EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 7/6/2008

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Men News

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


ABA expands to Alaska - by Eurobasket News
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today announced that the Alaska Dream has been added to its roster of teams for the upcoming season. According to Joe Newman, ABA CEO, 'We've been looking at Alaska for expansion for quite sometime. Basketball is very popular there as can be evidenced by the very successful Alaska Shootout. The problem has been transportation. We believe that has been worked out and as a result, we are adding the Alaska Dream to our 2008 schedule. Should anything happen, however, the team and we are prepared for a 2009 start.'

The team will be located in Anchorage, Alaska and will be owned by Trey Davis, a graduate of American InterContinental University who is associated with the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Alaska and serves as a Teen Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator. Davis has ten years of experience as a Marketing/Events Coordinator organizing Home Shows, Fund Raisers and operating Men's Basketball Leagues as well as ten years of experience coaching youth basketball and organizing youth sporting events. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he attended Lakenheath American High School in England.

'We named our team the Alaska Dream because it has truly been our dream to have a professional basketball team, particularly an ABA team, here in Alaska and this is like a dream come true,' stated Davis. The state of Alaska and the city of Anchorage, fans and sponsors all want the team here, but the problem has been finding a plan to reduce the cost of travel, and we believe we have accomplished that. It will be affordable for ABA teams to visit here and for us to do our road games on the Pacific coast. A win-win situation. There's no doubt that we have some great talent here and will be competitive. Plus, if this works out, we are aiming to put a team in Fairbanks next season. We really appreciate the ABA working with us to accomplish this.'
Courtesy of oursportscentral.com


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  BELGIUM   


Dexia Mons-Hainaut Transfer News - by Peter Buyse


Dexia Mons-Hainaut announced the signing of American forward Caleb Green (203-F-85, college: ORU) for the next season.
Green played the past season, his first overseas, in Germany. In 34 games for Trier he averaged 17.9 ppg and 6.1 rpg.
The 17.9 points ranked him 4th in the German Bundesliga. His best game of the season was a double double of 40 pts and 12 rebs vs Giessen.
Before coming to Europe Green had an outstanding career at Oral Roberts where he was selected Conference Player of the Year on 3 occassions.
In his senior year he scored 20.5 ppg and 9.3 rpg. Over the last 3 years at ORU he averaged close to 20 pts and 9 rebs.

Was voted to the All MCC team all 4 of his years at Oral Roberts.


The team is looking for a point guard and forward to finalize its roster.



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  BOSNIA   


Bosnian teams in European competitions for season 08/09 - by Eurobasket News
Bosnia and Herzegovina won't have any representative in new competition Eurocup, which will be organized by FIBA Europe and ULEB. New champion of the country, Bosna ASA BHT, had some hopes that they could be the one of the participants but it didn't happen. Special invitation for Eurocup, which is formerly known as ULEB Cup, got Serbian team FMP Zeleznik. Director of Bosna ASA BHT, Admir Bukva, said that he feels sorry because his team won't take a place in Eurocup next season. In interview for the Bosnian newspaper Dnevni Avaz he stated that management of Bosna ASA BHT had some unofficial negotiations with Jordi Bartolomeo during the year. He said that they got some signals that Bosna's participations in Eurocup for the next season in possible. The first condition was winning of championship title which Bosna has done. Anyway, after a one year break the team from Sarajevo earned a spot for Adriatic league. Bukva also stated that his team will have a very strong roster for the upcoming season. Adriatic league is a big challenge for the team especially when it is known that 'Students' will play against Euroleague teams such as Partizan Igokea, Cibona and Union Olimpija.

However, Bosnians will have two representatives in EuroChallenge. It will be Siroki Prima pivo and Borac Banja Luka. Both teams will have to start the competition from the qualifications. Their rivals will be known after a draw which will be held on July 10th in Munich. Some of the best teams which will also have to start EuroChallenge from qualifications are Samara, Spartak St. Petersburg, Cherkasy Monkeys, Zagreb, Liege, Frakfurt Skyliners and AEL Limassol.


List of candidates for Bosnian National Team announced - by Eurobasket News
Head coach of Bosnian National Team, Mensur Bajramovic, announced list of candidates for the Eurobasket 2009 qualifications. Coach Bajramovic counts on some of the top European players which had a wonderful last season such as Henry Domercant (192-G-80, college: E.Illinois), Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket), Jasmin Hukic (204-G/F-79, agency: Beo Basket) and Mirza Teletovic (205-F-85, agency: Beo Basket). Domercant was one of the best players of Dynamo Moscow last season. He was the top scorer of ULEB Cup as well as a fifth scorer of Russian Superleague. Bajramovic had extremity important role in Lietuvos Rytas, which reached three finals last season. Unfortunately to Bajramovic his team was defeated three times by Zalgiris Kaunas. Hukic won Slovenian championship with Union Olimpija and was named to be the forward of the year in Adriatic league while Teletovic also made great success with TAU Ceramica. The team from Vitoria won Spanish Supercup as well as ACB league. They also participated at the Euroleague Final 4 in Madrid. Except of these four players coach Bajramovic called couple of young Bosnian prospect such as Kikanovic, Sinanovic, Bavcic and Djedovic.

Qualifications for Eurobasket 2009 in Poland will start on September third. Bosnia and Herzegovina will meet Israel, Czech Republic and Great Britain. Two best teams will directly qualify for the Eurobasket while third and fourth ranked team will have a chance to do it through another qualifications. In the first round Bosnians will meet Czech Republic on the road. Next one is scheduled for September sixth when Bosnia will host Israel. Four days later Bajramovic's team will play against Great Britain on the island. First stage of qualifications will finish at September 20th.


List of 22 candidates for National Team of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nemanja Gordic
Aleksej Nesovic
Vedran Princ
Dino Hodzic
Ernest Bremer
Henry Domercant
Nihad Djedovic
Goran Ikonic
Edin Bavcic
Ivan Opacak
Jasmin Hukic
Milan Milosevic
Ante Masic
Mujo Tuljkovic
Mirza Teletovic
Kenan Bajramovic
Oliver Stevic
Damir Krupalija
Elmedin Kikanovic
Ermin Jazvin
Dragan Tubak
Nedzad Sinanovic


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  BRAZIL   


Brazil outlasts Venezuela in Puerto Montt - by Eurobasket News
Brazil - Venezuela 94:84

Brazilian National Team earned their 3rd win at the South American Championship. Yesterday the tournaments favorites held off Venezuela to dim 2009 FIBA Americas qualification hopes for their opponents. Brazil led right from the start. A well-balanced offense never reminded of some sloppy action from the game against Argentina. Helio Vitor Lima (185-G-81) orchestrated the game well and Brazil found themselves ahead by 6 points at the end of the first frame. Brazil kept on mounting the pressure and stretched the gap to 11 points at halftime. Venezuela tried to stay at a striking distance but failed to come any closer in the third stanza. Brazil wisely kept their counterparts at bay throughout the term and enjoyed a 12-point buffer before the final frame. Venezuela cut the distance a bit in the fourth frame but never seriously threatened Brazil dominance in the final minutes. Helio Vitor Lima finished with 21 points and 5 assists to lead the charge for Brazil. Caio Torres (211-C-87) provided 18 points and 11 boards, while Arthur Luiz Belchior (197-G/F-82) and Fernando Colonoze provided 13 points apiece in a winning case. Jose Vargas (196-G/F-82, agency: DR. Carlos Sifuentes) knocked down 23 points and collected 7 boards for Venezuela. Axiers Sucre (198-F-78, agency: DR. Carlos Sifuentes) notched 10 points in defeat. Brazil had an overwhelming advantage under the rims as they outrebounded Venezuela 40:22. Brazil also converted solid 56% from the field. Venezuela takes on Colombia in a must-win fixture tonight.

Brazil: Helio Vitor Lima 21, Caio Torres 18+11 boards, Arthur Luiz Belchior 13, Fernando Colonoze 13
Venezuela: Jose Vargas 23, Axiers Sucre 10


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  BULGARIA   


Nikolay Varbanov with official offer from Aris TT Bank - by Valentin Anguelov

Greek giant Aris made an official offer to Levski's center Nikolay Varbanov (209-C-85, agency: Interperformances). The talks are in final phase and both sides are close to signing a long term contract - says Georgios Patapatiou - the agent of the player. From Aris's board expressed a desire to invest in Varbanov, and the head coach Andrea Mazzon will make an individual program for the player.


'It will be a crime against Bulgarian basketball if he doesn't sign with Aris' added Patapatiou.


Personally the president of Aris Giannis Damianidis has held two weeks negotiations with Luciano Capicchioni, the boss of Interperformances and the thing that remains is the contract to be signed.


Varbanov will have a guaranteed contract with Aris only if he and the agency that represents him agree the player to be send on loan to another team.
23-year old center played 42 games with Levski last season and had an average of 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds. Now he is on training camp of the national team and is preparing for the European qualifications.



