EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 6/8/2008

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Men News

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ADRIATIC LEAGUE

Who will get a "wild card" for season 08/09? -by Dragan Jankovski
Siroki Prima pivo suffered two defeats against Igokea Partizan in the semifinals of Bosnian play-off. It means that current champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina lost a chance to qualify for Adriatic league 08/09. As a reminder, just champion officially will earn a spot for regional championship next season.

Bosna ASA BHT and Igokea Partizan will meet in the final of Bosnian play-off thus one of these two teams will be 13th participant of Adriatic league. It is not known yet will the team who losses the final series automatically be invited for Adriatic league. On the other side Siroki also wants to fight for a spot as they are members of Adriatic league since the beginning.

'Theoretically Siroki can get a wild card for the next season. Actually any team from Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia or Slovenia can get it. It can even be a team from Hungary or for example Maccabi Tell Aviv, who played one year in Adriatic league. This decision will be made in assembly of 'Sidro' company, who is owner of the league. There is a lot of teams interested to participate in Adriatic league next season. For sure it will be the team who is able to fulfill its hall until the last seat on every game. Of course it could the vice-champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina but it also could be Siroki. Anyway, this decision is expected to be made until the end of the June' - said Radovan Lorbek, president of Adriatic league.


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ARGENTINA

Liga A: market news -by Facundo Iatzky
The last week had a lot of news. Team by team updated until 6/07:

Atenas: Head Coach: Ruben Magnano. players: Juan Pablo Figueroa, Juan Manuel Locatelli, Leonardo Gutierrez (200-F-78), Bruno Labaque, Federico Ferrini
Boca Jrs: Coach: Oscar Sanchez. players: Raymundo Legaria
Ben Hur: coach: Luis Orono. Players: Eduardo Calvelli Walter Storani
el Nacional: coach: Juan Garcia.
Gimnasia CR: Coach: Nicolas Casalanguida. Players: Diego Alba (186-G-81), Bruno Ingratta, Jose Alessio, Nicolas Ferreyra, Diego Romero
Independiente N: coach: Mauricio Santangelo.
Lanus: Coach: Alvaro Castineira
Libertad: Coach: Julio Lamas. Players: Sebastian Ginobili, Andres Pelussi, Pablo Moldu (191-G-78), Martin Muller, Marcos Saglietti
Obras: Coach: Bernardo Murphy. Players: Gabriel Cocha, Fernando Titarelli, Tyler Field, Daniel Chaher. Lazaro Borrell (202-F-72, agency: Interperformances). Sergio Ravina.
Olimpico: Coach: Gonzalo Garcia. Players: Mario Sepulveda, Diego Cavaco (202-F-79), Jorge Benitez
Penarol: Coach: Sergio Hernandez. Players: .Pablo Sebastian Rodriguez (188-G-78), Roman Gonzalez, Lucas Picarelli, Marcos Mata, Alejandro Diez
Quilmes: Coach: Esteban De la Fuente. Players: Hernando Salles, Maximiliano Maciel, Esteban Lopez (184-G-84)
Quimsa: Coach: Fernando Duro. Players: Julio Mazzaro, Gabriel Mikulas, Alejandro Reinick, Jonathan Treise, Victor Cajal
Regatas: Coach: Silvio Santander. Players: Roberto Lopez, Luis Cequeira, Damian Tintorelli, Sebastian Acosta, Mariano Fierro, Ramzee Stanton (193-F-80, agency: CAA Sports, college: W.Chester)
Sionista: Coach: Sebastian Svetliza. Players: Daniel Hure.


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BELARUS

Nikola Aliakseyeu leads Falco to title in Hungary -by Eurobasket News
Nikola Aliakseyeu (212-C-78, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents, college: Buffalo) and his Hungarian team Falco beat Kormend on the road 80-71 in game number 4 capturing the first title in club's history. Falco finished final series against Kormend 3-1.

Nikola Aliakseyeu was one of the most important players of his team in the final series. Broad-shouldered center was one of the best players in Falco's in third game registering double-double. He dominated in the paint adding 15 points and 11 rebounds. In the last game, which brought Falco first title in Hungarian championships ever, Aliakseyeu had amazing night. His team took control on Kormed at the early beginning. After 10 minutes it already was 19-30 for the new Hungarian champion. But Kormend woke up in the second frame almost tying the score at the half time, 42-44. Both teams were concentrated in the third quarter when Kormend decreased it minus for one more point. But in the crucial period Aliakseyeu and his Falco showed very good performance exploiting the first chance for the title. Tope ranked team of regular season with score 21-5 finished the last stanza 23-15.

As it is mentioned above, Nikola Aliakseyeu smashed his opponents in the paint nailing 31 points. At the same time he grabbed 12 more rebounds. He was MVP of the game reaching fantastic index value 43! Aliakseyeu was a way better than Kazlauskas who folowed him with index value 15.

Aliakseyeu is a member of Falco since February 2007.


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BELGIUM

Transfer News Div 1 -by Peter Buyse

Liege basket has signed American forward Larry Owens (201-G/F-83, college: ORU) for one more season.
This past season at Liege he averaged 12.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg.

Damien Cantrell (200-F-76, college: USF) the 3rd leading rebounder in the Belgian League has also extended his contract with Okapi Aalstar.
Cantrell averaged 8.6 rpg to go with his 11.5 ppg.

Tremmell Darden (194-G/F-81, agency: Court Side, college: Niagara) will no longer be on the Charleroi roster for next season.
According to the team's website he turned down a 2 year deal last month.


Eurobasket Belgium D1 Awards -by Peter Buyse

Below are the Eurobasket Belgium Awards for 2007-2008 (number in brackets is the percentage of votes)


Import Player of the Year

D'or Fischer (68.5) (211-C-81, college: W.Virginia)

Domestic Player of the Year

Sam Van Rossom (92.5) (188-G-86)

Coach of the Year

Don Beck (48.1)

Playoff MVP

Matt Walsh (72.5) (197-F/G-82, college: Florida)

Import Players 1st Team All League

D'or Fischer
Doron Perkins (188-G-83, college: Santa Clara)
Andre Emmett (196-G/F-82, college: Texas Tech)
Damien Cantrell (200-F-76, college: USF)
Matt Walsh

Import Players 2nd Team All League

Veselin Petrovic (194-G/F-77)
Tremmell Darden (194-G/F-81, college: Niagara)
Andre Riddick (208-C-73, college: Kentucky)
John Turek (206-F/C-83, college: Nebraska)
Jamar Wilson (185-G-84, college: Albany)

Domestic Players 1st Team All League

Sam Van Rossom
Christophe Beghin (207-F-80)
Sacha Massot (205-F/C-83)
Jonathan Tabu (190-G-85)
Odell Hodge (203-F/C-73, college: ODU)


Domestic Players 2nd Team All League


Dimitri Jorssen (212-C-79, college: Utah St.)

Jef Van der Jonckheyd (203-F-82)

Piet De Bel (208-C-80)

Lionell Bosco (176-G-81)

Alexander Lichodzijewski (200-C-84)



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BOSNIA

Novi Grad, Mladost MG and Vitez qualify for D1 -by Sead Buljina
From the next season winners of A1, 1st RS and HB leagues Novi Grad (Sarajevo), Mladost (Mrkonjic Grad) and Vitez, respectivelly will play in the first division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Relegated to the second division are Capljina Lasta and Vogosca MIMS. Through play out, Leotar (Trebinje) survived and will stay in the best Bosnian league. There is a small possibility for Capljina Lasta as a second-placed team from play out to stay in the league in case Bosnia and Herzegovina gets invitation for one more club in the Adriatic league in the next season.

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BULGARIA

Nar Zanolin: Balkan League has a good future -by Valentin Anguelov
FIBA Europe General Secretary Nar Zanolin took part at Balkan basketball league`s Board meeting in Sofia.
'I think it`s going to be good competition. People that are involved are serious people, they are professionals. Now with the participation and the cooperation of all the clubs, I think that this League has a good future. I think it has the possibility to expand as well, because the Balkan include number of other countries too, so I think definitely it has a future and also future for extension', said Nar Zanolin.

- What is the main thing that people that run the Balkan league should know?
- 'Just to make sure, that the competition is run properly and fairly and just to work hard to draw whole families in the gym, because then you know what a wonderful sport the basketball should be.'

