2, E. Carrasco 6, JL. Campos 4, R. Paris 3, S. Eliott 5, P. Coro 6, P. Briones 5. coach: Daniel Allende.

Argentina (79): M. Stanic 3, Paolo Quinteros 21, D. Garcia 7, A. Pelussi 2, R. Gonzalez 6 (st), S. Vega 0, L. Cequeira 9, J. Gutierrez 10, JM. Locatelli 3, L. Mainoldi 10, M. Mata 2, N. De Los Santos 6. coach: Guillermo Narvarte


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


The Boomers win the Al Ramsay Shield opener - by Eurobasket News
New Zealand - Australia 60:75

The Australian National Team breezed past New Zealand at the Ramsay Shield series opener at the North Shore Events Centre today. Patrick Mills (178-G-88) nailed 14 points, while Chris Anstey (213-C-75) and Shawn Redhage (202-F-81, agency: Warren Sports International, college: Arizona St.) added 13 points apiece for the Boomers to celebrate a comfortable victory. The series will now move to Australia for the second game at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne on Saturday.
Chris Anstey started the game red hot for the Boomers. He scored the first eight points for the visitors as Australia grabbed an 8:2 lead midway through the period. The Tall Blacks had a woeful shooting accuracy from the field in the starting frame and appeared trailing 9:26 at the first intermission. The gap grew to as many as 21 points in the second period. The Tall Blacks finally shook things up as Mika Vukona nailed a three-pointer and sparked a 12:2 run. The hosts cut the deficit to 12 points at halftime. Paora Winitana and Pero Cameron dropped back-to-back treys to clip the margin to 7 points early in the third stanza. But the Boomers were alert and responded with a 9:2 run to build a 12-point cushion at three-quarter time. Linday Tait paced the Tall Blacks in the fourth period but his effort was not enough to change the complexion of the game. Australia eased to an overall win with reserves on the court. Lindsay Tait (194-G-82) topscored with 16 points for New Zealand. Craig Bradshaw (207-F/C-83, college: Winthrop)
and rookie Corey Webster (180-G-88) had 9 points apiece in defeat.

New Zealand: Lindsay Tait 16, Craig Bradshaw 9, Corey Webster 9
Australia: Patrick Mills 14, Chris Anstey 13, Shawn Redhage 13


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


Canada Development Team succeeds against Italy U22 - by Eurobasket News
Canada - Italy U22 68:60

Canadian Development Team celebrated the second consecutive win over Italy U22 Selection in the exhibition series. The game was an even contest with neither side able to clear off. Italy stressed the defensive effort right from the start limiting Canada to just 12 first-quarter points. The seesaw first half saw the hosts grab a narrow 27:25 advantage. However Italian team stayed close in the third. Led by Bruno Cerella (194-G/F-86) Italy managed to draw level midway through the fourth stanza. The teams entered the final 6 minutes of encounter all square at 52. But Louis Levros and Michael Tuck (201-F-83, agency: Court Side) put the home team ahead. Italy seemed to run out of steam in the final minutes and could not fight back. Canada sealed the victory to the delight of the crowd gathered at the University of Toronto. Kai Williams (198-F-89) and Reid Markham (191-G-81) led the hosts with 13 points apiece. Michael Tuck added 12 points for the winners. Kyle Landry (206-F-86, agency: Worldwide Hoops) was limited to 12 points after his impressive 31-point outburst yesterday. Bruno Cerella finished with 14 points to be named the Player of the Game for Italian team. Italy shot only 53% from charity stripe that plagued them throughout the action.

Canada: Kai Williams 13, Reid Markham 13, Michael Tuck 12, Kyle Landry 12
Italy: Bruno Cerella 14


*****************************************************
  CHINA   


Yi To Be Traded to Nets - by Arthur Volbert
According to sources at ESPN.com and SI.com Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) is to be traded to the New Jersey Nets. Milwaukee is sending Yi and Bobby Simmons, whose contract expires in the summer of 2010, to New Jersey for Richard Jefferson. According to SI.com, Jefferson would be paid $15 million in 2011 and the Nets want this cap space to pursue LeBron James after the 2010 season. James is a close friend of Jay-Z, a rap star who is a minority owner of the Nets.

Yi likely did not fit into the plans of new Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles, who prefers hard-nosed physical players. With the Nets, Yi fits into their rebuilding plans and their aim to move to Brooklyn. He does not need to produce immediately but will be given time to develop. He will also be moving to a market with a far larger Asian population than Milwaukee. All in all this is good news for Yi.


Li Xiaoxu, Liu Xiaoyu Cut From Olympic Team - by Arthur Volbert
Liu Xiaoyu and Li Xiaoxu (204-C-90) have been cut from the candidates for the Olympic Team. Xu Yong was removed from the list of candidates as his career was ended by his bout with spinal cancer.

Li is strictly a power forward as he is not an outside shooter. He is behind Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhizhi, Zhang Kai, Du Feng and Ding Jinhui. It is expected that Li will be named to the Under-18 team, since his birth year has always been listed as 1990. As noted yesterday, China often adds to the Under-18 team after the initial list is published.

Liu lost out to Chen Jianghua and Zhang Qingpeng as a backup point guard.

Despite not playing much, Zhou Peng is still a candidate for the team at backup small forward. Wang Lei is not playing very well and Li Nan is injury-prone. So Zhou could still make the team if Li is injured.


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  COLOMBIA   


Colombian Roster for the Southamerican Championship - by Victor Garcia
Colombian National Team Head Coach Hernan Giraldo, released the final roster for the Southamerican Championship:


Edgar Moreno (63' G- UTEP)
Camilo Londono (62' G - NEWMAN)
Felipe Barrios (63' G Barry DivII)
Alvaro Contreras (61' G )
Andres Arcila (63' G )
Felipe Montoya (62' G)
Gianlucca Bacci (62' G)
Norbey Aragon (64' F/G GSW DivII)
Enielsen Guevara (68' F/C)
Adison Mosquera (68' F - Texas Panamerican)
Divier Perez (67' F)
Jorge Canedo (611 C Georgia College DivII)

Coach: Hernan Giraldo.

The team will travel on friday night to Chile


*****************************************************
  CYPRUS   


Dozet in AEL!! - by Chris Mammides
Another great player was added for Dragan Raca 's team, this time it was a player inthe guard position, Milan Dozet (203-G/F-79) an excellent player has agreed financial terms with Proteas EKA AEL Limassol. The 29 years old Serbian player was among the very good players of Panellinios and helped the team of Zouros to finish in the fifth plale of the regular seazon. Dozet had the following statistics in the A1: 5.2 points per game, 1.1 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 0.33 assists per game.

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


Halperin at Olympiakos!!! - by Kostas Papadopoulos

Yotam Halperin (196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services) is officially a player of Olympiakos, since the Reds paid compensation at Maccabi to release him. The player will firstly pass the relative medical tests and then sign his two-years contract, for a million euros for each year.
The player arrived today in Athens and stated that he is already focused on helping the Reds reach at the top of both the Euroleague and the A1 Greek championship: 'I feel amazing for coming at Olympiakos. It seems that something very good is going to happen since Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) and Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78, agency: Interperformances) came also to the team. I will give my best to achieve our goals: to reach at the top of both the Euroleague and the A1 Greek championship. I respect coach Panagiotis Giannakis a lot, since I think that he is one of the best coaches in Europe and I feel very happy to co-operate with him. I hope that I will give much happiness to Reds fans, for whom I know that they are very enthusiastic'.

The Israelian ex-guard of Maccabi Tel Aviv also revealed that 'before agreeing with Olympiakos, I asked many people who talked about the team with their best comments. Nikola Vujcic also told me the best, as well as Nestor Kommatos (203-F-77) with whom we were teammates some years ago at Maccabi. Olympiakos is a big club and I had nothing more than signing with the team'.



*****************************************************
  FINLAND   


1.DIV.: Huima signed two American players - by Rauno Hurmalainen
Huima (Aanekoski) will have a good package for coming 2008-09 season on the second highest level (1. division). Head Coach Markku Ranta
has already 14 signed players among them two Americans Jason Hartford (206-F/C, college: Cornell) and Ted Morris (208-C-84, college: Montana St.). The Finnish players are: Tero Rantaniva, Teppo Rantaniva, Jussi Maattanen, Reijo Ojanen, Sami Mantymaa, Pekka Karvonen, Matti Hirvanen, Vili Vaisanen, Janne Hytonen, Pena Ranta, Lasse Luokonmaa and Heikki Laatikainen.