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  CANADA   


New Zealand edges Canada at the Jack Donohue Classic - by Eurobasket News
Canada - New Zealand 69:77

New Zealand National Team avenged a 27-point loss from Canada at the start of the Jack Donohue Classic. The Tall Blacks held off the hosts yesterday to wrap up their Canadian tour with 2-1 record. Kirk Penney (194-G-80, college: Wisconsin) scored 22 points and New Zealand overcame Canada in a seesaw battle in Hamilton. The visitors got to a flying start as they built a 27:15 lead after the first frame. New Zealand still looked surging early in the second period as they stretched the gap to as many as 17 points. But Canada found the right answer for the onslaught. They exploded with enormous 24:0 rally bridging the second and third frames to pull ahead 46:39 early in the second half. But Kirk Penney and Lindsay Tait (194-G-82) quickly brought the Tall Blacks to life as they organized an 18:2 run to establish a 57:48 lead for the Kiwis. Canada replied with back-to-back trebles late in the quarter to come as close 6 points heading into the fourth stanza. Canada shaved the deficit to a single point with under 8 minutes left in regulation. However Pero Cameron (199-F-74, agency: Duran International), Mika Vukona (197-F-82) and Kirk Penney spurred the Tall Blacks to a 10:1 rally that put them away for good. Canada put on a massive defensive burden on the Kiwis in the final minutes but New Zealand withstood and celebrated their second win at the tournament. Lindsay Tait provided 13 points and 7 boards for the visitors. Nick Horvath (208-F/C-81, college: Duke) had 12 points, while Pero Cameron added 11 in a win. Rowan Barrett (197-G/F-72, college: St.John's) answered with 18 points for Canadian team. Joel Anthony (206-C-82, college: UNLV) scored 9 points in a losing effort. New Zealand will travel to Slovenia next to take part in the Alpos Cup. Canada will play against Lebanon on Saturday.

Canada: Rowan Barrett 18, Joel Anthony 9
New Zealand: Kirk Penney 22, Lindsay Tait 13, Nick Horvath 12


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  CHILE   


Chile loses to Colombia - by Eurobasket News
Chile - Colombia 68:71

The home South American Championship will be full of bitter memories for Chilean National team. Yesterday they lost their fourth straight game at the tournament and three of them came with narrow margins. Chile took on winless Colombia yestreday but could not convert at the end. Chile entered the game bravely and easily marched past their opponents to a 26:18 lead at the end of the first quarter. But Colombia had something in store for the hosts. Edgar Moreno (191-G-81, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: UTEP) nailed a couple of impressive baskets igniting Colombia in the second stanza. The visitors outgunned Chile 22:13 in the period and grabbed a 40:39 lead at halftime. Chile looked taken aback in the third frame as they nailed just 9 points and allowed Colombia to clear off to an 11-point distance. Chile did not say die and rushed to deny the deficit in the final quarter. They cut to minimum in the dying seconds but Enielsen Guevara (204-F/C-82) and Edgar Moreno sealed the winning outcome for Colombian team. Thus Colombia revived their chances of making to the final four; they now need to defeat Venezuela in the final round of action. Edgar Moreno topscored with 24 points and 6 boards for Colombia. Enielsen Guevara dropped 18 points, while Juan Londoco provided 12 in a win. Patricio Briones (213-C-72, agency: DR. Carlos Sifuentes, college: Dade CC) answered with 22 points and 11 boards for Chile. Evandro Arteaga (178-G-83) had 17 points in defeat. Chile will take on Argentina in the final round of elimination round.

Chile: Patricio Briones 22+11 boards, Evandro Arteaga 17
Colombia: Edgar Moreno 24, Enielsen Guevara 18, Juan Londoco 12


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  CHINA   


Rosters Announced for Asian Basketball Without Borders - by Arthur Volbert
Rosters have been announced for the NBA Basketball Without Borders Camp being held in New Delhi India from July 3 through July 6.

China has nine players at the camp, the most from any nation in Asia. Only the names and countries of the players have been announced but I have researched height, club origin and alleged birth year for the Chinese athletes.

These are supposed to be the most promising players among rising seniors. Allegedly these players would be seniors in high school in the United States, with perhaps the best juniors thrown in.

Not all seniors in the U. S. are the same age and likely neither are the Chinese players. But these players are the ones considered the most promising in this age group, whereas the National Under-19 team would largely be made up of those who would, in the U. S., be college freshmen.

As with American players who are rising high school seniors, at least half or more of these players will no longer be among the best when they attain maturity. Others will rise in their place.

But some of these players are going to be stars. Big men Xu Tao and Dong Hanlin have been noticed since last year. Sui Ran has also been considered highly promising since last year and was at the 2007 Nike Global Challenge in Oregon.

Zhang Zhoujun was a candidate for the Under-19 team last year. Ren Junwei and Ren Junfei of Dongguan are twins and played at the recent Asian Nike Camp. Unlike players at that camp such as Zhang Dayu and Zhang Yongpeng, none of these players are on senior CBA rosters. All come from junior teams.

Most of the Chinese players come from Shandong or Guangdong. None come from Shanghai or Bayi. This may or may not mean that the selection process for China was not truly national.

FIBA/NBA BWB Camp [July 3-6 New Dehli, India)
Coach: Kyle Korver (Jazz), Ronny Turiaf (Lakers), Pat Garrity (Magic), Linton Johnson (Suns)

Chinese Players
Tao Xu China 210 cm 1991 Shandong
Ruheng Wang China 193 cm 1990 Shandong
Ran Sui China 194 cm 1992 Shandong
Hanlin Tao China Shandong
Zhoujun Zhang China 203 cm 1991 Zhejiang
Hanlin Dong China 207 cm 1991 Guangdong
Yuanyu Li China 205 cm Guangdong
Junwei Ren China 200 cm Guangdong
Junfei Ren China 203 cm Guangdong

Other Asian Players
Po-Chen Chou Chinese Taipei
Kuo-Wei Lai Chinese Taipei
Ming-Hui Lim Chinese Taipei
Pratham Singh India
Hirendra Singh Rathore India
Shadab Khan India
Vishesh Bhriguvansh India
Arjun Singh India
Ramin Honarmand Iran
Mehdi Shirjang Iran
Mohammed Hasanzadeh Iran
Sooren Derboghosian Iran
Pouria Kazemi Iran
Daichi Taniguchi Japan
Makoto Hiejima Japan
Yuki Mitsuhara Japan
Seiya Kano Japan
Mao Fukuda Japan
Ali El-Zubi Jordan
Abdellatif AlQaddoumi Jordan
Alexandr Zhigulin Kazakhstan
Ruslan Baltiyev Kazakhstan
Roman Khudyakov Kazakhstan
Anton Melnichenko Kazakhstan
Byung Jun Bae Korea
Min Wook Kim Korea
Jong Ill Lim Korea
Jung Hoon Park Korea
Byeong Hun Yoo Korea
Dong Yeop Lee Korea
Ivan Makarchuk Kyrgyzstan
Ivan Zhdanov Kyrgyzstan
Vincent El-Khoury Lebanon
Khalil Aoun Lebanon
Joseph Zaloum Lebanon
Ralph Akl Lebanon
Kuek Tian Yuan Malaysia
Jeric Allen Teng Philipines
Philip Paredes Philipines
Samuel Joseph Marata Philipines
Ahmed Yousif Al-Darwish Qatar
Sheng Yu Lim Singapore
Alexsandr Yahin Uzbekistan
Artur Sharafutdinov Uzbekistan


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  COLOMBIA   


Colombia defeated Chile in the Sudamerican Championship - by Victor Garcia

Colombia got its first win in the Sudamerican Championship in Chile, defeating the host 71 - 68 in a very intense game, the national team began with Edgar Moreno , Camilo Londoo, Norbey Aragn, Enielsen Guevara and Jorge Canedo.


The first quarter was for Chile who took advantage thanks to its 3 point shooting, the Colombian defense did not move quick enough and allow many open shots to Elliot, Arteaga and Carrasco, Briones did also its job in the paint.


But in the second quarter the history began to change and the duo of Moreno and Aragn made its job in the ofensive side, with great help of a telented Enielsen Guevara.

Egdar Moreno as always show all his talent, scoring 24 points, including 3 of 3 from the 3 ptr in an amazing 80% FG for the second straight night, and Guevara added 18 and 5 rebound, Camilo Londono still show his improve and helped with 12 points, Norbey Aragon posted 6 points, and Jorge Canedo 5 points and 9 rebounds, Felipe Barrios score 4, and Adison Mosquera 2, Felipe Montoya also saw action in the game.


The national had its best shooting night with 45% from the field and 43% beyond the arc.


Both teams alterned the lead in the last quarter bt Colombia had a better end winning 71-68.