- Maybe that`s why you proposed that rule for the home player?
- Yes, I do that, because like I said before I`m Canadian, but I`m European too. The fact is that the club must have a recognition point. And a recognition point could be only a person, a player from that country. That`s why I`m really pushing that, because I believe in European basketball. The main thing is identification and recognition of aspect of having that player on the court.'


FIBA Europe officially approved BIBL -by Valentin Anguelov

The General Secretary of FIBA Europe Nar Zanolin officially approved the establishment of Balkan International Basketball League (BIBL). Together with the members of all basketball federations were accepted the regulations of BIBL which are made according to the same ones of FIBA Europe.

BIBL will be the first international basketball competition to accept the proposal made by Nar Zanolin in which: 'Each team must have on the court at least one player eligible for the national team of the country that the club belongs to.'



Shtriks: It`s a balanced competition -by Valentin Anguelov
'Balkan International Basketball League is a balanced competition. Now we`ll find the best game for the 4th of October. The teams need to play and we - to run the League. The best club will win, everybody have chance', commented BIBL`s Sports Director Shay Shtriks after the Draw for the opening season of the international competition.

'The situation with Balkan is simple - the Board decided after voting yesterday about the 2 wild cards. My job is to give information to the Board. For the basketball I think they took the right decision. There are elections in Greek federation and they asked us to wait about the names of their teams. I believe that next season Bulgaria will have one more team in the Balkan league', said Shtriks.


Results from the draw for the opening season in BIBL -by Valentin Anguelov

The draw for the opening season in Balkan International Basketball League (BIBL) took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. Here are the results from the draw as the competition will start on October 8, 2008:

Group A
Cherno more Eurohold
Rapid Bucharest
Radnicki 034 Group
Feni Industries
Swisslion Takovo
Greece 1


Group B
Levski
Dinamo Bucharest
Fersped Rabotnicki

Mega Aqua Monta
Strumica 2005
Greece 2


Schedule for the games for round 1 in both groups:

Round 1

Group A
Greece 1 - Cherno more Eurohold

Radnicki 034 Group - Feni Industries

Rapid Bucharest - Swisslion Takovo

Group B

Levski - Greece 2
Strumica 2005 - Fersped Rabotnicki
Mega Monta Aqua - Dinamo Bucharest



Kosta Iliev: 12 teams are a good start -by Valentin Anguelov
The Sports Director of FIBA Europe Kosta Iliev said after the Draw for the opening season of the Balkan International Basketball League in Sofia, that the two groups are balanced and the games will be quite interesting.
'It`ll be very useful competition for all the clubs and federations. It will make the basketball even more popular. It will help the people on the Balkans to life and work better together. The level of Serbian basketball is very high. Greek teams will be strong. We don`t have to underestimate the teams from F.Y.R. of Macedonia. Bulgarian teams cam make a surprise too. I`ll follow the League very closely and with interest', commented Iliev.

- The BIBL starts with 12 teams. Do you think they could reach even 18?
- 'It`s possible but we have to walk step by step. 12 teams are a good start. It depends on the interest and the marketing.'


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CAMEROON

Victor Samnick advances to final of French Pro A -by Eurobasket News
Cameroon (Duala) native Victor Samnick (203-F-79, college: Georgetown) and his Sluc Nancy outplayed ASVEL 104-89 in third game of the French Pro A semifinals. Thus Nancy ended the semis 2-1 advancing to the big final.

Beginning of the game was very inconvenient for Victor Samnick and his team as ASVEL opened it very aggressively. On the other side Nancy's players weren't tough as they usually are and it resulted with 32-23 for ASVEL after first 10 minutes. Nancy played a bit better in the second stanza decreasing minus to 7 until the half time. Third frame brought totally different picture on the court. The second ranked team of regular season proved its position with fantastic defense letting ASVEL to score 16 points in this period. On the other side the hosts started to make shots and very soon it was 77-67 for Nancy. Last stanza also belonged to Samnick's team as they finished it 27-22. Nancy improved its shot percentage extremely after first quarter and finished the game having 57%.

Victor Samnick spent 15 minutes on court scoring 8 points. He made 3 of 5 attempts form the field and 2 of 3 from the FT line. Samnick had 36 appearances for Nancy this season in Pro A. He had important role in his team averaging 9 points and 6 rebounds.

Samnick and his Nancy already tasted the final of Pro A last season but unfortunately to them they lost it. He was member of French National Team in 2006 and for the last three years participated at Pro A 'All-Star game'.


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CHILE

Centro-Sur: Puente Alto take the lead -by Daniel Valencia
CD Puente Alto took the lead of the second phase in Dimayor Centro-Sur after friday night victory against CD Universidad de Concepcion. The host overcome a 10 point first quarter deficit to beat the leaders of the competiton 92-76. The forward German Seigmund was the offensive leader with 27 points.

CD Puente Alto 92 - CD Universidad de Concepcion 76
Pue: German Siegmund (190-G/F-83) 27 pts. Mauricio Cisternas (198-C-83) 23 pts. / Ucon: Samuel Bravo (194-F-82) 19 pts. Marcelo Hernandez (188-G-79) 17 pts.


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CHINA

Summer League info. -by Robert Wang
New US player Leon Smith (209-F-80) signed with Shen Zhen team taking the place of former NBA player Jabary Smith who got injury on the back. Leon played 48 minutes last nights and received unbelievable stats at 32 points and 30 rebounds. He is the third import who got such stats in the CBA history at 30-30 stats. Former 2 players are Garth Joseph (7'2,350lbs with shan Xi team) and Roderick Gregory (6'7, with Ji Lin team). Leon brought a lot hope for Shen Zhan team now since he gave team much help on his ability. Good luck!

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CROATIA

News Croatia -by Mohammad
Kevin Garnett scored 24 points, Pierce finished with 22ó11 after going downóand Ray Allen

Zadar won their second championship title in 4 years -by Eurobasket
KK Zadar did not leave any doubt about who was better in the last game of the Finals as they beat KK Split 89-65. The series ended 3-2 for KK Zadar.
The team from Zadar took early lead increasing it to double digits and kept it for entire game controlling all areas on the floor. They were already ahead by 33 points at one point, which tells all about tonight's game.
Kk zadar was lead by Andrej Stimac (205-F/C-79) (21) and Julius Johnson (20). The best at Split team was Hrvoje Peric (203-F-85) with 21 points.

Zadar - Split CO 89-65 (25:15, 44:32, 67:40) (3-2)
ZADAR: Stallworth 3, Stipcevic 10, Barac 8, Johnson 20+5reb, Prostran, Gecevski 8+6reb+5steals, Marcinkovic 3, Sarlija 2, Lalic 4, Macura 7, Stimac 21, Brewer 3+5ast. Coach: Aleksandar Petrovic
SPLIT CO: Klarica 2, Sumic 6ast, Bilobrk, Delas 5, Rudez 2+5reb, Ivanov 9, Stipanovic 8+7reb, Mladenov, Peric 21+7reb, Sobin 2, Garnett 9, Batina 7. Coach: Slobodan Subotic


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CYPRUS

Pittalis to lead Hassapis Omonoia for another season -by Nemanja Bjedov
Renos Pittalis will remain the head coach of Hassapis Omonoia after this decision had been ratified at the club's board meeting last night. Pittalis was one of the three options taken into consideration and was preferred to the other two as he had been with the team for some time and had quite successful results. He reached the national league playoff semi-finals for two consecutive years despite having one of the lower budgets in the league. Last season in the semis, Pittalis' team gave a good run for the money to Keravnos Strovolos, who then marched on to claim the title.

One of the Strovolos team's starlets, national team shooting guard and captain, Giorgos Anastasiadis honored his contract with the club and is currently a free agent. Hassapis Omonoia offered him a contract for the upcoming season, but he rejected it and is now considering a new deal with his old club. There are also indications that Aspis APOEL is interested in signing the experienced guard.

In the meantime, Proteas EKA AEL is continuing to restructure. They appointed the young coach Thanasis Mastoris as the coordinator of their young academies. Mastoris spent the last two years playing and coaching the second division side, APOP Paphos.

'I am very happy with my new job. I came to a team with long history. The plans and the objectives of the club are inspiring for me and I believe that with a hard work we could, all together, aim high,' said Mastoris.

SOURCE: www.cybasketball.com


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Brothers Greer pace Sluc Nancy to French final -by Eurobasket News

Brother Jeff Greer (195-G/F-79, college: Rutgers) and Ricardo Greer (195-F/G-78, college: Pittsburgh) paced their team Sluc Nancy to the final of French Pro A. Last season finalist, Sluc Nancy, beat ASVEL 104-89 in third decisive game of the semifinals finishing it 2-1.

