EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 1/22/2009

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Men News

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


Mustangs retain #1 position in ABA power rankings - by Gianni Pascucci
The American Basketball Association released its Power Rankings for the week ending Sunday, January 18th and once again, the Southeast Texas Mustangs retained the #1 position by defeating the previously #2 ranked Texas Fuel twice in closely contested games. The Nashville Broncs moved back into the #2 position closely followed by the Beijing Aoshen Olympian and the Maywood Buzz. 'While the Mustangs continue to play very well and are winning some close games,' said Pierre Hall , Chairman of the ABA Power Ranking Committee, 'there are 6-8 other teams very close and we anticipate a good battle for the number one position throughout the season.'

1. Southeast Texas Mustangs
2. Nashville Broncs
3. Beijing Aoshen Olympian
4. Maywood Buzz
5. Cleveland Rockers
6. Texas Fuel
7. Kentucky Bisons
8. Las Vegas Aces
9. Knoxville Thunderbolts
10. Kansas City Spartans
11. Jersey Express
12. Chicago Steam
13. West Virginia Blazers
14. San Francisco Rumble
15. Houston Takers
16. Mississippi Blues
17. Phoenix Fury
18. Arizona Rhinos
19. Los Angeles Push
20. West Texas Whirlwinds
21. NYC Internationalz
22. Modesto Bearcats
23. Texas City Rangers
24. Georgia Gwizzlies


Buzz MLK Hoop Dream Classic report - by Gianni Pascucci
On Monday, Jan. 19, the ABA team Maywood Buzz hosted its 3rd Annual Buzz MLK Hoop Dream Classic at the Maywood Activity Center. After a kids game, were played two official ABA matches, with four teams from the Los Angeles and Riverside areas. In the first game of the day, the Los Angeles SLAM prevailed over the Inland Empire 5Lynx 108-104 at the end of a very battled meeting, in which the Slam controlled the defensive and offensive tempo throughout the game, keeping even a 15 point advantage, but everytime the 5 Linx managed to come back, led by player/coach Tony Farmer (6'10''-F/C-70, college: Nebraska). At the end, the SLAM managed to build a 4 points lead, and kept it till the buzzer. With 22 points, Jason Harris (6'4''-G-83, college: Sacramento St.) was the top scorer for the Slam, JuShay Rockett (6'5''-F-84, college: Alaska-Fairb.) added 20 pts at the winning side, Ronald Johnson (6'4''-G-81, college: Cal.St.-Los Angeles) paced the 5Linx with 22 pts he too, and Tony Farmer scored 17 points in losing effort. In the second match of the day, the Maywood Buzz started very well, ending the first quarter ahead of 6 points (32-26), and keeping the lead at the halftime (64-59). The Inland Empire Rage tried to comeback in the second half, but the Buzz took the win, 126-119.

Standings
ABA Standings
Exhibition-Touring
 1. LA Slam 3-4 
 2. TH T.Blazers 1-1 
 3. Tri-City Racers 0-1 
 4. Empire Rage 0-2 
Northeast Div.
 1. Cleveland R. 8-1 
 2. S.Chicago BS 6-2 
 3. Jersey Expr. 6-6 
 4. W. Virginia B. 2-9 
 5. New York I. 1-2 
 6. Aurora Force 0-2 
 7. W.Virginia W. 0-2 
 8. Detroit Hoops 0-5 
Northwest Div.
 1. Maywood B. 10-2 
 2. Beijing O. 10-3 
 3. S.Francisco R. 3-3 
 4. Salt Lake S. 1-0 
 5. Washington R. 1-1 
 6. Modesto B. 1-5 
 7. LA Push 1-5 
 8. Sacramento 0-1 
Southeast Div.
 1. Kentucky B. 9-2 
 2. Knoxville T. 4-2 
 3. Nashville B. 4-5 
 4. Kansas City 2-2 
 5. Atlanta V. 0-1 
 6. Bahama PS 0-1 
 7. Georgia G. 0-6 
Southwest Div.
 1. Texas M. 11-1 
 2. South Texas 7-2 
 3. Las Vegas A. 6-1 
 4. W.Texas W. 3-2 
 5. Arizona R. 3-4 
 6. Fury 2-3 
 7. Mississippi B. 1-6 
 8. Texas City R. 0-3 
 9. Gallup T. 0-3 
 10. Houston T. 0-4 


*****************************************************
  ADRIATIC LEAGUE   


Adriatic L. 18th Round: Bosna - Buducnost 79:75 - by Sead Buljina

In a down-to-wire game Bosna beat excellent team from Podgorica. It was amazing to watch how many young players Buducnost has and most of them are key players. Buducnost does have a former NBA player Zarko Cabarkapa, but most of his teammates are guys only 20 years old. Vladimir Dasic (208-F-88), one of the most talented players in Europe played only first eight minutes. He had no foul trouble, hasn't got injured in the course of the game and it might have been a coach's decision to keep him on the bench throught the end of the game. Obviously, guests can afford to keep Dasic on the bench since Cabarkapa, Bojovic, Micov and others did a great job at the forward position. Buducnost led for a better part of the game, but could not stop Bosna's comeback in the fourth quarter. Bosna started playing much better defense contesting every shot, rebounded much better (32:26 overall) thanks to Elvir Ovcina (212-F/C-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Syracuse) who played his first game for Bosna senior team only two days after arriving to Sarajevo. Ovcina grabed 11 rebounds, scored 15 points mostly in the second half and dished out 4 assists. Seid Hajric rebounded very well (6 rebs) but could not hit the ocean. Nevertheless, by playing solid defense and rebounding Hajric contributed big time to Bosna win. Dusan Djordjevic also had a good game scoring 15 points, pulling 3 rebounds to go along with 5 assists. Goran Ikonic had a game-high 22 points shooting excellent percentage from 3-pt line (4 of 7) for overall shot 8 of 16 in addition to 2/2 FTs. Bozo Djurasovic (200-SF-87) possibly had a career game in 8 minutes of playing time scoring 6 important points on 3 of 4 shooting to go along with 2 steals and decent defensive effort. However, Djurasovic is considered a young player in Bosna ASA BHT. Although he played surprisingly well he stayed n the court only 7:45 minutes.

Game against Buducnost begs a question what Bosna ASA BH Telecom plans to do with its younger players?? There does not seem to be any strategy. Gifted players come to Bosna and leave shuttered (remember Elnis Prasovic, Igor Mocevic, Filip Condric, Aldin Kadic, earlier Mirza Dzubur, Faruk Basic, Esmir Guzonjic...?). Djurasovic is 21 yrs old. Emir Zimic who is almost 23 years old has played only 5 minutes, Muhamed Pasalic (21 yrs of age) only 3:15 minutes. Pasalic did struggle tonight, but he is not playing much this season anyway. While Buducnost more than successfully plays with guys who are even younger than Zimic, Pasalic, Djurasovic, not to mention Suljagic (213-C-88), Eldin Camdzic (192-G-90), Aldin Klinac (211-C-90) Bosna ASA BHT continues its old practice of keeping its younger players on the bench or at the stands. Suljagic, Klinac and others had no spot on the roster for tonight's game. Bosna management might want to think their player development policy over. Let's be clear, there is no such a gifted player such as Vladimir Dasic or Ivan Maras on Bosna's roster although a year ago they allowed one such player (Jadranko Jusufagic 208-F-88) to leave because Bosna's director back then did not want to fullfil his obligation and provide such a gifted player a decent room and board (Jadranko Jusufagic was on the 2008 NBA draft list among only 21 eligible players selected by the NBA office from the whole World, but Bosna could not provide him a place to stay, leave alone payroll checks. The guy left, of course). Emir Zimic has been sitting on the bench for last 5 years and he is never going to become a player he could have become. Thus, does Bosna ASA BHT really believes that younger players are the future of the team or not? Obviously not. Otherwise, Bosna would never, ever allow Jusufagic to leave (to be fair, they did not want to, but had no choice after failing to fullfill basic contract obligations). Players with current contract Zimic, Klinac, Pasalic, Suljagic, Camdzic, Majstoric, Andjelic would carry the load along with 2-3 more experienced players. Of course, some of the aforementioned players will never be a major players on a strong Adriatic League team. It would be fair if Bosna told those guys they're not the players who can be cornerstones of a strong Bosna that wants to successfully compete in European competitions. Let them play somewhere else instead of keeping them on the bench till they are 24 yrs old and announced by team as failures. Of course that young players cannot reach their full potential by watching games from the sidelines. Bosna would do a wise thing to evaluate its players and select those who can carry the load on a strong Bosna team in ULEB competitions.

By the way, what a game tonight vs. Buducnost...



Crvena Zvezda victorious in Split - by Eurobasket News

Adriatic League: KK Split - Crvena Zvezda 62-67

Crvena Zvezda managed to beat KK Split on the road in the opening game of Round 18. It means that Serbian representative jumps on top of the regional champion, at least until tonight when Partizan will meet KK Zagreb. Actually, if Partizan wins both teams will have 16-2 record, but Zvezda will be on top due to 81-80 victory in Round 8. Mirko Kovac (199-F-83, agency: Beo Basket) top-scored for the winning squad with 14 points (4 triples). Marko Marinovic (183-G-83) netted 13, while Elmedin Kikanovic (206-C-88, agency: Beo Basket) stopped on 9 points. Sinisa Stemberger (195-G-79) was the best in loss draining 18 points. Mario Delas (206-C/F-90) netted 13 and Andrija Stipanovic (208-C-86) 12 points. Their KK Split dropped on 6-12.
At the early beginning it was clear that Crvena Zvezda came in Split to win. At the middle of the second quarter it already was huge 37-13 for the guests. The hosts woke up after that, but they weren't able to come any closer than 42-21 until the half time. The second half started badly for visitors. They had many troubles at the offensive end scoring just couple of baskets. Sinisa Stemberger and his teammates seriously threatened closing the gap on 39-43. Zvezda succeeded to extend its lead, but the hosts were still close. At the end Mirko Kovac stepped up for the guests and with his successful strokes paced Zvezda to important road victory.

KK Split: Sinisa Stemberger 18, Mario Delas 13+4 boards, Andrija Stipanovic 12+4 boards
Crvena Zvezda: Mirko Kovac 14, Marko Marinovic 13, Elmedin Kikanovic 9



*****************************************************
  ALGERIA   


Who beat GSP? - by Carlos Pereira
Who can spot GSP (ex- MCA)?
17 games 17 wins.
GSP is the most important team ii Algeria basketball history.

RESULTS
A (for th title)

AB Skikda TRB Blida 52-81
ASPTT Alger WA Boufarik 77-68
CRB Dar-el-Beda - GS Ptrolier 67-72
WB An Benian NA Hussein Dey 77-56

Pts G
1. GS Ptrolier 5 3
-. CRB Dar-el-Beda 5 3
3. TRB Blida 5 3
--. WB An Benian 5 3
--. ASPTT Alger 5 3
6. WA Boufarik 4 3
7. NA Hussein -Dey 3 3
- AB Skikda 3 3

B (for the 1st division)

JSB Msila USMM Hadjout 46-70
NB Staouli O Batna 68-64
CRM Birkhadem CRB Tmouchent 71-59
AU Annaba NM Harrach(Not played)

Pts J
1. CRB Tmouchent 5 3
-. O. Batna 5 3
-. NB Staouli 5 3
-. CRM Birkhadem 5 3
-. USMM Hadjout 5 3
6. NRM Harrach 3 2
-. JSB Msila 3 3
8. AU Annaba 2 2


*****************************************************
  ANGOLA   


Quidome got back with his team on track with a comfortable win - by Eurobasket News
Tresore Quidome (192-G-80, agency: Interperformances) and his Fribourg got back on track with a comfortable win over Lausanne away from home. Tresore Quidome notched 4 treys en route to 16 points. Dennis Harrison recorded 14 points for the reigning champions. Brendon Polyblank had 23 points and 8 rebounds for Lausanne in the loss.
Before that Monthey stopped the defending champions at home to cut the distance to Fribourg in the ladder. Herman Alston was sizzling with 29 points for the winners. Gino Martinez contributed 18 points for Monthey. Valentin Wegmann responded with 19 points for Fribourg. Tresore Quidome had 16 points in defeat.
In Round 13 The defending champions posted the ninth win as they outscored Geneva at home court. Tresore Quidome and Oliver Vogt came up with 14 points apiece for the winners. Marcus Sloan had 10 points and 15 boards for Fribourg. Mike Jefferson answered with 19 points for the Devils in defeat.
Before that the LNA defending champions Fribourg stayed limping as they came up short against Lugano on the road. Derek Stockalper fired 29 points to pace the Tigers. Josh Almanson had 21 points in the winning effort. Dennis Harrison topscored for Fribourg with 16 points.


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


Soles overcome Quimsa in Liga Americas - by Eurobasket News
Soles - Quimsa 87:73

Soles de Mexicali earned the initial win in the Liga Americas Group D action. Yesterday the Mexican team opened their campaign in Xalapa against Argentinean Quimsa. An inspirational performance from Anthony Pedroza (191-G-79, agency: Edge Sports, college: Oregon) allowed Soles de Mexicali to jump to an early lead in the ladder. The final result does not tell the intensity of the game. The teams traded baskets throughout the majority of the contest but Soles had more fuel left late in the game as spurred ahead in the dying moments. Soles de Mexicali led by just a single point after ten minutes of action 25:24. The Mexican powerhouse managed to pull away to a 6-point distance at halftime. Horacio Llamas (212-C-73, agency: Interperformances) added some key buckets in the third frame as Soles maintained the lead throughout the third stanza. They were up by 7 points heading into the final quarter. The tension grew high in the fourth period but Soles never panicked and ensured a tough victory at the end. Anthony Pedroza topscored with 18 points for Soles. Greg Lewis (198-F-78, college: Winthrop) had 15 points, while Horacio Llamas added 13 points in the win. Gabriel Mikulas (201-F-80, agency: Interperformances, college: E.Carolina) produced 19 points and 8 rebounds for Quimsa. Jonathan Treise (186-G-85) tallied 14 points, 7 assists and 6 boards in the losing effort.
Quimsa will try to rebound against Halcones Xalapa tonight. Soles de Mexicali will face Liceo de Costa Rica in the second round.

Soles: Anthony Pedroza 18, Greg Lewis 15, Horacio Llamas 13
Quimsa: Gabriel Mikulas 19, Jonathan Treise 14


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


36ers too strong for Blaze in Round 19 opener - by Eurobasket News
Regular season, Round 19: 36ers - Blaze 110-88

Adelaide 36ers celebrated against Gold Coast Blaze in the opening game of Round 19 jumping on 13-13 record. Adam Ballinger (205-F/C-79, college: Michigan St.) was a key player for the winning squad nailing 28 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He made 4 of 5 attempts from behind the arc and 6 of 6 from the free throw line, plus 9/14 FG2. Brett Maher (188-G-73) scored 17, while Luke Schenscher (216-C-82, agency: Priority Sports, college: Georgia Tech) was another player with double-double for the 36ers, 16 points and 10 boards. Jacob Holmes (198-G-83) stopped on 12 pts and 5 boards. On the other side, Luke Whitehead (199-F-81, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Louisville) almost responded with triple-double 21 points, 19 rebs and 8 as. Justin Bowen (200-F-83, college: Ill.-Chicago) scored 18 and Tyson Demos (192-G-88) had 11 points. Their GBC fell on poor 5-21.
Adelaide was better team from the early beginning. After opening ten minutes the hosts already created 13-30 lead. The Blaze slightly improved after that, but not enough to stop Adelaide to jump on 36-58 until the half time. At that point of game the only question was how big difference it will be at the end. During the following 20 minutes the 36ers slowed down, but despite that fact they managed to keep plus 22. In the next round Adelaide will host the Wildcats. The Blaze will have another game in this round. Its rival will Perth.