KORISLIIGA: Finnish centers change Teams - by Rauno Hurmalainen

Two Finnish Centers have changed teams. Jari Vanttaja (208-F/C-86, college: Baylor) played on Team Componenta (Karkkila) roster only one season (2007-08) averaging 6,6 ppg - 3,6 rpg in 22 contests. Vanttaja's new team will be YMCA Lahti and the contract is for seasons 2008-10. YMCA Lahti has now six Finnish players signed: Teemu Laine, Vesa Makalainen, Sami Pekkola, Ville Vesala, Ilkka Vuori and Jari Vanttaja. Sami Toiviainen continues as Team's Head Coach.

Another Finnish big man Olli Ahvenniemi (208-C-83, college: Maine) will leave Kauhajoki and moves to Tampere after his studies. Ahvenniemi will thus be on Pyrinto's (Tampere) roster. Ahvenniemi averaged 5,5 ppg - 4,8 rpg in 41 games last season.



KORISLIIGA: Jarmo Laitinen will coach YMCA LPR - by Rauno Hurmalainen
After coaching Pyrinto (Tampere) for 12 years Jarmo Laitinen has made a big decision. Laitinen wanted new challenges and he really gets them when
signing a 1-year-contract with YMCA Lappeenranta. Laitinen is the fifth winningest coach in Finland and YMCA LPR is one of the best Finnish Top league
teams in recent years. The problem is, that both Finnish NT guards Petri Virtanen (183-G-80) and Juha Sten (191-G-83, agency: Rasmussen Services) are leaving YMCA LPR. They stayed at Lappeenranta only one season. Virtanen has signed with Kataja (Joensuu) and Sten will move to Sweden and play on Solna's roster. Solna Vikings won the Swedish Championship last season.


KORISLIIGA: TC signed Eric Crookshank - by Rauno Hurmalainen
Team Componenta (Karkkila) has now eight signed players for coming 2008-09 season. TC signed today American F Eric Crookshank (201-F-80, college: Idaho St.), who has not played in Europe by now. Instead Crookshank was a big star in the ABA -league (Halifax) averaging 20,5 ppg and 12,3 rpg. The other signed players are: Clifton Jones, Sami Syrjala, Turo Lehtonen, Teemu Rintala, Kimmo Tolvanen, Martti Kuisma and Mikko Pehkonen. Team's new Head Coach is Bernard Harris.

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


Team engagements: Clermont and Chalons still in doubt - by Chris Spiesser
The National basketball league (LNB) gave the engagement list for the upcoming season.
Pro A - Free engagement: Chalon-sur-Sane, Cholet, Le Mans, Villeurbanne, Nancy, Orlans, Roanne and Strasbourg
Pro B - Free engagement: Aix-Maurienne, Boulazac, Bourg-en-Bresse, Evreux, Limoges, Nanterre, Poitiers, Saint-Quentin,
Le Portel, Saint-Vallier

Pro A - Wage restrictions: Gravelines, Pau-Orthez, Vichy, Le Havre, Dijon, Hyres-Toulon, Rouen
Pro B - Wage restrictions: Brest, Nantes, Saint-Etienne, Charleville-Mzires, Antibes, Quimper, Paris-Levallois

Pro A - Standby: Besancon (only due to the late promotion)
Pro B - Denial: Clermont

NM1 - All teams are eligible except Chalons

The key points are:
Paris' relegation is officialized and, as a consequence, Chalon sur Saone will remain in Pro A.
Clermont has until the beggining of July to justify that its shortage will be covered. In case it wouldn't, this coulddrive Chalons en Champagne to remain in ProB and Mulhouse in NM1.
To complicate a bit more this curious situation, Chalons' future is still in question. The president Michel Gobillot declared today to the local newspaper 'L'Union' that it would be easier for his team to present the required budget in ProB then in NM1. The subvention coming from the collectivities are easier an higher if the team plays in the second level.


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


ProA News - by Manuel Schust
Cuxhaven Bascats re-signed team captain Nikola Jovanovic (197-G/F-82, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) and Samer Ismailat (184-G-82).
Jovanovic, a big fan favourite and decent three point shooter, averaged 4.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
Shooting Guard Ismailat was a role player, producing 1.4 points.
With Frederick Gary Kleemichen (209-F-86), Andreas Hasenkamm (188-G-83), Jacob Ndi (185-G-82), Edward Seward (206-C-78, college: Norfolk St.), Josh Porter (191-G-85), Nikola Jovanovic and Samer Ismailat, Cuxhaven now has 7 players one their roster, 5 of them are german.

MBC announced today the promotion of Johnnie Gilbert (203-F-82, agency: Heinrich Sports, college: Oklahoma). Gilbert spent last season with MBC 2 in 1. Regionalliga North.
He averaged 20.6 points and 10 rebounds per game and now gets the chance to show his skills in ProA next season.


Coach Polychroniadis to Leipzig - by Moritz Korff
Dimitris Polychroniadis has been named the new head coach of USC Leipzig, as the club announced in a press release today. USC just moved up to the Regionalliga South-East. 39-year-old Polychroniadis worked as a coach at Osnabruecker SC from 1999 until the end of this past season, in which he led the P4two Ballers to a championship in the Regionalliga North and to promotion to the 2. Bundesliga Pro B.

Cuxhaven adds forward to its 2008-09 roster - by Moritz Korff
The successor for Monta McGhee (202-F-79, agency: AMI, college: Lewis) has been found. Collins Harris (196-F-85, agency: Profibasketball.de, college: Drury) will join the Cuxhaven BasCats (2. Bundesliga Pro A) and try to replace the 2007-08 Eurobasket.com All-2. Bundesliga Pro A Forward of the Year who agreed to terms with Noerdlingen. Harris earned Honorable Mention All-American Honors (by Division II Bulletin) after this past season. The 22-year-old Forward appeared in 31 games for the Drury University, scored 17.9 points per outing and pulled down 4.6 boards a game.

Bonn re-signs Kolodziejski - by Manuel Schust
Telekom Baskets Bonn re-signed sharpshooter Artur Kolodziejski (195-F/G-79) for two more years.
The local hero, who grew up near Bonn, spent his first two pro years with Bonn and returned in 2005 after some time in Leverkusen, Weienfels (MBC) and Rhoendorf.
The 28-year-old german averaged 5.0 points last season, making 51 of 130 three point attempts (39.2%).

The Baskets now have five players on their roster for the 08/09 campaign: Winsome Frazier (193-G/F-82, agency: Interperformances, college: Mississippi St.), Johannes Strasser (190-G-82, agency: Court Side), Patrick Flomo (203-F-80, college: Ohio), John Bowler (206-F-84, agency: LimeLight, college: E.Michigan) and Artur Kolodziejski .


*****************************************************
  GREECE   


Halperin at Olympiakos!!! - by Kostas Papadopoulos

Yotam Halperin (196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services) is officially a player of Olympiakos, since the Reds paid compensation at Maccabi to release him. The player will firstly pass the relative medical tests and then sign his two-years contract, for a million euros for each year.
The player arrived today in Athens and stated that he is already focused on helping the Reds reach at the top of both the Euroleague and the A1 Greek championship: 'I feel amazing for coming at Olympiakos. It seems that something very good is going to happen since Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) and Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78, agency: Interperformances) came also to the team. I will give my best to achieve our goals: to reach at the top of both the Euroleague and the A1 Greek championship. I respect coach Panagiotis Giannakis a lot, since I think that he is one of the best coaches in Europe and I feel very happy to co-operate with him. I hope that I will give much happiness to Reds fans, for whom I know that they are very enthusiastic'.

The Israelian ex-guard of Maccabi Tel Aviv also revealed that 'before agreeing with Olympiakos, I asked many people who talked about the team with their best comments. Nikola Vujcic also told me the best, as well as Nestor Kommatos (203-F-77) with whom we were teammates some years ago at Maccabi. Olympiakos is a big club and I had nothing more than signing with the team'.



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


Dean Oliver stay two more years in Den Bosch - by Fred Roggen
Dean Oliver (180-G-78, college: Iowa) extended his contract with the Eiffel Towers and is going to stay two more years in Den Bosch. The 2008-2009 season will be his second one in Den Bosch. Oliver averaged 8.5 points and 5.8 assists for the Eiffel Towers in 39 Eredivisie-games in this past season.
The backcourt of Eiffel Towers Den Bosch is now completed after the contract-extension of Dean Oliver.
' I'm very delighted that Dean remain the following two years for Eiffel Towers because he has proven that he is a excellent pointguard ', thus coach Randy Wiel.