The national team have a chance to go to the FIBA Americas tourmanent, the team needs to defeat Venezuela tomorrowEnielsen Guevara (204-F/C-82)



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  CROATIA   


Damir Miljkovic joins Turow Zgorzelec - by Eurobasket News
After two years in Russia and one in Greece, ex member of Croatian National Team, Damir Miljkovic (193-G-80), will move to Poland. Miljkovic put signature on a one year deal with finalist of Polish play-off, Turow Zgorzelec. The team from Zgorzelec finished regular season on top having a nice chance to capture the title in the seventh decisive game of the play-off final. But at the front of Turow's fans Prokom Trefl Sopot was better thanks to 36 points by its star Milan Gurovic.
Damir Miljkovic spent previous season in Spartak Primorie Vladivostok. He had 20 appearances in Russian Superleague averaging 7.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg and 2.0 apg. Before Vladivostok, Miljkovic played for Panionios Athens, where he moved in November 2006 from Dynamo St. Petersburg, which went bankrupt. For 11 games in FIBA EuroCup he averaged 7.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg and 2.1 apg. He started basketball career in Zagreb where he played until 2005 when he moved to Dynamo as a fourth scorer of Adraitic league. Miljkovic will join Slovenian coach Saso Filipovski in Turow.

Meanwhile, head coach of Split, Slobodan Subotic, returned to city of Split from a three weeks holiday. It is already known that the team, which was the most pleasant surprise of the previous season, will look to sign three players for the next one. They need a point guard, guard / small forward and a power forward. As it was last year Split won,t rush with signing of new players. They had a very good choice last year when Garnett, Akins and Ivanov joined the team. Split officially starts preparations for the new season on 11th of August.


Vladimir Anzulovic moves to Verviers-Pepinster - by Eurobasket News
Belgian team Verviers-Pepinster announced signing of Croatian guard Vladimir Anzulovic (187-G-78, agency: Promotex). His previous team was Kvarner where Anzulovic played 23 games in A1 league averaging 14.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.0 spg. Two years before he was a member of Zadar, which finished regular season on the second place later reaching the play-off final. In the past he also played for Krka Novo Mesto, Dubrava, Debreceni, Zagreb and Cibona. Interesting is that Vladimir is a brother of Drazen Anzulovic, head coach of Charleroi.

Anzulovic's new team finished previous season in Belgian D1 on 7th place with score 15-21. The team didn't not have any chance to reach play-off as the 4th ranked Mons had 8 wins more than Pepinster.


Croatian National Team 2008 - by Eurobasket
#s#
#e#6


Popovic


Nicevic


Kus


Tomas


Markota
Marko Popovic (185-G-82) of B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas (LTU)
Sandro Nicevic (210-C-76) of Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul (TUR)
Davor Kus (190-G-78) of Unicaja Malaga (ESP)
Marko Tomas (200-G-85) of Real Madrid (ESP)
Damir Markota (209-C/F-85) of B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas (LTU)

Dalibor Bagaric (217-C-80) of Upim Bologna (ITA)
Marko Banic (204-F-84) of Iurbentia Bilbao Basket (ESP)
Stanko Barac (217-C-86) of Tau Ceramica Vitoria (ESP)
Kresimir Loncar (210-F-83) of Lokomotiv Rostov na Donu (RUS)
Branimir Longin (195-G-78) of EWE Baskets Oldenburg (GER)
Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) of CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Nikola Prkacin (208-C-75) of Panathinaikos Athens (GRE)
Marin Rozic (201-F-83) of KK Cibona VIP Zagreb
Damjan Rudez (207-F-86) of Union Olimpija Ljubljana (SLO)
Krunoslav Simon (198-G/F-85) of KK Zagreb
Ante Tomic (217-C-87) of KK Zagreb
Jakov Vladovic (187-G-83) of KK Zagreb
Head Coach: Jasmin Repesa
Assistants: Drazen Anzulovic , Tomislav Mijatovic


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  FRANCE   


Big signing for Le Mans - by Eurobasket News
Champion of the regular season and the semifinalist of Pro A, Le Mans Sarthe Basket, announced signing of Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Arkansas St.) on a one-year contract. Spencer arrived from Efes Pilsen where he for 12 games in Turkish TBL averaged 8.8 ppg and 2 rpg. He joined Efes in March this year while more than a half of the last season he spent in La Fortezza Bologna. Spencer had wonderful performance at his first Euroleague season. He played 10 games in this elite competition averaging 18.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 apg and 1.2 spg. Actually he was the second scorer of the Euroleague regular season. Dewarick Spencer already has nice experience from Pro A as he played two season for Chorale Roanne. He had fantastic second year (06/07) at Roanne when he was the top scorer of Pro A with 20.6 ppg. Roanne won the championship title that season as well as 'La Semaine des As Cup'. At the end of the season Spencer was named to be the player of the year in Pro A.

In the meantime it is officially announced which French teams will participate next season in new competition called Eurocup, formerly known as ULEB Cup. The new contest will be organized by FIBA Europe and ULEB and it will count 32 teams which will be divided in 8 groups with 4 teams. 24 teams which are placed directly to the regular season are already known. One of them will be French representative Chorale Roanne. 16 teams will have to start competition from the first qualification round including Cholet. 8 of those 16 teams will advance to the second qualification round, where Le Havre is placed. Finally 8 of those 16 teams will join other 24 teams which already took place in regular season.


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  GERMANY   


Supercup: Day 1 - by Moritz Korff

Germany fell short to Puerto Rico 83:85 in its first game and will have to replace veteran Ademola Okulaja (202-F-75, college: N.Carolina) throughout the summer. That's the most important news for German fans after game day one of the Supercup in Bamberg. Okulaja is suffering from back-problems and won't be ready to play for this country this time. In the game against Puerto Rico Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) had 21 points, the guests were paced by Nowitzki's teammate Jose Juan Barea (181-G-84, agency: KMG Sports Management, college: Northeastern) and Joel Jones (196-G/F-81, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Sacramento St.) who tallied 24 points apiece.
Previously Greece overcame Slovenia 79:71. Antonis Fotsis (210-F-81) led the Greek offense with 17 points, Radoslav Nesterovic (212-C-76) answered with 16 points in defeat.


Greece - Slovenia 79:71, Boxscore

Germany - Puerto Rico 83:85, Boxscore


Puerto Rico takes on Greece in the first game Saturday (16:00 CET), Germany meets Slovenia 18:30 CET. Both games can be followed via Live score: click



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  GUATEMALA   


Two more semi-finalists for Liga Metro Torneo de Apertura 2008 - by Victor Padilla
The 2007 Champions, Leones de Marte, and Corpoevisa (YBOA) advanced over their rivals to complete the four semi-finalists of Liga Metro's Torneo de Apertura 2008. In the first game, Leones de Marte easily overcame Compusys with a 81 to 58 victory that gained them the chance to face Lemans, the surprise of the playoffs, in the first key of the semifinals. But, in a more vibrant game that had to go into overtime, Corpoevisa defeated Estudiantes 103 to 97, in spite of the huge effort displayed by Alexis Mazariegos who poured 31 pts for the losing cause. The youngest team of the league is now set to face Sat-Cybertech, so it is yet to see if Rudy Del Valle, a former National Team player and now coach of Corpoevisa, will be able to find a strategy to beat the #1 ranked team in the league, so to earn a chance to play the Finals for the first time in their history.

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  ITALY   


Serie A market news - by Gianni Pascucci
Nicolas Mazzarino (181-G-75, agency: Players Group) agreed to stay in Pallacanestro Cantu for another two seasons. Virtus Lottomatica Roma officially announced the agreement with SLO-ITA Sani Becirovic (195-G-81, agency: Beo Basket), who inked a three-year contract with the team. Upea Orlandina Capo D'Orlando acquired from Angelico Biella the rights on Gabriele Ganeto (200-G/F-87), who inked a three-year contract.

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  LITHUANIA   


Willie Deane signs with Zalgiris - by Lukas Zajancauskas
Former Lukoil Akademik playmaker Willie Deane III (186-G-80, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Purdue) arrives to Lithuania. He will play in Zalgiris Kaunas and replace DeJuan Collins (188-G-76, college: Tuskegee), who chose Lokomotiv Rostov and will play in Russia. Also Willie Deane III played in Russian League at Spartak Primorje before that and led the Russian League in scoring two seasons in a row

Last season Willie Deane III averaged 18.9 points and 5.8 assists in ULEB Cup. The contract will be signed on a 1+1 basis.


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  NCAA1   


Northern Iowa hires new assistant coach - by Eurobasket News
Northern Iowa appointed Ben Johnson as a new assistant coach. Johnson spent previous two years as an assistant coach at Texas-Pan American (UTPA). He grew up in Minneapolis where he played for Northwestern and Minnesota, both Big 10 schools. Last season his UTPA was Independent regular season champion. Johnson replaces Rich Glas, who made a move to Concordia College taking a head coach position. At his new job Johnson will assists Northern Iowa's coach Ben Jacobson. He agreed terms with UNI at the beginning of the week.