Adelaide 36ers: Adam Ballinger 28+12 boards, Brett Maher 17, Luke Schenscher 16+10 boards, Jacob Holmes 12+5 boards
Gold Coast Blaze: Luke Whitehead 21+19 boards+8 as, Justin Bowen 18+7 boards, Tyson Demos 11


*****************************************************
  BAHAMAS   


Bahamas Basketball Federation pays Tribute to Phil Smith - by Eurobasket
There is nothing like the evolution of a man; especially as such who from humble beginnings, Phill 'Smoker' Smith made giant imprints on the sporting world in grand national and international fashion. This earth will never be the same without his excellent deliverance and spice for life, upon his demise. His voice will echo in the chambers of time forever. He is a sports journalist extraordinaire.
The Bahamas Basketball Federation is bemoaned by his tragic passing. Yes, he was the voice of sports for many, many years and as fortune had it our beloved sport of basketball was the beneficiary of some of his most historic and exciting calls. For that, our organization and the nation of basketball are eternally grateful. We owe 'Smoker' a debt of gratitude and appreciation.
To Blossie, his faithful wife, and children, the BBF extends our heartfelt sympathies. Your husband and father has passed on; however, he leaves a sterling example of life's triumphs over obstacles, selflessness and an extraordinary love for you and the rest of his family. We became Phill's extended appendages, who he treated with kid gloves, served us, embellished our activities and reported our achievements; but above all he was not afraid to indicate our frailties, always remaining faithful to true sports development
through professional sports journalism.
The Bahamas Basketball Federation will sadly miss Phill Smith. We ensure that generations will know of his contributions to true national sports development. His legacy will live on. The chamber with the echo of his voice will never go away.
May his soul rest in peace.
Courtesy of thenassauguardian.com


*****************************************************
  BAHRAIN   


Houston stars as Najma reach quarters - by Yousef Ahmed


Wayne Houston (206-F-73, college: S.Indiana) powered Al Najma to a 110-70 rout of Bahrain Club last night in the first round of Zain Bahrain Basketball Cup, played at the Um Al Hassam sports complex, writes PATRICK SALOMON.

The towering American professional poured in 33 points for the victors, as they cruised into the quarter-finals of the annual knockout competition organised by the Bahrain Basketball Association.

Mohammed Asghar contributed 21 points for the victors, who now meet last year's losing Cup finalists Muharraq in the last eight.

Mohammed Nabeel paced Bahrain Club with an impressive 40-point game-high output, which was only dented by the heavy defeat.

Meanwhile, Isa Town beat Al Ettihad 65-47 in yesterday's other contest, earning the winners the final slot in the round of eight. Nigerian import Mohammed Jamilu spearheaded Isa Town with 16 points, while Jehad Ahmed pitched in with 16.

Damond Forhey, another US professional, paced Ettihad with 19 points in the loss.

Isa Town move on to play Al Ahli in the last eight.

The Cup continues with the first of the quarter-final clashes on Saturday, with Al Hala facing Nuwaidrat at 5.30pm followed by Najma's clash with Muharraq which tips off at 7.30pm.

On Sunday, Sitra play Manama in a re-match of the Cup final two seasons ago, while Isa Town play Al Ahli in the late game.

The semi-finals will take place on January 31 and February 1, while the Cup-decider will be held on February 7.




Source: GDN


Houston stars as Najma reach quarters - by Walter Neto
The Bahrain Cup kick off last night with 2 matches. On the first match of the evening, WAYNE Houston powered Al Najma to a 110-70 rout of Bahrain Club last night in the first round of Zain Bahrain Basketball Cup, played at the Um Al Hassam sports complex, writes PATRICK SALOMON. The towering American professional poured in 33 points for the victors, as they cruised into the quarter-finals of the annual knockout competition organised by the Bahrain Basketball Association.

Mohammed Asghar contributed 21 points for the victors, who now meet last year's losing Cup finalists Muharraq in the last eight. Mohammed Nabeel paced Bahrain Club with an impressive 40-point game-high output, which was only dented by the heavy defeat.

Meanwhile, Isa Town beat Al Ettihad 65-47 in yesterday's other contest, earning the winners the final slot in the round of eight. Nigerian import Mohammed Jamilu spearheaded Isa Town with 16 points, while Jehad Ahmed pitched in with 16. Damond Forhey, another US professional, paced Ettihad with 19 points in the loss. Isa Town move on to play Al Ahli in the last eight.

The Cup continues with the first of the quarter-final clashes on Saturday, with Al Hala facing Nuwaidrat at 5.30pm followed by Najma's clash with Muharraq which tips off at 7.30pm.

On Sunday, Sitra play Manama in a re-match of the Cup final two seasons ago, while Isa Town play Al Ahli in the late game. The semi-finals will take place on January 31 and February 1, while the Cup-decider will be held on February 7.
SOURCE:GDN


*****************************************************
  BELGIUM   


Various D1 News - by Peter Buyse
Generali Okapi Aalstar will have to do without its topscorer for around 6 more weeks. Matt Lojeski (198-G-85, college: Hawaii) suffered a shoulder injury and will be on the sidelines for quite some time.
At present Lojo is the second leading scorer in the Ethias league with over 19 points per game.
Better news for Aalstar where their head sponsor Generali has extended the contract with 3 years.
Kentrell Gransberry (206-C-85, college: LSU) will not be on the Verviers-Pepinster roster this season. Problem with his paperwork did not allow him to stay in Europe any longer and he can thus not be officially signed to a contract.


*****************************************************
  BOSNIA   


Adriatic L. 18th Round: Bosna - Buducnost 79:75 - by Sead Buljina

In a down-to-wire game Bosna beat excellent team from Podgorica. It was amazing to watch how many young players Buducnost has and most of them are key players. Buducnost does have a former NBA player Zarko Cabarkapa, but most of his teammates are guys only 20 years old. Vladimir Dasic (208-F-88), one of the most talented players in Europe played only first eight minutes. He had no foul trouble, hasn't got injured in the course of the game and it might have been a coach's decision to keep him on the bench throught the end of the game. Obviously, guests can afford to keep Dasic on the bench since Cabarkapa, Bojovic, Micov and others did a great job at the forward position. Buducnost led for a better part of the game, but could not stop Bosna's comeback in the fourth quarter. Bosna started playing much better defense contesting every shot, rebounded much better (32:26 overall) thanks to Elvir Ovcina (212-F/C-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Syracuse) who played his first game for Bosna senior team only two days after arriving to Sarajevo. Ovcina grabed 11 rebounds, scored 15 points mostly in the second half and dished out 4 assists. Seid Hajric rebounded very well (6 rebs) but could not hit the ocean. Nevertheless, by playing solid defense and rebounding Hajric contributed big time to Bosna win. Dusan Djordjevic also had a good game scoring 15 points, pulling 3 rebounds to go along with 5 assists. Goran Ikonic had a game-high 22 points shooting excellent percentage from 3-pt line (4 of 7) for overall shot 8 of 16 in addition to 2/2 FTs. Bozo Djurasovic (200-SF-87) possibly had a career game in 8 minutes of playing time scoring 6 important points on 3 of 4 shooting to go along with 2 steals and decent defensive effort. However, Djurasovic is considered a young player in Bosna ASA BHT. Although he played surprisingly well he stayed n the court only 7:45 minutes.

Game against Buducnost begs a question what Bosna ASA BH Telecom plans to do with its younger players?? There does not seem to be any strategy. Gifted players come to Bosna and leave shuttered (remember Elnis Prasovic, Igor Mocevic, Filip Condric, Aldin Kadic, earlier Mirza Dzubur, Faruk Basic, Esmir Guzonjic...?). Djurasovic is 21 yrs old. Emir Zimic who is almost 23 years old has played only 5 minutes, Muhamed Pasalic (21 yrs of age) only 3:15 minutes. Pasalic did struggle tonight, but he is not playing much this season anyway. While Buducnost more than successfully plays with guys who are even younger than Zimic, Pasalic, Djurasovic, not to mention Suljagic (213-C-88), Eldin Camdzic (192-G-90), Aldin Klinac (211-C-90) Bosna ASA BHT continues its old practice of keeping its younger players on the bench or at the stands. Suljagic, Klinac and others had no spot on the roster for tonight's game. Bosna management might want to think their player development policy over. Let's be clear, there is no such a gifted player such as Vladimir Dasic or Ivan Maras on Bosna's roster although a year ago they allowed one such player (Jadranko Jusufagic 208-F-88) to leave because Bosna's director back then did not want to fullfil his obligation and provide such a gifted player a decent room and board (Jadranko Jusufagic was on the 2008 NBA draft list among only 21 eligible players selected by the NBA office from the whole World, but Bosna could not provide him a place to stay, leave alone payroll checks. The guy left, of course). Emir Zimic has been sitting on the bench for last 5 years and he is never going to become a player he could have become. Thus, does Bosna ASA BHT really believes that younger players are the future of the team or not? Obviously not. Otherwise, Bosna would never, ever allow Jusufagic to leave (to be fair, they did not want to, but had no choice after failing to fullfill basic contract obligations). Players with current contract Zimic, Klinac, Pasalic, Suljagic, Camdzic, Majstoric, Andjelic would carry the load along with 2-3 more experienced players. Of course, some of the aforementioned players will never be a major players on a strong Adriatic League team. It would be fair if Bosna told those guys they're not the players who can be cornerstones of a strong Bosna that wants to successfully compete in European competitions. Let them play somewhere else instead of keeping them on the bench till they are 24 yrs old and announced by team as failures. Of course that young players cannot reach their full potential by watching games from the sidelines. Bosna would do a wise thing to evaluate its players and select those who can carry the load on a strong Bosna team in ULEB competitions.

By the way, what a game tonight vs. Buducnost...



*****************************************************
  BULGARIA   


Radnicki 034 too strong for Cherno More - by Eurobasket News
Balkan League: Radnicki 034 - Cherno More 78-63

Radnicki 034 grabbed third victory in Balkan league this season. It was the game of Round 7 meaning that Radnicki currently has 3-4 record. On the other side, the Bulgarians slipped on 2-3 and they are currently on the fourth place in Group A. The top ranked teams in the group are Macedonian champion Fnei Industri and Serbian Swisslion with 4-1. Feni will play tomorrow against CSU Brasov in Romania, while Swisslion is free. Third Serbian representative in Balkan league, Mega Hypo Leasing, supposed to play today against Fresped Rabotnicki but the game is postponed due to lack of heating in Skopje's gym.
Rajko Kljajevic (204-F-85, agency: Interperformances) led Radnicki 034 against Cherno More collecting 27 points and 9 rebounds. Uros Duvnjak (190-G-86) was behind him with 17 points, 6 rebs and 8 assists. Danilo Draskovic (207-C-86) added 15 pts and 8 boards. Cherno More got the most points from Corey McIntosh (183-G-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Iowa St.) - 16. Nikolay Kolev (204-F/C-88) had 15 and missed just one board for double-double. Atila Santos (208-C-83, agency: Interperformances, college: Minn.St.-Mankato) and Aleksandar Yanev (202-F-90) contributed with 12 and 11 points respectively in defeat. Radnicki's next game is scheduled for February 18 vs CSU Brasov. Cherno More will play against Swisslion on January 28.

Radnicki 034: Rajko Kljajevic 27+9 boards, Uros Duvnjak 17+6 boards+8 as, Danilo Draskovic 15+8 boards
Cherno More: Corey McIntosh 16, Nikolay Kolev 15+9 boards, Atila Santos 12+7 boards, Aleksandar Yanev 11


Rilski Sportist jumps on 5-1 in Balkan league - by Eurobasket News
Balkan League: Rilski Sportist - Dinamo Bucharest 91-75

Rilski Sportist continued with victories in Balkan league. After 4-1 during the first half of the season, Rilski outplayed Dinamo Bucharest in the first game in 2009. With this victory Rilski most probably secured the first place in Group B. On the other side, the Romanian representative is on the bottom with 1-5. Travis Peterson (208-C-85, agency: Edge Sports, college: Samford) was a key player for the hosts. He nailed 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, registering the only double-double in this game. Dragoslav Papic (205-C/F-87, agency: Global Sports Plaza) helped the winners with 18 points and 7 boards, while Ivan Lilov (196-F/G-88, agency: FCM) added 12 pts. Branko Mirkovic (185-G-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza) also was on high level collecting 11 points and 8 assists. On the other side, Chris Reaves (191-G-84, agency: N.E.T., college: Chaminade) was unstoppable with 28 points and 5 assists. Mihail-Octavian Paul (192-G-82) had 17 pts. The game is decided already in he first half. Rilski Sportist opened it strongly from the beginning creating 25-12 after 10 minutes. Travis Peterson and his teammates didn't stop after that extending their lead to 53-35 until the half time. After that moment, Dinamo was not even able to treat. In the next round Rilski Sportist will take on Levski in Sophia. Dinamo goes to Belgrade for the game against Mega Hypo Leasing.

Rilski Sportist: Travis Peterson 31+11 boards, Dragoslav Papic 18+7 boards, Ivan Lilov 12, Branko Mirkovic 11+8 as
Dinamo Bucharest: Chris Reaves 28+5 as, Mihail-Octavian Paul 17


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


Latest Results and News! - by Ogoh

JILIN:91 ZHEJIANG.C:82

Leon Rodgers scored 34pts and grabed 10 boards to lead his team to a win over Zhejiang C. Samaki Walker added 21pts and 19rebs. Kirk Snyder paced the losers with 28pts and 12rebs while Luo Zhi chipped in 16pts.

SHANDONG:119 DONGGUAN:116

Shandong overpowered DongGuan in overtime to run away with a slim 3-point victory. Mack Tuck led the winners with 36pts and 11rebs while fellow import, Garnett Thompson scored 20pts and also had 11rebs. Zhang Kai had 27pts and 11rebs for DongGuan and Meng Duo added 27pts. Micheal Harris had 23pts and 15rebs.

BAYI:99 SHANGHAI:93

Bayi seem to be finding their rythm without Wang Zhizhi as they rolled over Shanghai with MoKe leading them with 30pts and grabbing 19 boards. He was followed by Xu Zhonghao who scored 20pts. DaJuan Tate led Shanghai with 21pts and 2rebs while Lui Wei chipped in 15pts.

LIAONING:83 SHANXI ZHONGYU:86

Yang Ming had 25pts while Awvee Storey scored 17pts and had 5rebs as Liaoning lost at home to Shanxi Zhongyu. Li Xiaoxu added 10pts and grabbed a whopping 20rebs. Bonzi Wells led the visitors with 38pts and 7rebs. Olumide Oyedeji scored 25pts and grabbed 23 rebs while Zhang Xue Wen added 14.

FUJIAN:107 TIANJIN:95

Chris Porter was his usual self scoring 22pts and caught 10rebs as he led his Fujian team over Tianjin. Liu Yudong added 17pts to his effort. Native player,Liu Hao led the losers with 30pts. He also added 3rebs. Smith Theron scored 20pts and grabbed 14 boards.

SHAANXI:96 XINJIANG:87

Lee Benson led all scorers as he led his team to a 9-point victory over table topping Xinjiang, scoring 37pts and grabbing 26rebs. Brandon Robinson chipped in 28pts and had 12rebs. Juan Mendez led Xinjiang with 23pts and 15rebs while Xun Guochong added 19pts. Myron Allen had 18pts and 7rebs.

ZHEJIANG.G:119 JIANGSU:135

Rodney White scored 49pts and had 10rebs but could not save his team as they fell to Jiangsu at home. Jelani McCoy also added 21pts and 14rebs while Zhang Nan chipped in 18pts. Donnel Harvey led the victors with 40pts and 17rebs. Zhang Chen and Han Shou added 29 and 17pts respectively.

YUNNAN:68 BEIJING:88

Yunnan were without leading scorer, Gabe Mouneke as they lost to Beijing at home. Corsley Edwards scored 38pts and had 9rebs for Yunnan. Dontae Jones paced Beijing with 29pts and 16rebs while David Harrison who just got back from suspension scored 24pts and grabbed 10 boards. Chen Lei scored 20pts and had 4rebs also for the winners.

The league will go on break for 10 days due to the Chinese New Year. Games will resume on the 1st of february. Happy Chinese New Year to all!!!