Brothers Greer were the best players of their team, who struggled a lot in the first half. Its opponent ASVEL opened it very good finishing first quarter 32-23. Nancy woke up in the second frame showing 50% of its capability what was enough to them to decrease deficit on 7 points until the half time. Brothers Greer and Nancy showed their real face in the third stanza proving why they finished regular season on the second position. They intensified defense and finally started to make their shots which resulted with 77-67. The hosts continued at the same rhythm during the last ten minutes winning it 27-22.

Ricardo Greer was MVP of the game reaching index value 37! He netted 30 points and grabbed 6 rebounds for his team. He had fantastic 4 of 6 from behind the arc and also 7 of 11 from the field. Ricardo Greer was totally unstoppable for ASVEL's forwards leading his team to the second consecutive final in Pro A.

His brother Jeff Greer also demonstrated nice performance. He delivered 17 points grabbing 5 boards. He did not have such a good shooting night but anyway together with his brother he had very important role in this victory.

Both of them signed 3-years contracts with Sluc Nancy previous summer.



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FRANCE

Nancy enter LNB Finals -by Eurobasket News
Nancy - ASVEL 104:89

Nancy routed Villeurbanne in the third decisive game of the semifinal series to become the first finalist of the LNB season. The seconds-ranked Nancy needed to show some character in the second half of the encounter as they trailed throughout the major part of the initial half. ASVEL jumped to a quick start as the grabbed the lead. A high-scoring dynamic performance from Villeurbanne resulted in a 32:23 advantage they accumulated after the starting quarter. Nancy showed some signs of recovery in the second period as they traded the baskets with the visitors and completed the half trailing by 7 points 44:51. But it was a completely different Nancy after the long break. The hosts stepped on the gas and led by Ricardo Greer (195-F/G-78, college: Pittsburgh) began paving their way in front. They limited Villeurbanne to 16 points in the third frame exploding for as many as 33 points and driving to a 77:67 advantage at three quarter time. ASVEL obviously lost heart in the final period and failed to revive the intrigue. Ricardo Greer continued his sizzling performance and Nancy grabbed a deserved win at the end. Ricardo Greer paced the hosts with 30 points and 6 boards. Mike Bauer (203-F-81, college: Minnesota) added 18 points, while Jeff Greer (195-G/F-79, college: Rutgers) contributed 17 for the winners. Yohann Sangare (193-G-83, agency: Priority Sports) topscored for Villeurbanne with 17 points. Lamayn Wilson (203-F-80, college: Troy) and Chevy Troutman (201-F-81, agency: Octagon, college: Pittsburgh) dropped 16 points apiece in defeat. Nancy outrebounded the visitors 30:27 and forced those to 15 turnovers. Nancy also shot solid 57% from the field.

Nancy: Ricardo Greer 30, Mike Bauer 18, Jeff Greer 17
ASVEL: Yohann Sangare 17, Lamayn Wilson 16, Chevy Troutman 16


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GERMANY

Igor Bakovic Interview -by Daniel Poerschke

Igor Bakovic (211-F-85, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) is originally from Bosnia, but he moved with his family to Canada a couple of years ago. Igor, who has both canadian and bosnian passport, played for Ryerson College in the CIS the past five years and was considered as one of the best big men to come out of the canadian college basketball system in the last years.

He averaged a double-double this season by pouring in 12.7ppg and 10.1rpg. Igor will be playing in the Scorers1st Showcase next week (June 13.-15.) in Dusseldorf, Germany to showcase his skills in front of coaches and managers. Eurobasket Germany had the chance to chat with Igor before the Showcase about his past, the present and his future:

1) You were considered as one of the best centers in Canadian college basketball the past seasons. Tell us a little bit more about you as a player.
I like to think that I was considered a pretty good player, always played against double teams and it was always hard to find open space and when I did, decisions had to be made very quickly. But because I played on a not so strong team, it made it even more difficult, because most of the time I was the only one being guarded. I lead the country in rebounding in my third year and our conference in my last year. Always finished in the top in blocks and scoring among centers.

2) A lot of people do not know much about the CIS. How would you compare the CIS to the NCAA?
CIS basketball is different from NCAA. It does not receive as much recognition partially because the level of play is not as high as NCAA and as well it is not considered a money making business as it is in the United States. The better CIS teams have played well against average and top NCAA Division 1 teams, also winning in some cases. Overall the competition is good but the fact that full scholarships are not given and that it is not as recognized on international televisions makes it hard to compete.

3) Being born in Bosnia, but raised and educated in Canada, do you feel more european or canadian?
I feel a bit of both. I still kept most of the roots and culture from Bosnia which have not changed since I have been living in Canada. I have come to understand both cultures and the way of life. How societies work here in North America compared to Europe. My studies have also helped me compare the two and have learned a lot since coming here.

4) How do you prepare for your first season as a pro basketball player?
The only way to prepare for anything that is unknown for you is to try and talk to as many people and listen, try to learn and pick up anything you can. Other then that, the only thing to do is to work hard, train train and train some more. It will be important for me to have a solid first year. Only way to do that is keep working on things that you need to develop and the things you know how to do well. No person can say I know everything, you learn every day.

5) Will you visit your family in Bosnia this summer?
I plan on visiting them but Ill have to see on what the scheduling allows. Time will tell.



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GREECE

Balkan League (BIBL) News -by George Manousidis
The draw for the opening season in Balkan International Basketball League (BIBL) took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. Here are the results from the draw as the competition will start on October 8, 2008:

Group A

Cherno More Eurohold Varna
CS Rapid Neoset Bucuresti

Radnicki 034 Group Kragujevac

Feni Indistrija Kavadarci

KK Swisslion Takovo Lions Vrsac

Greece 1

Group B

Levski

Dinamo-Galean Bucuresti

KK Fersped-Rabotnicki Skopje

Mega Aqua Monta

Strumica 2005

Greece 2



The Sports Director of FIBA Europe Kosta Iliev said after the Draw for the opening season of the Balkan International Basketball League in Sofia, that the two groups are balanced and the games will be quite interesting.

'It`ll be very useful competition for all the clubs and federations. It will make the basketball even more popular. It will help the people on the Balkans to life and work better together. The level of Serbian basketball is very high. Greek teams will be strong. We don`t have to underestimate the teams from F.Y.R. of Macedonia. Bulgarian teams cam make a surprise too. I`ll follow the League very closely and with interest', commented Iliev.

- The BIBL starts with 12 teams. Do you think they could reach even 18?

- 'It`s possible but we have to walk step by step. 12 teams are a good start. It depends on the interest and the marketing.'

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The General Manager of Serbian Mega Basket Belgrade Branislav Vicentic was happy with the draw of his club. Vicentic is well known in Bulgaria like a player of CSKA Sofia and now his team will face Levski in the Balkan league.

'I greet all my friends in Bulgaria. I`m happy with the draw of Mega Basket and I hope we`ll justify Board`s hopes for a good competition. We have a young team and we want to give them a chance to play more after the age of 18, not to wait couple more years. We have players born 1988, 89, 90, 91. We have not any claims to win the Balkan league, but you never know before you start the competition', said Branislav Vicentic.

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'This Balkan league was a dream for us, for all the Balkan countries and now it is reality. We can show to everybody we have the same culture and that we are very strong here at the Balkans like mentality and all the things', were the words of Romanian Basketball Federation`s president Carmen Tocala.

'I`m happy because the organization is good and people who run the League are doing really good job. About the competition what can I say - we can play at least 10 games with our teams. That system is better, than some others. It`s good, because we can find sponsors and increase the number of players in Romania. We have to play more and more international league games to compare the lever between us and the other federations. We`ll grow together here on the Balkans. I don`t know about the favourites, but I know something about this League - it will be the best in Europe', said Ms. Tocala after the Draw for the opening season of BIBL in which two Romanian clubs - Dynamo and Rapid will take part.

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The president of the basketball federation of F.Y.R. of Macedonia Daniel Dimevski said in Sofia, that he`s very happy, that F.Y.R. of Macedonia will have 3 teams in the first season of the BIBL.

'This is very good for our basketball. All our representatives are very ambitious and I believe they will help the interest to grow. They all have good sponsors and I think they`ll make good teams, so they can show what they can. The system is good and the two groups are really balanced, so I believe that all the games will be very interesting', commented Dimevski after the draw of Strumica, Feni Indistrija Kavadarci and KK Rabotnicki.

