EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 9/21/2008

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Men News

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  ARGENTINA   


Argentinian Cup 2008: Quarterfinals game 2 - by Facundo Iatzky

Atenas 68 - Libertad 57
Atenas got their 8th straight victory showing that they are in a great shape. Leonardo Gutierrez (200-F-78), once again was determinant despite he had 1/8 in 3 point shoots. Atenas is still unbeaten in the cup. Andre Laws was the best scorer with 19 points and Juan Locatelli added 13. Andres Pelussi as always was the best of Libertad with 12 points. Sebastian Ginobili scored 14.

Obras 65 -Boca 75
Boca jrs won on the road and advanced to Final 4. Mark Alan Bortz (208-F/C-82, agency: Passing Lane, college: Buffalo) and Gabriel Fernandez dominated the low post with 20 points and 17 respectively. The bad new for Boca was the injury of Carl Edwards, who would be one month without playing. In obras veteran Gabriel Cocha scored 14 points.

Quimsa 84 - San Martin C 66
Quimsa is still unbeaten too after defeating San Martin easily. Jonathan Treise (186-G-85) was the mot important player finishing with 17 points. Herb Courtney added 15. Erron Maxey made his debut. The other who has his debut was Alex Carcamo in San martin. He had an amazing game with 18 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.

Penarol 77- Gimnasia CR 60
Penarol won the serie 2-0 as Atenas, Boca and Quimsa with a good performance. Roman Gonzalez (211-C-78) and Byron Johnson were the top scorers with 16 points each. Jose Muruaga added 14 from the bench. In Gimnasia German Sciutto scored 14. Gimnasia played with one foreigner due to the injury of Jimmy Boston.

The Final 4 will be held in Bahia Blanca on september 26, 27 and 28.



Quilmes news - by Facundo Iatzky
Quilmes mar del plata confirmed Jaz Cowan (205-F-83, college: Hampton) as their second foreigner. Jaz had good numbers in his last 2 games in Argentinian cup. He is the replacement of Travis Garrison who never came to Argentina. The team also announced that agreed in terms with Pedro Calderon (210-C-80). Quilmes is training for the beginning of the Liga A and is expected to play a friendly match against Estudiantes next Friday.

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  AUSTRALIA   


Wollongong send Sydney to 0-2 record - by Eurobasket News
The Wollongong Hawks rebounded after the starting loss to deliver the first win at the NBL regular season. Today they toppled the Sydney Spirit 111:99 at the WIN Entertainment Centre. The Hawks led from the start to the finish and got the taste of victory for the first time in the season. Kavossy Franklin (188-G-75, college: Augusta St.) led the Hawks with 15 points and 5 assists. Mat Campbell (196-F/G-76, college: Towson) led the charge with 20 points. Derrick Low (188-G-86, college: Washington St.) answered with game-high 22 points for the Spirit. Matthew Knight (203-F/C-85, college: Loyola Marymount) accounted for 17 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Anthony Petrie secured 7 points in the opening frame and the hosts led 29:25 at the first break. The Hawks did not give an inch of their advantage and arrived at halftime leading by as many as 9 points 58:49. Kavossy Franklin ignited a 7:0 rally from the home side as they eased to a 14-point cushion before the fourth term. Sydney had little argument in the fourth term and surrendered at the end. Dusty Rychart nailed 16 points for the winners. Julian Khazzouh answered with 15 points for the Spirit.
Meanwhile the defending champions Melbourne Tigers celebrated their second win in the season as they bumped the Gold Coast Blaze 92:76 at the State Netball and Hockey Centre. The Tigers dominated early in the game and piled up a 49:39 advantage at the interval. The hosts later stretched the margin to 19 points in the third frame and despite the Blaze cutting the distance to just 3 points midway through the fourth quarter pulled away a comfortable win. Ebi Ere (195-G/F-81, college: Oklahoma) knocked down 22 points for the Tigers. David Barlow (205-F-83, college: Metro St.) produced 19 points, while Chris Anstey added 14 points for the winners. Shane Heal (182-G-70) responded with 14 points. Jaucquin Hawkins had 13 points in the loss.


Standings - NBL
NBL Standings
 1. Melbourne T. 2-0 
 2. Cairns T. 2-0 
 3. N.Zealand B. 1-0 
 4. Adelaide 36ers 1-0 
 5. Melbourne SD 1-1 
 6. Wollongong 1-1 
 7. Perth W. 0-1 
 8. Townsville C. 0-1 
 9. Gold Coast B. 0-2 
 10. Sydney S. 0-2 


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  BELARUS   


Kudrautsau brings Belarus victory - by Eurobasket News
Cyprus - Belarus 80:81

Kudratsau nailed two free throws with 5 seconds left in the game and Belarus snatched a road 81:80 win over Cyprus today. Belarus improved to 4-0 record on top of Group B of the EuroBasket in Division B. Cyprus fell to 1-3 record. It was a close game right from the start with neither team giving up an inch of their territory. Pustahvar and Kandrushevich capped the opening frame with 5 straight points and Belarus gained a 15:14 lead. Pantouris and JoJo Garcia (208-C-70, college: Louisville) spurred Cyprus back in front at the start of the second term and the hosts maintained the lead throughout the period. They secured a 41:37 buffer at the interval. Alexis Liatsos (200-F-80, college: Ohio) and Aristides Koronides (188-G-82) extended the margin to 9 points early in the third frame however Belarus were not ready to lose their first game at the tournament. Mikalai Aliakseyeu (212-C-78, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents, college: Buffalo), Kandrusevich and Pavel Ulyanko (204-F/C-79) cut the deficit to just one point midway through the quarter. Yegor Meshcharakou (205-F-76, agency: Octagon, college: George Washington) nailed a three-pointer and Pavel Ulyanko converted a layup to seal an 11:0 surge and put Belarus ahead 53:49. Belarus entered the fourth term leading by 5 points 63:58. Cyprus trimmed the distance and knotted things up at 75 with just over 2 minutes remaining. Alexander Kudrautsau (190-G-80, agency: AB Agency) and JoJo Garcia exchanged freebies, while Mikalai Aliakseyeu put Belarus up 79:77 with 50 seconds on the clock. Andreas Pilavas (194-G-83) answered with just one free throw to shave the deficit to one point. Alexander Kudrautsau missed a layup and Aristides Koronides put the hosts in charge 80:79 with 11 seconds left. However it was just enough for Alexander Kudrautsau to get fouled and then seal the fate from the charity stripe.
Alexander Kudrautsau nailed 17 points to pace Belarus. Mescharakou, Mikalai Aliakseyeu and Dzianis Korshuk (204-C/F-78, agency: Agency No 10) had 14 points apiece for the winners. JoJo Garcia and Aristides Koronides responded with 19 points each for Cyprus.

Cyprus: JoJo Garcia 19, Aristides Koronides 19
Belarus: Alexander Kudrautsau 17, Yegor Meshcharakou 14, Mikalai Aliakseyeu 14, Dzianis Korshuk 14


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  BELGIUM   


Belgium steals a win and Additional Qualifying Round from Ukraine - by Eurobasket News
Ukraine-Belgium 58:76

Belgium steals a win and Additional Qualifying Round from Ukraine with a road 58:76 win in Yuzhnyi. Trailing 18:13 after the opening quarter the guests finished the night with 26:12 to clinch third place in Group C. Christophe Beghin (207-F-80, agency: Court Side) top-scored for the winners with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Axel Hervelle (205-F-83) netted 17 and Lionel Bosco (176-G-81, agency: Court Side) added 11. Serhiy Lishchuk (210-C/F-82) was the best for the hosts with 21 points and Andriy Agafonov (207-F-86, agency: Interperformances) posted 16.
Of the 10 teams remaining, the top six ranked sides advance to the Additional Qualifying Round to compete for one spot in Poland, while the lowest four ranked sides go to the Relegation Round. Sadly for the Ukrainians, they will be one of the bottom four and now have to fight to preserve their Division A status.
Belgium could not score for more than 2 minutes in the beginning of the game and trailed later 11:14 in the period. Kolchenko made a jump shot for 18:13 at the end of the first. Lionel Bosco then had four points in a 10-2 run to close the second quarter that gave the visitors a 38:29 advantage.
Ukraine won the third period 17:12 and reduced to 46:50 when Serhiy Lishchuk closed the period from the arc. Kryvych brought the team to 50:55 but a 5-0 run from the visitors saw the board changing it to 50:60. Belgium was too good in the last period and won the game truthfully. Moors closed it from behind the court and made the final score 76:58.


Ukraine: Serhiy Lishchuk 21, Andriy Agafonov 16
Belgium: Christophe Beghin 18+11 rebs, Axel Hervelle 17, Lionel Bosco 11


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  BOSNIA   


Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Great Britain - by Eurobasket News
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Great Britain 89:80

Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Great Britain in Cazin but will play in Additional Qualifying Round. The hosts upset the leader of the group 89:80 even trailing after the opening quarter. Ernest Bremer (196-G-80, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: St.Bonaventure) led the winners with 18 points and 6 assists. Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) netted 16, while Mirza Teletovic (203-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) posted 15. Andrew Betts (216-C-77, college: Long Beach St.) top-scored in defeat with 14 points and Nate Reinking (183-G-73, college: Kent St.) added 13.
Last round was decisive for Bosnia when Israel overcame them for the second ticket from EuroBasket qualifying Group D. Israel won 88:74 in Tel Aviv with 6000 fans support. Yotam Halperin all the winners with 22 points, 5 assists and 4 boards. Lior Eliyahu collected 21 points and 17 rebounds, whilst Meir Tapiro added 19. Goran Ikonic netted 17 in defeat and Kenan Kenan Bajramovic scored 13.
Tonight Bosnia and Herzegovina desired a win but looked a bit problematic in the opening quarter. Even without Deng Great Britain took 20:13 after the first period. Bosnia and Herzegovina woke up in the second and bounced back with 28:17 in the quarter. Dedovic made it 41:37 after the halftime.
Bosnia and Herzegovina remained in front in the third period and after 20:14 had 61:51 advantage. They led more than 15 points in the last stanza but Great Britain managed to reduce to 89:80 at the end of the game.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ernest Bremer 18+6 ast, Kenan Bajramovic 16, Mirza Teletovic 15
Great Britain: Andrew Betts 14, Nate Reinking 13


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  BULGARIA   


Bulgaria advanced to Poland 2009 even after a loss to Serbia - by Eurobasket News
Bulgaria-Serbia 77:87

Bulgaria advanced to Poland 2009 even after a loss to Serbia and finished Group A with 4-4 record. The hosts of the game finished second ahead of Italy, who were also 4-4 but had a worse overall goal differential in the group than the Bulgarians. The latter lost to Serbia 77:87 as both teams advanced to the Eurobasket 2009. Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) led the winners with 17 points and 9 boards. Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85) and Milos Vujanic (192-G-80) followed him with 11 each as Serbia finished the group with 7-1 record. Ibrahim Jaaber (187-G-84, college: Pennsylvania) top-scored for the hosts with 27 points and Deyan Ivanov (205-C/F-86), had 14.
Nenad Krstic scored first points for the guests in the early beginning to prove that his team clinched the top position truthfully. Having 6:5 advantage Bulgaria missed a 8-0 run as the guests dominated the court. They stormed into a 26:16 lead by the end of the opening quarter and extended that to 49:30 by half-time. Ibrahim Jaaber could only reduce to those numbers at the halftime.
Bulgaria seemed to find their game in the second half but still trailed in the third period. Serbia won the quarter 24:22 and had 73:52 after 30 minutes of the game. In the last period Bulgaria played better and reduced the gap to 10 points as a total. Markovic was the last to score before Deyan Ivanov nailed a three for 77:87.