Xinjiang Goes on Break Early, Losing to Shaanxi - by Arthur Volbert
Xinjiang, like Guangdong, appears to have gone on its New Year's vacation early, as it lost to Shaanxi today 96-87. Benson Lee (208-F/C-73, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Brown Mackie) led Shaanxi with 37 points, 26 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks. Brandon Robinson added 28 points and 12 rebounds. Zhang Wei had 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Chen Zhaosheng had 10 points and 9 rebounds. Dai Yong had 9 points and 5 assists. As often occurs, Shaanxi's starters played virtually the entire game.

Juan Mendez led Xinjiang with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Our correspondent Robert Wang reports that Mendez has been replaced, but perhaps this will not occur until after the New Year's break. Xu Guochong scored 19 points. Myron Allen had 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Mengke Bateer had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Makan had 11 points before fouling out in 30 minutes. Xinjiang's league-leading record is now 25-4.

Jiangsu was the only top-three team that won this round with a 135-119 triumph over Zhejiang Guangsha. Donnell Harvey led the way with 40 points and 17 rebounds. Zhang Cheng scored 29 points. Han Shuo had 17 points and 6 assists. Hu Xuefeng had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. Meng Da added 14 points. Jameel Watkins had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Rodney White had 49 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists for Guangsha. Jelani McCoy had 21 points and 14 rebounds. Zhang Nan scored 18 and Ying Kui had 17. Jin Lipeng added 10 points, 4 assists and 5 steals.

Mo Ke had 30 points, 19 rebounds and 6 blocks as Bayi defeated Shanghai 99-93. Young center Xu Zhonghao had his best game of the season with 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting. Wang Lei had 14 and young point guard Zhang Bo had 11 before fouling out in 23 minutes. DeJuan Tate led Shanghai with 21 points. Liu Wei had 15 points and 6 assists. Young Cai Liang had his best game of the season with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Li Gen scored 14 and Luo Xudong added 13.

Leon Rogers scored 34 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 6 assists as Jilin defeated Zhejiang 91-82. Soumaila Samake had 21 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks. Lu Yan added 11 points. Kirk Snyder had 28 points and 12 rebounds for Zhejiang, which was without Samuel Hoskin. Luo Zhi had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Liu Weiwei had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Ding Jinhui returned with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Zhang Dayu added 8 points and 9 rebounds.

Fujian defeated Tianjin 107-95. Chris Porter had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Yang Chao scored 19 points and Liu Yudong added 17. New import Mario Austin made his debut with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Gong Songlin scored 10 and young Zhao Tailong added 9. Liu Hao scored 30 points for Tianjin. Theron Smith had 20 points and 14 rebounds. Point guard Li Gangfeng scored 11 points. Center Darryl Watkins had 10 points in 17 minutes before fouling out playing against Austin.

Mack Tuck had 39 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 7 steals as Shandong edged Dongguan 119-116 in overtime. Garnett Thompson had 20 points and 11 rebounds but fouled out in 35 minutes. Hou Bing scored 17 points and Wang Gang had 16. Zhang Kai and Meng Duo each scored 27 for Dongguan. Zhang had 11 rebounds but fouled out in 42 minutes. Michael Harris had 23 points and 15 rebounds. Qiu Biao had 16 points and 7 steals. Wang Yong scored 11. Jamal Sampson had 7 points and 6 rebounds in 18 minutes as he continues to see limited playing time.

Bonzi Wells had 38 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals as Shanxi Zhongyu got past Liaoning 86-83. Olumide Oyedeji had 25 points and 23 rebounds. Zhang Xuewen scored 14 points. Yang Ming led Liaoning with 25 points. Awvee Storey had 17 points and 5 rebounds. Chris Alexander had 16 points and 7 rebounds. Li Xiaoxu had 10 points and 20 rebounds, the first time in a while that a Chinese player has pulled down 20 rebounds. Li, listed as born in 1990, appears to be learning how to play power forward, something he must do if he is to make the NBA one day.

Dontae Jones had 29 points and 16 rebounds while David Harrison had 24 points and 10 rebounds as Beijing overwhelmed Yunnan 85-68. Chen Lei added 20 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Corsley Edwards had 38 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks for Yunnan, which was without Gabe Muoneke. Li Tao had 9 points before fouling out in 24 minutes. No other Yunnan player had more than 6 points.


CBA Round: 29 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Liaoning - Shanxi Zh. 83-86
Shanxi Zhongyu outscored Liaoning 86:83 as Bonzi Wells ended up with 38 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. Olumide Oyedeji had 25 points and 23 rebounds and Zhang Xuewen scored 14 points. Yang Ming led Liaoning with 25 points.

Fujian - TianJin R. 107-95
Chris Porter enjoyed 22 points and 10 rebounds as Fujian defeated Tianjin 107:95. Liu Hao scored 30 points for Tianjin, whilst Smith Theron collected 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Shaanxi - Xinjiang 96-87
Shaanxi sensationally handed Xinjiang the 4th loss as they beat them 96:87. Benson Lee led Shaanxi with 37 points, 26 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks. Brandon Robinson added 28 points and 12 rebounds. Juan Mendez led Xinjiang with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

Zhejiang G. - Jiangsu 119-135
Jiangsu nailed 135 points in the game versus Zhejiang Guangsha as the latter could score only 119. Donnell Harvey paced the way with 40 points and 17 rebounds. Rodney White had 49 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists for Guangsha being the top-scorer in the round as well.

Yunnan - Beijing 68-85
Dontae Jones collected 29 points and 16 rebounds as Beijing overwhelmed Yunnan 88:68. Corsley Edwards had 38 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks for Yunnan.

Qingdao DS - Guandong 109-106
Qingdao DS brought another sensation as the team handed the second team of the League Guandong 109:106 loss on January 20, 2009. Williams Chris was unstoppable with 41 points and 15 rebounds. Zhu Fangyu scored 30 in defeat, while Parker Smush nailed 27.

Jilin - Zhejiang C. 91-82
Jilin overcame Zhejiang 91:82 in Regular Season Round 29. Leon Rogers nailed 34 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 6 assists. Kirk Snyder produced 28 points and 12 rebounds for Zhejiang, which was without Samuel Hoskin.

Shandong - DongGuan 119-116
Shandong needed overtime to beat Dongguan 119:116 as Mack Tuck had 39 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 7 steals. Zhang Kai and Meng Duo each scored 27 for Dongguan as the latter fell at 18-11.

Bayi - Shanghai 99-93
Bayi edged Shanghai 99:93 while Mo Ke collected 30 points, 19 rebounds and 6 blocks. DeJuan Tate paced Shanghai with 21 points, whilst Liu Wei had 15 points and 6 assists.



*****************************************************
  COSTA RICA   


Halcones Xalapa look unstoppable - by Eurobasket News
Halcones Xalapa - Liceo de Costa Rica 116:73

Halcones Xalapa proved they are the force to be reckoned with not only on the Mexican stage. Yesterday Halcones opened their Liga Americas campaign in style. They thrashed Liceo de Costa Rica before the home crowd to take the lead in Group D of the tournament. Seven Halcones players scored in double digits en route to an impressive victory. Halcones marked the dominance in the opening term as they scored 30 points to pile up an 11-point advantage. Liceo however refused to fold and struck back in the second frame. They matched a high-flying fast attitude and outgunned the hosts 25:23 in the next stanza. But Halcones were unstoppable this day. They scored 33 points in the third frame claiming a 27-point lead entering the final frame. Liceo looked doomed as Halcones coasted to the victory in the final minutes. LeRoy Hickerson (196-G-82, college: Cumberlands) finished with 21 points, 9 boards and 8 assists to pace Halcones. Dontae Truitt (198-G/F-81, college: Georgia SW) added 18 points and 8 boards, while Abdul Mills (191-G-79, college: Nebraska-Omaha) had 14 points and 7 assists for the winners. Tim Jennings (191-G-83, college: Gardner-Webb) provided 26 points for Liceo de Costa Rica. Justin Leith (201-F-81, college: Merrimack) led all scorers with 32 points and 7 boards in defeat.
Halcones will face Quimsa from Argentina next. Liceo will be opposed by Soles de Mexicali tonight.

Halcones: LeRoy Hickerson 21, Dontae Truitt 18, Abdul Mills 14
Liceo de Costa Rica: Justin Leith 32, Tim Jennings 26


*****************************************************
  CROATIA   


Crvena Zvezda victorious in Split - by Eurobasket News
Adriatic League: KK Split - Crvena Zvezda 62-67

Crvena Zvezda managed to beat KK Split on the road in the opening game of Round 18. It means that Serbian representative jumps on top of the regional champion, at least until tonight when Partizan will meet KK Zagreb. Actually, if Partizan wins both teams will have 16-2 record, but Zvezda will be on top due to 81-80 victory in Round 8. Mirko Kovac (199-F-83, agency: Beo Basket) top-scored for the winning squad with 14 points (4 triples). Marko Marinovic (183-G-83) netted 13, while Elmedin Kikanovic (206-C-88, agency: Beo Basket) stopped on 9 points. Sinisa Stemberger (195-G-79) was the best in loss draining 18 points. Mario Delas (206-C/F-90) netted 13 and Andrija Stipanovic (208-C-86) 12 points. Their KK Split dropped on 6-12.
At the early beginning it was clear that Crvena Zvezda came in Split to win. At the middle of the second quarter it already was huge 37-13 for the guests. The hosts woke up after that, but they weren't able to come any closer than 42-21 until the half time. The second half started badly for visitors. They had many troubles at the offensive end scoring just couple of baskets. Sinisa Stemberger and his teammates seriously threatened closing the gap on 39-43. Zvezda succeeded to extend its lead, but the hosts were still close. At the end Mirko Kovac stepped up for the guests and with his successful strokes paced Zvezda to important road victory.

KK Split: Sinisa Stemberger 18, Mario Delas 13+4 boards, Andrija Stipanovic 12+4 boards
Crvena Zvezda: Mirko Kovac 14, Marko Marinovic 13, Elmedin Kikanovic 9


KK Split agrees with American Michael Lee - by Eurobasket News
KK Split announced arrival of American player Michael Lee (206-F-86). 22-year old power forward supposes to land in Split tomorrow, but he will have to prove his playing potential during the one-month try out period. Lee started this season in French Pro A as a member of Cholet Basket. However, he played only one game in Pro A and one in EuroCup due to injury. Lee graduated at the St. Bonaventure University last year. At his senior season he had 17.5 ppg and 8 rpg. During the summer he spent some time with the NBA's Washington Wizards, but he wasn't chosen at the latest NBA Draft. Last year he was named 'NABC Division I All-District 2 Second Team -08'. Michael Lee supposes to replace Stephen Brun (202-F-80). As a reminder, Brun had 13 games in Adriatic league this season adding 6.9 ppg and 3.4 rpg. KK Split suffered defeat last nigh against Crvena Zvezda and it now has 6-12 record in the regional championship. After today's games it will be clear will Bosna, Olimpija and Krka join it with the same numbers. Michael Lee will most probably make his debut in the next round. His Split will meet Union Olimpija in Ljubljana.

*****************************************************
  CZECH REPUBLIC   


NBL Round: 23 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Nymburk - USK Praha 91-52
Nymburk outgunned USK Praha for the 20th win. Blake Schilb tallied 20 points and 7 boards for Nymburk. Goran Jagodnik added 14 points and 7 rebounds for the winning team. Tomas Satoransky answered with 12 points for USK Praha as they suffered the 12th loss.

Liberec - Prostejov 92-97
Prostejov overcame a 12-point deficit after the opening term to knock down Liberec on the road. Ian Hanavan scored 25 points to lead Prostejov. Hurl Beechum added 24 points for the winners. Maurice Hampton answered with 15 points and 6 assists for Liberec in the loss.

Geofin - Opava 101-63
Robert Sarovic topscored with 21 points as Geofin overwhelmed Opava at home. Dusan Pandula had 16 points, while Corey Muirhead secured 15 as the winners climbed at 17-4 record. Tomas Hruby responded with 14 points for Opava in the loss.

Pardubice - Decin 71-89
Decin dominated throughout the game and posted a well-deserved victory over Pardubice. Pavel Houska notched 18 points and 6 rebounds for Decin. William Hatcher had 16 points and 5 steals as Decin improved at 13-8 record. Lavell Payne nailed 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Pardubice as they fell at 9-12 record.

Kolin - Podebrady 85-80
Kolin trailed during the majority of the game however eked out a narrow win over Podebrady at the end. Jon Rogers stepped up with 17 points and 12 boards for Kolin. Rashaan Ames banked 19 points in just the fifth success for the hosts. Ricky Soliver finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds for Podebrady as they suffered the 14th loss.



*****************************************************
  D-LEAGUE   


D-League Round: 47 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Anaheim - Rio Grande 113-117
Alpha Bangura and Trent Strickland combined 53 points and 13 rebounds for the hosts lifting them to 9-14 record. Jared Jordan also shined in victory registering double-double, 18 points and 12 boards. On the other side, James White (6'6''-G-84, agency: Court Side, college: Cincinnati) was totally unstoppable draining magnificent 47 points and grabbing 11 rebs. His Arsenal fell on 7-15.

Albuquerque - Colorado 105-108
Colorado outsmarted Albuquerque jumping on 12-6 score. Eddie Gill came up with 22 points and 11 assists, while Josh Davis also added 22 points for the winners. Dominique followed with 2 points less, but including 10 rebounds. Will Conroy was pretty close to triple-double in defeat 33 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists. Thunderbirds 9-11.

Los Angeles - Utah 85-113
The team of head coach Dan Panaggio trashed the LA D-Fenders mostly owing to Andre Ingram and Kyrylo Fasenko. Ingram led the scorers with 26 points and also grabbed 9 rebounds beside that. Fasenko as behind him with 20 pts and 10 rebs. CJ Gilles had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the loosing side. Flash 11-9, D-Fenders 4-16.

Reno - Bakersfield 111-116
Jeff Trepagnier scored 22, Nick Lewis 21, Trey Johnson 20 (plus 16 assists), Derrick Byars 19 and Terrance Thomas nailed 18 points for the winners. Patrick Ewing replied with 30 points and 9 rebounds for Reno. Jam 15-7, BigHorns 8-14.


Busy Day of Trades in the D-League - by Surujh Roopnarine
Sioux Falls: Acquired former players Joiner Michael (6'7''-F-81, college: Florida St.) and Powell Kasib (6'7''-F-81, college: Texas Tech) and waived Milone Clark (6'4''-G-83, college: Tennessee Tech) and rookie point guard Gary Ervin (6'1''-G-83, college: Arkansas). Joiner returns to Sioux Falls where he began this season prior to heading to play in Korea. In six games this year in the D-League, Joiner averaged 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. Joiners last game in Korea for Daegu Orions was on January 11th, where he scored 17 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in 35 minutes. Powell, the 2007-2008 D-League MVP, took his game to China this season, where he played for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions through December, before leaving to return to the Skyforce. In 12 games in China, Powell averaged 25.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Rio Grande Valley: Signed the recently released Tierre Brown (6'2''-G-79, college: Mc Neese St.), and then traded him to Idaho for Ernest Scott (6'7''-F-82, college: Valdosta St.). In desperate need of frontcourt help, after the departure of Alton Ford to China, Scott, at 67 is more of a need than the diminutive, yet more-productive Brown. In 19 games for the Stampede this season, the defensive-minded Scott has averaged 6.5 points and 2.2 rebounds. The Vipers seem to be happy with the production they have been getting from second year point guard Jared Jordan, thus felt they could ship Brown off for a Scott, a forward who they could desperately use.

Tulsa: Acquired rookie dynamo sixth-man Gary Forbes (6'7''-G/F-85, college: Virginia) in exchange for Chris Ellis (6'9''-F-84, college: Wake Forest).
Forbes, a rookie swingman out of UMass, has been sensational off the bench for the Skyforce this season, but with the return of Joiner Michael and Powell Kasib, his playing time would have taken a hit if he remained on the roster. For the season, Forbes is averaging 16.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 22 contests. Ellis, a 69 forward has spent his entire D-League career (2006 2009) with Tulsa, and this season was averaging 6.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games with the 66ers.