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  NEW ZEALAND   


New Zealand edges Canada at the Jack Donohue Classic - by Eurobasket News
Canada - New Zealand 69:77

New Zealand National Team avenged a 27-point loss from Canada at the start of the Jack Donohue Classic. The Tall Blacks held off the hosts yesterday to wrap up their Canadian tour with 2-1 record. Kirk Penney (194-G-80, college: Wisconsin) scored 22 points and New Zealand overcame Canada in a seesaw battle in Hamilton. The visitors got to a flying start as they built a 27:15 lead after the first frame. New Zealand still looked surging early in the second period as they stretched the gap to as many as 17 points. But Canada found the right answer for the onslaught. They exploded with enormous 24:0 rally bridging the second and third frames to pull ahead 46:39 early in the second half. But Kirk Penney and Lindsay Tait (194-G-82) quickly brought the Tall Blacks to life as they organized an 18:2 run to establish a 57:48 lead for the Kiwis. Canada replied with back-to-back trebles late in the quarter to come as close 6 points heading into the fourth stanza. Canada shaved the deficit to a single point with under 8 minutes left in regulation. However Pero Cameron (199-F-74, agency: Duran International), Mika Vukona (197-F-82) and Kirk Penney spurred the Tall Blacks to a 10:1 rally that put them away for good. Canada put on a massive defensive burden on the Kiwis in the final minutes but New Zealand withstood and celebrated their second win at the tournament. Lindsay Tait provided 13 points and 7 boards for the visitors. Nick Horvath (208-F/C-81, college: Duke) had 12 points, while Pero Cameron added 11 in a win. Rowan Barrett (197-G/F-72, college: St.John's) answered with 18 points for Canadian team. Joel Anthony (206-C-82, college: UNLV) scored 9 points in a losing effort. New Zealand will travel to Slovenia next to take part in the Alpos Cup. Canada will play against Lebanon on Saturday.

Canada: Rowan Barrett 18, Joel Anthony 9
New Zealand: Kirk Penney 22, Lindsay Tait 13, Nick Horvath 12


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  POLAND   


Miljkovic to Turow, Kelati to Prokom (?) and Stal inks Matic - by Michal Falkowski

Damir Miljkovic (193-G-80), who last season was a member of Spartak Primorie Vladivostok, signed one-yeard deal with PGE Turow Zgorzelec. 28-year-old Croatian player can play as shooting guard as well as point guard too. He started his career in KK Zagreb being one of the best shooters in years 2002-2005 averaging 17.4 ppg. Later he moved to Dinamo Sankt Petersburg where he was scoring 12.2 ppg. Next he played in Panionios Athens, however before the season 2007/2008 he chose Russian League once again. His averages dropped a little bit 7.4 ppg.

After signing David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis), Prokom Trefl Sopot is negotiating with Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, college: Washington St.) another star of PGE Turow. Kelati was the key player of Saso Filipovski
's tactics. He was scoring 15.2 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 2.0 apg. in Polish League and 14.8 ppg., 3.2 rpg. and 1.9 apg. in ULEB Cup.

Atlas Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski signed another player. After strenghtening its roster by Krzysztof Szubarga (184-G-84, agency: AB Agency) and Lukasz Majewski (199-F-82), Atlas Stal inke one-year-deal with Dimitrije Matic (204-F/C-78) according to some bosnian media. Matic is moving to Stal form KK Sloboda Dita Tuzla. He can play as power forward or center.



Changes in Prokom and others - by Michal Falkowski
Prokom Trefl Sopot started building its roster. The Polish hegemon (five championships in a row) will still be coached by Tomas Pacesas . It will be Pacesas second season in Sopot in a row. However, it will be the first, when he will be the headcoach of the team from the very beginning. First two decisions of the new-old headcoach was to extend deal with Filip Dylewicz (202-F-80, agency: Beo Basket) (who had got many offers including Anwil and Turow) and negotiate about the extension contract with Krzysztof Roszyk (200-F-78). The first new face in the team is Piotr Szczotka (197-F-81) who moved from Energa Czarni Slupsk. Moreover, Prokom signed the MVP of last season in Poland David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis) from BOT Turow Zgorzelec. It is possible less and less that Prokom will extend the deal with Lithuanians Donatas Slanina (192-G-77) and Simonas Serapinas (197-F-82). Besides, in Prokom's roster are Adam Lapeta (217-C-87), Przemyslaw Zamojski (198-G/F-86, college: Independence CC), Tomasz Swietonski (186-G-84, agency: Court Side) and juniors: Adam Waczynski (199-F-89) and Mateusz Kostrzewski (198-G/F-89).

According to some Greek sources Dragisa Drobnjak (200-F-77, agency: VTBM/SRBM) is going to play in Panionios Athens. Greek team, after the promotion to the Euroleague, is strongly determined to strenghten its roster and one of future signing is Slovenian center, last time played for Turow Zgorzelec. Moreover, Panionios is very close to sign the biggest star of Prokom Trefl Milan Gurovic (207-F-76, agency: Beo Basket), who despite the valid contract with Polish team, got an allowance in looking for new team.

Przemyslaw Frasunkiewicz (202-G/F-79) is first new Polish player who joined SPEC Polonia Warsaw. Polish small forward spent last three seasons in Energa Czarni Slupsk, but at this summer break he made a decision to change a team. He got some offers, but chose Polonias one.
Marcin Dutkiewicz (196-G-86) took another direction. Young Polish players, who was a member of Polonia 2011 Warsaw last time averaging about 15 ppg. and 5 rpg. chose Energa Czarni Slupsk as the place to continue his career. He will be loaned to the team from Slupsk. Moreover, Polonia is very close to prolong Hubert Radke (208-C-80, agency: LimeLight, college: Loyola, IL)'s contract.

Grady Reynolds (198-F-80, agency: Strategic Sports, college: St.John's) is linked with Znicz Jaroslaw. The board of Znicz is very motivated to hire American forward, who had just played in his career in Poland. In the 2006/2007 season he performed in SPEC Polonia jersey. Last season he spent in Hebraica Macabi (Uruguay) and Boca Juniors Capital Feder (Argentina).

First new face in Politechnika Poznan is Adam Metelski (209-C-83, agency: Promotex, college: Cal-Irvine). 25-year-old center played in Tarnovia Tarnowo Podgorne last season where he was one of the best players with averages 14.4 ppg. and 10.3 rpg. in 24 matches. Matelski had already played in Politechnika in 2001/2002 season, before playing at university in USA. He was a member of Grayson County and University of California-Irvine. After that, he played in Hungary in Gunars KC Dombovar.

Kotwica Kolobrzeg extended deals with its two junior players: Dawid Brek (185-G-89) and Szymon Rduch (196-F-89). Both players found their places in game protocol performing in Kotwica last season, but they had no so many occasions to show thier abilities. At the moment, their situation has changed in the face of the order of a junior player (born in 1986 or later) competing throughout the whole second quarter.

Jacek Winnicki wont coach Sportino Inowroclaw in the upcoming season, after that he got promoted with this team. Winnicki surprised and chose women basketball. He will be the headcoach of Lotos PKO BP Gdynia. In case of this decision Sportino will be trying to hire Aleksander Krutikov .


Filipovski stays in Turow - by Michal Falkowski
Saso Filipovski will spend his third season in a row in PGE Turow Zgorzelec - it is an effect of long-lasting negotiations. The president of BOT Turow, Piotr Wasniewski said 'Despite such a difficult negotiations which have been lasting so long and despite plenty of offers from many teams along the Europe, the club was very determined to stay coach Filipovski and we made it. We hope the upcoming season will bring a lot of success.'
Saso Filipovski spent last two years in Zgorzelec and achieved with this team silver medal. Moreover the team qualified for Final Eight of ULEB Cup last season.


Daniels and Kitzinger in PGE Turow Zgorzelec - by Michal Falkowski
Chris Daniels (200-F-82, agency: LimeLight, college: Georgia) and Iwo Kitzinger (188-G-85) are first players who are in PGE Turow Zgorzelec roster for the upcoming season. American power forward, who inked one-yeard deal will be the new face in the team, while Polish guard extended his contract. Daniels is graduated from Georgia University and finished with averages: 10.2 ppg. and 8.1 rpg. After that he moved to Landstede Zwolle, but since 2006-2007 season he has been a member of Kotwica Kolobrzeg. Last time he was averaging 14.4 ppg., 9.4 rpg., 2.3 apg. and 2.5 spg. When it comes to Kitzigner it will be his second season in Turow in a row. Last season he was scoring 5.9 ppg. and noting 1.5 rpg. and 1.3 apg.

PGE Turow will probably sign Copeland and Daniels - by Michal Falkowski
Donald Copeland (178-G-84, college: Seton Hall) and Chris Daniels (200-F-82, agency: LimeLight, college: Georgia) will probably be the new faces in PGE Turow Zgorzelec. Copeland is a point guard, playing in Polpharma Starogard Gdanski last season where he was the best player 19.5 ppg. and 4.6 apg. When it comes to Daniels he has been a member of Kotwica Kolobrzeg for last two years. Daniels is a power forward, however he is very versatile player. Last season he was averaging 14.4 ppg., 9.4 rpg., 2.5 spg. and 2.3 apg.
Robert Witka (205-F-81) and Iwo Kitzinger (188-G-85) are very close to extend their contracts with BOT Turow. Both Polish players and the club agreed the terms of contracts and they will have signatured them by some days. Moreover the club is thinking about the loan of Michal Chylinski (199-G-86) from Unicaja Malaga. Turow tried to ink Krzysztof Roszyk (200-F-78) but he has chose Porkom Trefl once again.
According to some sources, Saso Filipovski is determined to stay in his roster Dragisa Drobnjak (200-F-77, agency: VTBM/SRBM), Vjeko Petrovic (193-G-81) and Marko Scekic (207-F-81). The club is negotiating with these players and there are high chances both sides will make a deal.