The head coach of Rabotnicki Skopie Marin Dokuzovski who was in Bulgaria for the meeting of the 12 clubs and the Draw too added:

'I don`t know so well the other teams in the group, but I`m happy, that we`ll play with Levski, because I have many friends in Bulgaria and good memories from my stay in Bulgaria with LukOil Academic. Last season we made a young team with not so big ambitions, but we reached the semifinal in our championship. Next season will be quite more serious and we`ll try to make the squad stronger for the competition.'


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HUNGARY

FALCO KC won the championship first time in club's history -by Tamas Deri

Kormend could not stop Falco KC in the own arena, so the yellow-blacks got the first title of club's history.
It was a tied game for 35 minutes, and the home team could not use the chances to tie the series: Bam Doyne got closed out in the 25. minute, Ciric had 4 fouls already after the first half, Kazlauskas got a technical, but Falco had a big man, who was unstoppable thursday night! Aliakseyeu played his best game in Hungary ever, scored 31 points and 18 rebounds!

Polaroid-Lami-Ved Kormend - Falco-Szova Kc Szombathely 71-80
(19-30, 23-14, 14-13, 15-23) Kormend, Att.: 2400, Referees: Bodnar, Foldhazi, Benczur
Polaroid-Lami-Ved Kormend: Jermaine Thomas (187-G-84, agency: 540 Sports, college: La Salle) 20, Gergely Fodor (193-G-77, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents) 10/3, Ferencz, Ocitti 9/3, Vavra 6, Marton FODOR 16/6, Henderson 3, Trummer 5/3, Toth G. 2, Coach: Krivacevic Dragoljub
Falco-Szova Kc Szombathely: Laszlo Kalman (186-G-72, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 6 , Doyne 9/3, Andrija Ciric (199-G-80, agency: Beo Basket) 13/3, Arnas Kazlauskas (204-C/F-76, agency: Court Side) 16/6, Nikola Aliakseyeu (212-C-78, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents, college: Buffalo) 31, Borszeki 3/3, Varadi 2, Pankar, Coach
: Srecko Sekulovic



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ICELAND

U.M.F. Skallagrimur sign Eric Bell -by Eurobasket
U.M.F. Skallagrimur Borganes strengthened their roster with addition of 33-year old American guard Eric Bell (190-G-75, college: New Paltz St., agency: Global Sports Plaza). Bell played most recently (06-07) at Tromso¬ł Storm (Norway), where he was country leader in assists (6.3apg) and steals (3.5spg) and averaged also 19.0ppg. The player signed 2-years contract with the team. He played previously pro basketball for 5 years in Denmark, having also shorter experience with leagues in Portugal, Estonia and Germany.

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ITALY

Lega 2 Finals: Jesi wins Game 3 -by Gianni Pascucci

Fileni Jesi defeated 102-94 Pepsi Caserta yesterday night, and the aggregate result of the Lega 2 Finals is now 2-1 for Caserta. Jesi took the lead of Game 3 at the beginning and never looked back, keeping alive the hopes to advance to Serie A. with 30 points and 11 rebounds, Michele Maggioli (212-C-77) was the game MVP, followed by Anthony Maestranzi (178-G-84, college: N.Illinois), who added 25 points. Caserta was led by Randolph Childress (190-G-72, college: Wake Forest) and Guillermo Diaz (188-G-85, college: Miami, FL), who scored 24 and 23 pts, respectively. Game 4 will be played tomorrow nigh, again at Jesi, and, in case of need, Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday, June 11 in Caserta.
See complete boxscores at www.legaduebasket.it



Team Italy comes back to win -by Gianni Pascucci
In the first game of the 'Memorial Vicenzi' tournemt, played yesterday night in Verona, Team Italiy defeated a young Team Ukraine 76-68 thanks to the leadership of Robert Fultz (190-G-82, agency: Interperformances), who scored 15 points, 12 points from Federico Bolzonella (185-G-84) and 11 from Luigi Datome (202-G/F-87). Another time, however, the Azzurri had to come back from a soft start, and this kind to approach is not satisfying at all coach Recalcati. With 14 points in losing effort, Viktor Kobzisty (200-F-79) was the best at the Ukrainian side.

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JORDAN

Daghlas establishes his personal website -by Mohammed Malas
Jordan National Team and Zain Club's star Sam Daghlas (197-G-79, college: Midwestern St.) published his website on the net last month to keep his fans in touch with his latest news adding to ability to watch Sam's videos and pictures with abilityu to share opinions together in the blog which is opened to everyone around the globe...The website address is http://www.samd13.com

Daghlas is looking forward to recover soon from his injury which happened to him during his participation with Zain in Dubai International Tournament last january.


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LITHUANIA

Arnas Kazlauskas captures Hungarian title -by Eurobasket News
Arnas Kazlauskas (204-C/F-76, agency: Court Side) became the winner of Hungarian championship with Falco. His team outplayed Kormend on the road 80-71 winning the first title ever. The score in the final series is 3-1 for new Hungarian champion. Falco also showed very good performance in regular season finishing it on top with score 21-5.

In game number three, which Falco easily won, Kazlasukas had very important role. He added 21 points and 7 rebounds for his team.
Falco opened the last road game strongly making 19-30 after 10 minutes. But they couldn't handle Kormend in the second quarter thus the host came really close on 42-44 at the half time. After almost equalized third stanza, Kormend set its minus on just 1 point. It was a hope for the hosts that they could beat Falco for the second time and stay in the race for the championship title. But on the other side visitors did not have the same thoughts. They put into the 5th gear finishing last quarter 15-23.

Arnas Kazlauskas (204-C/F-76, agency: Court Side) was the second scorer of his team in the last game with 16 points. He also grabbed 4 defensive and 3 offensive rebounds. Kazlauskas didn't have such a brilliant night from behind arc making only 2 of 9 attempts. Anyway, after Aliekseyeu he was the best player of his team with index value 15.


Stelmahers will leave Rytas -by Simas Baranauskas
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius has announced that their current capitain Roberts Stelmahers (192-G-74) will leave the club. The Latvian player has played in Vilnius for four years, before departing with the club. Both sides agreedd to end the contract, which should have lasted for one more year. Stelmahers wanted to stay, but the team is undergoing serious changes and the 34 year old player will be replaced by another foreign player. Two teams from Riga are mentioned as the main contenders - Barons and ASK.

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MACEDONIA

Todor Gecevski wins the title in Croatia -by Eurobasket News
Todor Gecevski (209-C-77, agency: Interperformances) and his Zadar are the new champions of Croatia. In the fifth game of the play-off final Zadar outplayed Split at their home court 'Jazine' 89-65. Almost 10 minutes before the end of the game big joy of Zadar's fans already started. It is very important victory for Zadar as they currently has 21 points in the battle agaisnt Cibona for new 3-years contract with Euroleague. Cibona stopped this season on 23 points.

At the front of their fans, Zadar made bigger lead already at the first quarter. It was 25 -13 after 9 minutes. This time they easily founded a way to beat Split's zone defense. In the second frame Split woke up and after couple missed shots by Zadar visitors came on minus 6, 31-25. After that moment there was only one team playing on the court and it was the new champion Zadar. In third period, thanks to Juby Johnson, Andrej Stimac and Todor Gecevski, the hosts totally smashed Split. Visotors missed many open shots which finally outcame with fantastic 67-40 for Zadar. It was a signal for their fans that big joy can start.

'We had a lot of good and also bad moment during the entire season. We gave our maximum and I think that we deserved this title. We showed very good performance in all competitions except in Kresimir Cosic Cup. I can say that I am very happy because we finished this season in style' - said Gecevski.

Todor Gecevski spent 26 minutes on court in the game number five netting 8 points. He also had 6 rebounds and 5 seals. At the end he and Andrej Stimac were the best players of his team as each of them reached index value 22.


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NCAA1

Stan Gouard completes coaching staff -by Eurobasket News
Newly-appointed head men's basketball coach Stan Gouard has announced the completion of his coaching staff for the 2008-09 season. Shane Brown, a former assistant at Bellarmine, returns to the Great Lakes Valley Conference as UIndy's top assistant. He joins second-year assistant and former letterwinner Jesse McClung on Coach Gouard's staff.