Bakersfield: Waived D-League veteran guard Mateen Cleaves (6'2''-G-77, college: Michigan St.) due to injury. The former NCAA Champion from Michigan State was having a solid season with the Jam, averaging 12.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists in 15 games.

Utah: Signed former Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Hill (7'0''-C-85, college: Arkansas) and then traded him to Tulsa (The Thunders D-League Affiliate), in exchange for NBA veteran Ronald DuPree (6'7''-F/G-81, college: LSU). Hill signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 4, 2008 and was assigned to the 66ers on November 21. He played in five games, including three starts for the 66ers, averaging 9.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per contest. After being re-called to OKC on December 13th, Hill was subsequently waived, leaving the option open for this sign and trade deal. In 18 games for the 66ers this season Dupree is averaging 36.7 minutes, 19.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. In six games in January he is averaging 39.8 minutes, 25.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists while shooting .531 (51-96) from the floor.


*****************************************************
  EBA   


Horizon Split on the Road by CJ Vann - by EBA Media
Harrisburg Horizon captured a hard-fought 122 to 109 victory over the home-team Delaware Destroyers. The Horizon started hot and held a commanding 73-49 lead at the half behind the hot-shooting of Anthony Frazier, Rahim Walls and Ron Fields.
Frazier was the game high-scorer with 35 points. Walls had 26 followed by Fields 23. Horizon now holds first place with a 3-0 record.
In the night cap, the Lady Horizon played with only seven players and took it on the chin 98-69. the win moves the Delaware Lady Destroyers into first place in the WEBA with a 3-0 record.


Bulldogs Rally to Improve to 2-0 - by EBA Media
Aubin Scott scored 35 points and Telron Spell added 28 points to spark the Elmira Bulldogs to a 117-108 comeback victory over the Alexandria Avengers on Saturday night in Eastern Basketball Alliance action at the Chemung County YMCA.
Southside High graduate Eric Bresett, who hurt his back in a car crash earlier this month, added 14 points for the Bulldogs, who improved to 2-0.
Elmira trailed 57-49 at halftime. Bulldogs coach James R. Schutz said they came out determined to get the ball inside in the second half.
'What we wanted to do was get their big guys in foul trouble,' Schutz said. 'We had a lot of success with Bresett down low. We came out in the third quarter and went with that. They had two guys foul out and that changed the whole game. We were able to wear them down.'
The Bulldogs play two road games next weekend: Saturday against the New York Wizards and next Sunday against the Harrisburg Horizon.
Elmira's next home game is scheduled for Feb. 7 against the Wilkes-Barre Triple Threat.


Virginia Fastbreak Tops Triple Threat 131-101 - by EBA Media
In Mountaintop, PA, Virginia Fastbreak beats host Triple Threat 131-101. The game was ultimately decided in the first five minutes as Virginia Fastbreak jumped out to a 20-0 lead by Tychicus Snow scoring 10 of the 20 points.
Triple Threat did bounce back and closed the gap to 10 led by Johny Nichols who had 17 points. Triple Threat outscored Fastbreak in the second half 48-43 but it was not enough to get out of the 1st half deficit.
Bryan Scott had 21 points and 9 rebounds, Nick Hall had 34 points and 7 steals, Chris Brown had 19 points, and Snow finished with 26 points and 5 assists for Fastbreak.
Triple Threat was lead by Isiah Walker 20 points 5 assists, 5 threes, Munsa Mansa had 19 pts and 7 rebounds, Sedale Walton 18 and Johny Nichols 17.


Standings
EBA Standings
 1. Harrisburg H. 3-0 
 2. Delaware D. 3-1 
 3. Elmira B. 2-0 
 4. Alexandria A. 2-1 
 5. Washin. Mad. 1-0 
 6. Nova 1-0 
 7. Virignia F. 1-1 
 8. Cincinnati C. 1-1 
 9. Newark 1-2 
 10. Hampton 1-2 
 11. NJ Lightning 0-1 
 12. Salem M. 0-1 
 13. New York W. 0-1 
 14. Wilkes-Barre 0-2 
 15. Virginia W. 0-3 


*****************************************************
  EUROCHALLENGE   


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Dontaye DRAPER
  Oostende
  (180-G-84)
  Avg: 20.7
 1. Draper, Hyeres-T.20.7 
 2. Nichols, Hyeres-T.19.6 
 3. Perry, CSK V.18.8 
 4. Taylor, AEL16.9 
 5. Greene, Sumykhim.16.8 
 6. Beasley, Eiff.Tow.16.3 
 7. Richardson, Eiff.Tow.16.2 
 8. Mujezinovic, AEL15.3 
 9. Tucker, Hyeres-T.15.1 
 10. Simon, KK Zagr.14.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Travis WATSON
  Jerusalem
  (203-F/C-81)
  Avg: 11.4
 1. Watson, Jerusalem11.4 
 2. Tomic, KK Zagreb9.3 
 3. Beard, TU/Rock8.8 
 4. Kuzminskas, Siauliai8.8 
 5. Kuso, Sumykhimpr.8.8 
 6. Talts, TU/Rock8.7 
 7. Thomas, Liege8.7 
 8. Besok, Galatasaray8.5 
 9. Bajramovic, BC Ky.8.0 
 10. Greene, Sumykh.7.5 
Assists Per Game
 Dean OLIVER
  Eiff.Towers
  (180-G-78)
  Avg: 6.6
 1. Oliver, Eiff.Towers6.6 
 2. Draper, Hyeres-T.6.5 
 3. Tsintsadze, TU/Rock4.7 
 4. Conlan, M.Hainaut4.5 
 5. Mitchell, AEL4.4 
 6. Bremer, Triumph4.2 
 7. Perry, CSK V.4.0 
 8. Butskyy, Sumykhim.4.0 
 9. Taylor, AEL3.6 
 10. Gardner, EWE.3.5 
Steals Per Game
 Kevin BRASWELL
  Cholet
  (188-G-79)
  Avg: 3.5
 1. Braswell, Cholet3.5 
 2. Langford, La Forte.2.5 
 3. Greene, Sumykhim.2.4 
 4. Mokongo, Cholet2.2 
 5. Jackson, Khimik2.2 
 6. Ivory, Dt.1.9 
 7. Butskyy, Sumykhim.1.9 
 8. Lekavicius, Sumykhim.1.8 
 9. Taylor, AEL1.7 
 10. Foster, EWE.1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Kevin LYDE
  Kalev/Cramo
  (206-C-80)
  Avg: 1.7
 1. Lyde, Kalev/Cramo1.7 
 2. Johnson, Telek.1.7 
 3. Haryasz, Oostende1.7 
 4. Ford, La Fortezza1.3 
 5. Wyatt, Amsterdam1.2 
 6. Richardson, Eiff.Tow.1.2 
 7. Triguero, Cajasol1.2 
 8. Falker, Cholet1.2 
 9. Sullivan, CSK V.1.1 
 10. Agafonov, Khim.1.0 


*****************************************************
  EUROCUP   


Last 16 - by Andrej Ljajic
With only 16 teams left which are divided in 4 groups, the first Eurocup season is facing high-quality basketball. A lot of smaller teams showed their potential of competiting in European competition. One of the biggest suprises was the qualification of Artland Dragons in the last 16. Also teams like Turow showed that you don't need only stars to win a basketball game. And not to mention the outstanding form of Bilbao who is showing a great team basketball.

Group 1: Maroussi, Khimki, Dynamo Moscow, Panellinios

A very strong group with 4 teams from Greece and Russia. Not only the strongest team will survive the elimination but there will be some experience needed to win. The games will be very interesting
because the teams aren't unknown to each other, cause of their meetings in the domestic competition. Khimki and Dynamo Moscow will be represented by a roster with high-quality players with
a lot of experience.

Group 2: Turk Telekom, Zadar, Benetton Basket, Unics

Unics, which finished the regular season with a perfect record in Group B, is looking to reach the Final Eight for the second straight season. Head coach Aco Petrovics squad is one of the most attacking-minded in the competition and boasts six players averaging double figures in points. Zadar is the reigning Croatian League champion and was the top-scoring team in the regular season, topping the 80-point barrier in all but one game. Turk Telekom took first place in Group D thanks to a superior inside game. Michael Wright and Erwin Dudley trigger the team from the paint, while Rod Blakney and Tutku Acik share playmaking duties. Benetton Basket Treviso is a proven European force with a fine mix of veterans and budding stars. Head coach Oktay Mahmutis squad started the season with four straight wins before cooling off and finishing second in Group C. Center Sandro Nicevic and swingman Gary Neal are the focal points of the offense that point guard Bobby Dixon runs.

Group 3: Hemofarm Stada, Crvena Zvezda, Pamesa Valencia, Azovmash Mariupol

Pamesa is a major candidate to reach the Final Eight. Regular season Group E champion Azovmash Mariupol is one of the three reigning domestic champions left in the competition. Azovmash has been able to battle injuries and departures in an outstanding way, winning its last two regular season games behind an outstanding Khalid El-Amin, the team's floor general. Red Star is ready to take a step forwards with legendary coach Svetislav Pesic, as his experience at this level can lead the club to new heights. Red Star faces injury problems, as power forwards Tadija Dragicevic and Lawrence Roberts are sidelined for at least several more weeks and are expected to miss some Last 16 games. Hemofarm reached the Last 16 at the very last minute, on a late basket by Milan Macvan in the final regular season game in Nymburk.

Group 4: Iurbentia Bilbao, Artland Dragons, Spirou Basket, Lietuvos Rytas

L. Rytas survived a do-or-die situation in its final regular season game and advanced to the Last 16 as a top contender to make it to the Final Eight. Spirou, one of the three reigning domestic champions still alive in the Eurocup, enters the Last 16 as the Group F champion, hoping to use its experience and know-how to make it to the Final Eight. Bilbao has shocked everyone with its outstanding regular season performance, which included road wins against Nymburk, Hemofarm Stada and Buducnost. It is a 10-man team in which everybody feels important, from playmakers Javi Salgado and Jenis Blums to big men Fred Weis and Marko Banic. Artland has based its success in center Darren Fenn, scoring ace Adam Hess and playmaker Lamont McIntosh. With Darius Hall expected to be back for the Last 16.


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


KORISLIIGA: Kataja, Kouvot and YMCA Lahti winning again - by Rauno Hurmalainen

Korisliiga, Round 24: Three teams above the others (9). Kataja (Joensuu), Kouvot (Kouvola) and YMCA Lahti are on the top with the same record 17-7.
These three teams were winning again tonight. Actually they were almost crushing their opponents. YMCA Lahti defeated Pyrinto (Tampere) 108-92, Kouvot crushed FoKoPo (Forssa) 88-53 and Kataja over Team Componenta at Karkkila 64-114! In Helsinki OT was needed, when Torpan Pojat upset KTP (Kotka) 84-76 (68). Tonight's leading scorers were in this contest: Jean Francois (197-F-80, agency: AMI, college: Georgia Southern) (ToPo) 30 and Durell Vinson (201-F-85, college: Wagner) (KTP) 30. YMCA Lappeenranta beat Honka (Espoo) 74-64 and Korihait (Uusikaupunki) over Tarmo (Porvoo) 75-63.

YMCA Lahti - Pyrinto 108-92 (61-43) (Pasi Pekkola 23, Ray Nixon 18, Jari Vanttaja 16 - Kurtis Rice 20, Kenny Lowe 17, Pekka Setala 15).

Kouvot - FoKoPo 88-53 (48-25) (Tuomas Iisalo 28, Matt Williams 18, Antti Kanervo 10 - Nick Wallery 12/10).

Team Componenta - Kataja 64-114 (23-52) (Damion Dantzler 14/11, Frank Richards 14, Darrell Waters 13 - Larry Blair 24/8a, Jeremiah Wood 20/12, Quinnell Brown 20).

Torpan Pojat - KTP OT 84-76 (68)(34-32) (Jean Francois 30, Isaac Spencer 18, Eero Lehtinen 11/10 - Durell Vinson 30/13, Damon Williams 21/13, Toni Ilmonen 11).

Korihait - Tarmo 75-63 (33-35) (Jussi Kumpulainen 17, Josh Gonner 16, Mark Zoller 12 - DeWayne Richardson 18/19, Victor Morris 14, Harri Hohteri 11).

YMCA Lappeenranta - Honka 74-64 (42-31) (HL.Coleman 20, Chanan Colman 20/5a, Demetrius Brown 12 - Ben Perkins 17/13, Akeem Scott 15, Kimmo Muurinen 12).




Korisliiga Round: 24 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
LrNMKY - Honka 74-64
LrNMKY stun Honka 74:64 in Regular Season Round 24. Colman Chanan and Coleman HL top-scored for the winners with 20 points apiece. Perkins Ben ended up with 17 points and 13 rebounds in the losing effort.

Kouvot - FoKoPo 88-53
Kouvot improved to 17-7 record on top with two other teams after the win over FoKoPo 88:53. Iisalo Tuomas was unstoppable for the winners with 28 points and Williams Matt added 18. Wallery Nick collected 12 points and 10 rebounds in defeat.

Namika Lahti - Pyrinto 108-92
Namika Lahti overcame Pyrinto 108:92 to take also 17-7 record. Pekkola Pasi led the winners with 23 points, whilst Nixon Ray posted 18. Rice Kurtis notched 20 points in the losing effort and Lowe nailed 17.

Korihait - Tarmo 75-63
Korihait edged Tarmo 75:63 as Kumpulainen Jussi paced all the winners with 17 points and Gonner Josh notched 16. Richardson DeWayne collected 18 points and 19 rebounds for the visiting side and Morris Victor chipped in 14.

Componenta - Kataja 64-114
Componenta was smashed by Kataja 64:114 to send them to 17-7 record. Blair Larry top-scored for the winners with 24 points, while Wood Jeremiah and Brown Quinnel had 20 each. Richards Frank and Dantzler Damion finished the night with 14 points in defeat.

ToPo - KTP 84-76
ToPo upset KTP 84:76 behind 30 points and 9 rebounds from Francois Jean. Spencer Isaac netted 18 and Lehtinen Eero together with Allen James added 11 each. Vinson Durell produced 30 points and 13 caroms in defeat, whilst Williams Damon had 21 points and 13 rebounds.



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


Shawnto Rogers is coming to France - by Maxime Weber

Again, Shawnta Rogers (162-G-76, college: George Washington) is coming in France. After Le Mans, Villeurbanne and Chalon, the quick PG arrives today in Toulon to sign his contract (or not). After Vincent Masingue's injured (tendon), Hyeres Toulon could complete its roster with a 'joker' and after the departure of Draper, Alain Weisz choose someone weel known in France on the point guard spot.
Hyers Toulon is -with Pau- the team who had the most injured players this saison but they won against Besancon this last weekend and they are ready to host Pau saturday.