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


IBL West Division Playoffs kick off tomorrow - by Trask Frost
Monroe, WA - The International Basketball League has announced that six teams will compete for the 2008 West Division crown and the right to host the East Division playoff winner for the 2008 IBL Championship. The three day playoff session will include five playoff games and the North/South All-Star Classicwhich will include a Dunk Contest and Three Point Shootout. The six playoff teams are listed below in order of their probable seed for the tournament.

1 seed- Bellingham Slam (16-4) - the Slam have challenged opponents with a balanced attack all season, but Ryan Diggs has been the catalyst. Diggs leads the Slam in scoring (25.5 ppg) and assists (6.4 apg). Tyler Amaya (21.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg), a member of the Explosion in 2007, was a terrific early-season acquisition for Bellingham.

2 seed- Vancouver Volcanoes (17-6) 2008 has been a surprising turnaround for the fourth-year Volcanoes, who have emerged as one of the leagues top teams after finishing below .250 in each of their first three campaigns. Porter Troupe (23.1 ppg, 5.7 apg) and Kevin Tyner (20.5 ppg, 6.9 apg) have both been outstanding for the Volcanoes this season.

3 seed- Edmonton Chill (12-7) the Chill were tough at home, winning the last 10 games on their home schedule. Sharp-shooting Jeff Dunn (25.9 ppg) joined the team late in the season, giving the Chill the number five scorer in the league. Former Georgetown Hoya Lee Scruggs (16.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg) has been a steady contributor on offense and on the glass all year.

4 seed- Snohomish County Explosion (14-9) the defending West Division champions will look for support from the hometown fans to win the West Divisional Playoffs this year. The Explosion have won their last four straight, and have been bolstered by the return of 2007 IBL All-Stars Rashaad Powell (20.0 ppg) and Justin Murray. Murray (35.0 ppg) posted the highest single game total in the IBL this season with a 58 point outing versus the Jazz of Tacoma.

5 seed- Portland Chinooks (14-14) the Chinooks will rely heavily on the leagues top scorer in David Lucas (36.9ppg , 9.8 rpg) if they are to repeat as West Division Playoff champs. The Chinooks also feature IBL All-Star MVP Kenny Tate (18.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and the pure shooter Larry Smith (20.6 ppg).

6 seed- Central Oregon Hotshots (8-16) the Hotshots were up and down in their fourth IBL season, but have the ability to defeat any of the teams in the tournament. Potential All-Star Cliff White (16.9 ppg, 4.7 ppg, and 5.5 apg) is a complete player with his best feature being his defense. Joining White in the backcourt is mid-season acquisition Chris Nixon (14.8 ppg).



West Division Playoff First Round Friday, June 27
5:00pm Edmonton Chill vs. Portland or Central Oregon*
7:30pm Snohomish County Explosion vs. Portland or Central Oregon*

* If Edmonton wins their final regular season game on Thursday, June 26, they will be the #3 seed and they will play Central Oregon (the 6th seed), making Snohomish County the #4 seed to play Portland (the 5th seed). If Edmonton loses, then Snohomish County will move to the #3 seed (to play Central Oregon). In either situation, Edmonton will play at 5:00pm and Snohomish County Explosion will play at 7:30pm. The top two teams in the West, Bellingham and Vancouver have earned first round byes and an automatic berth into Saturday's final four. Their opponents and tip-off times are contingent upon the results of the Friday games.


West Division Playoff - Final Four - Saturday, June 28
5:00pm TBD vs. TBD
7:30pm TBD vs. TBD

The Saturday games will feature bye teams Bellingham and Vancouver versus Fridays winners. The game times will be known on Thursday night, at 10:30pm because of a final regular season IBL game.


West Division Playoff Championship Sunday- Sunday, June 29
12:00pm North All-Stars vs. South All-Stars*
2:30pm 2008 West Division Championship Game

*In addition to hosting the West Division Playoffs, the Monroe Sports Arena is hosting the IBL's first North/South All-Star Classic. This game will be held on Sunday June 29th at 12:00noon, and feature the top players from the IBL's West and Southwest Divisions. Former Seattle Supersonics Donald 'Slick' Watts and James Donaldson will coach the All-Star teams, and the Classic will also include a Slam Dunk Contest and Three Point Shootout. The All-Star Classic tips off at 12:30pm with the Three Point Shootout and Dunk Contest taking place at halftime. The West Division finals will follow the All-Star festivities.



Location of games: Monroe High School in Monroe Washington

Cost to attend: Courtside Seats: Day Pass $25 Weekend Pass $70
Courtside Bench: Day Pass $20 Weekend Pass $55
Reserved Seating: Day Pass $15 Weekend Pass $40
General Admission: Day Pass $10 Weekend Pass $30

For questions: Contact the Snohomish County Explosion
Call (ph) 425-339-BALL and for tickets, hit extension #1


Shawn Kemp to make a guest appearance at IBL All-Star Classic - by Trask Frost
Monroe, WA - Six-time NBA All-Star Shawn Kemp (6'10''-F-69, college: Trinity Valley JC) will be wearing a number 40 Explosion jersey while playing for the North squad in the North/South All-Star Classic coached by Slick Watts this Sunday, June 29 at 12:00pm at the Monroe Sports Arena. Former Sonic James Donaldson will also be coaching in the North/South All-Star Classic for the South.
The weekend kicks-off with the 2008 IBL Western Division elimination round on Friday, June 27, followed by semi-final games on Saturday, June 28 at 5pm and 7:30pm (PST). The IBL North/South All-Star Game, 3-Point Shoot-out and Slam Dunk Contest will be followed by the Western Conference Championship game on Sunday, June 29th. The All-Star Classic will tip-off at Noon (12pm PST) followed by the Championship game at 2:30pm on Sunday.

To get your tickets for the North/South All-Star Classic and playoff weekend, call 425-339-BALL (2255) today! The Monroe Sports Arena is located at 17001 Tester Road, Monroe, WA 98272.


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


Dante Hunter "I know that Ireland is an up and coming league thats growing and I would like to be part of that growth" - by Mariano Galindo

Dante Hunter (191-G/F-83, agency: 011 Sports, college: Calumet) has played with Globetrotters and others exhibition's teams. Now, he would like to play in Ireland

1-Where did you start play basketball?
I started playing basketball in Los Angeles California at the local YMCA when I was 9 years old.


2-In high school you played with Jason Kapono. how was the experiencie?
Playing on the same team as Jason Kapona was great experiece. He was such a good player and the hardest working player I ever seen. He is where I got my hard work ethic, discipline from. I knew that Jason would go to the NBA the first time I played with him, he was just so advanced. He always gave me advice on aspects of the game including what I needed to improve on. Jason was such a nice person on and off the court. So at a young age I was exposed to a high level of play. Jason deserves everything he has and Im happy for him.


3- You have played for the 'other side' of Globetrotters. Is funny to 'lost' always?
Playing on the other side Globetrotters was a great opportunity, It was difficult losing but 35 percent of the game was actual play. Every second was hard and competitive play which helped improved my game because the Harlem Globetrotter are top of the line athletes. I also worked out and played scrimmages with the Globetrottes before the games.


4-If we read your curriculum vitae, we can see that you have played for some exhibition teams, so do you like specially this kind of teams?
Yes I liked all the exhibition and Semi Pro teams I played for. This gave me an opportunity to play against some talented players while improving my game. To be able to live your dream of playing basketball as a job is a great feeling. I loved playing on all the teams i ever played for but now I rather play for a team in Europe.


5- Is it funny to make tours around the world with Globetrotters?
I am glad that I had the opportunity to play against the Globetrotters. I have played South America as well as Europe. 16 countries including Ireland. Some gyms that we played in were almost as good as NBA gyms. It was alot of fun and allowed me to see alot of places and being exposed to different cultures. Everywhere I went people were so nice, Im very blessed.


6- What do you know about Irish basketball? why do you want to play there?
I know that Ireland is an up and coming league thats growing and I would like to be part of that growth. I would love to help a team compete for a championship as well as helping the leagues become better.Visiting Ireland made me want to learn more and be exposed to the culture of Ireland as well as playing in the leauge the people that i met were extremely nice.