Bulgaria: Ibrahim Jaaber 27, Deyan Ivanov, 14
Serbia: Nenad Krstic 17+9 rebs, Zoran Erceg 11, Milos Vujanic 11


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  COLOMBIA   


Federation Cup 2008, September 19, Day 9 results - by Victor Garcia
Isladers need an overtime to defeat Piratas in Bogota, Piratas had a great comeback, after has been trailed by 25 points, the full court pressure over Islanders guards, allow Piratas to steal 6 balls, John Perez jumper basket with 2 seconds left forced the overtime, but in the overtime Kevin Sowell and Stalin Ortiz give the victory for Islanders.In the winners Ortiz amazing three pointers , Kevin Sowell quickness and Alejandro Flores force in the paint were the best, Joe Manuel also did a good job.
Piratas had in John Perez its best performer with career high 36 pts, Gianlucca Baccis`s defense changed the game, and Emiro Romero had a good second half, Vincent Camper also had a good end of the game but the team still need more from him
Piratas 95 - John Perez 36 pts.
Islanders Sopesa 104 - Kevin Sowell 40 pts


Diego Guevara guided Arrieros to its 9th straight victory of the Cup defeating Patriotas 92 85, Patriotas had in Ernesto Mijares and Todd Henry its best players, both leaded the team specially in the third quarter, Arrieros young forward Divier Perez show his great talent and controled the paint-
Arrieros 92
Patriotas Proactiva 85

Ovni got its second straight victory a favourite defeating Indervalle in Tenjo, for Indervalle it was the third straight loss in the road.
Ovni Alcaldia de Tenjo 95
Indervalle 92.


Norte got the victory in a great game in Cucuta, good defense, good ball control and amazing plays had the game, Moreno as usual was the man in Norte, but the work of Eduardo Torres made a diference for Norte, in Bucaros Washington and Flemming had their first game and Washingto leaded Bucaros, three turnovers of Bucaros in the last two minutes allowed Norte to win.
Norte de Santander 81 - Edgar Moreno and Eduardo Torres 23 pts.
Bucaros 79 - Rogers Washington 25 pts
.


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  CYPRUS   


Kudrautsau brings Belarus victory - by Eurobasket News
Cyprus - Belarus 80:81

Kudratsau nailed two free throws with 5 seconds left in the game and Belarus snatched a road 81:80 win over Cyprus today. Belarus improved to 4-0 record on top of Group B of the EuroBasket in Division B. Cyprus fell to 1-3 record. It was a close game right from the start with neither team giving up an inch of their territory. Pustahvar and Kandrushevich capped the opening frame with 5 straight points and Belarus gained a 15:14 lead. Pantouris and JoJo Garcia (208-C-70, college: Louisville) spurred Cyprus back in front at the start of the second term and the hosts maintained the lead throughout the period. They secured a 41:37 buffer at the interval. Alexis Liatsos (200-F-80, college: Ohio) and Aristides Koronides (188-G-82) extended the margin to 9 points early in the third frame however Belarus were not ready to lose their first game at the tournament. Mikalai Aliakseyeu (212-C-78, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents, college: Buffalo), Kandrusevich and Pavel Ulyanko (204-F/C-79) cut the deficit to just one point midway through the quarter. Yegor Meshcharakou (205-F-76, agency: Octagon, college: George Washington) nailed a three-pointer and Pavel Ulyanko converted a layup to seal an 11:0 surge and put Belarus ahead 53:49. Belarus entered the fourth term leading by 5 points 63:58. Cyprus trimmed the distance and knotted things up at 75 with just over 2 minutes remaining. Alexander Kudrautsau (190-G-80, agency: AB Agency) and JoJo Garcia exchanged freebies, while Mikalai Aliakseyeu put Belarus up 79:77 with 50 seconds on the clock. Andreas Pilavas (194-G-83) answered with just one free throw to shave the deficit to one point. Alexander Kudrautsau missed a layup and Aristides Koronides put the hosts in charge 80:79 with 11 seconds left. However it was just enough for Alexander Kudrautsau to get fouled and then seal the fate from the charity stripe.
Alexander Kudrautsau nailed 17 points to pace Belarus. Mescharakou, Mikalai Aliakseyeu and Dzianis Korshuk (204-C/F-78, agency: Agency No 10) had 14 points apiece for the winners. JoJo Garcia and Aristides Koronides responded with 19 points each for Cyprus.

Cyprus: JoJo Garcia 19, Aristides Koronides 19
Belarus: Alexander Kudrautsau 17, Yegor Meshcharakou 14, Mikalai Aliakseyeu 14, Dzianis Korshuk 14


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  CZECH REPUBLIC   


Israel heads to Eurobasket 2009 - by Eurobasket News
Israel-Czech Republic 98:61

Israel advanced to EuroBasket 2009 after a home win over Czech Republic 98:61. A win in all the quarters in the game led the team to 3-3 record that was enough to advance from the second place. Yotam Halperin (196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services) paced all the winners with 25 points. Meir Tapiro (194-G-75, agency: Avi Zilberman) netted 24, while Lior Eliyahu (205-F-85, agency: ZAG Advocates) scored 16. Petr Benda (203-F/C-82, agency: Court Side) top-scored in defeat with 16 points and Tomas Satoransky (196-G/F-91, agency: PPGroup) notched 12. The setback has dropped Czech Republic to bottom of Group D and into the Relegation Round.
More than 8000 spectators came to support their local team and to triumph with them at the end. Israel had difficulties going into the lead in the first period and had 13:13 in the middle of it. Later on the hosts dominated the court and Meir Tapiro scored for 28:19 at the end of the first. In the second period the hosts controlled the game and after 21:16 in the second improved to 49:35 at the halftime.
Lior Eliyahu made it plus 20 in the start of the third quarter. Israel did not stop the tempo and Limonad closed the third period from the arc for 78:54. In the last quarter the teams were killing time as it became clear that the hosts would not give the game back. Israel tried however to score more as they realized the importance of the differential points. They managed to win by 27 that was enough to clinch the spot in Poland 2009.

Israel: Yotam Halperin 25, Meir Tapiro 24, Lior Eliyahu 16
Czech Republic: Petr Benda 16, Tomas Satoransky 12


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  ESTONIA   


FYR of Macedonia secured first place in qualifying Group B - by Eurobasket News
FYR of Macedonia-Estonia 87:74

FYR of Macedonia secured first place in qualifying Group B after a win over Estonia 87:74. With a massive first quarter the hosts did not look behind in the rest of the game. Todor Gecevski (209-C-77, agency: Interperformances) top-scored for the winners with 18 points. Pero Antik (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances) netted 16 and Stefanov added 11. Kristjan Kangur (202-F-82) ended up with 19 points and 7 boards in the losing effort, while Valmo Kriisa (190-G-74) posted 12. Estonia, who have had some fine moments in this Division A campaign, dropped to 1-5 and will now play in the Relegation Round.
The hosts of the game started offensively and after Todor Gecevski's first points had 4-0. Estonia did not fall down in the opening tip and took 10:8 advantage. Right after that FYR of Macedonia created an 11-0 run for 19:10 as Ilievski made his second free throw. Pero Antik closed the period from the arc for 32:14.
Nothing specific had changed in the second period as the hosts continues to be in front. After 19:13 in the period Ilievski made 51:27 at the halftime.
FYR of Macedonia went on top at 58:29 in the third quarter on a three-point play from Todor Gecevski. Pero Antik's bomb saw 68:54 as the teams finished three periods. In the last stanza however the guests climbed back into the game and Kullamae made it 70:60. It was not a shock for the hosts that recovered for 83:60 as Todor Gecevski hit a free throw. Talts closed the game at 87:75 as FYR of Macedonia will head to Poland.

FYR of Macedonia: Todor Gecevski 18, Pero Antik 16, Stefanov 11
Estonia: Kristjan Kangur 19+7 rebs, Valmo Kriisa 12


Standings - KML
EMKL Standings
 1. TU/Rock 0-0 
 2. Triobet/Dalkia 0-0 
 3. BC Kalev 0-0 
 4. Rakvere 0-0 
 5. Pirita 0-0 
 6. Kraft Mooel 0-0 
 7. TTU KK 0-0 
 8. Parnu 0-0 
 9. Valga Welg 0-0 
 10. Tar.Fausto 0-0 


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  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS   


The end of the Qualifying Round - by Eurobasket News

GROUP A

Bulgaria-Serbia 77:87

Bulgaria advanced to Poland 2009 even after a loss to Serbia and finished Group A with 4-4 record. The hosts of the game finished second ahead of Italy, who were also 4-4 but had a worse overall goal differential in the group than the Bulgarians. The latter lost to Serbia 77:87 as both teams advanced to the Eurobasket 2009.
Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) led the winners with 17 points and 9 boards. Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85) and Milos Vujanic (192-G-80) followed him with 11 each as Serbia finished the group with 7-1 record. Ibrahim Jaaber (187-G-84, college: Pennsylvania) top-scored for the hosts with 27 points and Deyan Ivanov (205-C/F-86), had 14.
Nenad Krstic scored first points for the guests in the early beginning to prove that his team clinched the top position truthfully. Having 6:5 advantage Bulgaria missed a 8-0 run as the guests dominated the court. They stormed into a 26:16 lead by the end of the opening quarter and extended that to 49:30 by half-time. Ibrahim Jaaber could only reduce to those numbers at the halftime.
Bulgaria seemed to find their game in the second half but still trailed in the third period. Serbia won the quarter 24:22 and had 73:52 after 30 minutes of the game. In the last period Bulgaria played better and reduced the gap to 10 points as a total. Markovic was the last to score before
Deyan Ivanov nailed a three for 77:87.

Bulgaria:
Ibrahim Jaaber 27, Deyan Ivanov, 14
Serbia:
Nenad Krstic 17+9 rebs, Zoran Erceg 11, Milos Vujanic 11


Finland-Hungary 88:73
Finland sends Hungary to the Relegation Round of Division A. Finland was too strong at home reaching 88:73 victory to finish the group with 3-5 record. Kimmo Muurinen (202-F-81, college: UALR) led the winners with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Shawn Huff (198-G/F-84, college: Valparaiso) and Petteri Koponen (193-G-88) nailed 20 each, while Tuukka Kotti (204-F/C-81, college: Providence) collected 18 points and 12 boards in defeat.
The hosts were too good from the very beginning and opened the game with 7-0 run. Hungary however replied immediately and Bader reduced the gap to 13:10 in the middle of the first. Kimmo Muurinen closed the opening quarter at 23:21 advantage for Finland. Hungary managed to produce an 8-0 run for 29:25, but again Kimmo Muurinen tied it at 35:35. Tamas Kaman (200-F/G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) hit from the arc for 42:42 when the teams left for the lockers.
The third quarter was decisive in the game as the hosts dominated the court. They produced 28:16 in it to have 12 points deficit. Finland extended the lead to 70:58 by the end of the frame. In the last period in order to feel more confident the hosts did not stay in defense and were in front for the whole time until the last seconds. Petteri Koponen set up the final, 88:73 score for Finland that sent Hungary to the Relegation Round of Division A.

Finland: Kimmo Muurinen 22+8 rebs, Shawn Huff 20, Petteri Koponen 20, Tuukka Kotti 18+12 rebs
Hungary: Tamas Kaman 22+7 rebs, Istvan Nemeth (190-G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 20



GROUP B

Portugal-Latvia 93:92

Portugal that lost first three games in Group B won the next three to tie the record at 3-3. The team had a battle but won at home over Latvia 93:92. With a strong first half the hosts could hold the margin and one point was enough to celebrate. Jose Costa (187-G-73) led the winners with 29 points and 7 assists. Miguel Miranda (205-F-78) netted 17 and Santos had 11. Kristaps Janicenoks (196-F-83) top-scored in defeat with 21 points, whilst Andris Biedrins (213-C-86) collected 19 points and 13 boards.
The team started well the opening quarter and remained mostly even in it. Portugal made a final push in the period and Jose Costa posted a 23:18 lead. Santos increased the lead to 29:23 in the beginning of the second period and Jose Costa made it 48:40 later in the end. Berzins could reduce to 51:45 finishing the first half of the game.
The third period was also divided into two halves as the team exchanged the runs. At first Portugal had 63:50 as Andrade scored a jump-shot with a foul. Latvia bounced back and cut to 70:67 as Berzins also scored with a foul. Latvia would end up extending their advantage to 84:79 after Kristaps Valters buried a three, and made two free throws. Cunha struck from long range to tie the game at 85:85. Trailing 90:92 Miguel Miranda nailed a three with 6 seconds remaining and Latvia did not score at the end.