Brown was most recently an assistant coach at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. In three seasons with the Railsplitters, Brown dealt with all facets of coaching including recruiting, implementing on-court schemes, film exchange and scouting opponents in addition to directing individual workout sessions. This past season, he helped mentor an All-South Atlantic Conference Second Team player as well as another on the all-freshman squad.

'I am very pleased to become a part of the University of Indianapolis family,' Brown said. 'It is a true honor to be back in Indiana, and I look forward to working with Coach Gouard. I know that this team has a great future ahead of it and there are no limits to what we can achieve.'

Brown spent two seasons on the sidelines at Bellarmine from June 2003-July 2005, his first taste of the GLVC. He began his coaching career at fellow-Division II school and alma mater, Oakland City University. For four years, Brown was an assistant with the Mighty Oaks, following his playing career at OCU, graduating in 1999.

Brown resides in Indianapolis.

McClung will enter his second season on the Greyhound coaching staff, serving as the graduate assistant last year. A former letterwinner, McClung transfered into the UIndy program in the 2005-06 season to finish his playing career. As a senior, the lefty played in 23 games and made 19 starts for the Greyhounds. McClung battled injuries throughout his final season but still led the team in scoring on eight different occasions.

Prior to UIndy, the Indianapolis native was a student-athlete at Ball State University. He is a graduate of BSU and currently lives in Indianapolis.
Courtesy of Athletics.uindy.edu


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NEW ZEALAND

The regular season wraps up in NBL -by Eurobasket News
The last games of the regular season have been just played in the NBL. The teams finalized the spots in the ladder and made up for the playoff matchups. The Bay Hawks managed to finish fourth uin the standings by courtesy of the Nelson Giants. The NBL defending champions were shocked by the underdogs Manawatu Jets in Palmerston North 87:113. The Jets closed out the season with style as imports Kantrail Horton (185-G-77, college: Iowa St.) and Keith Davis (198-F-82) owned the night. Horton tallied 31 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Davis added 27 points and 10 caroms to pace the Jets. The hosts opened the game with a storming 43:22 first quarter and never looked back again. Piers Finch knocked down 15 points for the winners. Chris Daniel answered with 18 points for the Giants. Christopher Reay (206-C) had 16 points in a losing effort. The Nelson Giants will now take on the Bay Hawks at the Pettigrew Arena in the playoffs.
The Harbour Heat clinched the third spot despite a 79:87 loss to the Dynamos Taranaki in New Plymouth. Keith Salscheider (196-G/F-82, college: San Diego Chr.) chipped in 30 points for the Dynamos who narrowly missed the playoffs this season. Tony Rampton was impressive with 18 points and 18 boards for the hosts. Hayden Allen (187-G-79) notched 28 points for the Heat. Harbour will now host the Auckland Stars in the fight for the semifinal spot on Wednesday.
The Canterbury Rams posted their 6th win in the season as they edged hapless Otago 68:63 at the Cowles Stadium. John Whorton (205-C-78, college: Kent St.) had 22 points and 6 boards as the Rams handed the Nuggets the 9th straight loss. Joey Harrell added 14 points and 11 boards, while Gerard Bowden came up with 10 points for the winners. The home side trailed by 12 points at halftime but overwhelmed the visitors in the second half to pull away with the win. Antoine Tisby (203-C-83, agency: 540 Sports, college: S.Carolina) finished with 20 points and 12 boards for the Nuggets. Darryl Jones had season-high 19 points and 11 boards.


Standings Men
NBL Standings
 1. Wellington 14-4 
 2. Waikato 13-5 
 3. G&H Hawks 11-7 
 4. Harbour Heat 11-7 
 5. Nelson 10-8 
 6. Taranaki 9-9 
 7. Auckland 9-9 
 8. Canterbury 6-12 
 9. Manawatu 5-13 
 10. Otago 2-16 


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NIGERIA

Uche Nsonwu and Jeff Ngutar Varem fall just short of LNB finals -by Eurobasket News
Nigerian players Uche Nsonwu (208-F/C-78, agency: Beo Basket, college: Wyoming) and Jeff Ngutar Varem (198-G/F-83, agency: Octagon, college: Washington St.) failed to reach the LNB Finals in France together with ASVEL. Villeurbanne lost to Nancy in the decisive third game of the series. The seconds-ranked Nancy needed to show some character in the second half of the encounter as they trailed throughout the major part of the initial half. ASVEL jumped to a quick start as the grabbed the lead. A high-scoring dynamic performance from Villeurbanne resulted in a 32:23 advantage they accumulated after the starting quarter. Nancy showed some signs of recovery in the second period as they traded the baskets with the visitors and completed the half trailing by 7 points 44:51. But it was a completely different Nancy after the long break. The hosts stepped on the gas and led by Ricardo Greer began paving their way in front. They limited Villeurbanne to 16 points in the third frame exploding for as many as 33 points and driving to a 77:67 advantage at three quarter time. ASVEL obviously lost heart in the final period and failed to revive the intrigue. Ricardo Greer continued his sizzling performance and Nancy grabbed a deserved win at the end. Ricardo Greer paced the hosts with 30 points and 6 boards. Mike Bauer added 18 points, while Jeff Greer contributed 17 for the winners. Yohann Sangare topscored for Villeurbanne with 17 points. Lamayn Wilson and Chevy Troutman dropped 16 points apiece in defeat. Uche Nsonwu delivered 13 points (5/9 FG, 3/5 FT) and 5 boards in 30 minutes of action. He completed the season averaging 12.7 points and 7.6 boards per game. It was his third season in the LNB. The started with Gravelines-Dunkerque and then played the last two seasons for ASVEL. Jeff Ngutar Varem did not play in the game. He appeared on the court in 11 games this season averaging 3.3 points.

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PANAMA

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


Fieras de Juan Diaz and Magnates de Calidonia won in CBS 2008. -by Eddie Munoz
Fieras de Juan Diaz won voer Colosos de Tumba Muerto a vey disputed game 81-78 this game was decided in the last 10 seconds for the buzzer. A great effort by the young players of Toros was not enough to obtained the victory.Luis Boza 18 Points and Manuel Guevara 16 Points were the best by Fieras and again Jonathan King 25 Points and Colbert Prince 17 Point by Colosos. In the 2nd came Magnates de Calidonia won over Canguros de Parque Lefevre 85-77.Joel Munoz (179-G-80, agency: HM Sports Agency) with 35 Points and 5 Assistances was the best by Magnates and Randy Lay 25 Points by Canguros.

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PARAGUAY

National League Standings
National Standings
Group A
 1. Sol de Am. 5-0 
 2. D.San Jose 2-2 
 3. Libertad 0-5 
Group B
 1. America 3-0 
 2. Sacachispas 2-1 
 3. Felix Perez 0-4 


UCA wins Metropolitan League second leg -by Gianni Pascucci
Universidad Catolica de Asuncion (UCA) defeated San Lorenzo 78-62 in the last round of the second leg of Metropolitan league, clinching the 1 point bonus reserved to the competition winner. Sportivo San Lorenzo, ended at the 2nd place, gained a 0,75 bonus. In the other game of the last round, Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion (UAA) prevailed over Olimpia, 84-64. The final standings are, in consequence, as follows:
1. UCA 9 points,
2. Sport. San Lorenzo 7.75,
3. UAA 6.50,
4. Olimpia 6,
5. Ciudad Nueva 4
Ciudad Nueva has been eliminated from the competition, the remaining four teams will start the Semifinal Round of next friday. They wikll play two round-robin (for a total of 6 games per team) and the first placed team will advance directly to the Final. The teams placed 2nd and 3rd will play a 'Tie-Breaker Final', best of 3 games, to decide who will advance to the Final Series.


Two losses for FPC -by Gianni Pascucci
Felix Perez Cardozo is seriously risking to be eliminated from the National League 2008. In fact, this team felt to America de Pilar 82-87 in the first Day of 'Group B2' played in Encarnacion, despite another good performance from Brandon Lee (188-G, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Tarleton St.), who scored 32 points. Jose Fabio (198-F-77) scored 34 pts to lead America and Marcus Watts (204-F/C-83, college: Florida Gulf Coast) added 19 pts. The night after, home team Sacachispas defeated FPC 87-83 with Enzo Ruiz (193-F-88) and Derrick Miller (202-C/F-78, college: Georgetown, KY) leading the way at 24 and 23 points, respectively, and Jonathan Hopkins (208-F/C-78, college: Tex.A&M-Comm.) scoring 24 pts in losing effort. Thanks to these results, America de Pilar is yet sure to play in the Semifinal Round, and a win of Sacachispas tonight over America could definitely eliminate Felix Perez. The 'Group A2' restarted on thursday night, and Sol de America extended its winning streak defeating Libertad 84-78. This result grants the qualification to the next leg of the competition to Deportivo San Jose.