7- Tell us about El Salvador's Basketball and his league

Playing in El Salvador was a great experience I was there playing for 4 months and it was great experience. El Salvadorians play extremely hard, most import players were from the US and Panama. I was suprised how athletics Panama players were. I was expected to lead the team in scoring and assists and I did. Basketball is the second most popular sport next to soccer. The basketball crowds were always intense and got hostile at times but it was all great. So gyms were nice and others were very old.


8- Did you enjoy last season playing there?
I enjoyed every minute of playing in El Salvador I learned so much about the culture and met some nice people. I am always challenging myself and trying to improve my game this grummed my game and allowed me to continue to compete.



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


Canada Development Team succeeds against Italy U22 - by Eurobasket News
Canada - Italy U22 68:60

Canadian Development Team celebrated the second consecutive win over Italy U22 Selection in the exhibition series. The game was an even contest with neither side able to clear off. Italy stressed the defensive effort right from the start limiting Canada to just 12 first-quarter points. The seesaw first half saw the hosts grab a narrow 27:25 advantage. However Italian team stayed close in the third. Led by Bruno Cerella (194-G/F-86) Italy managed to draw level midway through the fourth stanza. The teams entered the final 6 minutes of encounter all square at 52. But Louis Levros and Michael Tuck (201-F-83, agency: Court Side) put the home team ahead. Italy seemed to run out of steam in the final minutes and could not fight back. Canada sealed the victory to the delight of the crowd gathered at the University of Toronto. Kai Williams (198-F-89) and Reid Markham (191-G-81) led the hosts with 13 points apiece. Michael Tuck added 12 points for the winners. Kyle Landry (206-F-86, agency: Worldwide Hoops) was limited to 12 points after his impressive 31-point outburst yesterday. Bruno Cerella finished with 14 points to be named the Player of the Game for Italian team. Italy shot only 53% from charity stripe that plagued them throughout the action.

Canada: Kai Williams 13, Reid Markham 13, Michael Tuck 12, Kyle Landry 12
Italy: Bruno Cerella 14


Last market news - by Gianni Pascucci
Armani Jeans Milano announced yesterday the three-year agreement with Luca Vitali (201-G-86), from Premiata Mojntegranaro. Scavolini-Spar Pesaro inked LeRoy Hurd (202-F/G-80, college: UTSA) with a one-year contract. In Lega 2, Banco di Sardegna Sassari agreed to terms with Nkechi Ezugwu (203-C-76, agency: World Sport Agency, college: E.Michigan) and Scafati Basket inked Franco Gramenzi as the new team coach and confirmed Antonio Petillo as coach Assistant. The first new player signed by Scafati is Oscar Gugliotta (193-G-82). Fileni Jesi introduced to media the new head coach, Andrea Zanchi

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


Kurino returns to the JBL - by Kenny
The Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins announced today that they have acquired former OSG Phoenix forward Jo Kurino (Jo Kurino-Dews (195-F, college: Mount Olive)) from the bj-league. The soon-to-be 28-year old half-American, half-Japanese scrapper started his career in Japan in the JBL with the OSG Phoenix when he joined them in 2003 from Division II Mount Olive College in the U.S. After playing 2 seasons with OSG, the 6-5 Kurino made the jump to the start-up bj-league in 2005, becoming the 1st pick overall in the bj-league's 1st ever draft. Overall, Kurino played 3 seasons in the bj-league for 2 different teams, the Oita Heat Devils and the Tokyo Apache.

The bilingual Kurino is only the 2nd player ever to go from the JBL to the bj-league and then return to the JBL-the 1st player to do so was G Hiroyuki Ueyama who went to the bj-league after the JBL's Fukuoka Red Falcons folded midway through the 2005-06 season. Ueyama then returned to the JBL after that season with the Hitachi Sunrockers in 2006 where he still plays.


JBL news and notes: The Panasonic Trians have reportedly released German F Tilo Klette, who spent the past 2 seasons with them. No word yet on who will replace him, although F Jerald Honeycutt's name has been floating around and has been linked with a few JBL teams ever since Mitsubishi let him go after this past season.


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


Liga del Sureste: Finals at the start - by Gianni Pascucci
Leopardos de Merida prevailed 78-72 over Marineros de Cozumel in Game 5 of their Semifinal, advancing to the Liga del Sureste Final Series, where they will meet Dorados, easy winners over Aluxes. After that Marineros had won Game 3 and 4, Game 5 was very tensed and uncertain till the end, with the guest team finishing ahead the 1srt quarter 19-11 and the second one 34-33. Led by Harold Arceneaux (198-F-77, college: Weber St.) and Reggie Jordan (193-G-68, college: N.Mexico St.), Leopardos managed to come back and to take the lead during the third quarter, but another rally of the Marineros allowed them to end ahead the third qtr too, 56-52. A good last quarter from Eric Martin (197-F-76, college: Cincinnati), who scored the last 4 points of the game, allowed Leopardos to finally take the win. The finals start tomorrow night in Playa del Carmen, best of seven games.

*****************************************************
  MOLDOVA   


Moldova U16 team wins European Championship Division C opener - by Eurobasket News
Moldova U16 - Andorra U16 71:61

Moldovan U16 National team got to a winning start of the European championship in Division C campaign. The event tipped off in Gibraltar and saw eight teams taking part. Moldova got into preliminary Pool A together with Andorra, Gibraltar and San Marino. Another group comprised Malta, Scotland, Monaco and Wales. Moldova met with Andorra in the starting game. Andorra began the game aggressively as Palleja and Casellas drained back-to-back three-pointers to lift the team in front. Cojuhari nailed 5 points to keep Moldova in visibility. Soon Mescoi scored 8 straight points for Moldovan team and lead them ahead 15:13. Calvis and Cerda capped the first frame with 4 points and Andorra claimed a 17:15 advantage after the first quarter. Moldova struck back early in the second quarter as they surged ahead through 4 consecutive points from Melniciuc. The lead changed hands for several times before Kaigodorov sealed the first half outcome at 28:23 for Moldova. Modlovan team stretched the gap to 10 points heading into the fourth term. Andorra failed to cut the deficit in the final minutes and suffered the first loss at the competition. Mescoi nailed 20 points and grabbed 9 boards to lead Moldova. Cojuhari added 19 points and 8 caroms, while Carali had 14 points and 14 boards in a winning case. Casellas answered with 13 points and 8 boards for Andorra Juniors. Palleja contributed 12 points in a loss. Moldova will face San Marino, while Andorra will take on Gibraltar tomorrow.

Moldova U16: Serghei Mescoi 20+9 boards, Nicolai Cojuhari 19, Vladimir Carali 14+14 boards
Andorra U16: Ricard Casellas 13, Alexandre Palleja 12


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


Jefferson Traded to Bucks. - by Bryan Floyd
The New Jersey Nets have agreed in principle to trade Richard Jefferson to the Milwaukee Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons, Ian Thomsen from Sports Illustrated is reporting.Yi's camp was said to be ecstatic about going to the rebuilding Nets and playing in a major market, which was one of the original concerns when he was drafted by the Bucks last year. Such a swap would create an estimated $10-plus million in long-term savings for the Nets as they continue to re-shape their team after trading another mainstay -- point guard Jason Kidd -- to Dallas in February. The Bucks, meanwhile, would be supplying new coach Scott Skiles with a veteran player coming off his best season to fill a problem position. Jefferson averaged 22.7 points per game last season and played all 82 games after an injury-plagued 2006-07 season.

Indiana sends Jermaine O'Neal to Toronto - by Eurobasket News
Following long and productive negotiations the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors agreed to swap players. Indiana decided to send Jermaine O'Neal (6'11''-F-78) to Toronto in exchange for T.J. Ford (5'10''-G-83, college: Texas), Radoslav Nesterovic (7'0''-C-76) and the #17 Draft pick in todays lottery. The Pacers will also give away #41 Draft pick, while the Raptors will send Maceo Baston (6'9''-F-75, agency: Priority Sports, college: Michigan) in the opposite direction.
Jermaine O'Neal was operated on his torn meniscus cartilage in left knee last year. He managed to start the season with the Pacers but appeared not fully ready for it. O'Neal played only 42 games coming up with the worst stats since 2000. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.8 boards per game. A six-team All-Star failed to help his team reach playoffs. His career stats come up to 14.4 points, 7.7 boards and 1.5 assists per game.
T.J. Ford was seriously injured in 2004 and missed the biggest part of the season. He returned to form in his next season in Milwaukee but soon was traded to Toronto in exchange for Charlie Villanueva. T.J. Ford played 75 games for the Raptors in his first season and averaged career-high 14.0 points and 7.9 assists per game. T.J. Ford was once again injured last season but missed just 13 games. However Jose Calderon lived up to the role of the starting point guard at the time. T.J. Ford finished the season with 12.1 points and 6.1 assists per game.
Radoslav Nesterovich averaged 7.8 points and 4.8 boards per game for the Raptors last season. Slovenian centre spent 5 years of his career in Minnesota before being traded to San Antonio Spurs. In 2006 he was sent to Toronto where he played two seasons. His career stats read 7.0 points and 5.5 caroms per appearance.
If the players pass the physicals the deal is about to be complete after July 9.