Portugal: Jose Costa 29+7 ast, Miguel Miranda 17, Santos 11
Latvia: Kristaps Janicenoks 21, Andris Biedrins 19+13 rebs


FYR of Macedonia-Estonia 87:74

FYR of Macedonia secured first place in qualifying Group B after a win over Estonia 87:74. With a massive first quarter the hosts did not look behind in the rest of the game. Todor Gecevski (209-C-77, agency: Interperformances) top-scored for the winners with 18 points. Pero Antik (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances) netted 16 and Stefanov added 11. Kristjan Kangur (202-F-82) ended up with 19 points and 7 boards in the losing effort, while Valmo Kriisa (190-G-74) posted 12. Estonia, who have had some fine moments in this Division A campaign, dropped to 1-5 and will now play in the Relegation Round.
The hosts of the game started offensively and after Todor Gecevski's first points had 4-0. Estonia did not fall down in the opening tip and took 10:8 advantage. Right after that FYR of Macedonia created an 11-0 run for 19:10 as Ilievski made his second free throw. Pero Antik closed the period from the arc for 32:14.
Nothing specific had changed in the second period as the hosts continues to be in front. After 19:13 in the period Ilievski made 51:27 at the halftime.
FYR of Macedonia went on top at 58:29 in the third quarter on a three-point play from Todor Gecevski. Pero Antik's bomb saw 68:54 as the teams finished three periods. In the last stanza however the guests climbed back into the game and Kullamae made it 70:60. It was not a shock for the hosts that recovered for 83:60 as Todor Gecevski hit a free throw. Talts closed the game at 87:75 as FYR of Macedonia will head to Poland.

FYR of Macedonia: Todor Gecevski 18, Pero Antik 16, Stefanov 11
Estonia: Kristjan Kangur 19+7 rebs, Valmo Kriisa 12




GROUP C

Ukraine-Belgium 58:76

Belgium steals a win and Additional Qualifying Round from Ukraine with a road 58:76 win in Yuzhnyi. Trailing 18:13 after the opening quarter the guests finished the night with 26:12 to clinch third place in Group C. Christophe Beghin (207-F-80, agency: Court Side) top-scored for the winners with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Axel Hervelle (205-F-83) netted 17 and Lionel Bosco (176-G-81, agency: Court Side) added 11. Serhiy Lishchuk (210-C/F-82) was the best for the hosts with 21 points and Andriy Agafonov (207-F-86, agency: Interperformances) posted 16.
Of the 10 teams remaining, the top six ranked sides advance to the Additional Qualifying Round to compete for one spot in Poland, while the lowest four ranked sides go to the Relegation Round. Sadly for the Ukrainians, they will be one of the bottom four and now have to fight to preserve their Division A status.
Belgium could not score for more than 2 minutes in the beginning of the game and trailed later 11:14 in the period. Kolchenko made a jump shot for 18:13 at the end of the first. Lionel Bosco then had four points in a 10-2 run to close the second quarter that gave the visitors a 38:29 advantage.
Ukraine won the third period 17:12 and reduced to 46:50 when Serhiy Lishchuk closed the period from the arc. Kryvych brought the team to 50:55 but a 5-0 run from the visitors saw the board changing it to 50:60. Belgium was too good in the last period and won the game truthfully. Moors closed it from behind the court and made the final score 76:58.


Ukraine: Serhiy Lishchuk 21, Andriy Agafonov 16
Belgium: Christophe Beghin 18+11 rebs, Axel Hervelle 17, Lionel Bosco 11

France-Turkey 78:80
His majesty Tony Parker (183-G-80) was not enough for France to carry them directly to Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. France lost to undefeated Turkey at home 78:80. Fatih Solak (213-C-80) led the winners with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Sinan Guler (193-G-83, agency: 1x1 Sports, college: Carroll (MT)) netted 14, while Kerem Tunceri (190-G-79) scored 13. Tony Parker had a great night with 37 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the hosts, whilst De Colo scored 9.
The four group winners in Division A, and the three best second-place teams earn direct tickets for EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. France became the second team with 3-3 record in Group C, but the fourth within others and had to play the Additional Qualifying Round.
Kirksay led the way for the hosts in the very beginning. France finished the first period at 6-0 to take 20:15 after the opening quarter. Gradit increased the lead to 29:20 but Ilyasova brought the favorites back to 29:28. Tchicamboud closed the half from the arc for 35:30.
France remained in front in the third period and even after 21:22 in it had 56:52 advantage. Kerem Tunceri brought his team the taste of the lead at 63:60. Two more Tuneri free throws extended the lead back to three, and after Brun missed from long range, Fatih Solak made two at the line to put Turkey on top at 78:73. De Colo reduced it to 77:78 with 27 seconds remaining and Diawara scored one free throw for 78:80. He missed the second on purpose but Sinan Guler rebounded the ball and triumphed in the group with his Turkey.


France: Tony Parker 37+7 rebs+5 ast, De Colo 9
Turkey: Fatih Solak 16+6 rebs, Sinan Guler 14, Kerem Tunceri 13

GROUP D
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Great Britain 89:80
Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Great Britain in Cazin but will play in Additional Qualifying Round. The hosts upset the leader of the group 89:80 even trailing after the opening quarter. Ernest Bremer (196-G-80, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: St.Bonaventure) led the winners with 18 points and 6 assists. Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) netted 16, while Mirza Teletovic (203-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) posted 15. Andrew Betts (216-C-77, college: Long Beach St.) top-scored in defeat with 14 points and Nate Reinking (183-G-73, college: Kent St.) added 13.
Last round was decisive for Bosnia when Israel overcame them for the second ticket from EuroBasket qualifying Group D. Israel won 88:74 in Tel Aviv with 6000 fans support. Yotam Halperin all the winners with 22 points, 5 assists and 4 boards. Lior Eliyahu collected 21 points and 17 rebounds, whilst Meir Tapiro added 19. Goran Ikonic netted 17 in defeat and Kenan Kenan Bajramovic scored 13.
Tonight Bosnia and Herzegovina desired a win but looked a bit problematic in the opening quarter. Even without Deng Great Britain took 20:13 after the first period. Bosnia and Herzegovina woke up in the second and bounced back with 28:17 in the quarter. Dedovic made it 41:37 after the halftime.
Bosnia and Herzegovina remained in front in the third period and after 20:14 had 61:51 advantage. They led more than 15 points in the last stanza but Great Britain managed to reduce to 89:80 at the end of the game.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ernest Bremer 18+6 ast, Kenan Bajramovic 16, Mirza Teletovic 15
Great Britain: Andrew Betts 14, Nate Reinking 13

Israel-Czech Republic 98:61
Israel advanced to EuroBasket 2009 after a home win over Czech Republic 98:61. A win in all the quarters in the game led the team to 3-3 record that was enough to advance from the second place. Yotam Halperin (196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services) paced all the winners with 25 points. Meir Tapiro (194-G-75, agency: Avi Zilberman) netted 24, while Lior Eliyahu (205-F-85, agency: ZAG Advocates) scored 16. Petr Benda (203-F/C-82, agency: Court Side) top-scored in defeat with 16 points and Tomas Satoransky (196-G/F-91, agency: PPGroup) notched 12. The setback has dropped Czech Republic to bottom of Group D and into the Relegation Round.
More than 8000 spectators came to support their local team and to triumph with them at the end. Israel had difficulties going into the lead in the first period and had 13:13 in the middle of it. Later on the hosts dominated the court and Meir Tapiro scored for 28:19 at the end of the first. In the second period the hosts controlled the game and after 21:16 in the second improved to 49:35 at the halftime.
Lior Eliyahu made it plus 20 in the start of the third quarter. Israel did not stop the tempo and Limonad closed the third period from the arc for 78:54. In the last quarter the teams were killing time as it became clear that the hosts would not give the game back. Israel tried however to score more as they realized the importance of the differential points. They managed to win by 27 that was enough to clinch the spot in Poland 2009.

Israel: Yotam Halperin 25, Meir Tapiro 24, Lior Eliyahu 16
Czech Republic: Petr Benda 16, Tomas Satoransky 12



Standings Div.A (Men)
Standings
Group A
1. Serbia7-1
2. Bulgaria4-4
3. Italy4-4
4. Finland3-5
5. Hungary2-6
Group B
1. Latvia4-2
2. FYR Macedo.4-2
3. Portugal3-3
4. Estonia1-5
Group C
1. Turkey6-0
2. France3-3
3. Belgium2-4
4. Ukraine1-5
Group D
1. U.Kingdom4-2
2. Israel3-3
3. Bosnia3-3
4. Czech Repu.2-4


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


EUROBASKET: Finland wins - Mottola quits - by Rauno Hurmalainen

EuroBasket - Division A. Qualifying Round, Group A: Finland - Hungary 88-73 (42-42). Quarters: 23-21, 19-21, 28-16, 18-15.
Finland is still there competing in the Additional Qualifying Round for one open spot in the EuroBasket Games 2009 in Poland. Finland had four players
in double (18-22 pts) figures. Kimmo Muurinen (202-F-81, college: UALR) led Team Finland with 22 pts, Shawn Huff (198-G/F-84, college: Valparaiso) and Petteri Koponen (193-G-88) added both 20 pts and Tuukka Kotti (204-F/C-81, college: Providence) had a double-double 18 pts and 12 rbs. Hanno Mottola (208-F-76, college: Utah) has now played 100 times on NT roster. Mottola announced after the game, that this one was his last game
and that he will quit his basketball career as a player. Mottola's international career started at Utah U. (1996-2000). Mottola was the first Finnish player in the NBA (Atlanta Hawks 2000-02). Later Mottola played professionally in Spain, Italy, Russia, Lithuania and in Greece.

Hungary was led by Tamas Kaman (200-F/G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 22 and Istvan Nemeth (190-G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 20 pts. Hungary must fight in the future for the preserve in Division A.

Bulgaria - Serbia 77-87 (30-49). Quarters: 16-26, 14-23, 22-24, 25-14. B: Ibrahim Jaaber (187-G-84, college: Pennsylvania) 27. S: Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) 17.

Group A: 1) Serbia 15 pts (7-1), 2) Bulgaria 12 (4-4), 3) Italy 12 (4-4), 4) Finland 11 (3-5), 5) Hungary 10 (2-6).



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


France to miss out direct qualification - by Eurobasket News
France-Turkey 78:80

His majesty Tony Parker (183-G-80) was not enough for France to carry them directly to Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. France lost to undefeated Turkey at home 78:80. Fatih Solak (213-C-80) led the winners with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Sinan Guler (193-G-83, agency: 1x1 Sports, college: Carroll (MT)) netted 14, while Kerem Tunceri (190-G-79) scored 13. Tony Parker had a great night with 37 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the hosts, whilst De Colo scored 9.
The four group winners in Division A, and the three best second-place teams earn direct tickets for EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. France became the second team with 3-3 record in Group C, but the fourth within others and had to play the Additional Qualifying Round.
Kirksay led the way for the hosts in the very beginning. France finished the first period at 6-0 to take 20:15 after the opening quarter. Gradit increased the lead to 29:20 but Ilyasova brought the favorites back to 29:28. Tchicamboud closed the half from the arc for 35:30.
France remained in front in the third period and even after 21:22 in it had 56:52 advantage. Kerem Tunceri brought his team the taste of the lead at 63:60. Two more Tuneri free throws extended the lead back to three, and after Brun missed from long range, Fatih Solak made two at the line to put Turkey on top at 78:73. De Colo reduced it to 77:78 with 27 seconds remaining and Diawara scored one free throw for 78:80. He missed the second on purpose but Sinan Guler rebounded the ball and triumphed in the group with his Turkey.


France: Tony Parker 37+7 rebs+5 ast, De Colo 9
Turkey: Fatih Solak 16+6 rebs, Sinan Guler 14, Kerem Tunceri 13


*****************************************************
  FYR MACEDONIA   


FYR of Macedonia secured first place in qualifying Group B - by Eurobasket News
FYR of Macedonia-Estonia 87:74

FYR of Macedonia secured first place in qualifying Group B after a win over Estonia 87:74. With a massive first quarter the hosts did not look behind in the rest of the game. Todor Gecevski (209-C-77, agency: Interperformances) top-scored for the winners with 18 points. Pero Antik (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances) netted 16 and Stefanov added 11. Kristjan Kangur (202-F-82) ended up with 19 points and 7 boards in the losing effort, while Valmo Kriisa (190-G-74) posted 12. Estonia, who have had some fine moments in this Division A campaign, dropped to 1-5 and will now play in the Relegation Round.
The hosts of the game started offensively and after Todor Gecevski's first points had 4-0. Estonia did not fall down in the opening tip and took 10:8 advantage. Right after that FYR of Macedonia created an 11-0 run for 19:10 as Ilievski made his second free throw. Pero Antik closed the period from the arc for 32:14.
Nothing specific had changed in the second period as the hosts continues to be in front. After 19:13 in the period Ilievski made 51:27 at the halftime.
FYR of Macedonia went on top at 58:29 in the third quarter on a three-point play from Todor Gecevski. Pero Antik's bomb saw 68:54 as the teams finished three periods. In the last stanza however the guests climbed back into the game and Kullamae made it 70:60. It was not a shock for the hosts that recovered for 83:60 as Todor Gecevski hit a free throw. Talts closed the game at 87:75 as FYR of Macedonia will head to Poland.