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  SAINT KITTS   


Trotters continue to impress - by Eurobasket News
The McKnight Trotters extended their perfect quest in the Digicel A Division. Lately they held off the Conaree Fireballs 99:76 to remain spotless in the ladder. Tambora Caines (186-/F-80) led the charge with 27 points for the Trotters. Levi Fyflield came up with 21 points, 9 boards, 8 assists and 4 steals in the victory. The Fireballs answered with 20 points from Richard Munroe. Elvis Williams secured 11 points in a losing effort.
The Bay Lions took care of the Newton Ground 57:56 in another encounter of the second round in Division A. Denver Warner notched 21 points and 13 boards to lead the winners.
The Challengers Exodus in the meantime suffered the 5th straight loss. This time they were routed 67:77 by the Wolf Pack. Rovan Wigley dropped 26 points and pulled down 8 boards to ensure the winning outcome for the Wolf Pack. Brian Morris (196-C/F-74) tallied 21 points and 14 boards, while Leslie Farrell had 10 points and 7 rebounds in a win. Jason Jarvis provided 19 points and 4 rebounds for the Exodus in the loss. The biggest problem however stays in Exodus inability to build their game around their standout man Glenn Phillip. The talented once again finished with only 8 points and did little to help his team.


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  SERBIA   


Srecko Sekulovic stays in Hungary one more season - by Zoran Popovic
Srecko Sekulovic extended contract with Falco KC-Szombathely. Sekulovic won National championiship 2008 with Falco KC-Szombathely and is voted for coach of the season in Hungary. Sekulovic start career as a assistant coach in KK Sinalco Spartak Subotica 1997-1999, in season 1999-2000 he became head coach in the same team. In seasons 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 Sekulovic was first time head coach of Falco KC-Szombathely. He was head coach of Ergonom Nis 2002-2004, Atlas Banka Novi Beograd 2004-2005 and in December 2005 he moved in KK Swisslion Takovo Lions Vrsac. In december 2006 Sekulovic signed new contact with Falco KC-Szombathely.

Three Serbian teams in new competition called Eurocup - by Dragan Jankovski
In new international competition called Eurocup, which is organized by FIBA Europe and ULEB, Serbia will once again have three representatives. As it was over the past couple of years Hemofarm STADA, Crvena Zvezda and FMP will participate in this competition, formerly known as ULEB Cup. The team from Vrsac is placed directly in the regular season of Eurocup. Hemofarm had a very good year in Serbia as well as in Adriatic league, which the orange team finished on third position after the regular season. It was the main reason why Hemofarm won't have to start Eurocup from qualifications. On the other side Crvena Zvezda, who finished Adriatic league on fourth position, is placed into the second qualification group. FMP got a kind of present as Panthers didn't succeed to finish Adriatic league on sixth place. Namely, FMP needed two points more to be better than Buducnost but anyway they will start Eurocup from the first qualification group, where will be 16 teams in total. Eight of these sixteen will advance to the second round, where also will be 8 teams including Crvena Zvezda. Once again 8 of these 16 teams will take a place in Eurocup regular season.

Regular season will count 32 teams which will be divided in 8 groups with 4 teams. The best two teams from each group will advance to Last 16 where they will be divided in 4 groups with 4 teams. Final Eight tournament will take a place from 9th to 12th of April 2009. The winner of Eurocup will earn a spot for Euroleague next season. This new competition will include teams from 22 different countries.

As it was over the past years, reining Serbian champion Partizan Igokea will participate in Euroleague.


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  SLOVENIA   


Slovenia loss to Greece, Nesterovic sprains ankle - by Zeljko Zule

Slovenia lost their opening game in the tournament at Bamberg, Germany, to Greece 71-79.
Radoslav Nesterovic (212-C-76) scored 16 points but he sprained his ankle in second half, Goran Dragic added 10 points, Uros Slokar 9 and Sani Becirovic had 8 points and 5 assists.
Fotsis led Greece with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

SLOVENIA 71 (21+21+18+11): Zagorac 3, Lakovic 6, Capin 2, Becirovic 8, Nesterovic 16, Dragic 10, Slokar 9, Joksimovic 5, D.Lorbek 5, Drobnjak 2, Zupan 5, Klubucar, Preldzic.

GREECE 79 (20+18+23+18): Papaloukas 3, Borousis 13, Zisis 8, Spanoulis 8, Fotsis 17, Perperoglou 4, Glyniadakis 6, Diamantidis 11, Schortsanitis 2, Pelekanos, Tasaldaris 3, Printezis 4.



Germany beat Slovenia by 10 - by Zeljko Zule
Slovenia lost to Germany 67-77 in the tournament at Bamberg and finished in fourth place. Germand in third quarter made a 16-3 run to lead 69-52.
Sani Becirovic scored 14 points, Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) collected 14 points on shooting 4-of-7 from the downtown and 7 rebounds, Uros Slokar had 11 points amd 8 rebounds and Miha Zupan added 10 rebounds while Dirk Nowitzki led Germany with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists..
GERMANY 77 (23+19+27+8): Schultze 5, Garrett 8, Hammann 4, Greene 18, Roller 2, Grunheld, Femerling 9, Nowitzki 14, Jagla 5, Wysocki 9, Rossler, Ohlbrecht 3, Gelb, Zwiener.
SLOVENIA 67 (17+14, 21+15): Zagorac 2, Lakovic 14, Capin, Becirovic 14, Nesterovic, Dragic 4, Slokar 11, Joksimovic 5, D.Lorbek 5, Drobnjak 2, Zupan 10, Klobucar, Preldzic.


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  SOUTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS   


South American Championship. Day 4 - by Eurobasket News
Brazil - Venezuela 94:84
Brazilian National Team earned their 3rd win at the South American Championship. Yesterday the tournaments favorites held off Venezuela to dim 2009 FIBA Americas qualification hopes for their opponents. Brazil led right from the start. A well-balanced offense never reminded of some sloppy action from the game against Argentina. Helio Vitor Lima (185-G-81) orchestrated the game well and Brazil found themselves ahead by 6 points at the end of the first frame. Brazil kept on mounting the pressure and stretched the gap to 11 points at halftime. Venezuela tried to stay at a striking distance but failed to come any closer in the third stanza. Brazil wisely kept their counterparts at bay throughout the term and enjoyed a 12-point buffer before the final frame. Venezuela cut the distance a bit in the fourth frame but never seriously threatened Brazil dominance in the final minutes. Helio Vitor Lima finished with 21 points and 5 assists to lead the charge for Brazil. Caio Torres (211-C-87) provided 18 points and 11 boards, while Arthur Luiz Belchior and Fernando Colonoze provided 13 points apiece in a winning case. Jose Vargas (196-G/F-82, agency: DR. Carlos Sifuentes) knocked down 23 points and collected 7 boards for Venezuela. Axiers Sucre notched 10 points in defeat. Brazil had an overwhelming advantage under the rims as they outrebounded Venezuela 40:22. Brazil also converted solid 56% from the field. Venezuela takes on Colombia in a must-win fixture tonight.

Brazil: Helio Vitor Lima 21, Caio Torres 18+11 boards, Arthur Luiz Belchior 13, Fernando Colonoze 13
Venezuela: Jose Vargas 23, Axiers Sucre 10


Chile - Colombia 68:71
The home South American Championship will be full of bitter memories for Chilean National team. Yesterday they lost their fourth straight game at the tournament and three of them came with narrow margins. Chile took on winless Colombia yestreday but could not convert at the end. Chile entered the game bravely and easily marched past their opponents to a 26:18 lead at the end of the first quarter. But Colombia had something in store for the hosts. Edgar Moreno (191-G-81, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: UTEP) nailed a couple of impressive baskets igniting Colombia in the second stanza. The visitors outgunned Chile 22:13 in the period and grabbed a 40:39 lead at halftime. Chile looked taken aback in the third frame as they nailed just 9 points and allowed Colombia to clear off to an 11-point distance. Chile did not say die and rushed to deny the deficit in the final quarter. They cut to minimum in the dying seconds but Enielsen Guevara (204-F/C-82) and Edgar Moreno sealed the winning outcome for Colombian team. Thus Colombia revived their chances of making to the final four; they now need to defeat Venezuela in the final round of action. Edgar Moreno topscored with 24 points and 6 boards for Colombia. Enielsen Guevara dropped 18 points, while Juan Londoco provided 12 in a win. Patricio Briones (213-C-72, agency: DR. Carlos Sifuentes, college: Dade CC) answered with 22 points and 11 boards for Chile. Evandro Arteaga (178-G-83) had 17 points in defeat. Chile will take on Argentina in the final round of elimination round.