Stats Leaders - ProA
Points Per Game
 Austin NICHOLS
  Hyeres-Toulon
  (198-F/G-82)
  Avg: 23.4
 1. Nichols, Hyeres-T.23.4 
 2. Rush, Strasbourg22.1 
 3. Gray, Roanne19.5 
 4. Banks, Orleans18.7 
 5. Thompson, Le Havre16.9 
 6. Boddicker, Chalon16.4 
 7. Skinn, Gravelines16.1 
 8. Chatfield, Dijon15.9 
 9. Monroe, Roanne15.2 
 10. Greene, Orlea.15.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Bingo MERRIEX
  Le Havre
  (204-F-80)
  Avg: 10
 1. Merriex, Le Havre10.0 
 2. Masingue, Hyeres-T.9.0 
 3. Issa, Vichy9.0 
 4. Vaty, Pau8.3 
 5. Koffi, Le Mans7.9 
 6. Boddicker, Chalon7.4 
 7. Gray, Roanne7.3 
 8. Troutman, AS.7.1 
 9. Krupalija, Dijon7.1 
 10. Greer, Nan.7.0 
Assists Per Game
 Kareem REID
  Vichy
  (178-G-75)
  Avg: 7.3
 1. Reid, Vichy7.3 
 2. Wright, Chalon6.6 
 3. Thompson, Le Havre6.5 
 4. Sciarra, Orleans5.9 
 5. Jeanneau, AS.5.4 
 6. Draper, Hyeres-T.5.1 
 7. Pellin, Roanne4.9 
 8. Greer, Nancy4.8 
 9. Chatfield, Dijon4.7 
 10. Houston, Rou.4.6 
Steals Per Game
 Zack WRIGHT
  Chalon
  (188-G-85)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Wright, Chalon3.3 
 2. Dobbins, Orleans2.5 
 3. Krupalija, Dijon2.4 
 4. Rush, Strasbourg2.2 
 5. Causeur, Le Havre2.0 
 6. Greene, Orleans1.9 
 7. Diabate, Dijon1.9 
 8. Banks, Orleans1.9 
 9. Grier, Cholet1.8 
 10. Dorsey, Rou.1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Brion RUSH
  Strasbourg
  (186-G-84)
  Avg: 1.4
 1. Rush, Strasbourg1.4 
 2. Wright, Chalon1.4 
 3. Houston, Rouen1.3 
 4. Greer, Nancy1.3 
 5. Grier, Cholet1.2 
 6. Bojic, Le Havre1.2 
 7. Nascimento, Rouen1.1 
 8. Krupalija, Dijon1.1 
 9. MBaye, Dijon1.1 
 10. Curti, Orlea.1.1 


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


MZT Skopje adds Milos Trailovic - by Eurobasket News
MZT Skopje heads into the second half of the season with different roster. After leaving of few players and reinforcing on PF/C position, MZT signed contract with Serbian player Milos Trailovic (198-G-81). It is officially announced yesterday by Dragan Pankovski, the club's Sports Director.

Milos Trailovic is coming to MZT for Serbian team Zdravlje. He played 15 games in A league averaging 6.4 ppg and 1.8 rpg. His season-high is 29 points against Radnicki 034 (November 22nd). Trailovic started season 07/08 with Hemofarm Vrsac appearing in 4 games in Adriatic league. His playing time was limited and he later joined Swisslion Takovo. In the past he spent couple of years with Ergonom Nis.

Sports Director of MZT, Dragan Pankovski, stated that his team got huge reinforcement in Trailovic.

'Trailovic is a player with nice experience. He will be used on forward position, where we currently don't have too many choices. We know his abilities pretty good and I can say that MZT inked the first foreign player for the rest of the season. During the following couple of days we expect few more players to join us on try out. All of them will be outside of Macedonia', said Pankovski.


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


Tim Ohlbrecht out for several weeks! - by Manuel Schust
After a very good performance at last weekend's BBL All-Star Day Bamberg's youngster Tim Ohlbrecht (211-C/F-88, agency: Pro One Sports) suffered a tore of the ligament on his ankle and will be out for several weeks.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg already parted ways with their starting center Alexander Johnson (208-F-83, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Florida St.) a few weeks ago and did not replace him. Instead they signed NBA experienced Point Guard Dan Dickau (183-G-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Gonzaga) and were still looking for a new big man.
With Ohlbrecht now being out for some weeks coach Chris Fleming lost his second center. American veteran Eric Taylor (201-F-76, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: St.Francis,PA) is Bamberg's only remaining big man, a fact that will force the team to play small ball at first and intensify their search for a new starting center.


The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Find A Trace Of Scooby Doo Helping Solve The Mystery Of The 3 Year BBL Cup Curse Scaring Away The New York Phantoms Braunschweig 68-58 Reaching The BBL Top 4 - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

For the hardcore Skyliner fan, the imaginative word Bamberbre might bring shivers up their spine, because it stands for the first three letters for the three teams that The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost to the last three years in cup play. It was also bizarre that each team started with the letter B. However Frankfurt didnt catch the short end a fourth time against the letter B dismantling the New York Phantoms Braunschweig 68-58 in the quarterfinal in front of 4,027 persons and reaching the BBl Top 4 for the first time again in four years. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners did not let the dark and mysterious Volkswagonhalle irritate their play as they had a touch of super dog Scooby Doo on their side as they were able to out trick the Phantoms on their home court. The hero of the game turned out be BBL rookie American Adam Emmenecker (185-G-85, college: Drake), who finally broke free out of his cage, the same way a fish does after a hobby fisher throws it back into the water after having caught it. The Drake Alumnist, who never made more than two field goals this season in a BBL game shocked the Phantoms giving Frankfurt the lead in the fourth scoring 11 points and giving his team the needed energy to run away with the win. 'I worked hard on my positioning tonight. I got some open looks and hit them. My teammates had a lot of confidence in me', said an overjoyed Adam Emmenecker.

The New York Phantoms had had such high hopes of finally reaching their first BBL Top 4, but were bitterly disappointed after scoring 26 points in the first quarter, but could only muster 32 points in the last 30 minutes. 'We started strong in the first quarter, but they made adjustments on defense in the second quarter. They did a good job on the pick and roll with the switching forcing us to shoot more from outside. We didnt hit our shots and we didnt pressure them on defense anymore either', stated American 2009 BBL Allstar Andrew Drevo (202-F/C-81, agency: Warren Sports International, college: Nebraska). For guys like captain Pascal Roller (180-G-76), reaching a BBL top 4 is nothing new, bur for other guys like American Derrick Allen (203-F-80, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Mississippi) the first time is always the sweetest.' This is my first top 4 and it feels great. This cup run is just starting and we need to continue it in Hamburg', stressed Derrick Allen.

For coach Murat Didin , each Basketball game is like 40 minutes strayed over a whole lifespan, but when the game is over and all went well, he performs his moonlighting job as a Basketball philosopher using well thought out words. 'My team has very quality clothes. It is important to sew the clothes too. Now the team has to continue to produce these quality clothes. We believe that with these clothes we can make a cover for the BBL cup in Hamburg in 2009', expressed Skyliner coach Murat Didin . One Skyliner, who completes the fancy smoking suit for Murat Didin is Ilian Evtimov (201-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina St.), who never hesitates to unleash new goodies out of his Basketball repertoire. 'I am really happy with this win. Our goal was to get to the Top four and now it is a two game series. It was just great how we won after struggling so in the first quarter', said an elated Ilian Evtimov.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were the favourite and knew that they couldnt just get a free ticket to Hamburg, but had to earn it against the always nasty and unpredictable team of Emir Mutapic. 'We knew that in order to pass GO and collect 200$(Monopoly game), we still had to get past Braunschweig in order to reach Hamburg', joked Murat Didin . Coach Didin may of stressed what had to be done to win, but in the opening minutes, his team looked as if the dark Braunschweig Phantom had scared them off, because Braunschweig jumped out to a 10-2 lead. Frankfurt seemed a bit over motivated, which led to mistakes and missed shots. Braunschweig had their offense flowing nicely soon and American William Franklin (183-G-85, college: Bradley) was always looking for the transition game. Americans Kyle Visser (211-C-85, agency: Octagon, college: Wake Forest) and Andrew Drevo scored in the paint as Frankfurt was not able to get the big bodies out. Drevo added another three pointer and American Jonathan Levy (193-G-82, college: Cal.St.-San Bernar.) also scored. After American Greg soft touch Jenkins made a lay in to temporarily halt the Braunschweig run, the Phantoms retaliated by going on another monster 13-2 run and lead 23-6. After Visser and Jason Cain (208-F-85, college: Virginia) scored, it was time for the Andrew Drevo shooting clinic as he nailed three three pointers in a row.

This shooting show might of even had Toronto Raptor three point specialist Jason Kapono (201-F-81, college: UCLA) raising a few eyebrows. The Phantoms had a commanding 26-10 lead after 10 minutes and Frankfurt were on a road towards Siberia, but not Hamburg with their play. Braunschweig was shooting 63% from the field and three point land, while Frankfurt was shooting only 33% from the field and 0% from the parking lot. The rebounds were even at 8 a piece, but Frankfurt already had four turnovers. 'Andrew Drevo made tough shots and we simply rushed too much on offesne, added Derrick Allen. Drevo helped us with his shooting and Kyle Visser was big inside. Our defense also was strong', stated American Michael Flowers (188-G-86, agency: CAA Sports, college: Wisconsin).

In the second quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners began to use their full court press, but it didnt give Braunschweig much difficulty. American Derrick Allen kept Frankfurt in the game with baskets in the paint. One could feel, that Frankfurt was on the verge of breaking out of their non fluid offense funk, but here and there missed easy baskets. With the Phantoms still leading comfortably 30-15, it was time for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners to ripe off their phoney masks and start playing Skyliner Basketball. Fourth quarter hero Adam Emmenecker started the attack with a coast to coast spurt finishing with his left hand that left the Braunschweig defense checking for the license plate on that blur that passed into the zone. Ilian Evtimov followed with a three pointer, Lorenzo Gordon with a two handed slam dunk, Titus Ivory (193-G-79, college: Penn St.) with a three pointer and Keith Simmons (196-G-85, college: Holy Cross) with a hoop.

About as quickly as Barack Obama wanted to be sworn in as the next American President, was the turn in the tide of the game as Frankfurt only trailed 31-29 at half time. The Frankfurt defense was bringing back memories to the fantastic Ludwigsburg game outscoring the Phantoms 17-5. 'Our offesne was drifting a bit in the second quarter. Frankfurt was playing great team Basketball with the pick and roll, playing high and low and quickly dumping the ball to the off wing for the open shot', stressed American Michael Flowers. 'There were many reasons for our bad start. It is never easy to play well on the road. They played well making their shots, but we always believed in coming back, which we did', added American Adam Emmenecker. 'Our defense got better in the second half. They scored less, because we rotated well on defense and let them commit more turnovers. Keith and Adam were also strong on defense', stressed Ilain Evtimov. Braunschweig still had the upper hand shooting 44% from the field, while Frankfurt shot 33%. Braunschweig shot 38% from three point land and Frankfurt a miserable 25%. Frankfurt still had the 18-15 rebound advantage and had cut down their turnovers to seven, while Braunschweig had raised their turnover total to nine. Frankfurt led the points in the paint 14-8.

It seemed like The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were able to increase their intensity a bit each quarter as they stayed close with the Phantoms, but could not take the lead quite yet. Even though American Titus Ivory tied the game at 31, Braunschweig responded with a 6-0 run and Drevo continued to show his dangerous three point shooting and Visser followed with a tip in. American Titus Ivory continues to show that his experience might be the difference at the end of the season between a title and no title. He had two seconds remaining on the shot clock and had to shoot, but timed it perfectly to draw a foul on Dustin Salisbery (196-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Temple) behind the three point line and get three foul shots. Frankfurt stayed close on the Phantoms cape as German National player Konrad Wysocki (202-F-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Princeton) scored two baskets in traffic down low. Frankfurt trailed only 40-38, but Braunschweig always had an answer and this time it was American Jason Cain, who is the Phantoms version of their energizer as he scored twice in the zone including a two handed dunk. The Phantoms led 45-38, but the last few minutes became worthwhile for each paying customer and Frankfurt would stage another comeback.

After Keith Simmons scored, it was time for Ilian Evtimov to dazzle the crowd and give Derrick Allen an early birthday present with a beautiful pass behind his back as he was barrelling into the zone with his running hook, but opted to pass it instead. Evtimov has brought back memories to Boston Celtic Kevin Mchale with his fade away jumper and now brought comparisons to Boston Celtic legend Larry Bird with his passing candy qualities. 'I planned that behind the back pass to Derrick. As the two guys came to me, I fed him the ball. We have great chemistry and always know where each other is. I dont think like Larry Bird. He was Basketballs white Magic Johnson. He was able to pass so well, because he had a great understanding of the game', stressed Ilian Evtimov. Konrad Wysocki closed out the third quarter with a hoop from a no look pass from Adam Emmenecker. Frankfurt trailed only 47-46 as the game had become a classic cup battle. Frankfurt had raised their field goal percentage to 44% while the Phantoms fell to 41%. Frankfurt was still cold from three point land shooting 14% while the Phantoms were over 40%. Frankfurt controlled the rebounds 29-25.


In the fourth quarter, coach Murat Didin kept his confidence in Adam Emmenecker as he continued to keep captain Pascal Roller on the bench. Emmenecker became the most unlikely hero for Frankfurt as he turned out an offensive explosion, which can only benefit his development and confidence in the second half of the season as Roller may not always have the physical power to play 30 + minutes. Emmenecker played as if he had just landed from another planet and had been taught by the Basketball god. The Skyliners could of all sat back and had tee with Murat Didin , because the arena was witnessing the Adam Emmenecker show. He started with a lay in on a steal by Wysocki. He then nailed a three pointer.

From this point on, he had been transformed with an extra dose of self confidence as he always wanted the ball and on the next play penetrated hard into the zone and scored again. Frankfurt had gone on a 7-0 run and were leading 53-47. Braunschweig in the meantime couldnt get anything started on offense. 'We went on a run in the last quarter. Adam hit big shots and penetrated nicely. Our defense didnt give up anything. The most points that they got were on the free throw line. They got little easy shots, and when they did, they missed them', explained Ilian Evtimov. Frankfurt kept their offense arsenal rolling as Allen and Evtimov scored in the zone and Emmenecker hit another open three pointer.

Frankfurt led 60-47 and were on a 15-0 run. 'They hit big shots. We didnt hit shots, which gave their defense more confidence and were also able to score easy baskets', stated American Andrew Drevo. Frankfurt kept scoring with hoops from Titus Ivory and Lorenzo Gordon. The offensive spectacle by Adam Emmenecker had one last delicacy as he penetrated again finishing with his left hand easily showing that Basketball can be fun. Frankfurts run ended at 21-0. The air was not quite out by the Phantoms as they closed out the game with an 11-2 run with hoops from Drevo, Flowers and Nils Mittmann (201-F/C-79, agency: Agency No 10). Frankfurt had had another breathtaking quarter outscoring the Phantoms 23-7.' We were not dangerous enough in the last quarter. It seemed like we were playing not to loose instead of playing to win', warned Michael Flowers. Sometimes during a slow start, it takes time to find the right combinations. In the second half we found them, explained Adam Emmenecker.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led By Americans Derrick Allen and Adam Emmenecker with 13 points a piece. 'Adam did a great job. He usually doesnt get a lot of points, but does the things that you dont see on the stats. He made two big three pointers showing a lot of self confidence', added Derrick Allen. The New York Phantoms Braunschweig were led by American Andrew Drevo with 19 point and nine rebounds. American Kyle Visser added nine points and American Jason Cain and German Nils Mittmann chipped in with eight points a piece.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners showed again that they can turn the momentum of a game late in the game. They had a poor shooting day from the Messe area(3 point land) making only 14%, but shot 54% form the field. Braunschweig reached 40% or better from the field and from the parking lot. After a slow start under the boards this season, Frankfurt has made the rebounding a strength in the last two months dominating the boards 35-29. Frankfurt ripped apart Braunschweig 40-14 with points in the paint and only let the Phantoms score three times in the zone in the second half. Frankfurt did a fine job only getting 10 turnovers, while the Frankfurt defense forced the Phantoms to 18 turnovers. After a rough start to 2009, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have won the last three games against BBL teams. Frankfurt continues to come back in many games on account of their deep bench. 'The great thing about this team is that any guy can step up in each game. We have 12 guys who can do it and tonight it was Adams turn to step up', commented Ilian Evtimov. Do the Skyliner faithful fans need to continue to worry with the lack of firepower on offense by Pascal Roller? 'Pascal is our leader. He knows what and what he cant do on court. He leads by example. When he talks, we listen', stressed Ilian Evtimov. 'In Basketball it is normal that on certain days other guys have to carry the flag. Pascal is a leader. His appearance on the bench is very important', warned Murat Didin . The Deutsche Bank Skyliners look to win their fourth game against a BBL team when they travel to visit The Telekom baskets Bonn on Sunday January 25th.