FYR of Macedonia: Todor Gecevski 18, Pero Antik 16, Stefanov 11
Estonia: Kristjan Kangur 19+7 rebs, Valmo Kriisa 12


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


Bundesliga Game Day 1: 2008-2009 Bundesliga Season Tips Off! - by Michael Taylor
The 2008-2009 Bundesliga basketball season tipped off Saturday night all over Germany with several exciting matchups. Game Day 1 action included an exciting comeback win in Dusseldorf's debut, a strong home victory for newcomer Nordlingen and a powerful performance in Oldenburg.

Giants Dusseldorf 69 Koln 99ers 68
Dusseldorf played their home debut in an exciting derby game against local rival Koln Saturday night but it was the 99ers who raced to a fast start outscoring Dusseldorf 27-16 after 1Q and pouring it on 25-14 to build a 52-30 halftime lead. Dusseldorf made only 2 of 13 threes in the first half while Koln buried 7 of 14 treys. Achim Kuczmann and his team responded after halftime with a 19-6 3Q sending the action into the 4Q at 58-49 for Koln. A 9-2 start to the 4Q helped the 99ers build a 67-51 lead with just under 7min remaining. But Dusseldorf stormed back and Brant Bailey tied the score at 68 with under 2min to play. Young Koln forward Tibor Pleiss missed 2FT before Koln's Jeremy Hunt and Dusseldorfs Bailey missed 3pt attempts with under 1min. Recently signed F Guido Grunheid fouled out with 14sec to play sending Bailey to the foul line where he missed his first but cooly sank the second giving Dusseldorf a tight 69-68 lead. Koln could not come up with the last second bucket and Dusseldorf earned the exciting come-from-behind win. Amazingly, the only lead Dusseldorf held the entire game was in the final minute after Bailey's second FT. Leading the offensive attack, Brant Bailey topscored for Dusseldorf with 21pt 7reb followed by Pete Campbell's 11pt 5reb. The Giants made 52% of their two point attempts and converted 7 of 28 (25%) from three compared with Koln's 45% and 8 for 24 (33%) from three. Dusseldorf sank 13 of 18 (72%) FT while the 99ers made 14 of 27 (52%). Koln outrebounded Dusseldorf 41-36 but suffered 21 turnovers to the Giants 14. Jeremy Hunt led Koln with 17pt while Tibor Pleiss chipped in 13 and Zarryon Fereti 10. Dusseldorf's thrilling comeback win puts them 1-0 while Koln opens 0-1.

Eisbaren Bremerhaven 79 NewYorker Phantoms Braunschweig 69
NewYorker Phantoms Braunschweig hosted Eisbaren Bremerhaven in opening night at Volkswagonhalle in Braunschweig. Head Coach Dr Sarunas Sakalauskas and his Eisbaren built a 20-12 lead after 1Q before Braunschweig battled back to take a 27-20 2Q. At the half, the tight game showed the visitors from Bremerhaven up 40-39. Bremerhaven edged ahead in the 3Q 58-54 before sealing the game in the 4th. Forward Marcus Slaughter enjoyed an outstanding debut posting a strong 24pt 15reb double double and Frank Elegar added 11pt 9reb to the win. Bremerhaven hit 50% from the floor and made 21 of 30 FT while outrebounding Braunschweig 39-32. The Phantoms were led by Andrew Drevo's 23pt on 5 of 9 3pt shooting. Dustin Salisberry chipped in 13pt for the Phantoms who shot 40% from the floor and made 13 of 22 FT (59%). Bremerhaven opens 1-0 while Braunschweig starts 0-1.

Paderborn Baskets 72 Walter Tigers Tubingen 66
Walter Tigers Tubingen hosted Paderborn Baskets Saturday night at Tubingen Arena tipping off the regular season for both teams. Head Coach Doug Spradley and his Paderborn team worked for a 19-10 lead after 1Q and held a 38-22 lead at half. The teams played an even 3Q sending the action into the 4th with Paderborn up 59-43. Tubingen staged a comeback in the 4Q outscoring Paderborn 23-13 but in the end, the guests took the 72-66 road win. Big man Matt Terwillager sank 3 of 4 threes to pace Paderborn with 13pt while Steve Esterkamp added 12pt 10reb along with Reggie Golson 12pt and Lavelle Felton 10pt in the win. Rasko Katic led the Tubingen attack with 19pt 9reb followed by Jermaine Anderson's 18pt. Paderborn hit 45% from the floor and 4 of 15 f(26%) rom three compared to 41% for the Tigers and 5 for 21 (23%) threes. Tubingen outrebounded Paderborn 37-36 but Paderborn held a slight advantage from the foul line sinking 16 of 22 FT (72%) to the Tigers 6 of 10 (60%). Paderborn opens the season 1-0 while Tubingen starts 0-1.

Nordlingen 75 EnBW Ludwigsburg 56
Bundesliga basketball featured a memorable moment Saturday evening as the Nordlingen Giants hosted EnBW Ludwigsburg in the debut of the Giants in Germany's top basketball league. After winning the Pro A last season and earning promotion in the 'Aufsteig', Nordlingen made their dream of Bundesliga basketball a reality in the season opener. Head Coach Andreas Wagner and his Nordlingen team used their home crowd and emotions to open a 25-13 lead after 1Q. Second quarter offense slowed for both teams as Nordlingen outscored Ludwigsburg 10-6 sending the teams into the half at 45-30 for Nordlingen. G Osvaldo Jeanty's 12 first half points sparked the Nordlingen surge. Nordlingen's strong debut continued as they marched to a 56-39 lead after three. Through 3Q, the big difference in the game was 3pt shooting as Ludwigsburg went 0-12 while the hosts hit 5 for 11 to account for their advantage. Nordlingen earned their first Bundesliga victory 75-56. Osvaldo Jeanty paced Nordlingen scoring with 23pt on 4 of 7 three point shooting followed by 15pt 9reb from Omari Westley and 10pt 8reb from Varnie Denis. Nordlingen shot 48% from the floor, made 7 of 18 threes and 22 of 33 FT (67%) while also outrebounding Ludwigsburg 37-20. Ludwigsburg, who shot 35% from the floor for the game and made only 1 of 19 threes, was led by Dane Watts with 12pt and Brandon Woudstra with 11pt. Nordlingen is 1-0 while Ludwigsburg starts 0-1.

Ewe Baskets Oldenburg 91 Lti Giessen 46ers 64
After finishing last season strong, Ewe Baskets Oldenburg opened up 2008-2009 with a terrific 91-64 home win over Lti Giessen 46ers Saturday night at Ewe Arena in Oldenburg. Guest Giessen opened up an 11-5 1Q lead against the Thunderbirds as Robert Maras and Maurice Jeffers started strong. The 46ers held a 17-13 lead after 1Q. But head coach Predrag Krunic and his Oldenburg team fought back to even the score at 25 early in the 2Q. With more strong play, the Thunderbirds doubled up the 46ers 31-14 in the 2Q to manufacture a 44-31 halftime lead. Oldenburg G Mladin Pekovic enjoyed a terrific first half sinking 4 of 5 threes and scoring 18pt to lead the way. A 21-10 3Q pushed the Oldenburg lead to 65-41 and the Thunderbirds cruised to the home win. Pekovic topscored for Oldenburg with 22pt 5ast while J'Kel Foster chipped in 15pt 4stl and Jason Gardner and Marko Scekic(7reb) added 12pt apiece. Oldenburg shot 52% from the floor and made 10 of 26 threes (38%) while converting 19 of 28 FT (67%). Maurice Jeffers topped Giessen with a 14pt 4reb performance with help of 12pt 4reb from Flo Hartenstein. The 46ers hit only 2 of 11 threes in the loss. Oldenburg tips off the new year 1-0 while Giessen starts 0-1.

Sunday September 21, 2008 BBL Game Day 1 Matchups

Telekom Baskets Bonn @ Deutsche Bank Skyliners 3pm tip

Artland Dragons @ ALBA Berlin 5pm tip BBL. TV (www.sportdigital.tv)

TBB Trier @ BG74 Gottingen 6pm tip


Wednesday September 24th

ratiopharm Ulm @ brose Baskets Bamberg 7:30pm tip


Michael Flowers out for 6 - 8 weeks! - by Manuel Schust
New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig have to deal with the first major injury before the season even got started.
Michael Flowers (188-G-86, agency: CAA Sports, college: Wisconsin) has to postpone his debut as a pro because of a severe injury he suffered in practise.
The guard, who averaged 8.8 points and 2.7 assists per game in pre-season received a capsular crack at his left thumb that could force him to sit out between 6 and 8 weeks.
After a magnetic resonance tomography on Monday it will become clear how severe the injury really is.


ProA: Bayreuth lost testgame and Simmons - by Manuel Schust
Two of the topteams of the upcoming ProA season had a testgame yesterday and Science City Jena was able to beat BBC Bayreuth with just one point 74:73. As both teams are expected to be main candidates for promoting to BBL this close match could have been a foretest of the battle for the places 1 and 2 in ProA. Jena's Alexander Seggelke (198-F-79, agency: LimeLight) led all scorer with 22 points and for Bayreuth Whit Holcomb-Faye (185-G-84, college: Radford) managed to score 19 on his 24th birthday.
After the game Bayreuth announced the departure of Christian Simmons (196-F-84, college: Cumberlands). The contract with Simmons was cancelled by request of the player due to personal reasons. Bayreuth will not sign a replacement and hopes compensate the loss somehow.


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


A1 transfer and other news - by Simon Varvakis
AEK agreed terms and announced danish center Michael Andersen (213-C-74, college: Rhode Island) who played for AEK in the past, 10 years ago to be precise. The deal was sealed with the help of Kostas Flevarakis.

Trikalla 2000 has agreed terms with shooting guard Jamont Gordon (193-G/F-87, college: Mississippi St.) who had initially agreed terms with Upim Bologna. This will be their 2nd import player.

Paok agreed terms with Mamoutou Diarra (200-F-80) after his return to Thessaloniki. The french small forward tried to sign a contract with Murcia in Spain but the spanish team put him through thorough medical exams and Diarra didn't qualify to sign a contract. He returned to Paok and the deal was agreed below 150.000 euros that was the initial offer to him.


In other news Panellinios defeated Partizan in the tournament Tasos Koutalianos in Rhodes. Anthony Grundy (189-G-79, agency: Strategic Sports, college: N.Carolina St.) 16(1) and Jurica Golemac (209-F-77) 16(2) were the top scorers for Panellinios.

Aris is playing tonight against Siena in Italy for the Moncalieri tournament. Aris will be playing with a total of 8 players tonight because Lazaros Agadakos (208-C-80, agency: FCM) and Gaios Skordilis (206-C-87) were sidelined to avoid relapse on their injuries.

Egaleo is still waiting for the arrival of Chris Bracey who decided to return and play for them again this year.

Rumors say that AEL 1964 is looking for another import player to replace Bruce Price (191-G-83) but they are close to signing a new forward.


*****************************************************
  HUNGARY   


Finland sends Hungary to the Relegation Round - by Eurobasket News
Finland-Hungary 88:73

Finland sends Hungary to the Relegation Round of Division A. Finland was too strong at home reaching 88:73 victory to finish the group with 3-5 record. Kimmo Muurinen (202-F-81, college: UALR) led the winners with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Shawn Huff (198-G/F-84, college: Valparaiso) and Petteri Koponen (193-G-88) nailed 20 each, while Tuukka Kotti (204-F/C-81, college: Providence) collected 18 points and 12 boards in defeat.
The hosts were too good from the very beginning and opened the game with 7-0 run. Hungary however replied immediately and Bader reduced the gap to 13:10 in the middle of the first. Kimmo Muurinen closed the opening quarter at 23:21 advantage for Finland. Hungary managed to produce an 8-0 run for 29:25, but again Kimmo Muurinen tied it at 35:35. Tamas Kaman (200-F/G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) hit from the arc for 42:42 when the teams left for the lockers.
The third quarter was decisive in the game as the hosts dominated the court. They produced 28:16 in it to have 12 points deficit. Finland extended the lead to 70:58 by the end of the frame. In the last period in order to feel more confident the hosts did not stay in defense and were in front for the whole time until the last seconds. Petteri Koponen set up the final, 88:73 score for Finland that sent Hungary to the Relegation Round of Division A.