Chile: Patricio Briones 22+11 boards, Evandro Arteaga 17
Colombia: Edgar Moreno 24, Enielsen Guevara 18, Juan Londoco 12


Uruguay - Argentina 102:93
Uruguayan National Team continued their perfect run at the South American Championship in Chile. Argentina became their next victim as they topped one of the tournaments favorites 102:93. Nicolas Mazzarino (181-G-75, agency: Players Group) came up with a pivotal performance of 36 points and 6 assists to pace Uruguay to the 4th win in a row. Esteban Batista (208-F/C-83) was once again impressive with 24 points and 16 boards in a winning case. Paolo Quinteros (185-G-79) led Argentina with 28 points in a losing case. Uruguay will take on Brazil in the final round. Argentina will face hosting Chile to wrap up the elimination round campaign.

Uruguay: Nicolas Mazzarino 36, Esteban Batista 24+16 boards, Gustavo Barrera 16
Argentina: Paolo Quinteros 28, Roman Gonzalez (211-C-78, agency: HM Sports Agency) 23+13 boards


Standings
A Standings
 1. URU 4-0 
 2. ARG 3-1 
 3. BRA 3-1 
 4. VEN 1-3 
 5. COL 1-3 
 6. CHI 0-4 


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  SPAIN   


Barcelona splits with Alex Acker, Tenerife inks Antelo - by Eurobasket News
Alex Acker (196-G-83, college: Pepperdine) is no longer a member of Barcelona. Acker arrived to Barca during the last summer from Greek Olympiakos. He played 22 games in Euroleague for Barcelona averaging 5.5 ppg and 1.9 rpg. He had a bit better digits in ACB regular season where he for 30 games added 6.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg and 1.0 apg. During the play-off Acker improved his shape which resulted with 12.6 ppg and 3.9 rpg but still it was not enough for Barcelona's management to keep him for one more year. Acker had much better season in Olympiakos where he had 14.3 ppg in Euroleague. The reason of his not so good performance in Barca could be the difficult foot injury which he suffered last year. Acker has some NBA experience as he played 6 games for Detroit Pistons on season 05/06. The team was a champion of Central Division and later advanced to the final of Eastern Conference but Acker did not have any appearance in the play-off. He graduated at Pepperdine in 2005 having 16.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg at his senior year.

Power forward / center Jose Angel Antelo (203-F/C-87) agreed terms with LEB Gold team Tenerife Rural. Antelo spent last season in C.B. L'Hospitalet where he for 33 games averaged 11 ppg and 7.4 rpg in LEB Gold. Two years before he played for Lagun Aro Bilbao as a loaned player from Zaragoza. He was a member of Spanish U16, U18 and U20 National Team. Antelo, who started basketball career in Real Madrid, signed one-year deal with Tenerife Rural.


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  TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO   


Nets win thriller - by Don Farrell
FANS were treated to an enthralling double-header as action in the North Zone Basketball Commission continued at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port of Spain on Wednesday night.

In the feature fixture, debutants Mt Hope Spurs put in an impressive showing as they manfully stayed with Sportworld Straker Nets before bowing out to last year·s second-placed team 76-72 in overtime, following four very competitive quarters.

The scoreline was 72-72 after regulation time.

Hashim Arcia led the scoring with 20 points for Nets, who jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the opening period. They eventually led by four points (35-31) at the conclusion of the quarter.

Arcia, who netted 16 of his teams points in a victory to start the season the week before, was ably supported by Jeffery Harris (17) and former St Anthonys College player Imo Williams, who pitched in with a dozen.

Harris, who had 15 points in his team's opening win, had to leave the game early in the second period after sustaining a cut over his left eye, while attempting a lay-up.

Wearing a plaster, Harris returned to the floor with five minutes 12 seconds to play in the penultimate session and scored seven of his points to help Nets put away the newcomers down the stretch.

Jason Paul, player of the night without a doubt, took the fight to the winners but his gallant one-man effort of a game-high 26 points was not enough to take his squad over the line ahead of Nets, who were made to fight for their second win on the trot.

Spurs, who had no other player reaching double digits, won the league and knockout titles at the recently-concluded Mt Hope Community Tournament.


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  UNITED KINGDOM   


Why I put Europe on ice - Blake - by George Manousidis
Newcastle Eagles chief Paul Blake has admitted he couldnt allow his heart to rule his head after vetoing a first foray into European competition next season.

The deadline for entering the choice of two competitions has passed.

And while Blake has since confirmed the decision not to forge ahead, he was keen to stress that it shouldnt undermine future opportunities.

He explained: We communicated our decision to FIBA towards the back end of last week and to ULEB on Monday. We have taken the decision not to compete this year.

We have had a response from Jordi Bertemeou at ULEB with a very positive letter, in fact, understanding the reasons for the decision.

Its not just a business perspective, its a club perspective.

We have not got to where we are now by making rash decisions.


My heart says that I am desperate for the club to compete in Europe and that is one of our main goals, but if all the factors arent in place to make it happen then it is something that we have to say no on.

Blake was also adamant that taking the plunge could affect the clubs domestic success, and believes that this time next year the club will be in a better position to compete both on and off the court.

The key to the decision to go in if I am honest is that I feel that we need just one more year building the infrastructure of the club, he said.

Domestically I have a clear view that BBL competition will be significantly stiffer next season than it has been in the last few seasons, and so we need to make sure we keep up the pace and stay in the top two or three domestically.

Part and parcel of the reason for not going into Europe is to make sure we dont water everything down.

The time still isnt quite right for us to go in. We are, without question, the biggest club in the country right now. Not just for the fact we have won silverware but also that we have 16-plus full-time staff and a community programme with over 1,000 kids playing in clubs we support.

The most important thing is we continue to protect and develop that.

Supporters will be disappointed but few will question Blake, considering his track record since taking over at the helm.

And the Eagles chief believes that risking everything is not something the fans would ever want.

I am certain our supporters would prefer that we have a competitive domestic season and we stay at the top of a ladder, when we have fought long and hard to get there in the first place, rather than put that at risk through a decision to go into Europe a year too early.

From the Newcastle Eagles web site


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  URUGUAY   


Mazzarino scored 36 points to beat Argentina - by Hector Lopez
Nicolas Mazzarino (181-G-75, agency: Players Group) scored 36 points, 19 of them in the third quarter, leading Uruguay to beat Argentina 102-93, for the fourth round of the South American Championship. It was the first win for Uruguay over Argentina during the regional tournament for the last 11 years. Mazzarino, the NT captain, netted 9/6 for three-point shots, and 17/14 for free throws, with six assistans. Esteban Batista (208-F/C-83) added 24 points with 16 rebounds. Uruguay opened a 13 points lead in the third quarter with a 17-3 rally, incluiding 3 three-point shots from Mazzarino and later took a 18 points leadership (75-57). For Argentina Paolo Quinteros (185-G-79) netted 28 points and Roman Gonzalez (211-C-78, agency: HM Sports Agency) 23 with13 rebounds.

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  VENEZUELA   


Brazil outlasts Venezuela in Puerto Montt - by Eurobasket News
Brazil - Venezuela 94:84

Brazilian National Team earned their 3rd win at the South American Championship. Yesterday the tournaments favorites held off Venezuela to dim 2009 FIBA Americas qualification hopes for their opponents. Brazil led right from the start. A well-balanced offense never reminded of some sloppy action from the game against Argentina. Helio Vitor Lima (185-G-81) orchestrated the game well and Brazil found themselves ahead by 6 points at the end of the first frame. Brazil kept on mounting the pressure and stretched the gap to 11 points at halftime. Venezuela tried to stay at a striking distance but failed to come any closer in the third stanza. Brazil wisely kept their counterparts at bay throughout the term and enjoyed a 12-point buffer before the final frame. Venezuela cut the distance a bit in the fourth frame but never seriously threatened Brazil dominance in the final minutes. Helio Vitor Lima finished with 21 points and 5 assists to lead the charge for Brazil. Caio Torres (211-C-87) provided 18 points and 11 boards, while Arthur Luiz Belchior (197-G/F-82) and Fernando Colonoze provided 13 points apiece in a winning case. Jose Vargas (196-G/F-82, agency: DR. Carlos Sifuentes) knocked down 23 points and collected 7 boards for Venezuela. Axiers Sucre (198-F-78, agency: DR. Carlos Sifuentes) notched 10 points in defeat. Brazil had an overwhelming advantage under the rims as they outrebounded Venezuela 40:22. Brazil also converted solid 56% from the field. Venezuela takes on Colombia in a must-win fixture tonight.

Brazil: Helio Vitor Lima 21, Caio Torres 18+11 boards, Arthur Luiz Belchior 13, Fernando Colonoze 13
Venezuela: Jose Vargas 23, Axiers Sucre 10


Carlos Berroteran became a Wrangler - by Yelitza La Torre
The Venezuela's national team player Carlos Berroteran joins today Odessa College at Odessa, Texas.
In Distrito Federal, his home town; Carlos Berroteran played with the all-star's district team, three times champions in the Venezuelas youth national league; as well as played with the U17 National team in the 2006 South American championships.
This July 4, 2008, Independence Day for USA, is going to be an unforgettable day for our outstanding National Team player
Mike Scutero, assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator of the Wranglers Basketball program at Odessa College, shows one more time his great recruiting skills; he never stopped until Carlos Berroteran came to Odessa City.
The 6' 8' and 200 pounds power forward will start summer classes next week, this way, will be facing a new challenge as a student, Venezuelan and basketball player.
' I'm really excited about this opportunity...I want to thanks to my family, Mr. Leonardo Romero, coach Mike Scutero, to La Secretara de Deportes de la Alcalda Mayor and specially to coach Wolfgang Lucena, without his help, it couldn't be possible' Carlos Berroteran.





