EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 1/18/2009Copyright © 1997-2009 Eurobasket
Beas Hamga (213-C-88) (center, 7 foot, 230 lbs) chose to play at Valparaiso after leaving the University of Las Vegas-Nevada (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA) his sophomore year this 2008-09 season. His search for a new school ended Jan 2009 after also considering Indiana University, South Carolina and Mississippi University.
Hamga was highly-touted coming into college basketball back in 2007. He was rated a five-star recruit and the #26 player in the country by Rivals.com (a US high school basketball recruiting data service company) coming out of Decatur Christian High School (Illinois, USA) with 13 point-, 12 rebound-, 7 block-per game averages. With these stellar numbers, his high rankings on several college recruiting sites seemed warranted. He was furiously recruited by several college teams, finally choosing UNLV over Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa and New Mexico.
Hamga's high school experience (which involved several high schools) and AAU experience allowed for him to shine and impress several college coaches and recruiters. His arrival was seen to be a major milestone for the basketball program at UNLV. Unfortunately, his first year that 2007-08 season was stalled by issues with his high school results coming out of Cameroon. These issues were substantial enough that the NCAA (US college basketball governing body) required Hamga to sit out his first year and was not allowed to play basketball, referred to as 'redshirting a season'. Basically, the NCAA did not think Hamga's high school records were acceptable for an incoming college student athlete in the US. Being forced to sit out his first year at UNLV proved frustrating to Hamga, after playing intense basketball in high school and in the off-season, it was tough not being allowed to play. To make matters worse, going into the current 2008-09 season, a number of players at UNLV have developed enough 'skill-wise' to now compete for the center position on the team along with Hamga. So, from being the starting center, Hamga was now having to compete for playing time. Thus, after playing only five games this season -- in which he averaged a paltry 1 point and 0.8 rebound, playing 5.2 minutes per game -- Hamga chose to transfer out of UNLV. Adams, Hamga's designated guardian in the US, does not seem to agree with Hamga's decision. For one, Hamga will have to sit out and not play another year now that he has transferred to another school. 'And there's nothing to be gained in that,' Adams said as reported by the Las Vegas Sun.
Hamga's journey to the US to play basketball was made possible primarily by A-HOPE Foundation (www.a-hope.org), a non-for-profit organization led by Mark Adams which assists players from Africa to come to the US to play basketball. In the past, A-HOPE had assisted Alfred Aboya of UCLA (Los Angeles, California, USA), Johann Mpondo (currently at the University of New Orleans (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) and Fabrice Talfo, who had played at Hartford University (Hartford, Connecticut, USA). Hamga also played on Adam's AAU team 'Indiana Elite' (www.bloomingtonaau.com) during the off-season in high school.
It will be interesting to see if Hamga's career could 'start' soon enough, and flourish, at Valparaiso. Hopefully, both happen. Good luck, Beas!
Thanks to The Times in Indiana, USA (http://www.nwi.com/) and The Las Vegas Sun (www.lasvegassun.com) for their stories on Beas Hamga.
Korisliiga, Round 23: Kataja (Joensuu) lost the second time this season at home tonight, when visitor Korihait (Uusikaupunki) won 80-85 after shooting better and taking more rebounds (25-36). Kataja's (16-7) first home loss came at the end of October (vs Tarmo, Porvoo), so almost three months Kataja was rolling at home and taking # 1 position in the League. Josh Gonner (188-G-82, college: S.Carolina) led Korihait with 26 pts (treys 6/9). Alain Laroche (198-F-83, agency: Court Side, college: N.Florida) added 18 and Mark Zoller (200-F-85, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Pennsylvania) 16 pts. Korihait hit from the FT line 90,5% (19/21). Kataja's Jeremiah Wood (200-F-85, agency: Court Side) had a double-double again (19/10). Quinnel Brown (198-G/F-83, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: Auburn) added 17, Sami Lehtoranta (205-C/F-79, agency: ANYPEX) and Anssi Kinnaslampi (191-G-82) both 16 pts. Petri Virtanen DNP.