Finland: Kimmo Muurinen 22+8 rebs, Shawn Huff 20, Petteri Koponen 20, Tuukka Kotti 18+12 rebs
Hungary: Tamas Kaman 22+7 rebs, Istvan Nemeth (190-G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 20


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


Slovakia secure overtime win over Ireland - by Eurobasket News
Ireland - Slovakia 85:90

Slovakia grabbed their second win at the EuroBasket in Division B as they triumphed in Dublin today. The thriller action saw the hosts save the game in the final seconds however Slovakia proved the strength at the end. Ireland slipped to 1-3 record in Group C.
Slovakia opened the game with 6 straight points to mark their dominance. However Christopher Bracey (198-F-80) scored 6 points in a 14:7 run from the hosts as they gained the lead. The lead changed hands for numerous times throughout the rest of the period before Anton Gavel (189-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports) made it 30:25 for the visiting team. Slovakia kept the hosts at arms length in the second quarter and ensured a 50:46 lead at halftime. Ireland used a 5:0 run in the third quarter to retain the lead at 56:55. However Radoslav Rancik (207-F/C-79, college: St.Cloud St.), Anton Gavel and Igor Pesta (203-F/C-84) gave the advantage back to the visitors as they entered the fourth term up by 9 points. Christopher Bracey scored 9 points for Irish team early in the final term as they cut the deficit to minimum. Conor Grace (205-F-82, college: Davidson) finally drew things level at 77 with 50 seconds left. Anton Gavel converted a three-point play for Slovakia to surge in front but Jay Larranaga (195-G-75, college: Bowling Green) answered with a three-pointer to send the game into extra period. Radoslav Rancik, Anton Gavel and Richard Lesko (204-F-81, college: Ill.-Chicago) propelled the visitors to an 88:83 lead with under 3 minutes left in overtime. Jay Larranaga and McGrath shaved the distance to 2 points but Slovakia sealed the win due to cold-blooded free throw shooting from Gavlak and Richard Lesko in the dying seconds.
Radoslav Rancik tallied 24 points and 13 boards for Slovakia. Martin Sykora (190-G/F-81) and Richard Lesko finished with 16 points apiece for the winners. Conor Grace notched 20 points and 15 rebounds for Ireland. Christopher Bracey had 22 points and 7 rebounds in defeat.

Ireland: Christopher Bracey 22, Conor Grace 20+15 boards
Slovakia: Radoslav Rancik 24+13 boards, Martin Sykora 16, Richard Lesko 16


Michael Bonaparte "I would recommend Ireland to any player interested" - by Mariano Galindo
Last season, he was one of the best players in Irish League. Michael Bonaparte (196-F-82, agency: Weller Sports - Entertainment, college: Coll.of the Ozarks) spoke wiht eurobasket.com

1. You played in NAIA where you was one of the best players. All American Honorable Mention, MVP National Tournament in 2006...and more awards how do you describe your seasons there, with Coll of the Ozarks?

My decision to play at the College Of The Ozarks came about due to injuries suffered in Junior College and not having an oppertunity to show that I could play. Prior to the injury I was talking to Emporia State University. After that they showed no more interest. So had a tryout with COFO and the rest was history. Got there loved the people and the atmosphere and refused every other offers after that. It was a fun filled Season the best group of guys you could ask to be around in our championship run, we were friends before we were teamates, it was like a family outside your family, and this made us care for each other, and made playing fun and relatively easy.

2. What do you think about NAIA?

I think the NAIA does not get the respect it truly deserve. For instance the Southwest Baptist University was NCAA Div. II Top 25 and we lost by three to them in double overtime. This is just my first hand experience of saying that NAIA schools can compete and even beat alot of the NCAA Div II schools. I think NAIA is filled with guys who had Mishaps and so had to play NAIA.

3. In 2007, you started your first professional season. Why did you go to Ireland?

I had originally signed a contract to go to the United Kingdom, to play for the London United. One day prior to leaving I received an email saying the team has lost its mmajor sponsor and will be dropping out of the BBL. As a result I received an offer in Ireland and took it.

4. In Dublin you has played to Dart Killester, with that you went to the Irish League Finals and also you won Irish Cup. Tell us about your irish experiencie

My experience in Ireland was a great one, I would recommend Ireland to any player interested, well Dart Killester anyways. The guys on the team understands what it takes to win and plays to win. The meembers of the club takes care of all the players, not only the Imports. I enjoyed playing with the guys it wasn't just a job.

5. You were chosen by Eurobasket.com All-Irish Superleague Forward of the Year -08 and All-Irish Superleague Import Player of the Year -08. Also, you were included in All-Irish Superleague 1st Team -08 and Irish Superleague All-Imports Team -08. This awards denote that last season was great for Michael Bonaparte wasnt it?

Because of the type of talented that was in the league last season I do feel honored to be receive these awards. It does reflect a great season for me. But most of all they reflect a great season for Dart Killester. The personal awards are something only you can cherish, but when you win the cup and the league its something everyone with interest in the team, or a part of the team enjoys and thats the beauty of success is to see the joy your accomplisments has brought to others. And as we all know these awards would not be possible without great teammates and coach.

6. Now, you are looking for a team. Maybe we could see you in Irish Superleague again?

I am currently seeking a job. There is a possiblity to see me in the Irish Superleague again but I am currently looking into other options. I would like to present myself with some new challenges, wherever that may be.


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


Israel heads to Eurobasket 2009 - by Eurobasket News
Israel-Czech Republic 98:61

Israel advanced to EuroBasket 2009 after a home win over Czech Republic 98:61. A win in all the quarters in the game led the team to 3-3 record that was enough to advance from the second place. Yotam Halperin (196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services) paced all the winners with 25 points. Meir Tapiro (194-G-75, agency: Avi Zilberman) netted 24, while Lior Eliyahu (205-F-85, agency: ZAG Advocates) scored 16. Petr Benda (203-F/C-82, agency: Court Side) top-scored in defeat with 16 points and Tomas Satoransky (196-G/F-91, agency: PPGroup) notched 12. The setback has dropped Czech Republic to bottom of Group D and into the Relegation Round.
More than 8000 spectators came to support their local team and to triumph with them at the end. Israel had difficulties going into the lead in the first period and had 13:13 in the middle of it. Later on the hosts dominated the court and Meir Tapiro scored for 28:19 at the end of the first. In the second period the hosts controlled the game and after 21:16 in the second improved to 49:35 at the halftime.
Lior Eliyahu made it plus 20 in the start of the third quarter. Israel did not stop the tempo and Limonad closed the third period from the arc for 78:54. In the last quarter the teams were killing time as it became clear that the hosts would not give the game back. Israel tried however to score more as they realized the importance of the differential points. They managed to win by 27 that was enough to clinch the spot in Poland 2009.

Israel: Yotam Halperin 25, Meir Tapiro 24, Lior Eliyahu 16
Czech Republic: Petr Benda 16, Tomas Satoransky 12


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


Napoli and Capo D'Orlando are out - by Stefano Pini
Napoli and Capo D'Orlando are officially out from the next Serie A Championship. This afternoon Federal Italian Basketball Council announced the exclusion of the two teams due to presumed financial's shoddiness. Is a kind of earthquake for pro-basket in Italy. And the season is starting in two weeks... Final decision, after recurses, has to be taken in a week. At the moment, Serie A will have 16 teams next season.

*****************************************************
  LATVIA   


Latvia loses in Paredes but qualifies to Eurobasket 2009 - by Eurobasket News
Portugal-Latvia 93:92

Portugal that lost first three games in Group B won the next three to tie the record at 3-3. The team had a battle but won at home over Latvia 93:92. With a strong first half the hosts could hold the margin and one point was enough to celebrate. Jose Costa (187-G-73) led the winners with 29 points and 7 assists. Miguel Miranda (205-F-78) netted 17 and Santos had 11. Kristaps Janicenoks (196-F-83) top-scored in defeat with 21 points, whilst Andris Biedrins (213-C-86) collected 19 points and 13 boards.
The team started well the opening quarter and remained mostly even in it. Portugal made a final push in the period and Jose Costa posted a 23:18 lead. Santos increased the lead to 29:23 in the beginning of the second period and Jose Costa made it 48:40 later in the end. Berzins could reduce to 51:45 finishing the first half of the game.
The third period was also divided into two halves as the team exchanged the runs. At first Portugal had 63:50 as Andrade scored a jump-shot with a foul. Latvia bounced back and cut to 70:67 as Berzins also scored with a foul. Latvia would end up extending their advantage to 84:79 after Kristaps Valters buried a three, and made two free throws. Cunha struck from long range to tie the game at 85:85. Trailing 90:92 Miguel Miranda nailed a three with 6 seconds remaining and Latvia did not score at the end.

Portugal: Jose Costa 29+7 ast, Miguel Miranda 17, Santos 11
Latvia: Kristaps Janicenoks 21, Andris Biedrins 19+13 rebs


*****************************************************
  LEBANON   


Transactions of the off season - by Asia-Basket Lebanon
The Lebanese Market these days is very busy in recruiting players for the long waited and expected season 2008-2009.
For these reasons all teams started their preparations early for the first time since summer of 2003 ( The Championships of season 2004-2005 , 2005-2006 , 2006-2007.2007-2008 started late due to the political situation that was in Lebanon).

Riyadi :
Signed: Fadi El Khatib(Cherkasy Ukrain) . Mohamad Ibrahim (College USA), Yehia Sabra (Sagesse), Abdallah Hijazi (renewal)
Foreign Players: Nate Johnson

Moutahed:
Signed: Mazen Mneimneh (Riyadi ) , Mario Abboud (Champville) , Tomy Ammar (Australia)
Foreign Players: Tony Williams

Sagesse :
Signed: Nadim Souaid (Antranik ) , Bassem Balaa (Blue Stars)
In negotiations: Brian Beshara (Moutahed), Matt Freiji (USA)
Foreign Players: Trent Strickland in trial


Champville :
Signed: Ramy Akiki (Riyadi ) , Nadim Hawi (renewal)

Blue Stars:
Signed: Jad Moubarak (Tour Aintoura )
Foreign Players: Larry Cox in trial


As for the other teams, they are under negotiations with many players, the image will be clearer by the end of the signatures deadline which is end of September 2008.


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


Zalgiris come up short against Eldo - by Eurobasket News
Zalgiris - Eldo 80:84

Zalgiris played another exhibition game on their preseason Italian tour. Yesterday the Lithuanian champions lost to Eldo. The visitors got to a better start as Marcus Brown and Loren Woods (215-C-78, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Arizona) put them in front 7:4. Zalgiris secured a 22:20 lead after the starting frame. Dainius Salenga (197-F-77) and Ratko Varda (213-C/F-79) allowed the Lithuanian side to enlarge the advantage to as many as 9 points late in the second frame. But Eldo managed to cut the gap to just 3 points at halftime. Guillermo Diaz (188-G-85, college: Miami, FL) and Shan Foster (198-G/F-86, college: Vanderbilt) fueled the rally from the hosts in the third quarter when they denied the deficit and surged ahead. Eldo piled up a a 62:58 advantage at three quarter time and maintained the pressure throughout the fourth quarter. Zalgiris shaved the deficit to only 2 points at the dying stages of the encounter but Jamar Butler (185-G-85, agency: 540 Sports, college: Ohio St.) sealed the winning outcome for Eldo. Loren Woods notched 13 points and 11 rebounds for Zalgiris. Mantas Kalnietis (196-G-86, agency: Interperformances) had 12 points, while Paulius Jankunas (204-F-84, agency: Interperformances) had 11 points in defeat. Guillermo Diaz secured 24 points for Eldo. Shan Foster contributed 16 points for the winners. Today Zalgiris will play against Napoli.