Coach Kaminski leaves Schalke "by mutual consent" - by Moritz Korff
Head Coach Boris Kaminski has had his contract with 2. Bundesliga Pro A club FC Schalke 04 terminated by mutual consent. Kaminski leaves the Royal Blues after almost one year. He was named a S04 Head Coach in February 2008.
With 12 defeats and only 4 wins this season Schalke currently sit in last place of the Pro A. The team has suffered six losses in the last six games.
Now it's up to Hubert Beck to get the Royal Blues back on track. The 59-year-old will help out as coach once again.


Q&A with Nate Gerwig - by Moritz Korff
Nate Gerwig (206-F/C-83, college: Kent St.) is currently in his first season in Germany. In the first half of the season the 25-year-old Pittsburgh, Pa native helped BV Chemnitz 99 to a 7-8 record in the 2. Bundesliga Pro A. Season-highs for the starting center are so far: 24 points, scored in the first game of the year 2009 in a close 77:75 win over Bayern Muenchen and 17 rebounds, which he pulled down on October 25th, when the Niners defeated Essen 80:66. As far as the Efficiency Rating is concerned, Gerwig is among the top players of the league. He has posted eight double-doubles so far this season - more than any other player in the Pro A.
Eurobasket Germany had the chance for an interview.

Your Chemnitz Niners defeated LTi Lich 93:77 on Friday. Was is such an easy win as the final result indicates?
It actually was not an easy win. Both teams played hard and it was a close game coming out of halftime. We went on a run in the third and Lich never really recovered. They beat us in the first week of the season at home, so we really wanted to get that win and start off the second half of the season right.

Against Lich you posted another double-double. How do you feel about your performances so far in this current season?
I have had some good games this season, but I am always trying to pick out things from the game that I can improve. I think the worst thing a basketball player can do is to get satisfied with his performances, so after every game I try to pick out the things that I could have done better to help the team and try to improve on them.

Compared to last season, when you averaged 3.6 points and 5.9 boards for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA D-League, your stats have exploded, as you are currently averaging 15.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. Do you have any explanation for that?
Going into last season in the NBA D-League I knew I was not going to be asked to score and I was ok with that. I was asked to come off the bench to defend and rebound with the minutes that were given to me and I feel that I did a good job with my role on that team. I had the oppurtunity to play with some very talented players that could really score the basketball. Most notably Dahntay Jones of the Denver Nuggets, Jeremy Richardson of the Orlando Magic and Earl Calloway who is playing at KK Cibona VIP Zagreb in the Euroleague. I also got the oppurtunity to learn from an NBA champion Jaren Jackson (Spurs '99) which was also a wonderful oppurtunity.
As far as this season I have been put into a different role which has allowed me to play more minutes and do a little more on the offensive end of the court.

Your team got a new coach in Anton Mirolybov recently. Did that change a lot, if you think about practice and the style of play?
Coach Mirolybov came in right after the christmas break. He has not changed alot on the offensive end, but he is a really defensive minded coach who likes his players to be really aggressive on the defensive end. I think that our defense has been our biggest problem as a team this season and I really feel that coach Mirolybovs defensive philosophy will lead to more wins for us in the second half of the season.

Your team will take on FC Schalke 04 at home on Saturday. Is this a 'must-win' game for Chemnitz?
Every game for us is a must win.

Any predicition on which place in the Pro A-standings your team will end this season?
As a team our goal was to end in the top five or better of the Pro A. We are not there yet but we are working really hard everyday to achieve our goal.

Have you already made plans for the next season? Will playing another year in Chemnitz be an option for you?
I have no plans for the next season right now. I am focused on this season. I will not even start to think about the 09-10 season until this season is over. At the end of the season I will sit down and talk with my family and my agent and go over the options for me in the 09-10 season, but right now I have not even started to think about the next season.


German Bundesliga-Cup: Berlin, Bonn, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt will head to Hamburg - by Moritz Korff
The field of four teams is set for the 2009 German Bundesliga-Cup TOP FOUR. The tournament will be played at Color Line Arena in Hamburg on February 28th and March 1st.
ALBA Berlin, Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt, Telekom Baskets Bonn and Giants Duesseldorf are the four teams to make the Hamburg trip, as they all booked the TOP FOUR-tickets by winning their quarterfinal games this week. On Thuesday night the Skyliners defeated NYP Braunschweig 68:58 on the road and were the first to advance to the next round of the cup-competition. Adam Emmenecker (185-G-85, college: Drake) and Derrick Allen (203-F-80, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Mississippi) each scored 13 points in the win, while the Phantoms got 19 points and 9 rebounds from Andrew Drevo (202-F/C-81, agency: Warren Sports International, college: Nebraska). Duesseldorf edged past visiting Bamberg 78:73, the Giants were paced by Brant Bailey (202-F-77, college: Wisc.-Stevens Point) who finished the contest with 14 points, Robert Garrett (193-G-77, agency: SportsTalent) produced 17 points for the Brose Baskets in defeat. The Telekom Baskets Bonn earned an 86:71 home win over Oldenburg. Bonn's Brandon Bowman (204-F-84, agency: David Lee services, college: Georgetown) led all scores with 32 points, EJ Rowland (188-G-83, college: St.Mary's, CA) added 20, while Marko Scekic (207-F-81, agency: Agency No 10) contributed 18 points in the losing effort. In the last quarterfinal Berlin overcame the Paderborn Baskets 81:69. Julius Jenkins (187-G-81, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Georgia Southern) had 16 points for ALBA, Immanuel McElroy (193-G-80, college: Cincinnati) and Casey Jacobsen (198-G/F-81, agency: Octagon, college: Stanford) scored 15 points apiece. For the host Steven Esterkamp (198-F-81, college: Ohio) produced a team-high 11 points. In other news, the Paderborn Baskets announced this week, that the organization is experiencing some economic difficulties, producing an uncertain future for Bundesliga basketball in the city of Paderborn. As announced on the club's website, the Paderborn Baskets Team GmbH, that is running the first league-team, is close to insolvency. The decision makers have initiated several activites that should help to save the Paderborn Baskets.

Bundesliga-Cup, quarterfinals
Braunschweig - Frankfurt 58:68
Duesseldorf - Bamberg 78:73
Bonn - Oldenburg 86:71
Paderborn - Berlin 69:81

The semifinal draw will be held in Hamburg on January 23th.


De'Angelo Alexander(ENBW Ludwigsburg) Interview - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

De'Angelo Alexander (198-G-84, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Charlotte) is a 25 year old 198cm guard from Oklahoma. He played College Basketball at Oklahoma State and at Charlotte where he averaged 17.6ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.8apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3Pts: 33.5%, FT: 78.7% in his last season. He started his professional basketball career last season in Rumania for CSU Asesoft Ploiesti where he averaged 19.7ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.8apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 63.1%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 79.4% per game. He is playing his first season in Germany for ENBW Ludwigsburg averaging 7,4ppg and 3,0rpg. He has been at the end of the bench recently instead of on the court getting over an injury that has limited him to only to 8 games for Ludwigsburg this season. Before The Deutsche Bank Skyliners-Ludwigsburg game, he found some time to talk to eurobasket about his life in basketball before Europe, Rumania, Germany and Chris Bosh.



De''Angelo, you have missed 8 games. How is your injury coming along and when can you play again?

I am coming along great. I rehab twice a day. I hope to be able to play again against Bamberg in Febuary.

How is your first season in Ludwigsburg? How do you like it?

I love Germany. It is a big step for me coming from the Rumanian league. The BBL is very professional.

The team is currently in 11th place. How is the team chemistry coming along?

It is coming along, but we know we have to get better on both ends of the floor. We have to win games by playing good defense.

How is it playing with the three guard musketeers with Brian and Domonic Jones and Brandon Woudstra?

It is very nice playing with them. The guard tandem limit turnovers and their play helps me get more open shots. They create for me.

What has been the most difficult thing to adjust to in the German league?

The defense is a lot better here than in Rumania. In Rumania the game is very wide open. The lane is clogged in the BBL and less one on one play

How is your relationship with coach Rick Stafford? What is more dangerous a pitbull or coach?

I love coach Stafford. He reminds me a lot of Calvin Sampson at Oklahoma. Stafford is a tough guy and has taught me to play tough defense and just outwork the opponent.

How was your childhood?


I had a nice childhood in Oklahoma. With team USA I played with great guys like Chris Bosh, Deron Williams and Dee Brown.

Who were your Basketball idols growing up?

I liked Mitch Richmond. I tend to like players that had a similar game to mine. Mitch was big and strong and we both could score in many ways.

Why did you transfer from Oklahoma to Charlotte?

I was getting distracted at Oklahoma mainly because I was from there. Charlotte was on the rise in Basketball and I decided to go there. The assistant coach at Charlotte believed in me and wanted me show my talent there

Who were the best players that you played against at college?

Carmelo Anthony and Ben Gordon


What were your nicest memories at college?

Winning the Big 12 championship and reaching the elite 8.

You played in Rumania last season. What was the biggest difference between there and Germany?

Rumania seemed like a third world country. In Germany everything is Americanized. Two things that I didnt like in Rumania was how gypsys would be chasing me after games begging for money. I also didnt appreciate how parents would abandon their children

What did you like to do for fun in Rumania?

Well there wasnt too much to do, but I took up mixed martial arts and liked it. I also had a lot of time to work out and raise my game to what it is today.

What would you like to do after your career?

I would like to coach college Basketball

How was it playing against NBA star Chris Bosh?

He was a very athletic 6 11 player that could shoot and block shots. He was a relentless player. A year later, I played together with him for Team USA and his talent really showed. My best game against him in high school was 27 points and 10 rebounds.

What was the craziest shot that you ever took in your life on any Basketball court?

It was during highschool where I played together with my best friend Sheldon Williams, who played at Duke and currently with the NBA Sacremento Kings. We were playing Chris Bosh and Dallas-Lincoln high school and I made the game winning shot from the other three point line to win the game.


Your name made me hungry, because De Angelos is a popular sandwich chain on the east coast in the states where I like to eat. Did you ever find a De Angelos in the States?


I actually ate a lot at a place called De Angelos in Rumania. It was a pasta place and I always had my pregame meals there.


Thank you Alex for the chat. Good luck the rest of the way this season.


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


PromotieDivisie Scores Week 15: Top Teams Prevail - by Terry Cooper
Week 15 was the week of the top teams in the division as they won their games however, it was not a cake walk as all teams had to fight til the end. Punch had to fight til the end to win over Red Giants 69-68 while EJ/MG2 edged Z&Z2 69-61 to stay on top. EBBC2 stole a 88-79 victory over GOBA whom has dropped 2 games in a row while Inital High Five won a close game over Pigeons at home 76-66. Landstede2 is making a late run as they won on the road over De Groene Uilen 68-57 and BV Rooi bounced back to win at home over the Cangeroes 89-78. VBC Akrides hosted MSV Log in at Ijmuiden-Oost which G Rani Chaoui (186-G-84, college: Antelope Valley CC) suited up for Akrides. Both teams played tough but MSV was able to secure the 58-44 win in a tough defensive low scoring affair. Edwin Engelhart (193-F-76) lead MSV with 16 while Peter Vader (205-C-80) (11rebs) and Jard Schuit with 10. With plenty of games remaining, there is still enough games for teams in positions 4-8 to make a final run to secure a spot. Some teams are close to clinching a playoff spot but nothing is secured til the end. PROMOTIEDIVSIE STATS NOW!!!


Week 15 Scores:


VBC Akrides - MSV Log.in 44 - 58
High Five - Pigeons 76 - 66
Punch - Red Giants 69 - 68
EJ/MG2 - ZZ2 69 - 61
Goba - EBBC2 79 - 88
Groene Uilen - Landstede2 57 - 68
BV Rooi - Cangeroes 89 - 78


WestBrabant Giants Sign Jesse Kimbrough - by Fred Roggen
West-Brabant Giants, has recruited the American Jesse Kimbrough (183-G-82, college: Jacksonville) as a replacement for Calvin Smith who has ended his playing career for WestBrabant Giants.
The forward is replaced by Jesse Kimbrough, a point guard who comes from Belgian Optima Gent, where he played four games and averaged 3.5ppg, 1.3apg.
Kimbrough is well-kown in the Dutch league, he was pointguard of Aris Friesland in the 2007-2008 season. Jesse Kimbrough, played for coming to Europe for the Jackson University.


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


A Division Round: 15 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Szolnok - EnterNet-NTE 89-76
Szolnok outplayed the last-ranked NTE jumping 4-8 record in Division A. Exactly the same numbers has Marso-Vagep, who surprised Dombovar on the road. Ken Tutt (185-G-84, agency: Strategic Sports, college: ORU) was a key player for the hosts draining impressive 34 points (6 of 8 from behind the arc). Rafael Keresztes answered with 25 points and 9 rebounds for NTE (0-11).

Dombovar - Marso-Vagep 82-97
As it is mentioned above, the second-ranked Dombovar faced with home defeat against Marso falling on 9-4. Roy Booker (191-G/F-84, agency: Court Side, college: SE Missouri St.) paced the guests to this surprising victory nailing 32 points. The hosts got 23 points and 9 boards from Anthony Dill.

Atomeromu - PVSK Panth. 49-84
7-3 for Atomeromu and 7-4 for PVSK after this humiliating road victory. PVSK had couple of players in a game mood, but the best one was Thomas Kelley, who poured in 18 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished out 9 assists for 33 minutes. Experienced Robert Gulyas netted 19 in defeat.

Kormend - ZTE KK 77-84
ZTE celebrated against Kormend on the road, so both teams are currently on the same 7-5 record. Louis Hinnant was central figure of the game with 35 points. KJ Garland netted 22 for the hosts, while George Banks contributed with 21 pts and 9 rebs.

Albacomp - Univer KSE 102-79
Albacomp trashed Univer KSE remaining on top of Division A with 9-2 record. Scott Morrison and Velibor Radovic drained 19 points each in victory. Rashad Bell had 17. Greg Danielson answered with 24 points and 4 rebounds for Univer (7-5).

Debreceni - Kaposvari 62-96
As it was expected, Kaposvari celebrated the sixth victory this season beating poor Debreceni on the road (1-10). Larry Lewton scored 23, while David Vojvoda and Laszlo Orosz helped with 19 pts each. Gary Ware posted 17 in loss.


Standings - A Division
A Division Standings
 1. Albacomp 9-2 
 2. Dombovar 9-4 
 3. Soproni 8-5 
 4. Atomeromu 7-3 
 5. PVSK Panth. 7-4 
 6. Falco 7-4 
 7. Kormend 7-5 
 8. ZTE KK 7-5 
 9. Univer KSE 7-5 
 10. Kaposvari 6-7 
 11. Szolnok 4-8 
 12. Marso-Vagep 3-9 
 13. Debreceni 1-10 
 14. EnterNet-NTE 0-11 


*****************************************************
  ICELAND   


Monday games results - by Einar Johannsson
Last 3 games in 14th round were played on Monday. Keflavik & Snaefell both won and it looks like it will be a good fight for 3rd place between those two teams.

Skallagrimur had FSu for a visit in an important game where both teams were in relegation range before the game. FSu had a good win in the first game on the new year against Njardvik away and they picked up second away win with a 63-77 win. Landon Quick (185-G-85, college: High Point) top scorer for hometeam with 16 pts & Igor Beljanski (201-C-78, college: Chaminade) had 12 pts & 10 reb. For FSu Savar Sigurmundsson (198-F-80, college: Al.-Huntsville) had 22 pts & 9 reb and Arni Ragnarsson (192-G-87) had 14 pts, 8 reb & 9 assists.