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


The Boomers win the Al Ramsay Shield opener - by Eurobasket News
New Zealand - Australia 60:75

The Australian National Team breezed past New Zealand at the Ramsay Shield series opener at the North Shore Events Centre today. Patrick Mills (178-G-88) nailed 14 points, while Chris Anstey (213-C-75) and Shawn Redhage (202-F-81, agency: Warren Sports International, college: Arizona St.) added 13 points apiece for the Boomers to celebrate a comfortable victory. The series will now move to Australia for the second game at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne on Saturday.
Chris Anstey started the game red hot for the Boomers. He scored the first eight points for the visitors as Australia grabbed an 8:2 lead midway through the period. The Tall Blacks had a woeful shooting accuracy from the field in the starting frame and appeared trailing 9:26 at the first intermission. The gap grew to as many as 21 points in the second period. The Tall Blacks finally shook things up as Mika Vukona nailed a three-pointer and sparked a 12:2 run. The hosts cut the deficit to 12 points at halftime. Paora Winitana and Pero Cameron dropped back-to-back treys to clip the margin to 7 points early in the third stanza. But the Boomers were alert and responded with a 9:2 run to build a 12-point cushion at three-quarter time. Linday Tait paced the Tall Blacks in the fourth period but his effort was not enough to change the complexion of the game. Australia eased to an overall win with reserves on the court. Lindsay Tait (194-G-82) topscored with 16 points for New Zealand. Craig Bradshaw (207-F/C-83, college: Winthrop)
and rookie Corey Webster (180-G-88) had 9 points apiece in defeat.

New Zealand: Lindsay Tait 16, Craig Bradshaw 9, Corey Webster 9
Australia: Patrick Mills 14, Chris Anstey 13, Shawn Redhage 13


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


Union Bank humble Chariot, Potters roll over Customs - by Olusegun Ikuesan
Union Bank basketball club Wednesday continue its smooth run with an 80-52 points win over Chariot basketball club in the Lagos City league.

The Stallion as the Bode Thomas-based Lagos side is also known went all out from the blast of the referees whistle winning in all four quarters 21-08, 15-13, 17-11 and 27-20.

Not even the presence of Anyebe Alexandra and Abel Baraya both of premier league sides Yelwa Hawks of Bauchi and Customs of Lagos could save the day for the Chariot from losing scandalously.

In the first City league game decided earlier in the day Raptors Academy won the battle of the academies with a narrow 48-46 points victory over Rookies Academy.

Rookies won three of the four quarters but still lost the keenly contested game 09-08, 12-17, 11-10 and 14-13.

The city league takes the back stage from Thursday as the final phase of the Zenith Bank Women league starts today at the sports hall of the national stadium, Lagos with First Bank basketball club sure to carry the day having won all eighteen games played in first and second phases decided in Abuja and Enugu.

And in the premier league visiting Niger Potters roses from the 70-62 points lose to Union Bank basketball club on Tuesday to beat Customs basketball 94-89 in a thrilling encounter.

Potters won the first quarter 26-20 while the Customs tutored by stand-in coach Abba Mohammed raised it game in the second quarter to win by 33-19 points, Potters came back forcefully in the third quarter and the effort paid off as it picked the quarter 37-20 points leaving Customs to roll back in the last quarter 16-12 points for a cumulative scoreline of 94-89 points.


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


Snow gets D-League tryout - by Gianni Pascucci
Only some days before the NPBL Championship Game, the Elmira Bulldogs have lost one of their best players. Tychicus Snow (5'7''-G, college: Miss.Valley St.) will skip Saturday's title game, after being selected for the NBA Developmental League's tryout camp. Snow is one of only 200 players picked to try out. Last year, 33 of the 200 earned D-League contracts. Despite standing just 5-7, Snow stood pretty tall in Elmira, scoring more than 12 points a game, along with four assists. He even dunked off an ally-oop in a game, wowing fans and teammates alike. The D-League is hosting the three-day tryout in Georgia this weekend, during the NPBL's title game, set for Saturday at 7pm from the Chemung County YMCA.

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  PHILIPPINES   


Standings - PBA Fiesta Conference
PBA Standings
 1. Air21 11-6 
 2. Red Bull 10-6 
 3. Coca-Cola 9-7 
 4. Magnolia 9-8 
 5. Alaska 8-7 
 6. Talk N Text 8-8 
 7. Sta Lucia 7-8 
 8. Ginebra 7-8 
 9. Purefoods 7-9 
 10. Welcoat D. 4-13 


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


Serious changes in Poland - by Michal Falkowski

A new headcoach of Anwil Wloclawek, Zmago Sagadin , made his first two decisions. Thanking both players for their contribution in pevious club's results, Anwil will not offer an extension of the contracts to Zbigniew Bialek (203-F-82) and Wiktor Grudzinski (208-C-78).
Bialek has been bound with Anwil since 2006, when he joined the team after the one-year break caused by the injury. Amazing fans, he played very well (7.8 ppg. and 4.3 rpg.). At the beginning of the last season he had got next injury again. After so long recovery he didn't fulfill the expectations. When it comes to Grudzinski, his two and a half seasons, were on the same level. His averages 3.2 ppg., 4.2 rpg. in 06/07 and 2.6 ppg. and 3.0 rpg. last time never showed his bravery and sacrifice.

Pawel Leonczyk (202-F-86, agency: Promotex) leaves Polpharma Starogard Gdanski and moves to Energa Czarni Slupsk. 22-year-old power forward / center has been a member of Polpharma for two seasons. Last time he was averaging about 6 ppg. and 3 rpg. Leonczyk is the third Czarni's signing after Lukasz Ratajczak (201-F-86) from Polpak and Ukrainian coach Andrei Podkovyrov . It has to be said that Leonczyk was someone desirable in the current transfer market, especially in the face of the order of a junior player (born in 1986 or later) competing throughout the whole second quarter.

According to the newspaper 'Przeglad Sportowy' Krzysztof Szubarga (184-G-84) is very close to be hired by Atlas Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski. The board of the club is going to offer him a one-year deal. Last season Polish playmaker was a representative of SPEC Polonia Warsaw where he was averaging 10.1 ppg. and 4.0 apg. Moreover Atlas is interested in signing Kristijan Ercegovic (208-C-76, agency: VTBM/SRBM), Croatian center from Victoria Gornik Walbrzych (9.7 ppg. and 6.6 rpg. last time).

There are high chances that Wojciech Kaminski will be a headcoach of the club SPEC Polonia Warsaw again. Kaminski is one of the best Polish young coaches. He is strongly bound with the team from Warsaw where he has been coaching since 2002 with only one period break. In the middle of the 2005/2006 season he moved to Turow Zgorzelec, but he spent over there only a half-a-year.
Besides, the roster of the team includes only three junior players at the moment: Kamil Laczynski (177-G-89), Wojciech Pisarczyk (201-F-88) and Marcin Nowakowski (184-G-89).
Bartosz Sarzalo (197-G-83) leaves the team for sure - he signed a deal with Zastal Zielona Gora (Polish A2 Division)


Znicz Jaroslaw started building their roster. Marek Miszczuk (212-C/F-77, agency: Promotex) and Tomasz Celej (198-F/G-78, agency: Promotex) are two players who have valid contracts with the team so their future is sure. Obviously, the team will be coach by Stanislaw Gierczak . According to www.polskikosz.pl Bartosz Krupa (180-G-80) also signed the contract, however there is no confirmation from the club. Morevoer the board of the team is interested in extending the deals with Marcin Ecka (184-G-78), Tomasz Fortuna (186-G-81) and Artur Mikolajko (197-F-79).
Michal Sikora (182-G-80), Maciej Miller (202-F/C-77) and Jakub Dryjanski (201-F-82) will leave the team.