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PHILIPPINES

Air21 battles streaking Alaska with eye on solo lead -by Eurobasket News
Air21 isn't exactly playing perfect basketball. The Express are just winning games when they matter.

Dolreich Perasol admits he is pleased with the turnaround. But the unassuming coach of the Express insists anything can still happen, that's why he keeps on telling his troops to keep their focus.

The last five games were close to perfect. Air21 won four during that stretch with key victories over Coca-Cola, Magnolia, Red Bull and reigning Philippine Cup champion Sta. Lucia.

Currently tied for first place with Red Bull and Coca-Cola at 8-5, the Express attempt to wrest solo leadership and bolster their bid for one of two outright semifinal spots in the 2008 Smart PBA Fiesta Conference when they face off with the Alaska Aces.

Certainly, the 4:50 p.m. encounter at the Cuneta Astrodome will be no picnic for the Express.

Alaska coach Tim Cone describes his team of late as a 'team on the rise.' The description fits the Aces, indeed.

To date, Alaska is the league's hottest team with four straight wins that helped the team get to.500. Dolreich Perasol , though, doesn't seem worried.

'This is a good chance for us to put an end to that winning streak,' said Dolreich Perasol of their rematch with the Aces.

The Air21 coach may sound confident but who can blame him? Everybody - from import Steve Thomas (203-F-81, agency: Promotex, college: Middle Tenn.St.) down to the team's supporting cast - is contributing in his own little way.

The fact that they have beaten the Aces, 86-79, in their first meeting last May 2 also provides the Express added confidence.

Interestingly, the Aces (6-6) have shown vast improvement lately. Import Randy Holcomb is starting to pick up his game while Larry Fonacier and LA Tenorio seem to have gotten the feel of Tim Cone's system.

'We're coming together slowly,' observes Cone, who is also confident coming into the game, knowing his troops have been playing well against teams with even or winning slates.

In the day's other game, Sta. Lucia tries to bounce back from last Sunday's heartbreaking loss when they battle Barangay Ginebra at 7:20 p.m.

The Realtors (6-6) dropped a 93-95 decision to the Express in overtime Sunday, making the game against the Kings a must win to keep them in contention for one of the five outright playoff spots.
Courtesy of pba.ph


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PORTUGAL

Portugal-Galiza game recap -by Bruno Baltazar
Portugal started their preparation phase in Nations Tournament in Spain and in the first day some things happened.
Portugal suffered a loss in the first day and some burocatric problems with the spanish organization ,in the afternoon portuguese players waited over a hour for their transfer to the arena from the hotel.
In the game Portugal lost 70-62 against Galiza selection ,always felt under the result as Galiza totaly dominated the game,in the 2nd quarter Galiza was winning 36-23 showing their dominant game.
The national players fighted alot but didnt showed much game against this strong oponent.
Entering in the last quarter losing by 7 points ,they still recovered but many fouls problems for the portuguese side did not let them get the win.
Today Portugal will compete for the 3rd place against Catalunya that lost to Bask country (79-81)in a very close game decided in the last seconds.

After the game portuguese coach Moncho Lopez said 'We had a bad start in the game,very anxious,nervaus ,this can not happen in the future,we played very fast and did not putted in the game what we practised during the week' , in the 2nd quarter they let Galiza do a partial of 13-0 and that costed the game in the spanish view that says this is just test games and for the next game he hope a better defense and capacity of battle from his side.

For Portugal Joao Gomes (199-F-85) was the better player with 20 points and 8 rebounds.

Complete stattics:
http://oracle.fpb.pt/fpb_zone/portal/img/home_100/fotos/50754853090644070812.pdf


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ROMANIA

CSU Asesoft Ploiesti sign Griffith and Hargrove -by Eurobasket
Romanian champion CSU Asesoft Ploiesti does not waste time and just few days after defending championship title in Romanian League, they already started preparation for next season. The first move is to re-sign 34-year old American center Rashard Griffith (212-C-74, college: Wisconsin). Griffith was one of the leading players and guarantees that center position will be well covered and probably the best one in the country. They also signed Darius Hargrove (193-G-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Virginia Union) for 2-year contract. Hargrove was already with the team to help them in ULEB Cup and left in January after CSU Ploiesti was eliminated from ULEB Cup. But he did very well, so he will stay at the team for next two years.

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SERBIA

Hemofarm STADA ties the score on 1-1 in the semis -by Dragan Jankovski
Hemofarm STADA was better than FMP 76-66 in second game of the Superleague play-off semifinals which means that the score is tied now on 1-1. The team who will join Partizan Igokea in the big final will be known on Monday when FMP will once again have home court advantage.

After disappointing first game in Zeleznik, Hemofarm wanted to show it is the team who is able to reach the final. From the beginning they stared to play very aggressively on both ends of the court. It resulted with nice lead after the first quarter, 25-15. During the next ten minutes the orange team extended it on 12 points. Later, FMP didn't have any bigger opportunity for a turn until the very end. Young Serbian prospect Stefan Markovic (191-G-88) led his team to win scoring 18 points and delivering 4 assists. Rawle Marshall (201-G-82, college: Oakland) also scored 18 points while center Vladan Vukosavljevic (206-F/C-84, agency: Beo Basket) had 13 points and 7 rebounds. FMP got 27 points from Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85).

Head coach of Hemofarm STADA, Vlada Vukoicic, after the game said: 'We had enough power to focus on this game despite we suffered very painful defeat in Zeleznik. Our only mission tonight was to finish semifinals series in Zeleznik, what we succeeded. Now much bigger pressure is again on FMP'.

On the other side FMP's head coach, Slobodan Klipa, said: 'We wanted to finish this story tonight but it seems that my players weren't motivated to do it. We started the game without attitude and we finished it just like that. I hope we will celebrate on Monday'.


Hemofarm STADA - FMP 76-66
(25-15,13-11,22-20,16-20)

Hemofarm:
Markovic 18 (4 as), Marshall 18, Vukosavljevic 13 (7 rebs), Macvan 8 (6 rebs, 5 as)
FMP: Erceg 27, Labovic 13, Protic 10 (7 as), Krstovic 9


Big success for Srecko Sekulovic and Andrija Ciric in Hungary -by Dragan Jankovski
Two Serbians, coach Srecko Sekulovic and forward Andrija Ciric (199-G-80, agency: Beo Basket), made big success in Hungarian championship with their team Falco. They won the first championship title in Falco's history outplaying Kormend on the road 80-71. It was the fourth game of the final series which Falco finished 3-1.

Falco smashed its opponent in third game at home 109-79 taking lead 2-1. Andrija Ciric was totally unstoppable for Kormend's forwards. For 32 minutes, how much he spent on the court, he poured in 25 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Sekulovic and Ciric had much tougher job in the last game on the road. They opened it in style having comfortable plus 11 after first quarter. But they somehow stopped after that while the hosts took control on them the coming on minus 2 at the half time. Last quarter was crucial period of the game as Falco win it 23-15 what was enough for its first championship title ever.

Andrija Ciric collected 13 points and 6 rebounds in the last game. It was his first and very successful season in Hungary. This title is the third one in his career as in the past he celebrated in Belgian and Polish championships.

Falco's head coach Srecko Sekulovic joined the team in December 2006. He done a very good job until the end of the season 06/07 and management of the club offered him contract extension, which he accepted. New contract, which he signed previous summer, will keep him in Falco for two more years.


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SLOVENIA

Union Olimpija wins 14th Championship -by Zeljko Zule

Even without four suspended players, Mirza Begic, Ronell Taylor, Maurice Bailey and Chris Booker, Union Olimpija outplayed Helios in Game 4 of Play-Off Finals to win 14th title with a 84-60 road victory.
Olimpija opened second quarter with 17 straight points to take a 40-24 lead. Marko Milic (199-G-77) finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds, Goran Dragic netted 20 points, Hasan Rizvic collected 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks and Sasa Doncic 14 of his 17 points posted before the half. Helios in second quarter shot just 3-of-11 from the field and commited 6 turnovers. Aljaz Janza netted a game-high 22 points on shooting 9-of-12 and Alexei Lashkevich added 12.