Snaefell went up north and got a good win against Thor Akureyri. Final score 56-74 in a defensive minded game. Snaefell won the rebounding fight, which was a key in this game. Loosing the game leaves Thor Akureyri in 11th spot, but they play FSu next round. Thor still without Cedric Isom but hoping to have him on board next game. Gudmundur Jonsson (191-G-84) topscorer with 16 pts & Odinn Asgeirsson (197-C-79) had 12. For Snaefell Hlynur Baeringsson (200-F-82) the leading scorer with 20 pts & 15 reb and Lucious Wagner (194-G-81, agency: Court Side, college: Evansville) with 15 pts in his first game with Snaefell.

Keflavik went to Reykjavik to play IR. Keflavik without playmaker Sverrir Sverrisson but had a great 81-96 win where starting 5 did put up big numbers. Omar Saevarsson (198-F-82) with 23 pts & 13 reb for IR and Olafur Thorisson (188-G-83) & Eirikur Onundarson (186-G-74) had 14 pts each. Trostur Johannsson (199-F-89) & Hordul Vilhjalmsson (-G-88) had 21 pts each, Sigurdur Thorsteinsson (203-C-88) showing he is becoming the best center in the league; had 19 pts, 17 reb & 6 blocks. Jon Hafsteinsson (196-F-81) had 20 pts & 12 reb and Gunnar Einarsson (190-G-77) had 15 pts.

Next games are semi finals in the Subway Cup. Saturday its the biggest game of the season so far where KR will have Grindavik for a visit. Other game is sunday night where Stjarnan will play Njardvik.
League starts again 29th of january.


*****************************************************
  INDONESIA   


2009 IBL season schedule - by Aprilianto Hanayudha
Round 1 regular
Jakarta 22-28 January 2009
Malang 6-11 February 2009
Surabaya 20-23 February 2009

Round 2 regular
Semarang 1-4 May 2009
Bandung 28 May-2 June 2009
Jakarta 12-17 June 2009

Play Off 27-30 June 2009
Final Four 11-14 July 2009
Grand Final 25 July-9 August 2009


Standings - IBL
IBL Standings
 1. ASPAC 0-0 
 2. Bhinneka Stad 0-0 
 3. Garuda 0-0 
 4. Satria Muda 0-0 
 5. Angsapura 0-0 
 6. CLS 0-0 
 7. Bima Sakti 0-0 
 8. Citra Satria 0-0 
 9. Muba Hang 0-0 
 10. Pelita Jaya 0-0 


IBL 2009 season start - by Aprilianto Hanayudha

IBL competiton 2009 season will start thursday (22/1). 10 teams will contest the season in 2 rounds regular, play off, final four & grand final. The season is opening in Jakarta. Defending champion last season Satria Muda Britama Jakarta, IBL tournament champion Panasia Garuda and other teams will build their powers to win games and get the IBL trophy. Many teams changed their names caused by merger club with KOBATAMA team, changed owner/sponsorship, homebase moved & back to original name. This year IBL still find the main sponsorship for 2009 season. Maybe in begin round the competiton name without sponsorship title. IBL promotor director said the 2009 season will running on schedule with or without main sponsor. The games will cover by TVOne for live and delay match.
Many players already changed club and will use new jersey this season. Pek King Dhay (Bhinneka Stadium Solo/Jakarta) moved to Nuvo Cahaya Lestari Surabaya Knights. Anang Sulistiawan (Bhinneka Stadium Solo/Jakarta) moved to Muba Hang Tuah Indonesia Muda Palembang. I Made Sudiadnyana (Bhinneka Stadium Solo/Jakarta) will trade to Panasia Garuda for Firmansyah. Dhany Harahap (Bhinneka Stadium Solo/Jakarta) will join Bima Sakti. Other IBL players are maybe still negotiating move to the another clubs. Also KOBATAMA players and rookies from college are possibility moving to the IBL clubs.
Also many teams got new coach. Duo Phillipine men David Zamar and Geraldo Ramos will coach Angsapura Sania Medan and Nuvo Cahaya Lestari Surabaya Knights. It's interesting to watch foreign coach handle IBL teams. This is the great competition for Indonesia basketball. Maybe many talent scout from outside country will watch every big match and interest many players. Perhaps those Indonesia players will play in abroad league.

So let's watch IBL 2009 season to everyone who liked Indonesia basketball.



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


LBL Round: 21 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Keizarmezs - VEF Riga 77-87
VEF Riga added misery to Keizarmezs LBL season handing them the 13th loss. Jurijs Aleksejevs nailed 31 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to lead VEF Riga to the seventh win. Evgeniy Kolesnikov dropped 16 points for the visitors. Lauris Blaus notched 13 points and 8 rebounds for Keizarmezs in defeat.

ASK Riga - Barons/LMT 80-73
ASK Riga reached 6-2 record as they pip Barons/LMT in a highly anticipated game of Round 21. Ernests Kalve stepped up with 21 points to pace ASK Riga. Aigars Vitols delivered 16 points in the win. Demetrius Alexander had 18 points and 10 boards for Barons/LMT. Kaspars Berzins had 16 points in defeat.

ASK/Buki - Ventspils 67-81
Ventspils turned out the better side in the road clash with ASK/Buki. Mareks Jurevicus led the visitors with 16 points. Ronalds Zakis produced 14 points for Ventspils in the victory. Andrejs Jansons secured 20 points and 8 rebounds for ASK/Buki in defeat.

Valmiera - Zemgale 86-63
Valmiera raced to the tenth victory as they thumped Zemgale at home court. Ingus Bankevics scored 19 points for the hosts. Janis Poznaks delivered 18 points for Valmiera. Martins Berkis responded with 13 points for Zemgale as they slipped at 6-8 record.



*****************************************************
  LIGA AMERICAS   


Standings
Liga Americas Standings
Group A
 1. Arecibo 2-1 
 2. Merengueros 2-1 
 3. Minas 2-1 
 4. Pioneros 0-3 
Group B
 1. Bigua 2-0 
 2. Regatas C. 1-1 
 3. Penarol 1-1 
 4. U.Concepc. 0-2 
Group C
 1. Universo/BRB 2-1 
 2. Flamengo 2-1 
 3. Libertad 2-1 
 4. Dep.Castro 0-3 
Group D
 1. Halc. Xalpa 1-0 
 2. Soles 1-0 
 3. Quimsa 0-1 
 4. Liceo 0-1 


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


LKL Round: 14 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Alytus Alita - Lietuvos 79-108
Lietuvos Rytas coasted a comfortable win over Alytus on the road. Chuck Eidson pitched in 22 points, 6 boards and 6 assists to lead the visitors. Arturas Jomantas provided 19 points and 9 rebounds for Lietuvos Rytas as they earned the tenth victory. Nerijus Varnelis produced 22 points for Alytus in the loss.

Sakalai - Neptunas 93-92
Arvydas Siksnius nailed a three-pointer with two seconds remaining in overtime to propel Sakalai to a narrow win over Neptunas. Rokas Uzas finished the clash with 20 points to lead Sakalai. Arvydas Siksnius added 16 points for the winners. Martynas Mazeika answered with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists for Neptunas.

Zalgiris - Suduva 111-53
Zalgiris romped past Suduva for the 12th straight win. Tadas Klimavicius scored 27 points to lead the defending champions. Mantas Kalnietis added 22 points, 7 assists and 5 boards in the win. Marius Valukonis had 15 points for Suduva in the loss.

Techasas - Siauliai 78-84
Siauliai stayed among the leaders with the eighth win in ten games. They defeated Techasas on the road behind 23 points and 6 rebounds from Andrius Slezas. Gintaras Kadziulis contributed 20 points for the winners. Paulius Staskunas responded with 18 points and 9 boards for Techasas as they fell at 3-8 record.



*****************************************************
  LUXEMBOURG   


Standings - DBBL
DBBL Standings
 1. Sparta 11-4 
 2. Amicale 11-4 
 3. Musel Pikes 10-5 
 4. Contern 10-5 
 5. T71 9-6 
 6. Etzella 8-7 
 7. Black Star 7-8 
 8. Residence 5-10 
 9. Racing 3-12 
 10. Heffingen 1-14 


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


Soles prevails against Liceo - by Carlos Chapa

In a great shooting night, Soles de Mexicali won its second game and escalated a step towards the second round, after defeating Liceo de Costa Rica 100-96, in the Liga Americas.

The 1st frame ended up tied (22-22), however, Soles de Mexicali took a 14 point advantage in the 2nd quarter with two long-range shots by Horacio Llamas (212-C-73, agency: Interperformances) and constant scoring by Rommel Marentez (178-G-84, college: Cal-Davis) and Anthony Pedroza (191-G-79, agency: Edge Sports, college: Oregon).

But Liceo de Costa Rica wasnt done, an 11-1 run in the 4th parcial, made basically on the free-throw line, kept their hopes alive. In the last 15 seconds of the game, with Mexicali leading by 7 (98-91), Tim Jennings (191-G-83, college: Gardner-Webb) drained a 3-point shot for Liceo de Costa Rica, after that, Horacio Llamas made a big mistake on the inbound, and gave the ball to Liceo de Costa Rica, that were only able to cut the advantage to two points, Anthony Pedroza drained his FTs to put the final result.

Soles de Mexicali: Greg Lewis 27, Anthony Pedroza 19, Horacio Llamas 16.
Liceo de Costa Rica: Henry Martinez 22, Justin Leith 18, Tim Jennings 15.



Halcones Xalapa look unstoppable - by Eurobasket News
Halcones Xalapa - Liceo de Costa Rica 116:73

Halcones Xalapa proved they are the force to be reckoned with not only on the Mexican stage. Yesterday Halcones opened their Liga Americas campaign in style. They thrashed Liceo de Costa Rica before the home crowd to take the lead in Group D of the tournament. Seven Halcones players scored in double digits en route to an impressive victory. Halcones marked the dominance in the opening term as they scored 30 points to pile up an 11-point advantage. Liceo however refused to fold and struck back in the second frame. They matched a high-flying fast attitude and outgunned the hosts 25:23 in the next stanza. But Halcones were unstoppable this day. They scored 33 points in the third frame claiming a 27-point lead entering the final frame. Liceo looked doomed as Halcones coasted to the victory in the final minutes. LeRoy Hickerson (196-G-82, college: Cumberlands) finished with 21 points, 9 boards and 8 assists to pace Halcones. Dontae Truitt (198-G/F-81, college: Georgia SW) added 18 points and 8 boards, while Abdul Mills (191-G-79, college: Nebraska-Omaha) had 14 points and 7 assists for the winners. Tim Jennings (191-G-83, college: Gardner-Webb) provided 26 points for Liceo de Costa Rica. Justin Leith (201-F-81, college: Merrimack) led all scorers with 32 points and 7 boards in defeat.
Halcones will face Quimsa from Argentina next. Liceo will be opposed by Soles de Mexicali tonight.

Halcones: LeRoy Hickerson 21, Dontae Truitt 18, Abdul Mills 14
Liceo de Costa Rica: Justin Leith 32, Tim Jennings 26


Soles overcome Quimsa in Liga Americas - by Eurobasket News
Soles - Quimsa 87:73

Soles de Mexicali earned the initial win in the Liga Americas Group D action. Yesterday the Mexican team opened their campaign in Xalapa against Argentinean Quimsa. An inspirational performance from Anthony Pedroza (191-G-79, agency: Edge Sports, college: Oregon) allowed Soles de Mexicali to jump to an early lead in the ladder. The final result does not tell the intensity of the game. The teams traded baskets throughout the majority of the contest but Soles had more fuel left late in the game as spurred ahead in the dying moments. Soles de Mexicali led by just a single point after ten minutes of action 25:24. The Mexican powerhouse managed to pull away to a 6-point distance at halftime. Horacio Llamas (212-C-73, agency: Interperformances) added some key buckets in the third frame as Soles maintained the lead throughout the third stanza. They were up by 7 points heading into the final quarter. The tension grew high in the fourth period but Soles never panicked and ensured a tough victory at the end. Anthony Pedroza topscored with 18 points for Soles. Greg Lewis (198-F-78, college: Winthrop) had 15 points, while Horacio Llamas added 13 points in the win. Gabriel Mikulas (201-F-80, agency: Interperformances, college: E.Carolina) produced 19 points and 8 rebounds for Quimsa. Jonathan Treise (186-G-85) tallied 14 points, 7 assists and 6 boards in the losing effort.
Quimsa will try to rebound against Halcones Xalapa tonight. Soles de Mexicali will face Liceo de Costa Rica in the second round.

Soles: Anthony Pedroza 18, Greg Lewis 15, Horacio Llamas 13
Quimsa: Gabriel Mikulas 19, Jonathan Treise 14


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


Van Gundy not coaching in 'foreseeable future' - by Eurobasket News
Former Knicks head coach Jeff van Gundy said he doesn't see himself back on the bench any time soon, even if there are certain aspects of the game he misses.

'Without question, I miss coaching,' Van Gundy said. 'I miss the competitiveness, the camaraderie there is no doubt about that. With that being said. I'm just happier with what I am doing.'

Van Gundy is now part of one of the top announcing teams in any sport. Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Van Gundy call NBA games for ESPN/ABC.

'Down the line for what that means career-path wise I have no idea,' Van Gundy said. 'But for the foreseeable future, I will be in broadcasting.'

Jackson was up for the Knicks coaching position in the offseason before Mike D'Antoni got the job. Breen is hopeful they will stay together.

'I wish those guys the best of luck when it comes to getting coaching jobs,' Breen told The Post in June.

'But as far as I am concerned, I want the three of us to stay together as long as possible.'

Van Gundy was mostly complimentary of the Knicks' new regime during an interview for Friday's NYP TV Sports, but did criticize a couple of players who are weighing down the team's future.

'Where as Isiah Thomas believed in the post offense, Mike D'Antoni has a much different style, obviously and has little use for [Eddy] Curry,' Van Gundy, who turned 47 yesterday, said.

'Here you have a guy that has a bad heart and a big contract and he would be very hard to move to another team, whose plan he would fit into. And Jerome JamesJerome James , I don't know whose plan he would fit into. And they also drag down your work ethic. You have guys that are out of shape it's a drag on your team. Because what's that saying to the other players is that they don't care as much about the team.'

Courtesy of http://www.nypost.com


Bulls close to trading Hughes to Nets for Simmons - by Eurobasket News
The Bulls might be close to trading veteran guard Larry Hughes (6'5''-G-79, college: St.Louis) to the New Jersey Nets for former DePaul forward Bobby Simmons (6'7''-F/G-80, agency: Priority Sports, college: Florida St.).

A league source confirmed a report in the Bergen (N.J.) Record that the teams have had serious trade talks. Its up to the Nets to sign off, and the deal will get done.

The 6-6, 230-pound Simmons has started 37 of the 38 games he has played this season, averaging 7.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 26.5 minutes. His contract runs through next season and pays him $9.9 million this season and $10.56 million in 2009-10.

The Bulls might need to close the deal quickly because forward Drew Gooden, who has been dealing with an ankle sprain that kept him out of 10 games, was not available Tuesday for the second straight game because of a groin injury.

The Bulls also might get former Michigan State guard Maurice Ager in the trade to help come close to the money owed Hughes, per NBA rules. Agers $1 million contract expires at the end of this season.

The Nets wanted to include forward Sean Williams, but the Bulls reportedly had no interest in the 6-10, 235-pounder who has played in only 16 games this season, averaging 1.6 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Hughes - who was averaging 12 points, 3.1 rebounds and 26.4 minutes in 30 games entering Tuesday said he would welcome a trade.

Thats fine, Hughes said before the Bulls hosted the Atlanta Hawks at United Center. Im ready to play, whether its here or somewhere else.

A healthy Hughes had been benched for the previous four games, and he said having the DNP-CD (did not play-coachs decision) next to his name in the box score was a first for him.

Ive played for some good coaches and on some good teams, and Ive always been out there, so this is new for me, Hughes said. Im just trying to stay positive. Im still helping the guys out as far as telling them what I see and what I can help them with.

I dont know how to react to it. At the same time, Im not selfish by any means. So I just kind of go along and try to support the guys who are playing, knowing that my time is probably coming.