Basket Kwidzyn have a new coach. It will be Adam Prabucki who moves from Polpharma Starogard Gdanski. Prabucki coached that team last season but he didn't aviod relegating. It is worth adding that Prabucki coached Polpharma only from the middle of the season. Before that he had been a headcoach of women team Energa Torun.



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  PORTUGAL   


Vitoria add a new player - by Luis Rocha
Although many of the most important things are not yet decided, teams begun to move in the market. Vitoria sign Sergio Correia (197-F-85) from Ginasio. Sergio will come back to Guimares after a well played season in Figueira da Foz. A good signing from Vitoria, who hopes to stay at top level next season. from the current season, Vitoria kept all the most important players, like Carlos Fechas (180-G-81), Pedro Silva (198-F-79) and Pedro Azevedo (193-F-81) as well as a few others. Fernando Sa will stay as head coach after being invited to replace Alberto Babo in Porto.

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  SERBIA   


Omar Cook in Unicaja Malaga - by Zoran Popovic
After one season in KK Crvena Zvezda Beograd, Omar Cook (186-G-82, college: St.John's) signed contract with Unicaja Malaga and made agreement on 2+1 year. At the begining of June 2008 Cook got passport of Republic of Montenegro and yesterday Dusko Vujosevic put him on the wider list of 25 candidates for National team.

In the season 2007-2008 with Crvena Zvezda Cook scored in ULEP Cup 15.2Pts, 3.2Reb, 6.1Ast, in Adriatic league 16.2Pts, 2.4Reb, 6.5Ast and in Serbian Super league 14.8Pts, 3.0Reb and 6.9Ast per game. Before Crvena Zvezda Omar Cook played for Fayetteville Patriots (NBDL) 2004-2005, Dexia Mons-Hainaut 2005-2006, CSK VVS Samara 2006-2007.


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


Dragic drafted by Spurs as 45 pick of 2008 NBA Draft - by Matej Bergant
Slovenian NT player Goran Dragic (194-G-86, agency: Interperformances) got drafted by San Antonio Spurs as 45 pick (15 in second round) of 2008 NBA Draft. He played as a loaned player of TAU Ceramica in Union Olimpija this season and averaged 9.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg in 13 games of Euroleague, 12.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.1apg, 1.7spg in 28 games of Adriatic League and 11.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 3.4apg, 1.5spg in 20 games of Slovenian League. He also won Slovenian Championship and Cup during past season. He returned to TAU Ceramica and will play there in 2008/2009 season.

Pipan call up Zagorac and Drobnjak to replace Smodis and Vidmar - by Zeljko Zule

Slovenian NT head coach Ales Pipan have replaced injured centers Matjaz Smodis (205-F-79) and Gasper Vidmar (210-C/F-87, agency: Interperformances) with Zeljko Zagorac (204-F-81, agency: World Sport Agency) of Helios and with uncapped Dragisa Drobnjak (200-F-77, agency: VTBM/SRBM)robnjak of Turow. Smodis pulled out of the Olympic Qualyfing Tournament with a foot injury while Vidmar broken his whist on Wednesday. Zagorac was in coach Ales Pipan's provisional squad of 24 players but was cut from the last 15 while is Drobnjak newcommer in NT.



*****************************************************
  SOUTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS   


Venezuela's NT to face Brazil twice in friendly matches - by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- The National Team of Venezuela will face Brazil twice in friendly matches of preparation for the 2008 South American Championship to be held at Puerto Montt, Chile, from July 1st till July 7th. The exhibition matches will take place at Maracanazinho Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Venezuela had a three week preparation process in Caracas that included a couple of friendly matches that turned out as victories against Cuba in Valencia and San Juan de los Morros, the first ending 86-61 and the second one finishing 86-81. After that, head coach Nelson Solorzano and assistant coaches Carl Herrera (206-C-66) and Gustavo Garcia announced the final 12-man squad that will play in Chile.

The players are Carlos Cedeno (193-G/F-85), Jesus Centeno (190-G-85), Rafael Guevara (194-F-79), Rafael Perez (185-G-82), Jose Vargas (196-G/F-82), Oscar Torres (195-F/G-76), Axiers Sucre (198-F-78), Luis Bethelmy (200-C-86), Luis Julio (199-F-80), Roque Osorio (206-C-76), Amber Marin (208-C-81) and Miguel Angel Marriaga (207-C-84). Players Heissler Guillent (191-G-86), Kevin Palacios (203-F/C-84) and Hector Romero (202-F-80) were left out and others like Tomas Aguilera (198-F-77), Pedro Brito (202-F/C-82), Alejandro Barrios (205-F-79) and Richard Lugo (209-C-73) had been previously taken out of the list due to injuries. Romero had just arrived from Italy after a long season with Montepaschi Siena.

Brazil's B squad ended at last place in the Carranza Cup played in Valparaiso, Chile, last week. Chile won the final match against Uruguay and Argentina took third place off the brazilians, but this time around, Venezuela will have to face their A team. In the history among the two countries, Brazil has won 31 of 37 matches with only 6 Venezuelan victories. Their last meeting was in the 2007 FIBA Americas Pre Olympic Tournament held at Las Vegas, United States, a contest won by Brazil 101-75.


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


ACB Market News - by Natxo Mendaza
* Ricoh Manresa starting shooting guard Rafael Martinez (191-G-82) will play in Pamesa Valencia for the next three seasons, once he passed the medical tests early this week. Martinez, who was rumoured to be pretty closer to Real Madrid this summer, was one of the main targets for several ACB teams once it was known he was going to leave Manresa. Martinez averaged almost 15 points, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game this year in ACB League.

* C.B. Granada signed Jimmie 'Snap' Hunter (196-G-77, college: Life) to a 2-year deal. This will be the 3rd team for Hunter in ACB League after playing for Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas and Polaris World Murcia in the past. Hunter averaged 13.7 points per night, shooting 47% from 2 points and 36% from 3 points.

* Although TAU Ceramica didn't make it official yet, it's only a matter of hours that the Spanish champion will confirm the departure of Croatian guard Zoran Planinic (198-G-82), who agreed a 2-years deal with Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow. The Russians paid 800k Euros to TAU as trasnfer fee.


Kickert joins Gran Canaria - by Eurobasket
Kalise Gran Canaria agreed terms with Australian center Daniel Kickert (208-C-83, college: St.Mary's, CA). Kickert has also Dutch passport, so has a Bosman status. It will be his third season in Europe, where he came after graduating St.Marys (NCAA). He already played for Livorno in Italy and last season he win Cope Principe de Asturias together with Leche Rio Breogan Lugo (LEB Gold). in 34 games last year he averaged 10.3ppg and 3.6rpg.

*****************************************************
  TURKEY   


Turkey U18 loses Douai tournament opener - by Eurobasket News
Turkey U18 - Germany U18 69:73

Turkish U18 National Team could not find the winning ways to open the international Douai tournament in France. Turkish team got into Group A together with Junior teams from France, African All-Star Selection and Germany. The teams traded baskets early in the game and were all square at 8 midway through the first period. However soon Germany went on a 13:2 run to claim the lead. They held a 23:16 lead at the first intermission. Turkey struck back early in the second term to knot things up at 23. But Germany once again jumped ahead and maintained the gap. They enjoyed a 5-point advantage at halftime. The situation hardly changed in the third period as fatigue piled up and the tempo decreased. Germaby stayed ahead 59:52 before the final term. They opened a double-digit lead midway through the fourth period and kept Turkey at bay through the rest of the contest. Erik Land (203-C-90) notched 18 points to lead Germany U18. Robert Huelsewede (198-F-90) knocked down 13 points for the winners. Turkey answered with 14 points from Can Maxim Mutaf (193-G-91) and Ibrahim Yildirim (190-G-90). Erolcan Cinko (187-G-90) had 7 points in a losing effort. Turkey U18 will face African All-Star Selection today.

Turkey U18: Can Maxim Mutaf 14, Ibrahim Yildirim 14, Erolcan Cinko 7
Germany U18: Erik Land 18, Robert Huelsewede 13


*****************************************************
  UKRAINE   


New center in Azovmash / Kojenets to Donetsk - by Alexander Muzyka
- Ukrainian Superleague finals MVP Robert Jr. Archibald (211-C/F-80) left Azovmash for Unicaja. But center's vacancy wasn't empty - Azovmash headquarters agreed the terms with a Nigerian Uche Nsonwu (208-F/C-78). He scored 13,5 ppg and 7,8 rpg in Villeurbanne's ULEB Cup performance last season. They say he's good as a defender but weak in attacks.