List of champions: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 & 1997 - Smelt Olimpija, 1998 & 1999 - Union Olimpija, 2000 - Krka Telekom, 2001 & 2002 - Union Olimpija, 2003-Krka, 2004, 2005 & 2006 - Union Olimpija, 2007 - Helios, 2008 - Union Olimpija.



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SPAIN

New National Team Coach For Spain -by Paul Nilsen
The managerial merry-go round in Spain continues and everyone has their heads spinning with news that as expected, Garcia Aito Reneses is the new national team coach for the Spainsh team and will lead them in the Olympics.

He will be officially unveiled to the press and public on Monday by the Spanish Federation. Already his appointment seems to have been given backing from players with Felipe Reyes claiming Garcia Aito Reneses is one of the best coaches in Europe having won many titles during his lengthy career.

In fact Reyes has backed the appointment of the former Badalona coach even though he does not know him personally but has claimed that everyone has told him he is very good. He added that a good atmosphere in the squad ahead of the Olympics will be important and a clear situation in respect of the coaching will help that.

While many people are still reeling from the strange decision of Tau Ceramica not to continue with Neven Spahija despite the Croat leading them to their most successful season ever, his opposite number in the ACB Finals is staying.

Yes, despite a truly awful play-off final series, Barcelona are keeping their faith with Xavi Pascual for next season.

That now leaves the likes of Dusko Ivanovic, Nevin Spahija and Sergio Scariolo all out of top ACB jobs after this season so who will get the positions at Tau and Unicaja?

More to come no doubt.


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TAIWAN

More Taiwan-China basketball interchanges -by Chris Wang
Ex-Taiwan NT guard Yang Yu-min signed with Jilin Northeast Tigers and became the first Taiwanese player to sign with a Chinese basketball club this year, China Times reported.

Yang, who joined SBL¡¦s Dacin Tigers after four years with ETSN Antelopes (now known as dmedia Numen), averaged only 4.9 points and 1.2 assists this past season due to persistent ankle injury. He averaged for more than 15 points per game with the Antelopes during the past four seasons.

Yang was also a key reserve with the national team before his injury. He will report to the team for the CBA pre-season training camp, which is held in Yunnan, China from June 12 ¬°V July 17.

United Daily reported that veteran coach Tsai Shou-li, who coached Taiwan NT and Hungfu Rams in Taiwan¡¦s defunct pro league Chinese Basketball Alliance (CBA), has reached a one-year agreement with China¡¦s Yunnan Bulls.

Former Dacin head coach Liu Chia-fa, who was relieved of his duty before the 2007-08 SBL season, has been in talks with Fujian Xunxing but there¡¦s no done deal yet.

A number of Taiwanese players are also looking for opportunities to play in China, the report said. Chou Tzu-hua and Lin Kwan-lun, both from dmedia, are possible to sign with Yunnan, where Taiwan Beer guards Yen Hsin-shu and Wang Hsin-kai played last year.

I¡¦m not sure whether these players will finish their season with Chinese clubs once contracts are signed because they are also under contracts with their Taiwanese teams at the same time. And basketball seasons in Taiwan and China overlap.


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UKRAINE

Ukraine loses to Italy in Verona -by Eurobasket News
Italy - Ukraine 76:68

The National team continued their summer build up for the Eurobasket qualifying tournament that is due to start in autumn. Ukraine arrived to Italy to participate in the friendly tournament together with Italy, Czech Republic and Belarus. Yesterday Ukraine took on the hosts and suffered their first defeat. Italian side was represented by the closest reserves of the National team. The Italian youngsters got to a slow start but quickly found the right rhythm and held off Ukraine at the end. The visitors that missed a number of key players entered the game more confidently piling up an 18:15 lead after the opening stanza. But the hosts relied on a high shooting accuracy to even things in the second quarter. Federico Bolzonella (185-G-84) and Luigi Datome (202-G/F-87) paced the home team to a 37:35 lead at halftime. Both coaches rotate the squad willingly but it was Italy to grab control over the tempo after the long break. They stretched the margin to 6 points at the end of three frames. Yaroslav Zubrytskyi (202-F-74) led the charge for the visitors in the final stanza however Italy easily denied the effort. The hosts breezed to an overall victory at the end improving to 1-0 record at the Memorial Vicenzi tourney. Robert Fultz (190-G-82, agency: Interperformances) led Italy with 15 points. Federico Bolzonella provided 12 points, while Luigi Datome had 11 for the winners. Yaroslav Zubrytskyi answered with game-high 21 points for Ukraine. Viktor Kobzisty (200-F-79) chipped in 14 points, while Krivych and Agafonov had 6 points apiece in a loss.

Italy: Robert Fultz 15, Federico Bolzonella 12, Luigi Datome 11
Ukraine: Yaroslav Zubrytskyi 21, Viktor Kobzisty 14




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Women News

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BOSNIA - Women

U18 NT preparations start today -by Sead Buljina
Head coach of our U18 National team, Jadranka Savic has invited 24 players who will participate in preparations for U18 European Championship in Hungary this summer. Savic expected today in Bijeljina the following players: Tamara Kapor, Jana Popovic, Milica Dzombeta, Milica Dutina, Milica Deura, Aleksandra Stojanovic, Ilijana Todorovic, Martina Jazic, Ana Niksic, Biljana Todorovic, Dajana Ilic, Anesa Hamsic, Irena Vrancic, Hana Caramic, Amra Suljagic, Amila Omerbasic, Matea Tavic, Ivana Martinovic, Marina Dzinic, Amra Dindic, Jasmina Puskar, Irma Rahmanovic, Mia Carapina and Jelena Nakic.

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EUROLEAGUE (W) - Women

Natalia Hejkova leaves Spartak MR -by Eurobasket News
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.

'She will always have a place in our hearts. We will never forget what she has done for our team' - said Fon Kalmanovic Shabtay, GM of Spartak MR.

As a reminder Hejkova joined Spartak in 2006. For these two years Spartak became Euroleague champion twice and they also captured the title in Russian Superleague in 2007. Hejkova is named to be the 'European coach of the year' for season 06/07.


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FRANCE - Women

Gruda is victorious twice with the Sun -by Eurobasket News
The Connecticut Sun narrowly edged the Chicago Sky 75:73 away from home. It was the fifth straight win for the Sun in Chicago since the Sky joined the league three years ago. Lindsay Whalen and Tamika Whitmore came up with 19 points apiece to pace the winners. The Sun led by 3 points with just over a minute left. Lindsay Whalen got fouled and hit one free throw to extend the gap. Jia Perkins answered with two freebies to cut the deficit to 2 points but Whalen was accurate from charity stripe to give the visitors a 74:70 lead. Cathy Joens knocked down a trey to keep the intrigue alive with 6 seconds remaining. Whalen missed her second free throw and Jia Pekins had a chance to force overtime. However her jumper rimmed out and Connecticut celebrated a tough win. Barbara Turner had 13 points, while Amber Holt notched 11 points for the Sun and Sandrine Gruda (192-F/C-87) enjoyed 4 points and 5 rebounds. Jia Perkins answered with 21 points for the Sky. Sylvia Fowles registered 17 points and 12 boards for the home team.
The Minnesota Lynx suffered their first defeat in the season as they fell to the Connecticut Sun and French Sandrine Gruda 77:78 at home. The Lynx seemed to be en route to their 6th straight win in the regular season as they enjoyed a 5-point lead with under two minutes remaining. But the Sun rallied back in the dying seconds to snatch a narrow victory. Tamika Whitmore and Asjha Jones teamed up for 7 points in the final 1.21 minutes to ensure the winning outcome for the visitors. Seimone Augustus had a chance to win for the Lynx but her jumper rimmed out. Asjha Jones led the action with 25 points. Tamika Whitmore scored 18 points and Lindsay Whalen added 16 for the winners. Sandrine Gruda played the best game so far nailing 9 points for 9 minutes. Seimone Augustus knocked down 22 points for the Lynx.