Kataja - Korihait 80-85 (34-31) (Jeremiah Wood 19/10, Quinnell Brown 17, Anssi Kinnaslampi 16 - Josh Gonner 26, Alain Laroche 18, Mark Zoller 16).
YMCA Helsinki - Korikobrat, Lapua 71-83 (36-36) (Sauli Silvonen 20, Eetu Nieminen 13 - Marko Piplovic 23/13, Jussi Turja 20).
Saturday night in FEB action, West-Brabant Giants got a signature win, putting an end to the six-game winning streak of defending Dutch champion Eclipse Jet/MyGuide, while Hanzevast Capitals and Matrixx Magixx remained in the hunt for the second place spot, and ZZ Leiden gets back on track again with a home win over BlueStream Seals.
In the Sporthallen-Zuid, West-Brabant Giants led from start to finish, building up a sizable lead at halftime (54-40), below delivering the knockout blow in the 3rd quarter, winning easily over Eclipse Jet/MyGuide 104-84. The Giants put the game out of reach for the defending FEB champs five minutes into the 3rd quarter, extending their lead to 73-46. In the 1st half the Giants shot an impressive 9 of 13 from the three-point line, making 15 of 27 total. West-Brabant had good balanced scoring, led by Carlos Taylor (185-G-86) with a game-high 24 pts., including 6 three-pointers. With the win, West-Brabant Giants improve to 10-11.
In the Dutch northern derby between Hanzevast Capitals and Aris Friesland in Leeuwarden, the guests came out on top, with a score by Daniel Novak (201-F/G-78, agency: Interperformances) the difference maker, helping Hanzevast win an 100-97 thriller. It was a game in which the lead changed 16 times with 8 ties. But bench scoring difference by Hanzevast (36-23 difference), more production in the paint, more defensive stops in crunch time and more efficent 2nd half shooting made the difference for Hanzevast. Not to mention that Aris had difficulties guarding the tandem of Dutch international Rogier Jansen (188-G-84, agency: Court Side) and recent addition Julian Khazzouh (209-C-86), who combined to shoot overal numbers of 21 of 28 FG, with Jansen also making 4 three-pointers and Khazzouh shooting an impressive 12 of 13 from the field. Jansen led Hanzevast with 30 pts., Khazzouh added 24 and Novak 16. Aris' Matt Bauscher (188-G-85, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) led all scorers with a game-high 33 pts. With the win, Hanzevast gets back on track again after two consecutive losses, remaining in a tie for 2nd place with Matrixx Magixx at 14-8.
In the Hortstacker in the Matrixx Magixx-Rotterdam Challengers matchup, a three-pointer and two free throws by Matrixx Magixx PG Ryan Sears (185-G-79, agency: Court Side, college: Creighton) in crunch time helped Matrixx Magixx win closely 69-65. The Rotterdammers leading scorer Bobby Walker (188-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Va Commonwealth) led all scorers with a season-high 36 pts.
In Leiden, ZZ Leiden remained in the playoff hunt with an 88-79 win over BlueStream Seals. ZZ is one game behind Aris Friesland in the current FEB standings.
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Even though the 2009 EuroBasket Additional Qualifying Round is not over Italy and Ukraine head to the EuroBasket main stage.
The Azzurri beat Croatia in Venice for 2-0 record in their EuroBasket Women Additional Qualifying Round. Italy celebrated 83:50 win to become the leader of the group. Giorgia Sottana (177-G-88) and Simona Ballardini (183-F-81) paced the winners with 14 points each, while Manuela Zanon (185-F-80) added 12. Jelena Ivezic (184-G-84) produced 12 points in defeat, whilst Ana Lelas (183-G/F-83) and Marija Vrsaljko (195-C-89) scored 8 each.
Croatia grabbed a 5:2 lead, but then missed 16-0 run that lifted Italy to 18:5 lead. Raffaella Masciadri had five points, and both Simona Ballardini and Kathrin Ress four in that early scoring explosion by the Italians. Croatia poured in nine consecutive points to trail 18:14, but Giorgia Sottana closed the first period at 21:14. With 19-17 in the second Italians reached 40:31 at the halftime.