- One more well-known player in BC Donetsk! Oleg Kojenets (208-C-77) followed Kryvych twins, Andriukaitis, Zabirchenko and Dubniuk and will defend the 'tigers' colours.


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


Matthews will play for Tabare - by Hector Lopez
Clarence Matthews (201-F-82, agency: 22ft, college: Tennessee St.) will play for Tabare during the Uruguayan League 2008, it was annunced by the team. Leonardo Reinaldo, President of Tabare, said the player will be arriving at mid July. The League will begin August 15th. Tabare won the promotion last year and will be playing the League for the third time. A total of 15 teams arre announced for the torunament to be played with a two clasificatiob rounds, then 10 teams will anothe two rounds. Eigth teams will advance to the quarter finals.

Barrera will play at a Rockets campus - by Hector Lopez
Gustavo Barrera (194-G-85), a member of the NT, will be travelling to Houston next month for training and to play the Houston Rockes summer league, it was announced by the local web site, Urubasket.com. Barrera, who used to play in Spain, is with the Uruguayan NT in Chile, where it will take place the South American Championship. Last year, BArrera played for Hebraica Macabi, the runners up.
He played 46 games with 14.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 6.9 apg.


*****************************************************
  VENEZUELA   


Stats Leaders - LPB
LPB Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
M. Fleming (Guai) 21.4
R. Nembhard (Gai) 19.5
Washington (Guai) 19.4
J. Vargas (Tro) 18.3
K. Capers (Gat) 17.8
Rebounds Per Game
A. Sucre (Mar) 9.3
D. Freeman (Gat) 9.2
M. Fleming (Guai) 8.5
T. Aguilera (Tro) 8.2
E. Brock (Gua) 7.0
Assists Per Game
C. Krauser (Gig) 6.4
R. Nembhard (Gai) 5.8
C. Cedeno (Guai) 5.6
M. Osimani (Tro) 5.6
E. Mijares (Gat) 5.0
Steals Per Game
J. Smith (Tach) 4.0
E. Mijares (Gat) 3.6
H. Salcedo (Gai) 3.6
C. Krauser (Gig) 3.5
C. Cedeno (Guai) 3.5
Blocks Per Game
M. Marriaga (Gai) 1.7
L. Bethelmi (Coc) 1.2
E. Brock (Gua) 1.1
H. Bayona (Guai) 1.0
M. Dumont (Pan) 0.8
2FGP
L. Bethelmi (Coc) 65.0%
H. Salcedo (Gai) 63.0%
J. Vargas (Tro) 62.0%
M. Dumont (Pan) 60.0%
M. Fleming (Guai) 59.0%
3FGP
L. Cappare (Tro) 47.0%
J. Centeno (Coc) 47.0%
L. Garcia (Coc) 47.0%
M. Fleming (Guai) 45.0%
Dominguez (Gig) 44.0%
Free Throws
L. Wallace (Tro) 93.0%
H. Paez (Coc) 88.0%
V.D. Diaz (Coc) 86.0%
M. Osimani (Tro) 83.0%
J. Smith (Tach) 83.0%


Standings - LPB
LPB Standings
 1. Trotamundos 39-9 
 2. Cocodrilos 34-15 
 3. Guaiqueries 30-18 
 4. Gaiteros 30-18 
 5. Gatos 29-19 
 6. Marinos 27-22 
 7. Guaros 19-30 
 8. Dep.Tachira 16-33 
 9. Gigantes 10-39 
 10. Panteras 9-40 


Venezuela's NT to face Brazil twice in friendly matches - by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- The National Team of Venezuela will face Brazil twice in friendly matches of preparation for the 2008 South American Championship to be held at Puerto Montt, Chile, from July 1st till July 7th. The exhibition matches will take place at Maracanazinho Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Venezuela had a three week preparation process in Caracas that included a couple of friendly matches that turned out as victories against Cuba in Valencia and San Juan de los Morros, the first ending 86-61 and the second one finishing 86-81. After that, head coach Nelson Solorzano and assistant coaches Carl Herrera (206-C-66) and Gustavo Garcia announced the final 12-man squad that will play in Chile.

The players are Carlos Cedeno (193-G/F-85), Jesus Centeno (190-G-85), Rafael Guevara (194-F-79), Rafael Perez (185-G-82), Jose Vargas (196-G/F-82), Oscar Torres (195-F/G-76), Axiers Sucre (198-F-78), Luis Bethelmy (200-C-86), Luis Julio (199-F-80), Roque Osorio (206-C-76), Amber Marin (208-C-81) and Miguel Angel Marriaga (207-C-84). Players Heissler Guillent (191-G-86), Kevin Palacios (203-F/C-84) and Hector Romero (202-F-80) were left out and others like Tomas Aguilera (198-F-77), Pedro Brito (202-F/C-82), Alejandro Barrios (205-F-79) and Richard Lugo (209-C-73) had been previously taken out of the list due to injuries. Romero had just arrived from Italy after a long season with Montepaschi Siena.

Brazil's B squad ended at last place in the Carranza Cup played in Valparaiso, Chile, last week. Chile won the final match against Uruguay and Argentina took third place off the brazilians, but this time around, Venezuela will have to face their A team. In the history among the two countries, Brazil has won 31 of 37 matches with only 6 Venezuelan victories. Their last meeting was in the 2007 FIBA Americas Pre Olympic Tournament held at Las Vegas, United States, a contest won by Brazil 101-75.


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  WCBPL   


Breakers Win Championship - by Gianni Pascucci
As it was easy to expect, the Santa Babraba Breakers (the only true professional team in the WCPBL) prevailed over the Ventura Jets in the Semifinal and then defeated the High Desert Rattlers, 122-103 in the West Coast Pro Basketball League championship game at the SBCC Sports Pavilion. The best performers in the Final game were Josh Merrill (6'9''-F-74, college: UCSB), who ended the game with 23 pts and 9 rebs, Tim Taylor (6'3''-G-82, college: Wayne St., NE), who added 21 points, and Allan Purnell (6'4''-G-82, college: Pacific), who scored 18 pts. The best in Rattlers was Mike Garrett (6'3''-G-77, college: San Jose St.), who scored 25 points in losing effort. The final record of the Breakers in the West Coast Pro Basketballl League is 18-0, but most of the times the opponents were not so much of 'weekend teams'. Also, we would suggest to remove that word 'Pro' from the league name: during the three months of competition, no official rosters have been released, nor game results, nor boxscores. The 'official' WCBPL website is exactly at the same stage of its start, and only the Breakers released an official website, with some updatings. Would you call this a professional league ?



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Women News

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  AUSTRALIA - Women  


Australia sweeps Russia - by Eurobasket News
Australia - Russia 98:56

The Australian National team swept the friendly series against the European champions Russia in Brunico, Italy. The Opals thumped their opponents 98:56 in the third game to prove the dominance once again. Both teams lacked their star leaders in the test series but the Opals adjusted faster and celebrated three straight wins. Suzy Batkovic (193-C-80) nailed 18 points to pace the Opals. Emma Randall (188-C-85) had 17 points and 5 boards in a winning case. The Opals jumped ahead early in the first term and maintained the lead throughout the quarter. They enjoyed a 25:21 advantage into the second period. Russia simply stopped in the second frame accounting for only 6 points and falling behind by 27 points at halftime. The dominance was overwhelming and Australia stretched the margin to 33 points at the end of three quarters 74:41. Russia raised the tempo in the final frame to cut the deficit. But the Opals soon regained control and breezed to a comfortable victory at the end. Hollie Grima (190-C-83, agency: LBM Management) came up with 15 points, 6 assists and 5 boards for the winners. Irina Osipova (196-C-81) and Liudmila Sapova (185-F-84) answered with 10 points apiece for Russia. Aussies outrebounded their opponents 38:22 and shot impressive 60% from the field. They also forced Russia to as many as 25 turnovers.