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ITALY - Women

Masciadri recorded 15 in a loss -by Eurobasket News
Raffaella Masciadri (185-F-80) and her Los Angeles Sparks prevailed against the Chicago Sky in WNBA. The Sky trailed by 13 points early in the fourth frame but managed to cut the gap as Jia Perkins came up with 10 points in the quarter. Dominique Canty forced overtime with two free throws but just to see Delisha Mitlon-Jones ruining any hosts' hopes in the extra period. Lisa Leslie provided 18 points and 12 boards, while Candace Parker had 12 points and 7 boards for the winning side. Raffaella Masciadri ended up with 8 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Candice Dupree answered with 22 points and 11 boards for the Sky. Jia Perkins finished with 16 points in defeat.
The defending champions Phoenix Mercury continued to show signs of recovery. They posted their second straight win this time overcoming the Los Angeles Sparks with Raffaella Masciadri away from home 85:79. It was the first game for the sensational Candace Parker at the Staples Center but her debut was spoiled. Parker was impressive down the line with 19 points, 14 boards and 8 assists but the effort was overshadowed by Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter huge night. Taurasi knocked down 13 out of her 29 points in the fourth term and Cappie Pondexter piled up a 28-point tally to lead the Mercury past the stunned opponents in the final stanza. Los Angeles got to a quick start as they held a 20:14 lead into the second frame. But the Mercury stayed in the race. Diana Taurasi scored 8 points in the stretch of the fourth period to pull the visitors within 2 with just over 3 minutes to go. Cappie Pondexter, Barbara Farris and Taurasi once again propelled the Mercury ahead 81:74 and the visiting side never gave up the advantage. Le'Coe Willingham contributed 12 points and 12 boards for the winners. Lisa Leslie answered with 17 points and 15 boards for the Sparks. Delisha Miton-Jones accounted for 16 points in a loss. Raffaella Masciadri had a good game with 15 points and 4 rebounds.


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RUSSIA - Women

Natalia Hejkova leaves Spartak MR -by Eurobasket News
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.

'She will always have a place in our hearts. We will never forget what she has done for our team' - said Fon Kalmanovic Shabtay, GM of Spartak MR.

As a reminder Hejkova joined Spartak in 2006. For these two years Spartak became Euroleague champion twice and they also captured the title in Russian Superleague in 2007. Hejkova is named to be the 'European coach of the year' for season 06/07.


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SERBIA - Women

U20 started with preparation -by Dragana Vukovic

Today U20 National Team started with preparation.They met in Belgrade where they will spent whole the preparation time.U20 team will participate on the European Championship in Italy from the 11th till 20th of July.They will try to defend the silver medal from las summer.Coach Jovica Antonic called 19 girls:


Nina Bogicevic (178-G-89) of Crvena Zvezda Beograd
Jelena Cerina (194-C-88) of Hemofarm Vrsac
Ana Dabovic (183-G/F-89) of Herceg Novi
Jelica Domazet (188-F/C-88) of Vojvodina Nis Naftagas Novi Sad
Dragana Gobeljic (185-F-88) of Vojvodina Nis Naftagas Novi Sad
Smiljana Ivanovic (176-G-88) of Vojvodina Nis Naftagas Novi Sad
Mina Jovanovic (176-F-89) of ZKK Kovin Kovin
Jefimija Karakasevic (191-C-89) of Vojvodina NIs Naftagas Novi Sad
Irena Matovic (186-F-88) of Vojvodina Nis Naftagas Novi Sad
Jovana Mesaros (170-G-88) of ZKK Usce Beograd
Maja Miljkovic (176-G-88) of Celta Vigo Spain
Jelena Milovanovic (191-F/C-89) of Sopron Hungary
Jelena Mitic (190-C-89) of Vojvodina Nis Naftagas Novi Sad
Ivana Musovic (173-G-89) of Crvena Zvezda Beograd
Sonja Petrovic (189-F-89) of Bourges France
Iva Roglic (189-F-88) of Crvena Zvezda Beograd
Vanja Veljovic (-88) of Radivoj Korac Beograd
Lidija Vuckovic (174-G-88) of ZKK Usce Beograd
Natasa Krnjetin
(180-G-88) of Vojvodina Nis Naftagas Novi Sad
Coaches:
Jovica Antonic ,Dragan Vukovic ,Goran Stevanovic
Athletic preparation coach:Srdjan Saric


Nina Bogicevic,Iva Roglic,Ivana Musovic and Jelena Cerina will join the team later because they are playing final of the play off with their teams.



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WNBA - Women

Katie Douglas and Seimone Augustus claim Weekly honours -by Eurobasket News
Katie Douglas (6'0''-G/F-79, college: Purdue) of the Indiana Fever and Siemone Augustus from the Minnesota Lynx were trumped the Eastern and Western conference Players of the Week respectively. Katie Douglas received her third career weekly award. She was traded from the Connecticut Sun in the offseason for Tamika Whitmore and answered with 23 points and 6 boards against her former team on May 27. The Fever prevailed 75:46 on that day. Two days later Katie Douglas scored 25 points against the Sparks. She became the second player in the franchise history to score 20+ points in 4 consecutive games. The Fever posted a 2-1 record over the week, while Katie Douglas stays at the second spot in the league scoring leaders list just behind Cappie Pondexter with 21.4 ppg.
Seimone Augustus (6'1''-G-84, college: LSU) was given the second career Player of the Week award. She averaged 22.0 points, 6.3 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals per game during the week. Former Rookie of the Year propelled the Lynx to the franchise-record 5-0 start of the season. She matched her career-high in rebounds twice during the week pulling down 9 caroms against Houston and Chicago. She led the Lynx in scoring in all three victorious outings. Augustus poured in 25 points against the Comets in overtime-thriller. The Lynx guard then came up with 19 points against the Sky and 22 points versus the defending champions Phoenix.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Chicago's Sylvia Fowles, Connecticut's Lindsey Whalen, Los Angeles' Candace Parker, Phoenix's Cappie Pondexter, Sacramento's Laura Harper, Seattle's Lauren Jackson and Washington's Monique Currie.


Phoenix getting back to life -by Eurobasket News
The defending champions Phoenix Mercury continued to show signs of recovery. They posted their second straight win this time overcoming the Los Angeles Sparks away from home 85:79. It was the first game for the sensational Candace Parker (6'4''-F/C-86, college: Tennessee) at the Staples Center but her debut was spoiled. Parker was impressive down the line with 19 points, 14 boards and 8 assists but the effort was overshadowed by Diana Taurasi (6'0''-G-82, college: Connecticut) and Cappie Pondexter (5'9''-G-83, college: Rutgers) huge night. Taurasi knocked down 13 out of her 29 points in the fourth term and Cappie Pondexter piled up a 28-point tally to lead the Mercury past the stunned opponents in the final stanza. Los Angeles got to a quick start as they held a 20:14 lead into the second frame. But the Mercury stayed in the race. Diana Taurasi scored 8 points in the stretch of the fourth period to pull the visitors within 2 with just over 3 minutes to go. Cappie Pondexter, Barbara Farris and Taurasi once again propelled the Mercury ahead 81:74 and the visiting side never gave up the advantage. Le'Coe Willingham (6'0''-C-81, college: Auburn) contributed 12 points and 12 boards for the winners. Lisa Leslie (6'5''-C-72, college: USC) answered with 17 points and 15 boards for the Sparks. Delisha Miton-Jones accounted for 16 points in a loss.
The Minnesota Lynx suffered their first defeat in the season as they fell to the Connecticut Sun 77:78 at home. The Lynx seemed to be en route to their 6th straight win in the regular season as they enjoyed a 5-point lead with under two minutes remaining. But the Sun rallied back in the dying seconds to snatch a narrow victory. Tamika Whitmore (6'2''-C/F-77, college: Memphis) and Asjha Jones (6'2''-F-80, college: Connecticut) teamed up for 7 points in the final 1.21 minutes to ensure the winning outcome for the visitors. Seimone Augustus (6'1''-G-84, college: LSU) had a chance to win for the Lynx but her jumper rimmed out. Asjha Jones led the action with 25 points. Tamika Whitmore scored 18 points and Lindsay Whalen added 16 for the winners. Seimone Augustus knocked down 22 points for the Lynx.


Standings
WNBA Standings
Eastern
 1. Detroit S. 7-1 
 2. Connect. S. 6-1 
 3. Indiana F. 3-2 
 4. New York L. 3-3 
 5. Chicago Sky 2-4 
 6. Washingt. M. 2-5 
 7. Atlanta D. 0-6 
Western
 1. Minnesota L. 5-1 
 2. Seattle S. 5-3 
 3. L.Angeles S. 4-2 
 4. S.Antonio SS 3-3 
 5. Phoenix M. 2-4 
 6. Sacram. M. 2-4 
 7. Houston C. 1-6