In the second half there was only one team in the court that dominated it. At first Simona Ballardini opened the scoring account in the third period and Italy improved to 56:41 after 30 minutes of the game. Pastore made it 58:41 opening the last frame in the game. In the rest of it the squads were killing time as the winner was known at that time. A 27-9 in the last quarter brought 83:50 on the board. Nadalin made a jump-shot to bring success in the city of the water.
Italy - Croatia 83:50
Italy: Giorgia Sottana 14, Simona Ballardini 14, Manuela Zanon 12
Croatia: Jelena Ivezic 12, Ana Lelas 8, Marija Vrsaljko 8
Belgium: Laurence Van Malderen 21, Stephanie Dubuc 14, Sara Leemans 14
Italy: Simona Ballardini 17, Kathrin Ress 12, Laura Macchi 12
Olexandra Gorbunova (186-F-86) orchestrated the win with 20 points and 9 rebounds for the hosts. Olena Zherzherunova (191-F-78, agency: LBM Management) added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. Romy Bar (188-F-87) gave the visitors a 3:0 lead early in the game but soon it was the hosts who took over. They went on a 25:2 run to close the first period building a 29:11 advantage after ten minutes. Olena Zherzherunova and Valeriya Berezhynska (193-C-86, college: Rice) delivered early in the second term as the gap grew to 21 points. The game slightly turned into a one-way traffic as Ukraine boosted their advantage to as many as 24 points at the interval. Romy Bar scored 8 points in the third frame but Germany trimmed the deficit to only 19 points. The home team gave no chance for the visitors in the final term posting the second straight win at the 2009 EuroBasket Additional Qualifying Round.
Ukraine made a huge step towards reaching the 2009 EuroBasket Final Round today as they thumped Germany in the Ukrainian capital. The win propelled Ukraine to a 2-0 record in Group A and seat well ahead of Bulgaria and Germany in the ladder.
Ukraine - Germany 73:47
Ukraine: Olexandra Gorbunova 20, Olena Zherzherunova 13+11 boards, Olena Ogorodnikova (186-F-81) 12
Germany: Romy Bar 21, Lisa Koop 5
Ukraine opened the Additional Qualifying Round of EuroBasket with an impressive come-from-behind win in Rouse. Thus they made the first step towards qualifying to the Final Round of the main European tournament.
Ukraine jumped to an early lead as Iryna Biryuk (178-G-78, agency: Promotex), Olena Zherzherunova (191-F-78, agency: LBM Management) and Olexandra Gorbunova (186-F-86) accounted for points. Soon Olexandra Gorbunova drained a three-pointer to give the visitors a 15:9 lead. However the hosts closed the frame on a 9:1 run to lead by 2 points at the intermission. The hosts dominated in the second frame as Natalia Topalova-Shopova (187-F-80) and Gergana Slavcheva (186-F-79) stretched the margin to 7 points. Tomova, Gergana Slavcheva and Zornitza Kostova (176-G-82) then ballooned the gap to 12 points. Ukraine finally broke the silence as Korovnikova and Olga Dubrovina (170-G-87, agency: Promotex) secured a 7-point distance between the teams at halftime.
Bulgaria maintained the lead early in the third quarter but the visitors found the rhythm soon. They went on a 19:3 rally to close the frame leading by 8 points 67:59. Bulgaria trimmed the deficit to 6 points with just over two minutes remaining but a timely bucket from Olexandra Gorbunova sealed the deal in this one.
Olexandra Gorbunova paced the victors with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Iryna Biryuk added 16 points for Ukraine. Noelle Quinn (183-G-85, college: UCLA) responded with 19 points for Bulgaria. Gergana Branzova-Erdenay (193-F/C-76) came up with 18 points in defeat.
Bulgaria - Ukraine 76:81
Bulgaria: Noelle Quinn 19, Gergana Branzova-Erdenay 18
Ukraine: Olexandra Gorbunova 22+11 boards, Iryna Biryuk 16, Olga Dubrovina 10
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