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Women News

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  ANGOLA - Women  


Primeiro de Agosto and Desportivo Maculusso settled down for the tournament - by Eurobasket News
Two teams from Angola are ready to battle in Zone Six women clubs championships. The tournament will be held in Maputo, Mozambique starting from today. The competition scheduled from 5-12 July in the capital of the country. Five teams will compete for the two top positions of the final rounds of Champions Cup for women to be held from November 20 29 in Kenya. The hosts will be represented by Desportivo de Maputo and Ferroviario. Angola sent also two teams in Primeiro de Agosto and Desportivo Maculusso. The fifth team of the tournament will be JBC from Zimbabwe. The technical meeting was held this Friday evening in Maputo, Mozambique.
Primeiro de Agosto still remembers the trophies cought in the country. At first they became the Champions of National Championship. In the second game against Interclube Primeiro de Agosto celebrated 64:58 win. In the first game the champions were also stronger 47:30. Last year Interclube won the title, but this season the winner had changed.
Primeiro de Agosto became also the winner of Angola League Cup. In the second game the winners beat Grupo Desportivo do Maculusso 68:36. The game took place in Rio Seco Pavilion and was highly valued b the fans. Primeiro de Agosto took the lead from the first minutes and enjoyed 31:17 after the first half. Nassecela Mauricio (181-F-80) top-scored for the winners with 16 points. Felizarda Jorge (-87) produced the same number of points in the losing effort. Primeiro de Agosto added Cup win to Super Cup that they won earlier against Inter Clube.


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  AUSTRALIA - Women  


Biancia Abbott joins Logan Thunder - by Eurobasket News
The Logan Thunder announced the signing of Biancia Abbott (183-F/C-82) for the upcoming WNBL season. The 25-year-old forward spent the last two seasons playing for the Townsville Fire. She averaged 7.1 points and 5.5 boards for the Fire in the 2007-2008 season. Abbott also plays for the Gold Coast Gliders in the QABL. She nails nearly 20 points and pulls down about 10 boards per appearance. The Logan Thunder is scheduled to tip off the new season on October 4 against the Perth Lynx.
Meanwhile Tanya Smith (191-F-84) signed her first pro contract with the Townsville Fire. Former University of Hawaii talent will play for the Fire in the next season. Tanya Smith spent the last four years at the University of Hawaii. There she averaged 12.0 points and 11.8 boards per game in her senior year. She was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference Second Team. Tanya Smith also played for the Australian Team when they grabbed gold medals at the World University Games in 2007.
The Perth Lynx extended the contract with head coach Joe McKay for the one more season. He took over the team just before the start of the last season. McKay registered 5-19 record with Lynx in the last season but with a clear vision how to improve on teams performance he looks forward to showing some decent results in the upcoming year.


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  BOSNIA - Women  


Zeleznicar and Mladi Krajisnik will compete in FIBA Eurocup - by Eurobasket News
Bosnia and Herzegovina will have two representatives in FIBA Eurocup next season. Naturally it will be its two best teams Zeleznicar and Mladi Krajisnik. It is not known yet will these two teams start competition from qualifications or they will be directly placed to the regular season. There is a possibility that both teams avoid qualifications. Namely, Zeleznicar scudded to reach the second stage last season while Bosnian National Team also made solid result during the last year. These two facts could be the crucial ones for this decision. 58 teams will compete in FIBA Eurocup while 10 of them will start it from the qualifications. Other 48 teams will be divided in 12 groups with 4 teams.

Draw for FIBA Eurocup will be held on July 10th in Munich.


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  LATVIA - Women  


Latvian Junior Team plays in France - by Eurobasket News
Latvian U18 National team traveled to France to take part in the International Tournament in Troy. Latvia will play alongside Slovakia, Italy and France in round-robin format. The action tipped off yesterday with two games. Latvia opened their campaign against Slovakia and suffered a heavy defeat. The teams were equally matched at the start of the game and the scoreline read 18:18 after one quarter of action. The things hardly changed in the second period as the teams exchanged baskets and were knotted at 32 at halftime. However the third stanza proved the difference. Slovakian team raised the tempo and pretty easily ran away to a 9-point distance. Latvia failed to recover in the fourth period as they shot woefully from the field. So Slovakia finalized a 71:56 victory at the end and celebrated their first win at the tournament. Ilze Gotfrida (180-F-91) scored 13 points and made 4 steals to pace Latvia. Liene Priede (180-G-90) added 11 points, while Arta Strupovica (170-G-90) and Ieva Krastina (176-G-90) knocked down 9 points apiece in a loss. Latvia shot just 32% from the field and 65% from charity stripe. They also committed deadly 27 turnovers down the stretch. Latvia will face France later tonight before wrapping up the campaign against Italy tomorrow.

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  MALI - Women  


Preparations for the Olympic Games - by Eurobasket News
Mali National team is on the top preparation schedule for the Olympic Basketball tournament for women to be held from 08th to 25th August 2008 in Beijing, China. The team started the encounter with two games over Tunisia winning both of them 60:46 and 42:33 respectively. Later on the tam moved to France on June 22. They played some friendly games with the national team of Holland. After lost the first game by 39:57, Malians women won the second game by 65:39.They will play also against the national team of England and Spain.
The National team of Mali will leave Bordeaux on July 4 for Nevers from July 4-10 before reaching Spain from July 11-20. After that Montpellier, July 21-31 and finally China to take part to the FIBA Diamond Ball. August 2-5.
Mali will start the Olympic campaign with New Zealand and it will be the second game of the Olympic Basketball Tournament. China, Czech Republic, Mali, New Zealand, Spain and USA made Group B. Olympic Basketball Tournament for Women will be played from 9th to 23rd August 2008 in the brand new Wukesong Indoor Stadium. USA is the favorite number one in the group, while China will have huge support from the spectators. Spain became the first team to be sent to Olympic after quarterfinal game against Cuba. Czech Republic won the Quarterfinal game against Japan to clinch the spot in China. Mali hopes to be a good representative from the African continent and tries hard while preparation time.


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  MOZAMBIQUE - Women  


Maputo to host Zone Six women clubs championships - by Eurobasket News
Maputo, Mozambique will host Zone Six women clubs championships starting from today. The competition will be held from 5-12 July in the capital of the country. Five teams will compete for the two top positions of the final rounds of Champions Cup for women to be held from November 20 29 in Kenya. The hosts will be represented by Desportivo de Maputo and Ferroviario. Angola sent also two teams in Primeiro de Agosto and Desportivo Maculusso. The fifth team of the tournament will be JBC from Zimbabwe. The technical meeting was held this Friday evening in Maputo, Mozambique.

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  NIGERIA - Women  


Zenith Bank WL: Delta in final showdown against First Bank - by Olusegun Ikuesan
Determine to bounce back to reclaim the second position of the 2008 Zenith Bank Women League, Delta Force basketball club of Asaba will today (Saturday) take to the floor against runaway champion, First Bank basketball club of Lagos.

The Lateef Erinfolami coached Force from Delta State will attempt to do the impossible and at least put paid to the invisibility of the Elephant Girls.

According to the former Nigeria international and newly named assistant coach of the Nigeria national U18 men team that the bankers are beatable and says he has instructed his players to be prepared for the match.

First Bank remain the only team that has not been beaten in the Nigeria local scene in the last four years a record coach Adewumi Aderemi and his wards are not ready to trade off for anything even as they have been crowned the undisputed champion of the Nigerian women league.

Aderemi told www.fiba-afrique.org in a chat that his team is not ready to underrate any opposition in the Zenith Bank sponsored league.

The Delta Force, First Bank clash is the last game of the 2008 Zenith Bank Women League season.

Other games billed for today (Saturday) at the sports hall of the national stadium, Lagos includes AHIP versus FCT Angels; Plateau Rocks will engage Amazons; Nigeria Immigration locks horn with Sunshine Angels of Akure while Dolphin will take to the floor against Nigeria Customs.

On Thursday Sunshine Angels defeated Amazons by 70-50 points, Immigration was 68-59 points better than AHIP, just as FCT Angels fell to Plateau Rocks by 56-52 points, Delta Force had the better of Nigeria Customs with a 49-42 points win while First Bank white-wash Dolphin by 89-47 points.