Zalgiris: Loren Woods 13+11 boards, Mantas Kalnietis 12, Paulius Jankunas 11
Eldo: Guillermo Diaz 24, Shan Foster 16


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


Magnolia Beverage Masters bow to Qatar National Team - by Eurobasket News
Magnolia Beverage Masters team travelled to Qatar to take part in the friendly tournament organized by the Qatar Basketball Federation. Yesterday the Filipinos could not match the Qatar National Team falling short 62:71. Donaldo Hontiveros (188-G-77) was superb in the opening frame as he drained 4 trebles to pace the visiting side. He accounted for 18 points in the quarter and helped Magnolia Masters to take a 25:15 lead after ten minutes of action. Danny Seigle (198-F/G-76, college: Wagner) began the second period with a jumper to stretch the margin to as many as 12 points. However Qatar team stayed closed and used free throws to get within 3 points from the visitors 32:35 at halftime. The hosts went on a 10:0 rally to secure a 53:44 lead midway through the third frame. Qatar National team built a 12-point cushion before the fourth term and Magnolia Beverage Masters failed to overcome that. The home team stretched the margin to as many as 16 point at the start of the fourth term. The Filipinos cut the gap to 9 points but never came any closer at the end. Donaldo Hontiveros finished the game with 24 points for Magnolia. Danny Seigle added 11 points, while Kenneth Bono (198-C) scored 8 in defeat. Erfan Ali Saeed (200-F-83) had 17 points for Qatar. Ali Turki (202-F-82) added 13 points, while Kosar secured 11 for the winners. Magnolia Beverage Masters will take on Egypt next.

*****************************************************
  PORTUGAL   


Latvia loses in Paredes but qualifies to Eurobasket 2009 - by Eurobasket News
Portugal-Latvia 93:92

Portugal that lost first three games in Group B won the next three to tie the record at 3-3. The team had a battle but won at home over Latvia 93:92. With a strong first half the hosts could hold the margin and one point was enough to celebrate. Jose Costa (187-G-73) led the winners with 29 points and 7 assists. Miguel Miranda (205-F-78) netted 17 and Santos had 11. Kristaps Janicenoks (196-F-83) top-scored in defeat with 21 points, whilst Andris Biedrins (213-C-86) collected 19 points and 13 boards.
The team started well the opening quarter and remained mostly even in it. Portugal made a final push in the period and Jose Costa posted a 23:18 lead. Santos increased the lead to 29:23 in the beginning of the second period and Jose Costa made it 48:40 later in the end. Berzins could reduce to 51:45 finishing the first half of the game.
The third period was also divided into two halves as the team exchanged the runs. At first Portugal had 63:50 as Andrade scored a jump-shot with a foul. Latvia bounced back and cut to 70:67 as Berzins also scored with a foul. Latvia would end up extending their advantage to 84:79 after Kristaps Valters buried a three, and made two free throws. Cunha struck from long range to tie the game at 85:85. Trailing 90:92 Miguel Miranda nailed a three with 6 seconds remaining and Latvia did not score at the end.

Portugal: Jose Costa 29+7 ast, Miguel Miranda 17, Santos 11
Latvia: Kristaps Janicenoks 21, Andris Biedrins 19+13 rebs


*****************************************************
  QATAR   


Egypt Down Qatar in Close Finish - by Amir Abou-El-Kheir
Egypt behind the great play of Wael Badr (193-G-78) and the hot shooting of Sherif Gunaidi (186-G-80) defeated Qatar in a match that went down to the wire 79-76. Qatar started nicely, but looked sluggish and tired down the stretch as they couldn't match Egypt's intensity on the defensive end. In the final quarter, Egypt scored at will and overcame a 9 point deficit and lead 74-65 with 2 minutes left. Qatar, behind the great play of Erfan Ali Saeed (200-F-83) who scored 27 and pulled down 12 rebounds, put on a furious fight at the end, but it was a story of too little too late as they came up just short.

Egypt will now battle Magnolia Beverage Masters of Philippines in tonight's final game to see who gets crowned champions of the Qatar Friendship Games 2008. Magnolia Beverage Masters of the Phillipines downed As Sadd Sports Club of Qatar in the late game. Game time will be at 9:00 pm local Doha time.


*****************************************************
  RUSSIA   


CSKA back on winning track - by Eurobasket News
CSKA rebounded quickly after the loss to Montepaschi Siena on Italian preseason tour. Yesterday Russian powerhouse handled Italian Seria A newcomer Ferrara 97:78. Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) tallied 16 points and 9 rebounds to pace CSKA. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) added 13 points, while Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) and Terence Morris (206-F-79, college: Maryland) nailed 11 points apiece for the winners. Andre Collins (183-G-82, college: Loyola, MD) answered with game-high 30 points for Carife Ferrara. CSKA got to a sloppy start to the game as they allowed the hosts to run away to an 8-point distance after the opening frame. CSKA gradually took over and cut the deficit to 4 points at halftime. Ferrara managed to maintained the lead throughout the third frame and headed into the final stanza up by 3 points. But an unstoppable rally from the visitors resulted in a 32:10 fourth quarter rout of the Italian side and CSKA secured yet another victory in Italy.
Meanwhile Enisey secured an impressive 64:60 win over Geoplin Slovan at the Kvarner Cup in Croatia. Trailing by 4 points at the interval Slovan stretched the margin to as many as 9 points after three quarters of action. But Enisey refused to surrender and pulled away with a hard-fought victory at the end. Dmitri Nikolaev (200-F-83), Dmitri Dogadin (200-F-81) and Aleksandr Anisimov (185-G-86) all scored 11 points apiece to lead the Russian team. Enisey will now take on Kvarner in the title decider. Kvarner held off Graz 68:59 in another semifinal. Jurica Spahija (203-F/C-83) led the charge with 21 points for the hosts.


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


Partizan lost from Panellinios - by Zoran Popovic
In the first match of the tournament in Rhodos, Panellinios Athens won against BC BC Partizan Igokea Beograd (70-63 (19-19, 14-10, 18-21, 19-13). Serbian Champion played well and had small advantage, but in the finish of the match and four points advantage for BC Partizan Igokea Beograd, Greek team uses moment when BC Partizan Igorea Beograd players lost concentration and turned over the result. Cedomir Vitkovac (201-F-82) scored 16 points for BC Partizan Igokea Beograd and for Panellinios Golemac scored 16 points and some of them decided the winner in the last quarter.

Panellinios Athens: Ostojic 2, Grundy 16, Kalaitzidis 10, Kalaitzis 2, Newley 7, Petroulas 2, Nadjfeji 4, Petrovic 7, Golemac 16, Radenovic 4.
BC Partizan Igokea Beograd Igokea Beograd Aleksandrovac: Veseli 6, Bozic 8, Riznic, Djurkovic 6, Milosevic 3, Balaban 2, Rasic 8, Rakocevic 3, Trikic, Lucic 2, Aleksic 9, Vitkovac 16.


Bulgaria advanced to Poland 2009 even after a loss to Serbia - by Eurobasket News
Bulgaria-Serbia 77:87

Bulgaria advanced to Poland 2009 even after a loss to Serbia and finished Group A with 4-4 record. The hosts of the game finished second ahead of Italy, who were also 4-4 but had a worse overall goal differential in the group than the Bulgarians. The latter lost to Serbia 77:87 as both teams advanced to the Eurobasket 2009. Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) led the winners with 17 points and 9 boards. Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85) and Milos Vujanic (192-G-80) followed him with 11 each as Serbia finished the group with 7-1 record. Ibrahim Jaaber (187-G-84, college: Pennsylvania) top-scored for the hosts with 27 points and Deyan Ivanov (205-C/F-86), had 14.
Nenad Krstic scored first points for the guests in the early beginning to prove that his team clinched the top position truthfully. Having 6:5 advantage Bulgaria missed a 8-0 run as the guests dominated the court. They stormed into a 26:16 lead by the end of the opening quarter and extended that to 49:30 by half-time. Ibrahim Jaaber could only reduce to those numbers at the halftime.
Bulgaria seemed to find their game in the second half but still trailed in the third period. Serbia won the quarter 24:22 and had 73:52 after 30 minutes of the game. In the last period Bulgaria played better and reduced the gap to 10 points as a total. Markovic was the last to score before Deyan Ivanov nailed a three for 77:87.

Bulgaria: Ibrahim Jaaber 27, Deyan Ivanov, 14
Serbia: Nenad Krstic 17+9 rebs, Zoran Erceg 11, Milos Vujanic 11


*****************************************************
  SLOVAKIA   


Slovakia secure overtime win over Ireland - by Eurobasket News
Ireland - Slovakia 85:90

Slovakia grabbed their second win at the EuroBasket in Division B as they triumphed in Dublin today. The thriller action saw the hosts save the game in the final seconds however Slovakia proved the strength at the end. Ireland slipped to 1-3 record in Group C.
Slovakia opened the game with 6 straight points to mark their dominance. However Christopher Bracey (198-F-80) scored 6 points in a 14:7 run from the hosts as they gained the lead. The lead changed hands for numerous times throughout the rest of the period before Anton Gavel (189-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports) made it 30:25 for the visiting team. Slovakia kept the hosts at arms length in the second quarter and ensured a 50:46 lead at halftime. Ireland used a 5:0 run in the third quarter to retain the lead at 56:55. However Radoslav Rancik (207-F/C-79, college: St.Cloud St.), Anton Gavel and Igor Pesta (203-F/C-84) gave the advantage back to the visitors as they entered the fourth term up by 9 points. Christopher Bracey scored 9 points for Irish team early in the final term as they cut the deficit to minimum. Conor Grace (205-F-82, college: Davidson) finally drew things level at 77 with 50 seconds left. Anton Gavel converted a three-point play for Slovakia to surge in front but Jay Larranaga (195-G-75, college: Bowling Green) answered with a three-pointer to send the game into extra period. Radoslav Rancik, Anton Gavel and Richard Lesko (204-F-81, college: Ill.-Chicago) propelled the visitors to an 88:83 lead with under 3 minutes left in overtime. Jay Larranaga and McGrath shaved the distance to 2 points but Slovakia sealed the win due to cold-blooded free throw shooting from Gavlak and Richard Lesko in the dying seconds.
Radoslav Rancik tallied 24 points and 13 boards for Slovakia. Martin Sykora (190-G/F-81) and Richard Lesko finished with 16 points apiece for the winners. Conor Grace notched 20 points and 15 rebounds for Ireland. Christopher Bracey had 22 points and 7 rebounds in defeat.

Ireland: Christopher Bracey 22, Conor Grace 20+15 boards
Slovakia: Radoslav Rancik 24+13 boards, Martin Sykora 16, Richard Lesko 16


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


Pre-Season Round Up (Friday 19 Sep Games) - by Paul Nilsen
It was a definitively strange night for pre-season games involving ACB clubs on Friday with GBC Bruesa going scoring crazy against Dontesk, Granada barely scraping a miserable 50 points against Unicaja and Pamesa perhaps surprisingly going down against CAI Zaragoza.

There may have only been 50 people watching Bruesa face Donetsk but they enjoyed an incredible result with the San Sebastian team blowing away their Ukrainian opponents by 113-73. This 40 point win was a big confidence booster with the season now only a couple of weeks away with Panko and Hopkins both rattling off 20 points a piece. Bruesa were in control from the outset extending their 27-21 first quarter advantage by half time to 58-38. Their offensive exhibition was then turned up another level in the second half as they cruised to victory holding their opponents to just 12 final quarter points.

While the old addage goes something along the lines of pre-season counts for nothing, there wont be anyone hoping this saying is more true than Granada coach Trifon Poch . It was another worrying and painful to watch performance from his powder puff and toothless team as they just about moved out of an embarrassing score in the forties to end up with just 50 points. They suffered a 15 point loss to Unicaja who made a good start to the defence of their Andalucian Cup. Poch will at least satisfy himself that his team can play some defence but for yet another game, his team were stuck in the twenties at the half and just couldnt find any offence - not helped by just seven first quarter points. Only Jimmie Hunter made it into double figures while interstingly nobody managed it at all for Malaga - the crucial difference being that seven players all scored more than seven points in a strong Unicaja display in front of 500 spectators.

Finally Pamesa will be disappointed by another pre-season reverse, this time at the hands of CAI Zaragoza who walked away with a morale boosting 81-69 success thanks mainly to a splendid first half when they outscored Tarjona by 50-22 to break open the game. While Pamesa fought back, it was all in vain after that truly shocking first 20 minutes. At least new signing Dikoudis got 16 points but this game was about veteran Larry Lewis who took advantage of the soft Valencia front court to help himself to 19 points. The incorporation of Perovic inside cant come quick enough for this Pamesa team.