Australia: Suzy Batkovic 18, Emma Randall 17, Hollie Grima 15
Russia: Irina Osipova 10, Liudmila Sapova 10


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  BRAZIL - Women  


Castro nails 10 in a loss - by Eurobasket News
Iziane Castro (183-G/F-82) became the second top-scorer for Atlanta in WNBA against Detroit. The WNBA newcomers Atlanta Dream reached what could be the least pleasant leagues record. They lost their 13th straight game at the start of the regular season and matched Detroit's woeful start of the 2002 season. Symbolically is that the Dream was handed the 13th loss by the Shock. But Atlanta can be hopeful as the Shock won the WNBA championship in 2003. Detroit were dominant throughout the action and stretched the gap to 23 points late in the first half. Atlanta clipped the deficit to 8 points at the end of the third period but the Shock reacted immediately. They nailed 8 unanswered points and never looked back again. Cheryl Ford produced 20 points and 12 boards for the Shock. Tasha Humphrey and Kathy Smith added 16 points apiece for the winners. The Dreams scoring leader Betty Lennox was limited to just 5 points. Ivory Latta came up with career-high 26 points and 10 boards for the Dream.
Meanwhile the Atlanta Dream decided to part ways with Camille Little. The team sent forward to the Seattle Storm in exchange for the 2009 second-round draft pick. Camille Little started her second pro season. As a rookie she averaged 3.9 points and 4.5 boards per game for the Silver Stars. This season she appeared in 13 games for Atlanta tallying 4.8 points and 3.1 boards per encounter. Little is the North Carolina University graduate. There she posted 11.7 points and 5.5 boards per game in her senior season. Iziane Castro's team immediately replaced Little with free agent Kasha Terry. The Georgia Tech graduate played for the Indiana Fever in the last three seasons. She played just two games in this season before the Fever waived her. Her career stats come up to 1.6 points and 1.6 boards per game. She produced 6.5 points and 5.8 caroms per game in her senior season with the Yellow Jackets.


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  NCAA1 - Women  


George Washington names Mike Bozeman head coach - by Eurobasket News
George Washington announced that Mike Bozeman will become head coach of the Colonials womens basketball programme. Bozeman used to work as an assistant head coach with the Colonials for three past seasons. Mike Bozeman will substitute Joe McKeown who resigned earlier this month. McKeown took over as head coach with Northwestern University. The Colonials posted a 78-20 record with Mike Bozeman as an assistant coach. The team reached Sweet 16 in 2007 and 2008. Bozeman experienced head coaching job at Bishop McNamara High School from 1999 through 2005. He led the team to an overall 151-35 record in six years. Bozeman was voted the WCAC Coach of the Year in 2002. He was also named WBCA District 3 High School Coach of the Year in 2004 and was selected to guide the team in the WBCA High School All-America Game.

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  NCAA2 - Women  


Maria Nilsson will play in Spain - by Eurobasket News

Former Alaska-Anchorage player Maria Nilsson (6'0''-G/F-84) will continue her career overseas. She signed a pro-contract with Spanish EFMO. The team plays in Spanish Second Division. EFMO finished with 17-6 record last season claiming the 6th spot in Group A of the tournament. Maria Nilsson led the Seawolves to a 30-5 record last year. Alaska-Anchorage reached the NCAA Division II semis. Nilsson ranked third among programme leading scorers with 9.6 points per game in the season. She also converted school-record 83 three-pointers. Maria Nilsson played for two seasons with the Seawolves helping her team to a 53-11 overall record.

Meanwhile Tes Sobomehin was named the new head coach of Augusta State womens basketball programme. She became the 7th head coach in the 34-year history of womens basketball at Augusta State. Tes Sobomehin spent three seasons guiding Kalamazoo College. She posted 4-21 record with the Lady Hornets last season. Augusta State finished at 20-10 overall record last year. Prior to Kalamazoo, Sobomehin spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. She will change Greg Wilson at the position. Wilson was at the helm of Lady Jaguars for 9 years.



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  NIGERIA - Women  


Sanni's team sends for an unpleasant record - by Eurobasket News
The WNBA newcomers Atlanta Dream reached what could be the least pleasant leagues record. They lost their 13th straight game at the start of the regular season and matched Detroit's woeful start of the 2002 season. Symbolically is that the Dream was handed the 13th loss by the Shock. But Atlanta can be hopeful as the Shock won the WNBA championship in 2003. Detroit were dominant throughout the action and stretched the gap to 23 points late in the first half. Atlanta clipped the deficit to 8 points at the end of the third period but Sanni's team reacted immediately. They nailed 8 unanswered points and never looked back again. Cheryl Ford produced 20 points and 12 boards for the Shock. Tasha Humphrey and Kathy Smith added 16 points apiece for the winners. Sanni ended up with 3 points for just 6 minutes in the court. The Dreams scoring leader Betty Lennox was limited to just 5 points. Ivory Latta came up with career-high 26 points and 10 boards for the Dream. Prior to the game Detroit traded reserve forward LaToya Thomas to Minnesota in exchange for Eshaya Murphy. Thomas is the 2003 #1 Draft pick averaged 1.1 points and 0.7 boards per game. Murphy is the sophomore guard. She averaged 4.9 points and 3.1 boards per game.
On Tuesday the league leaders Connecticut Sun had little problems dealing with Detroit 85:68 at home. Asjha Jones bruised the Shock for 20 points, while rookie Amber Holt was impressive with career-high 19 points. The Sun relied on an 11:2 run in the final period to clear off to an unassailable distance from Detroit. Another rookie Kerri Gardin also posted her career-high 14 points in a win. Deanna Nolan replied with 17 points for the Shock.


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  RUSSIA - Women  


Australia sweeps Russia - by Eurobasket News
Australia - Russia 98:56

The Australian National team swept the friendly series against the European champions Russia in Brunico, Italy. The Opals thumped their opponents 98:56 in the third game to prove the dominance once again. Both teams lacked their star leaders in the test series but the Opals adjusted faster and celebrated three straight wins. Suzy Batkovic (193-C-80) nailed 18 points to pace the Opals. Emma Randall (188-C-85) had 17 points and 5 boards in a winning case. The Opals jumped ahead early in the first term and maintained the lead throughout the quarter. They enjoyed a 25:21 advantage into the second period. Russia simply stopped in the second frame accounting for only 6 points and falling behind by 27 points at halftime. The dominance was overwhelming and Australia stretched the margin to 33 points at the end of three quarters 74:41. Russia raised the tempo in the final frame to cut the deficit. But the Opals soon regained control and breezed to a comfortable victory at the end. Hollie Grima (190-C-83, agency: LBM Management) came up with 15 points, 6 assists and 5 boards for the winners. Irina Osipova (196-C-81) and Liudmila Sapova (185-F-84) answered with 10 points apiece for Russia. Aussies outrebounded their opponents 38:22 and shot impressive 60% from the field. They also forced Russia to as many as 25 turnovers.

Australia: Suzy Batkovic 18, Emma Randall 17, Hollie Grima 15
Russia: Irina Osipova 10, Liudmila Sapova 10


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  SWEDEN - Women  


Nnamaka returns to Atlanta roster - by Eurobasket News
Chioma Nnamaka (183-G-85, college: Georgia Tech) returned to Atlanta roster and even celebrated the anti record with her team. The WNBA newcomers Atlanta Dream reached what could be the least pleasant leagues record. They lost their 13th straight game at the start of the regular season and matched Detroits woeful start of the 2002 season. Symbolically is that the Dream was handed the 13th loss by the Shock. But Atlanta can be hopeful as the Shock won the WNBA championship in 2003. Detroit were dominant throughout the action and stretched the gap to 23 points late in the first half. Atlanta clipped the deficit to 8 points at the end of the third period but the Shock reacted immediately. They nailed 8 unanswered points and never looked back again. Cheryl Ford produced 20 points and 12 boards for the Shock. Tasha Humphrey and Kathy Smith added 16 points apiece for the winners. The Dreams scoring leader Betty Lennox was limited to just 5 points. Ivory Latta came up with career-high 26 points and 10 boards for the Dream. Chioma Nnamaka played 4 minutes of the game. She avergaes now 1.3 points per game and has 1 rebound in her stats for 2008.
Without her in the Atlanta failed to deliver the initial win as Beard scored 18 points to lead the Washington Mystics to their third straight victory, 72:61 over the winless Atlanta Dream on Friday night. Monique Currie added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Mystics, who used an 8-1 run at the start to seal the victory.


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  WNBA - Women  


Houston re-signs Latasha Byears - by Eurobasket News
The Houston Comets decided to re-sign forward Latasha Byears (6'1''-F-73, college: De Paul). Latasha Byears was inked on a training camp contract in March. She was however waived in May due to a fracture in her toe. She suffered the injury in the preseason game against the Washington Mystics. Latasha Byears was initially signed by the Comets in April 2007. She also played for the Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics and Sacramento Monarchs. Her career average stats come up to 8.0 points and 4.9 boards per game. In her last season with the Comets Byears delivered 5.0 points and 2.5 boards in 30 games