Day-9 Results:

Sunshine Angels 70-50 Amazons

AHIP 59-68 Nigeria Immigration

Plateau Rocks 56-52 FCT Angels

Nigeria Customs 42-49 Delta Force

First Bank 89-47 Dolphin

Day-10 Games Saturday July 5

AHIP Vs FCT Angels

Plateau Rocks Vs Amazons

Nigeria Immigration Vs Sunshine Angels

Dolphin Vs Nigeria Customs

Delta Force Vs First Bank


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  POLAND - Women  


Polish U18 Team finishes second in Gdynia - by Eurobasket News
Polish U18 National Team recently hosted the Gdynia International Tournament. The hosts welcomed their counterparts from Romania, Russia and Spain. Polish team opened their campaign with a stunning victory over Romania. The hosts looked unwelcoming as they grabbed a 36:24 lead at the interval. Poland never loosened the grip in the second half beating Romania by 41 points 80:39 at the end. Olivia Tomialowicz (178-G-90) topscored with 21 points for Poland. Agnieszka Modelska (181-F-90) provided 12 points, while Barbara Skowronek (189-F/C-90) had 8 in a winning case.
Poland continued the action against Russia. This game was much tougher challenge for Polish juniors. Russia squad kept in front early in the game. They outscored Poland 21:18 in the first period and stretched the gap to as many as 9 points at halftime. But Polish side stayed in the race. They cut the deficit by three points in the third frame and then went on a decisive run at the dying stages. It worked smoothly and Polish side celebrated a tough 80:75 win at the end. Magda Kaczmarska (183-F-90) dropped 22 points for Poland. Olivia Tomialowicz and Ewelina Gala (185-F-90) canned 14 points each in a winning effort.
Poland U18 faced Spain in the final game of the tournament. Both teams had spotless records before the game and needed a victory to clinch the title. Spain however left no chance for the hosts. Led by Leonor Rodriguez (177-G-91) and Marta Tudanca (182-F-90) the visitors piled up a 12-point cushion before the final stanza. Spain never relinquished the advantage in the fourth period and pulled away with a 90:82 victory. Leonor Rodriguez and Marta Tudanca secured 16 points apiece to pace Spain. Olivia Tomialowicz responded with 21 points for Poland. Natalia Pacula (185-F-90) provided 13 points in a losing clause.


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  ROMANIA - Women  


Romanian juniors struggled in Poland - by Eurobasket News
Romanian U18 National Team continued their preparations before the European championship. Recently they traveled to Poland to take part in the Gdynia International Tournament. Romanian youngsters were opposed by their counterparts from Russia, Spain and Poland.
At first Romania lost to Polish team that was too good in the first game. The latter looked unwelcoming as they grabbed a 36:24 lead at the interval. Poland never loosened the grip in the second half beating Romania by 41 points 80:39 at the end. Olivia Tomialowicz (178-G-90) topscored with 21 points for Poland. Agnieszka Modelska provided 12 points, while Barbara Skowronek had 8 in a winning case.
Romania next took on Spain. The game turned into a one-sided traffic with Spain dominating every facet of the ball game. Romania outscored Spain 20:16 in the first frame but it was just a moment. Spanish team took over in the second stanza and never looked back again. They outscored their opponents 28:5 in the fourth quarter to finalize a stunning 90:58 victory at the end. Marta Xargay (180-G-90) nailed 17 points for Spain. Vega Gimeno had 15 points, while Marta Arbizu produced 13 in a win. Alina Chivu (180-F-90) answered with 19 points for Romania.
In the last game Romania lost to Russia 52:94 and finished the tournament on the last spot.


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  RUSSIA - Women  


Russia U18 posts one win in the International Tournament - by Eurobasket News
Russian U18 came back from Poland where it took part in the Gdynia International Tournament. Russian youngsters were opposed by their counterparts from Spain, Romania and Poland. Russia opened their campaign with a 59:66 loss from Spain. Russian team got to a better start to the game as they enjoyed a 32:30 lead at halftime. But Spanish team raised the tempo in the second half and surged in front 58:52 at the end of the third period. Russia never threatened the cushion and Spain celebrated their initial win in Gdynia. Leonor Rodriguez (177-G-91) and Cristina Pedrals scored 12 points apiece in a win. Elena Espiau (178-G-90) provided 11 points in a win. Melikova answered with 8 points for Russia.
Russia took on the hosts Poland in game 2 of the tournament and kept in front early in the game. They outscored Poland 21:18 in the first period and stretched the gap to as many as 9 points at halftime. But Polish side stayed in the race. They cut the deficit by three points in the third frame and then went on a decisive run at the dying stages. It worked smoothly and Polish side celebrated a tough 80:75 win at the end. Magda Kaczmarska (183-F-90) dropped 22 points for Poland. Olivia Tomialowicz and Ewelina Gala canned 14 points each in a winning effort.
In the last game Russia celebrated 94:52 win over Romania to clinch the third spot in the Gdynia International Tournament.


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  SPAIN - Women  


Spain U18 clinches Gdynia Tournament title - by Eurobasket News
Spanish U18 National Team continued their build-up before the European championship. Recently they traveled to Poland to take part in the Gdynia International Tournament. Spanish youngsters were opposed by their counterparts from Russia, Romania and Poland. Spain opened their campaign with a 66:59 win over Russia. Russian team got to a better start to the game as they enjoyed a 32:30 lead at halftime. But Spanish team raised the tempo in the second half and surged in front 58:52 at the end of the third period. Russia never threatened the cushion and Spain celebrated their initial win in Gdynia. Leonor Rodriguez (177-G-91) and Cristina Pedrals scored 12 points apiece in a win. Elena Espiau (178-G-90) provided 11 points in a win. Melikova answered with 8 points for Russia.
Next Spanish U18 team took on Romania. The game turned into a one-sided traffic with Spain dominating every facet of the ball game. Romania outscored Spain 20:16 in the first frame but it was just a moment. Spanish team took over in the second stanza and never looked back again. They outscored their opponents 28:5 in the fourth quarter to finalize a stunning 90:58 victory at the end. Marta Xargay (180-G-90) nailed 17 points for Spain. Vega Gimeno had 15 points, while Marta Arbizu produced 13 in a win. Alina Chivu (180-F-90) answered with 19 points for Romania.
Finally Spain faced Poland in the tournaments finale. The visitors dominated right from the start piling up a 12-point cushion before the fourth period. Polish team put up a tense fight in the fourth term but Spain survived winning the tourney. Leonor Rodriguez and Marta Tudanca (182-F-90) came up with 16 points apiece to pace the victors. Vega Gimeno nailed 12 points for Spain. Olivia Tomialowicz (178-G-90) led all scorers with 21 points in defeat.


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  TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - Women  


Horizon wins - by Don Farrell
Nets ladies were defeated 58-56 by champs Courts Horizon in a very closely-contested affair, which was punctuated by several stoppages due to a leaking roof at the JPC.

Coming off a rare defeat to ex-champions Defence Force, Horizon held their nerve at the death to secure the two-point win that leaves Nets still searching for their maiden success in North Zone action.

The big frame of Rachael Thompson King continued to pour in the points for Horizon as she netted 20, on the back of 21 against the Army-Coast Guard combination.

National players Pietra Gay and Chezelle Griffith chipped in with 14 and ten, respectively, as Horizon trailed 26-23 at the half-time buzzer.

For Straker Nets, Mahalia Simpson posted a game-high 21 points, while Patrice Edwards had 15 and Ayana Mack nine.


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  WNBA - Women  


Changes in Indiana Fever and Atlanta Dream - by Eurobasket News
Indiana Fever traded Alison Bales (6'7''-C-85, college: Duke) to the Atlanta Dream in exchange for Kristen Mann (6'2''-F-83, college: UCSB). Bales was a member of Indiana since she graduated at Duke in 2006. At her rookie year in WNBA she had 3.2 ppg and 2.7 rpg. In 14 games this season she averaged 2.6 ppg and 1.6 rpg. Bales was Indiana's top draft pick in 2007 (1st round, 9th pick). Between these two seasons in WNBA she played for Russian team Dynamo Moscow.

Kristen Mann played 13 games for Atlanta Dream this season adding 3.5 ppg and 1.5 rpg. She was a starter 8 times. Before Atlanta, Mann used to play for Minnesota Lynx as well as for Zaragoza (Spain), Marsin BSH Bid (Turkey) and Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (France). She was a member of USA National Team in 2006. Mann suposses to be a reserve of forward Ebony Hoffman.


Comets sign guard Roneeka Hodges - by Eurobasket News
The Houston Comets sign guard Roneeka Hodges (5'11''-G-82, college: Florida St.) to a seven-day contract. The news was announced today by Head Coach & General Manager Karleen Thompson.

Earlier this year, Houston lost Hodges in the WNBA Expansion Draft for the league's newest franchise, the Atlanta Dream. Hodges was then traded by Atlanta to the Seattle Storm along with the No. 4 pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft in exchange for Iziane Castro Marques and the No. 8 pick. She was briefly reunited with her sister Doneeka Hodges on Seattle's training camp roster but both were waived by the Storm prior to the start of the 2008 regular season. Hodges has played all three of her WNBA seasons with the Comets, posting averages of 4.3 points per game and 1.3 rebounds per game over 88 matches with 12 starts. She was selected by the Houston Comets in the second round (No. 15 overall) in the 2005 WNBA Draft.
Courtesy of oursportscentral.com