Standings - LEB Silver
LEB Silver Standings
 1. Ourense 0-0 
 2. Huesca 0-0 
 3. Cornella 0-0 
 4. CB Tarrag. 0-0 
 5. Torrons Vic. 0-0 
 6. Jerez 0-0 
 7. Gijon 0-0 
 8. Qalat Caja Sol 0-0 
 9. CajasurCord. 0-0 
 10. Palencia 0-0 
 11. Plasencia 0-0 
 12. Vigo 0-0 
 13. Prat 0-0 
 14. Caja Rioja 0-0 
 15. Coruna 0-0 
 16. Navarra 0-0 


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


Ffriend back in Turkey - by Sinan Can
MERSIN Buyuksehir Belediyespor signed with a familiar player for Turkish basketball fans. Mersin team who parted ways with Devon Hardin because of players injury, signed one year agreement with Kimani Ffriend (211-C-77, agency: Court Side, college: Nebraska). Jamaican center has played for Besiktas in 2005-2006 season as he had a great reputation between Istanbul team's fans. Experienced center played for French team Paris-Levallois as he averaged 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 blocks in 13 games. Mersin Coach Ahmet Kandemir quoted as, 'Kimani will help us with his energy and experience.'

France to miss out direct qualification - by Eurobasket News
France-Turkey 78:80

His majesty Tony Parker (183-G-80) was not enough for France to carry them directly to Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. France lost to undefeated Turkey at home 78:80. Fatih Solak (213-C-80) led the winners with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Sinan Guler (193-G-83, agency: 1x1 Sports, college: Carroll (MT)) netted 14, while Kerem Tunceri (190-G-79) scored 13. Tony Parker had a great night with 37 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the hosts, whilst De Colo scored 9.
The four group winners in Division A, and the three best second-place teams earn direct tickets for EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. France became the second team with 3-3 record in Group C, but the fourth within others and had to play the Additional Qualifying Round.
Kirksay led the way for the hosts in the very beginning. France finished the first period at 6-0 to take 20:15 after the opening quarter. Gradit increased the lead to 29:20 but Ilyasova brought the favorites back to 29:28. Tchicamboud closed the half from the arc for 35:30.
France remained in front in the third period and even after 21:22 in it had 56:52 advantage. Kerem Tunceri brought his team the taste of the lead at 63:60. Two more Tuneri free throws extended the lead back to three, and after Brun missed from long range, Fatih Solak made two at the line to put Turkey on top at 78:73. De Colo reduced it to 77:78 with 27 seconds remaining and Diawara scored one free throw for 78:80. He missed the second on purpose but Sinan Guler rebounded the ball and triumphed in the group with his Turkey.


France: Tony Parker 37+7 rebs+5 ast, De Colo 9
Turkey: Fatih Solak 16+6 rebs, Sinan Guler 14, Kerem Tunceri 13


*****************************************************
  U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS   


NEVER COUNT OUT SAN ANTONIO - by David Edole
Here's a tip for the upcoming season: Don't count out the San Antonio Spurs. Aside from their tradition of winning a title every other year this team still has one of the most underrated operations running. They've got Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest), the best player of his generation as well as the most decorated. They've got Gregg Popovich, one of the greatest and most respected NBA coaches ever.

They've got Manu Ginobili, the most dominant international player ever (sorry Dirk). They've got Tony Parker, one of the most dominant point guards in the NBA today who significantly ups his effectiveness in the post-season. They've basically got every reason to think that they can nab one more title before Duncan and co. are put out to pasture and they may ride their under-the-radar status to just that goal.

Of course, here is where the chorus chimes in insisting that the team is too old, too slow and too underpowered to go against the Hornets, Lakers or Rockets. Of course, the devil's advocate could argue that this team has more experience and Championship pedigree than all of those teams put together. This team has never opted to pattern themselves after the fleeting trends of the NBA. Popovich has always had this team playing in a way that is most effective for them. He plays to his player's strengths and doesn't try to make this unit into something its not. They were two wins away from the NBA Finals last season and they have shown no reason why they can't surpass that hurdle this season like they have so many times before.

The first reason why that isn't such a stretch in thinking is the presence of Duncan. People have been looking to write him off for years now as being a step slower and unable to match-up with the best power forwards in the NBA. The thing is, Duncan never played a speed game, never relied on any athleticism to win, and as a result there is no reason to think he can't play deep into his thirties and still be more effective than many of the jumping-jack power forwards currently playing the game. He simply uses his alarmingly high basketball I.Q. to beat his opponents mentally as well as physically. He paces himself throughout the season so that he is at his best for the Playoffs, and last season he played 95 of a possible 99 games (including the Playoffs) and shows no signs of letting age impede his productivity. He's averaged 79.3 games per regular season the last three years and looks as durable as ever. People may try to insist that he can't do it like he did anymore and yet all he does is keep on winning. The death-watch is starting to get really tired in San Antonio.

Of course, if people aren't talking about the age of Duncan they are talking about the age of the rest of his team. With guys like Michael Finley (35), Bruce Bowen (37), Kurt Thomas (36) and Jacque Vaughn (33) playing significant roles for this team people are quick to dismiss this collection as too old to compete in today's NBA. Well, aside from the fact that the last four NBA Champs have hardly been the spring chickens of the league (San Antonio twice, Miami and Boston), San Antonio is slowly but surely bolstering their lineup with carefully selected youths.

This summer they drafted George Hill out of IUPUI, a heady point guard who'll tutor under Parker and Vaughn to eventually become Parker's full time backup. They signed Roger Mason Jr. in free agency after he had a mini-breakout year in Washington in Agent Zero's absence. He'll be brought on to eventually replace Finley as the backup two-guard on this team. He'll be joined on the wing by the young Ime Udoka, the four-year pro the team signed last summer to tutor under defensive stalwart Bruce Bowen. While none of these guys are looked at as future stars, this team is far more interested in keeping its bench fresh while it still has three All-Star players on its starting lineup. When those stars start to wither the team will look to replace them. For now all the team needs is a piece here and there to keep the second-unit fresh.

While powers rise and fall throughout the Western Conference the Spurs have remained a force since the day Tim Duncan arrived in the 1997 NBA Draft. Their star has never faded and their Championship pedigree has never dulled. If falling two wins short of the NBA Finals one year after winning it all is a failure to some eyes then it is probably time to get those eyes checked. This team may one day have to suffer through the trials of rebuilding, but that day is not today.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP

PG - Tony Parker

Despite going into his eighth professional season in the NBA, Parker is still only 26 years old. He is a big reason why when this team has to go about reimagining itself after Tim Duncan retires it won't have to fall into obscurity to do so. Parker may not be the statistical beast that Chris Paul or Deron Williams is, but he knows how to play his game and he knows how to use it to beat his opponent. He's made a career of torching Hall of Fame point guards in the post-season, from Gary Payton in 2002 to Steve Nash in 2008 and he's showing no signs that he'll stop anytime soon. He's already knocked Paul and Williams out of the Playoffs in their short careers and has also made quick work of Mike Bibby, Andre Miller and Stephon Marbury. He may not garner the same celebrity of the other big-name point guards in the NBA, but his collection of rings and trophies will no doubt provide him with an easy night's sleep as recompense.

SG - Manu Ginobili

Everyone knows the recipe by now: start the season with Ginobili, move him to the bench, start him again mid-way through the Playoffs. This year, however, the team must start the season without their Argentine star while he recovers from left ankle surgery. In his place Michael Finley will hold down the fort but for all intents and purposes Ginobili is the starter here, even if he only starts half of his games. That, though, could be the cause for concern - if there is one - in San Antonio this season. While much of the negativity surrounding this team is bluster, an injured Ginobili is never a welcome sight. That fact is amplified when one considers that he has become the most productive regular-season player on this team. He is generally instrumental in keeping this team in the race until they make their annual late-season surge towards the top of the Conference. Perhaps the rest afforded him at the start of the season will keep him fresh for the end run, but if he can't come back at full strength it could force this team to re-think it's strategy for the 82-game marathon.

SF - Bruce Bowen

Has he lost a step defensively? Sure, making him a top-five man-on defender instead of the number one in the league. Bowen is the league's consummate role player, filling a very narrowly defined role (lock-up your man, hit threes) to perfection for years. Udoka, his heir-apparent, will probably never be able to so sublimely blend into what it is that the Spurs do but for right now the team is just going to keep riding Bowen until he has nothing left. He's the perfect model of a player who keeps his career going by learning the game as well as playing it. He's a tactician (some argue in the dirtiest ways possible) and he's more-or-less floor bound, but he's been more instrumental to several Championship runs that most of today's superstars ever will be.

PF - Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan has won one more title and one less MVP than Larry Bird. He's won two more titles and two less MVP awards than Wilt Chamberlain. He's nabbed two more titles than Walt Frazier and Hakeem Olajuwon. When talking about Duncan, confining him to the era in which he played no longer suffices. Duncan is a player that exists purely within the realm of 'All-Time'. He's made a career out of winning. While he may not have received the attention that Shaquille O'Neal or Kevin Garnett did, he never had the valleys that their careers have had, either. He's the greatest power forward of all time and it behooves anyone who loves the game of basketball to absorb every game they can see him play because it isn't often that one gets to see true greatness in this generation.

C - Kurt Thomas

Nabbing Thomas last year from the Sonics was a wonderful move to fortify this team's frontcourt. Resigning him on the cheap this year was even better. Thomas is one of the few NBA big men that can still play post defense without relying solely on shot blocking. He fits this team and their approach to the game like a glove. By splitting time with Fabricio Oberto it keeps his body from taking the physical toll that would render him less effective during the Playoffs because like so many of the components on this team, that is where he's really meant to shine. At this point in his career he couldn't be in a better place to maximize his talents.

TIM CHISHOLM


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  UKRAINE   


Belgium steals a win and Additional Qualifying Round from Ukraine - by Eurobasket News
Ukraine-Belgium 58:76

Belgium steals a win and Additional Qualifying Round from Ukraine with a road 58:76 win in Yuzhnyi. Trailing 18:13 after the opening quarter the guests finished the night with 26:12 to clinch third place in Group C. Christophe Beghin (207-F-80, agency: Court Side) top-scored for the winners with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Axel Hervelle (205-F-83) netted 17 and Lionel Bosco (176-G-81, agency: Court Side) added 11. Serhiy Lishchuk (210-C/F-82) was the best for the hosts with 21 points and Andriy Agafonov (207-F-86, agency: Interperformances) posted 16.
Of the 10 teams remaining, the top six ranked sides advance to the Additional Qualifying Round to compete for one spot in Poland, while the lowest four ranked sides go to the Relegation Round. Sadly for the Ukrainians, they will be one of the bottom four and now have to fight to preserve their Division A status.
Belgium could not score for more than 2 minutes in the beginning of the game and trailed later 11:14 in the period. Kolchenko made a jump shot for 18:13 at the end of the first. Lionel Bosco then had four points in a 10-2 run to close the second quarter that gave the visitors a 38:29 advantage.
Ukraine won the third period 17:12 and reduced to 46:50 when Serhiy Lishchuk closed the period from the arc. Kryvych brought the team to 50:55 but a 5-0 run from the visitors saw the board changing it to 50:60. Belgium was too good in the last period and won the game truthfully. Moors closed it from behind the court and made the final score 76:58.


Ukraine: Serhiy Lishchuk 21, Andriy Agafonov 16
Belgium: Christophe Beghin 18+11 rebs, Axel Hervelle 17, Lionel Bosco 11


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  UNITED KINGDOM   


Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Great Britain - by Eurobasket News
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Great Britain 89:80

Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Great Britain in Cazin but will play in Additional Qualifying Round. The hosts upset the leader of the group 89:80 even trailing after the opening quarter. Ernest Bremer (196-G-80, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: St.Bonaventure) led the winners with 18 points and 6 assists. Kenan Bajramovic (206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket) netted 16, while Mirza Teletovic (203-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) posted 15. Andrew Betts (216-C-77, college: Long Beach St.) top-scored in defeat with 14 points and Nate Reinking (183-G-73, college: Kent St.) added 13.
Last round was decisive for Bosnia when Israel overcame them for the second ticket from EuroBasket qualifying Group D. Israel won 88:74 in Tel Aviv with 6000 fans support. Yotam Halperin all the winners with 22 points, 5 assists and 4 boards. Lior Eliyahu collected 21 points and 17 rebounds, whilst Meir Tapiro added 19. Goran Ikonic netted 17 in defeat and Kenan Kenan Bajramovic scored 13.
Tonight Bosnia and Herzegovina desired a win but looked a bit problematic in the opening quarter. Even without Deng Great Britain took 20:13 after the first period. Bosnia and Herzegovina woke up in the second and bounced back with 28:17 in the quarter. Dedovic made it 41:37 after the halftime.
Bosnia and Herzegovina remained in front in the third period and after 20:14 had 61:51 advantage. They led more than 15 points in the last stanza but Great Britain managed to reduce to 89:80 at the end of the game.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ernest Bremer 18+6 ast, Kenan Bajramovic 16, Mirza Teletovic 15
Great Britain: Andrew Betts 14, Nate Reinking 13


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  URUGUAY   


Standings - LUB
LUB Standings
 1. Malvin 7-1 
 2. Hebraica 6-2 
 3. Olimpia 6-2 
 4. Atenas 5-2 
 5. Defensor 5-3 
 6. Tabare 5-3 
 7. Sayago 4-3 
 8. Trouville 3-5 
 9. Un.Atletica 3-5 
 10. Bigua 2-5 
 11. Welcome 2-5 
 12. Bohemios 2-5 
 13. Paysandu 2-7 
 14. Cordon 1-6 


Malvin won its 5th game on a row - by Hector Lopez
Malvin won its fifth game ona row beating Trouville 89-75 to maintain the LUB leadership with a 7-1 record. Jarrett Stephens (200-F/C-77, agency: Duran International, college: Penn St.) scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds lo lead Malvin, while Anthony Washington (206-F/C-83, agency: Duran International, college: Portland St.) added 6 points and 11 rebounds. For Trouville Levi Stukes (188-G-84) netted 23 and Ollie Bailey (201-F-85, college: Oklahoma City) scored 13 and took 9 rebounds. Other results and import plyers numbers:
Olimpia 88 - Reque Newsome (203-C-82, college: S.Indiana) 22 points and 8 rebounds, Greg Dilligard (203-F-85, agency: Warren Sports International) 10 and 4
Tabare 76 - Ryan Blankson (198-F-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Loyola, IL) 20 and 12, Clarence Matthews (201-F-82, agency: 22ft, college: Tennessee St.) 17 and 10
- - -
Hebraica 99 - Angelo Reyes (205-F/C-81) 24 and 15, Corey Smith (196-G/F, agency: Warren Sports International, college: Vanderbilt) 19 points
Union Atletica - Tarrie Monroe (202-F-77, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: Lewis) 30 and 8, Marlon Martinez (204-F/C-79) 15 and 8
- - -
Defensor Sporting 70 - Brian Woodward (191-G-81, agency: Passing Lane, college: Rhode Island) 21 and 8, Chris Jackson (208-C-81, college: N.Mexico St.) 21 and 23
Pysandu 63 - Trelonnie Owens (202-F-71, college: Wake Forest) 15 and 4, Gyasi Cline-Heard (202-F-79, college: Penn St.) 7 and 11, Austin Montgomery (196-G, college: Bowling Green) 7 and 8.


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  USBL   


USBL ENTERS NEXT PHASE OF MARKETING PLAN - by John Gary
courtesyusbl.com The Umited States Basketball League has officially entered into its second phase bof its 2009 marketing plan. For the 2009 season most of the teams are being planned for the eastern united states. In 2010, the league is expected to expand its efforts on the west coast. Franchises are being offered for as low as 100,000. INTERESTED parties should contact Daniel Mesinheimer at the USBL offices in Connecticut for more information.



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Women News

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  AUSTRALIA - Women  


Lauren Jackson and Tully Bevilaqua are in the Defensive Teams of the year - by Eurobasket News
The WNBA league announced the First and Second Defensive Teams of the Year. The 2008 Second Defensive Team of the Year comprised Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky, Deanna Nolan of Detroit, Lauren Jackson (196-F/C-81) of Seattle, Rebekkah Brunson from Sacramento and Katie Smith of Detroit.
Lisa Leslie of Los Angeles, Tamika Catchings of Indiana, Sophia Young from San Antonio, Patricia Penicheiro of Sacramento and Indiana's Tully Bevilaqua (164-G-72) were named to the First Defensive Team of the Year.
Meanwhile Seattle really needs help from Lauren Jackson. Lat night the Los Angeles Sparks won the playoffs opener in the Western conference. They overcame the Seattle Storm at the Staples Center to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. Delisha Milton-Jones and Marie Ferdinand scored 11 points apiece to lead the hosts to the 77:69 win. Lisa Leslie added 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Candace Parker finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for the winners. Keisha Brown was the fifth player to deliver in double figures for the hosts as she drained 10 points. The Sparks looked good in the starting frame as they piled up a 25:15 lead. The home team continued to roll confidently as they cleared off to a 17-point distance at halftime. The Storm showed some signs of the recovery early in the fourth term as Sue Bird nailed 6 points in a 13:7 rally that cut the deficit to just 6 points. However 5 straight points from Candace Parker and Marie Ferdinand allowed the Sparks to keep the visitors at arms length throughout the rest of the contest. Sue Bird netted 23 points to pace Seattle. Wright provided 13 points in defeat. The teams will now move to Seattle for the second and the third (if necessary) encounters.


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  ITALY - Women  


Masciadri truthfully opened the play-offs - by Eurobasket News
Raffaella Masciadri (185-F-80) truthfully opened WNBA play-offs with her team. Last night the Los Angeles Sparks won the playoffs opener in the Western conference. They overcame the Seattle Storm at the Staples Center to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. Delisha Milton-Jones and Marie Ferdinand scored 11 points apiece to lead the hosts to the 77:69 win. Lisa Leslie added 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Candace Parker finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for the winners. Keisha Brown was the fifth player to deliver in double figures for the hosts as she drained 10 points. Raffaella Masciadri scored 6 points making 2/5 from the field and 2/4 from the arc.The regular season she had finished with 4.3 points per game and 1.4 rebounds.
The Sparks looked good in the starting frame as they piled up a 25:15 lead. The home team continued to roll confidently as they cleared off to a 17-point distance at halftime. The Storm showed some signs of the recovery early in the fourth term as Sue Bird nailed 6 points in a 13:7 rally that cut the deficit to just 6 points. However 5 straight points from Candace Parker and Marie Ferdinand allowed the Sparks to keep the visitors at arms length throughout the rest of the contest. Sue Bird netted 23 points to pace Seattle. Wright provided 13 points in defeat. The teams will now move to Seattle for the second and the third (if necessary) encounters.


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  PORTUGAL - Women  


Patricia Penicheiro was named to the First Defensive Team of the WNBA Year - by Eurobasket News
Patricia Penicheiro (180-G-74, college: ODU) was named to the First Defensive Team of the WNBA Year. The league announced the First and Second Defensive Teams of the Year last night. The 2008 Second Defensive Team of the Year comprised Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky, Deanna Nolan of Detroit, Lauren Jackson of Seattle, Rebekkah Brunson from Sacramento and Katie Smith of Detroit.
Lisa Leslie of Los Angeles, Tamika Catchings of Indiana, Sophia Young from San Antonio, Patricia Penicheiro of Sacramento and Indiana's Tully Bevilaqua were named to the First Defensive Team of the Year.
The Indiana Fever forward Ebony Hoffman was trumped the Most Improved Player of the league in 2008. She averaged 10.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game in her fifth season in the WNBA. It was a dramatic improvement comparing to 6.4 points per game in 2006. She graduated from USC before getting drafted by the Fever in 2004 Draft. She surpassed Jia Perkins of Chicago and Shameka Christon from New York for the award.
The league veteran Lisa Lesliewas named the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. The Los Angeles Sparks center led the league in blocks denying 2.9 attempts per game. Leslie also finished sixth in steals. Lisa Leslie missed the previous season due to child birth. She is three-time WNBA MVP, two-time WNBA champion and she also earned her 4th Olympic Gold in a row in Beijing this year.
On Thursday night the San Antonio Silver Stars made a big step towards the conference finals as they toppled the Sacramento Monarchs 85:78 away from home in the opener. Rebecca Hammon nailed 6 treys and finished with 30 points to pace the regular season champions to the win. The visitors dominated throughout the encounter and easily secured the winning result. Sophia Young notched 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Vickie Johnson had 13 points for the winners. Patricia Penicheiro top-scored for the hosts with 19 points and 7 assists. Nicole Powell answered with 16 points for the Monarchs, while Crystal Kelly secured 12 points in the loss.


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  WNBA - Women  


The Sparks make it 1-0 against the Storm - by Eurobasket News
The Los Angeles Sparks won the playoffs opener in the Western conference. They overcame the Seattle Storm at the Staples Center to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. Delisha Milton-Jones (6'1''-F-74, college: Florida) and Marie Ferdinand (5'9''-G-78, college: LSU) scored 11 points apiece to lead the hosts to the 77:69 win. Lisa Leslie (6'5''-C-72, college: USC) added 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Candace Parker (6'4''-F/C-86, college: Tennessee) finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for the winners. Keisha Brown was the fifth player to deliver in double figures for the hosts as she drained 10 points. The Sparks looked good in the starting frame as they piled up a 25:15 lead. The home team continued to roll confidently as they cleared off to a 17-point distance at halftime. The Storm showed some signs of the recovery early in the fourth term as Sue Bird (5'9''-G-80, college: Connecticut) nailed 6 points in a 13:7 rally that cut the deficit to just 6 points. However 5 straight points from Candace Parker and Marie Ferdinand allowed the Sparks to keep the visitors at arms length throughout the rest of the contest. Sue Bird netted 23 points to pace Seattle. Wright provided 13 points in defeat. The teams will now move to Seattle for the second and the third (if necessary) encounters.
Detroit made a confident step towards the Eastern conference final as they held off the Indiana Fever 81:72 on the road in their series opener at the Conseco Fieldhouse. Deanna Nolan (5'11''-G/F-79, college: Georgia) buried 22 points to propel the Shock to a comfortable victory. Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Plenette Pierson knocked down 11 in the win. Tamika Catchings (6'1''-F-79, college: Tennessee) answered with 19 points and 7 assists for the Fever. Ebony Hoffman also accounted for 19 points in the losing clause. The Shock won the first three quarters and entered the fourth period ahead by 12 points. Indiana never recovered. Katie Douglas was limited to only 2 points on a 0/4 shooting from the field in the loss.


Ebony Hoffman is named 2008 Most Improved Player of the Year - by Eurobasket News
The Indiana Fever forward Ebony Hoffman (6'2''-C/F-82, college: USC) was trumped the Most Improved Player of the league in 2008. She averaged 10.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game in her fifth season in the WNBA. It was a dramatic improvement comparing to 6.4 points per game in 2006. She graduated from USC before getting drafted by the Fever in 2004 Draft. She surpassed Jia Perkins (5'8''-G-82, agency: Merit Sports, college: Texas Tech) of Chicago and Shameka Christon from New York for the award.
The league veteran Lisa Leslie (6'5''-C-72, college: USC) was named the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. The Los Angeles Sparks center led the league in blocks denying 2.9 attempts per game. Leslie also finished sixth in steals. Lisa Leslie missed the previous season due to child birth. She is three-time WNBA MVP, two-time WNBA champion and she also earned her 4th Olympic Gold in a row in Beijing this year.
The league also announced the First and Second Defensive Teams of the Year. The 2008 Second Defensive Team of the Year comprised Sylvia Fowles (6'6''-C-85, college: LSU) of the Chicago Sky, Deanna Nolan (5'11''-G/F-79, college: Georgia) of Detroit, Lauren Jackson (6'5''-F/C-81) of Seattle, Rebekkah Brunson (6'3''-F/C-81, agency: LBM Management, college: Georgetown) from Sacramento and Katie Smith (5'11''-G-74, college: Ohio St.) of Detroit.
Lisa Leslie of Los Angeles, Tamika Catchings (6'1''-F-79, college: Tennessee) of Indiana, Sophia Young (6'1''-F-83, college: Baylor) from San Antonio, Patricia Penicheiro (5'11''-G-74, college: ODU) of Sacramento and Indianas Tully Bevilaqua (5'5''-G-72) were named to the First Defensive Team of the Year.
Meanwhile Diana Taurasi (6'0''-G-82, college: Connecticut), Candace Parker (6'4''-F/C-86, college: Tennessee) and Lindsay Whalen (5'8''-G-82, college: Minnesota) were awarded with the WNBAs Peak Performers for 2008. Diana Taurasi led the league in scoring averaging 24.1 points per game. Candace Parker was the best rebounder with 9.5 caroms per outing, while Lindsay Whalen ensured the top position in the assists list issuing 5.4 per appearance.