Hughes, who is owed the balance of a contract that pays him $12.83 million this season and $13.656 million next season, had expressed to media his unhappiness with a lack of playing time before being taken out of the rotation last week when Kirk Hinrich returned from thumb surgery. His comments led to a meeting with general manager John Paxson and coach Vinny Del Negro.

It was unfair [because] I only wanted to play to help the team, he said. And I wanted to produce because theyre paying me a lot of money. I feel like Ive let my team down because Im not able to produce. Thats what it all it boils down to. I dont want to be looked at as a guy whos just earning a check and not producing. I just expressed that, and, I thought, not in a negative way. But people can take it how they want to take it.

Hughes said his agent, Jeff Wechsler, has been trying to facilitate a move.

Hes working for me, having talks back and forth, Hughes said. Im just waiting for something to pan out. This is kind of a waiting game. Id like to be playing while Im waiting, but it just isnt the way it is.

Courtesy of http://www.suntimes.com


NBA Round: 83 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Hawks - Bulls 105-102
Michael Bibby (6'2''-G-78, college: Arizona), who scored nine of his season-high 31 points in the last five minutes, paced Atlanta to road victory against the Bulls. Zaza Pachulia netted 18, while Joe Johnson added 16 points, 5 boards and 8 assists. Ben Gordon had 21 points in loss. Bulls 18-25.

Pacers - Spurs 81-99
Easy one for the San Antonio, who now has 28-13 record. Tim Duncan stepped up with double-double 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili helped the winning squad with 26 points and 8 rebs. The guests got 17 points from Danny Granger. Pacers (15-27).

Kings - Nuggets 99-118
118 points by the Nuggets were more than enough for comfortable victory against the Kings. Linas Kleiza once again shined for the hosts delivering 27 points and grabbing 6 boards. Chauncey Billups had 22 pts and 8 assists. Kevin Martin answered in the other with 25 pts. Nuggets 28-15, Kings 10-32.

Timberwolves - Jazz 107-112
Paul Millsap was a key player for the Jazz collecting 28 points and 15 rebounds (9 off). Mehmet Okur scored 22 and Deron Williams had 17 pts, plus 11 assists. Aj Jefferson registered 25 points and 8 rebounds in defeat. Jazz 25-17, Wolves 13-27.


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


Nigerian 'scoring machine' Ebi Ere unstoppable in Australia - by Eurobasket News
Ebi Ere (195-G/F-81, college: Oklahoma) demonstrates fantastic performance with his Melbourne Tigers this season. Ere joined the Tigers last year from another Australian NBL team - Brisbane Bullets. What is the most important, he moved to Sydney as the league's top scorer with 27.1 ppg. It seems that this season will be another great one for the Nigerian scoring machine'. He appeared in 19 games so far averaging 21 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 2.3 apg. The big thing is that his Tigers are currently on third place, but pretty close to top-ranked local rival Melbourne South Dragons. Ebi Ere totally exploded in the last four games. Few days ago he nailed 36 points against the Hawks. On January 11th he poured in 32 points vs Wildcats. In the meantime his Tigers played two more matches and Ere had 24 and 25 pts respectively. 36 points, how much he drained in the last one, is his season-high. He touched 32 in October against the Crocs. In the season opener as well as in Round 13 Ebi Ere stopped on 31 pts. Next game his team will play tomorrow against the second-ranked New Zealand Breakers. It will be very important one for both teams.

*****************************************************
  PALESTINE   


The Latest from the Palestinian Basketball - by Tamara Awartani

The Latest from the Palestinian Basketball
- In Support of Gaza, 8 teams from Bethlehem are playing an all star game on Saturday 24th ,2009 at 7pm. Team 1 will be players from Ibdaa, Orthodoxi Beit Sahour, Islami bethlehem, and Catholic Action . Team 2 will be players from Orthodoxi Beit Jala, Thaqafi Beit Sahour, Orthodoxi Bethlehem, De La Salle Bethlehem


- Saturday 24th, 2009 The Basketball Federation Committee headed by Mr. Mohammed Ziadeh , will have a meeting to set the 'The Late George Rishmawi' tournament date sponsored by Jawwal and finalize the clubs and players lists as well as preparing the courts for the games.


- In reference to the joint partnership amongst the Jordanian and Palestinian Basketball Federation, a coaching & referee basketball clinic will take place on the 30th for three days organized by the Jordanian Federation whom we thank for this initiative.


- 7 Import players to play in this league till now who will raise the level of Palestinian Basketball, names to be announced soon.



Standings - Men
PBBA Standings
 1. Ibdaa 5-0 
 2. Bethlehem 5-1 
 3. Orthodoxi B.S. 2-2 
 4. Thaqafi B.S. 2-3 
 5. Qalandia 1-2 
 6. De La Salle 1-2 
 7. Arab O. 1-2 
 8. Orthodox 0-0 
 9. Hiteen 0-0 
 10. Al Fara 0-0 
 11. Thaqafi 0-0 
 12. Huwara 0-0 
 13. Sarriyet 0-0 
 14. Ebal 0-0 
 15. Oscar Camp 0-0 
 16. Balata 0-0 
 17. Jensafot 0-0 
 18. Terrasanta 0-0 
 19. Al Ahli 0-0 
 20. Ra'I AlSaleh 0-0 
 21. AlBireh 0-3 
 22. Catholic A. 0-3 


*****************************************************
  PARAGUAY   


The 2009 season has started - by Gianni Pascucci
This week start the Paraguayan U14, U15, U17 and U22 leagues, both male and female ones. Also started some regional senior leagues like Liga de Pilar. On next monday, January 26, will start the Metropolitan League-Apertura, named also 'Tigo Cup', with ten teams, Libertad, Sol de America Asuncion, Felix Perez Cardozo Asuncion, Deportivo San Jose Asuncion, Universidad Autonoma de Asuncion, Universidad Catolica de Asuncion, Olimpia de Asuncion, Sportivo San Lorenzo, Ciudad Nueva and Deportivo Sajonia. Theese teams will meet themselves two times, in a round robin format, and the best four teams will advance to Top 4 Tournment, while the other six will compete in the so-named 'Estadio Comuneros'. this second phase will start on mid-April. On July 23 is scheduled the tipoff of the Paraguayan National League, with 10 teams, chosen among best all over the country.

*****************************************************
  PBL   


Roster changes in Vermont - by Gianni Pascucci
Center Anthony Fuqua (6'11''-C-83, college: UTSA) has agreed to play for the Vermont Frost Heaves for the remainder of the 2009 PBL Season. Fuqua, a native of Largo, Maryland most recently played for Bravos Piedras Negras - Eagle Pass (Mexico-LNBP) where he played in 21 games averaging 14ppg, 9.25rpg, and 2.5 bpg. He shot 56.3% from the field and 68.4% from the free throw line. To make room on the roster for Fuqua, the team released Boomer Herndon (6'10''-C-83). The Frost Heaves have also released Chris Gaynor (5'10''-G-86, college: Winthrop) and Greg Stevenson (6'6''-F-78, agency: SportsTalent, college: Richmond).


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


DBE Round: 22 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
PBG Basket - Anwil 84-101
PBG Basket lost to Anwil 84:101 in Regular Season Round 22. Adams Tommy and Miller Paul combined 47 points for the winners. Davis Miah ended up with 21 points in the losing effort.

Bank BPS - Kotwica 91-73
Bank BPS quite surprisingly defeated one of the league leaders Kotwica at home court. Tony Weeden nailed 21 points to pace the hosts to the victory. Brandon Wallace contributed 15 points and 9 boards for the winners. Kevin Hamilton delivered 13 points, 5 boards and 5 steals for Kotwica as they suffered the sixth loss in the championship.

Prokom - Polpharma 94-79
Prokom overcame Polpharma 94:79 as Burke Patrick led the winners with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Zamojski Przemyslaw netted 19 and Burrell Ronnie posted 15. Barkley Erick finished the night with 23 points for the visitors.

En.Czarni - Atlas Stal 90-75
Energa Czarni thumped Atlas Stal to even their record at 9-9. Demetric Bennett chipped in 19 points to lead balanced offensive effort. Bojan Bakic added 14 points in the win. Patrick Okafor replied with 18 points for Atlas Stal.

Sportino I. - Turow 82-78
Sportino Inowroclaw used a 27:13 rally in the second frame to stun Turow and coasted to the win at the end. David Gomez nailed 18 points to lead the way for Sportino. Eddie Miller provided 15 points in the victory. Damir Miljikovic led all scorers with 32 points for Turow in defeat.



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


Standings - LPB
LPB Standings
 1. Benfica 17-0 
 2. CAB 15-2 
 3. Ovarense 15-3 
 4. AD Vagos 12-6 
 5. Academica 11-7 
 6. VSC Guimar. 10-7 
 7. Porto Ferpinta 10-7 
 8. Barreirense 10-8 
 9. Ginasio 8-9 
 10. Fisica 7-11 


Changes in Ginasio - by Portugal Eurobasket
Rafael Annunciato (204-F/C-80) and Nuno Pedroso are the new men in Ginasio which tries to climb some spots as they are 9th in current LPB. Sergio Salvador squad is having a mix of sensations this season as they lost their ticket to Final a 8 of the portuguese cup and are now out of play-off spots. So, Everest Schmidt was released and both portuguese Annunciato (played at CAB Madeira last 2 seasons) and Nuno Pedroso (who was in Gestiberica Vigo) come to help the team

Big game in portuguese cup quarter-finals - by Portugal Eurobasket

Old rivals Benfica and FC Porto face each other today in the second game of the Portuguese Cup Final a 8 which starts today in Barreiro. Both rivals already met this season in Matosinhos in a game won by Benfica in the last second of the game thanks to a Sergio Ramos' basket. Now in the cup one of the big names will be out while the other will be in semi-finals, where the winner will face the winner of the opening game between Ovarense and Illiabum, a match that has made sensations till 2002 when the Ilhavo squad left the professional league in order to play in Proliga. Tomorrow two more games in schedule: Vagos-CAB Madeira and Barreirense-Queluz, as both winners face each other in semi-finals on saturday. The Final will be on Sunday.


Today
19h Ovarense-Illiabum
21h Benfica-FC Porto

Tomorrow
19h Vagos-CAB Madeira
21h Barreirense-Queluz



Brown out of Benfica choices - by Portugal Eurobasket
Raheim Brown (208-F-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Atlantic) will undergo a shoulder surgery as the center hurt himself in a practise and will be out of Henrique Vieira choices, probably till the end of the season. As a result, the Lisbon club will go to Portuguese Cup without their center, as Seth Doliboa, Ekjersey Viana and Marco Goncalves will fullfil the absence of their team mate. It is uncertain though if Benfica will sign another player in the next days to replace Brown who averaged 8.8 pts, 3.7 rebounds and 11.3 MVP points in the 9 games he played for Benfica, according with the stats on the portuguese federation website

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


About Clay's signature with Syrian team Al Ittihad Aleppo - by Mohammed Malas
According to the Qatari story, The american point guard William Clay (188-G-78, college: Texas) left his former team Al Ahli Sports Club of Qatar without informing the management last month and he did'nt get any release for the team, So its not allowed for him to play for Al Ittihad Aleppo from Syria, Hope the Syrian Basketball Federation will check with the Qatari Basketball Federation about the legal issue of Clay's signature with the Aleppo team who did'nt know about the real story...

Clay in a speech with Asia Basket earlier today declared that situation from his side...'I owe Ahli Sports Club nothing and I have documentation to show that we left on a Mutual Agreement because of my Contract issues and my LIVING Circumstances I have pictures and proof of everything if you was in my shoes you would have left to... I played for an ABA team in Houston TX in December of 2008 under contract where I got a release to leave and come to Syria.. I have many reasons for leaving Doha Qatar and I have proof for those reasons..'
, The player added: ' I was in the hospital in Doha because I was very sick because of where they had me staying.... Did they tell you I played in a game that the doctor told me to sit out because of health issues.. I played the first round for Ahli club played my heart out we finished 4-3 when I left Dec 1st the club had over a month to bring in another player which we agreed on because they didnt want to change my accomadations .. I was in a very bad situation I had to stay with good friend Boney Watson just to get a decent nights rest.. But I still manage to go out and play hard for the club and help us finish in the top four.. Attach are some of the pictures of my house and the contruction that was going on every morning at 6am which means I had to get up when they started working..'


*****************************************************
  ROMANIA   


Rilski Sportist jumps on 5-1 in Balkan league - by Eurobasket News
Balkan League: Rilski Sportist - Dinamo Bucharest 91-75

Rilski Sportist continued with victories in Balkan league. After 4-1 during the first half of the season, Rilski outplayed Dinamo Bucharest in the first game in 2009. With this victory Rilski most probably secured the first place in Group B. On the other side, the Romanian representative is on the bottom with 1-5. Travis Peterson (208-C-85, agency: Edge Sports, college: Samford) was a key player for the hosts. He nailed 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, registering the only double-double in this game. Dragoslav Papic (205-C/F-87, agency: Global Sports Plaza) helped the winners with 18 points and 7 boards, while Ivan Lilov (196-F/G-88, agency: FCM) added 12 pts. Branko Mirkovic (185-G-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza) also was on high level collecting 11 points and 8 assists. On the other side, Chris Reaves (191-G-84, agency: N.E.T., college: Chaminade) was unstoppable with 28 points and 5 assists. Mihail-Octavian Paul (192-G-82) had 17 pts. The game is decided already in he first half. Rilski Sportist opened it strongly from the beginning creating 25-12 after 10 minutes. Travis Peterson and his teammates didn't stop after that extending their lead to 53-35 until the half time. After that moment, Dinamo was not even able to treat. In the next round Rilski Sportist will take on Levski in Sophia. Dinamo goes to Belgrade for the game against Mega Hypo Leasing.

Rilski Sportist: Travis Peterson 31+11 boards, Dragoslav Papic 18+7 boards, Ivan Lilov 12, Branko Mirkovic 11+8 as
Dinamo Bucharest: Chris Reaves 28+5 as, Mihail-Octavian Paul 17


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


Crvena Zvezda victorious in Split - by Eurobasket News
Adriatic League: KK Split - Crvena Zvezda 62-67

Crvena Zvezda managed to beat KK Split on the road in the opening game of Round 18. It means that Serbian representative jumps on top of the regional champion, at least until tonight when Partizan will meet KK Zagreb. Actually, if Partizan wins both teams will have 16-2 record, but Zvezda will be on top due to 81-80 victory in Round 8. Mirko Kovac (199-F-83, agency: Beo Basket) top-scored for the winning squad with 14 points (4 triples). Marko Marinovic (183-G-83) netted 13, while Elmedin Kikanovic (206-C-88, agency: Beo Basket) stopped on 9 points. Sinisa Stemberger (195-G-79) was the best in loss draining 18 points. Mario Delas (206-C/F-90) netted 13 and Andrija Stipanovic (208-C-86) 12 points. Their KK Split dropped on 6-12.
At the early beginning it was clear that Crvena Zvezda came in Split to win. At the middle of the second quarter it already was huge 37-13 for the guests. The hosts woke up after that, but they weren't able to come any closer than 42-21 until the half time. The second half started badly for visitors. They had many troubles at the offensive end scoring just couple of baskets. Sinisa Stemberger and his teammates seriously threatened closing the gap on 39-43. Zvezda succeeded to extend its lead, but the hosts were still close. At the end Mirko Kovac stepped up for the guests and with his successful strokes paced Zvezda to important road victory.

KK Split: Sinisa Stemberger 18, Mario Delas 13+4 boards, Andrija Stipanovic 12+4 boards
Crvena Zvezda: Mirko Kovac 14, Marko Marinovic 13, Elmedin Kikanovic 9


Nenad Canak signed for Khimik Yuzhny - by Zoran Popovic
Nenad Canak (204-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) is new player of Khimik-OPZ Yuzny from Ukraine. In the last season Canak won National championship title and National Cup with Lukoil Akademik and average scored 11.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game in Bulgarian Championship and 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds in ULEB Cup. Canak started this season in Lukoil Akademik, but he left team in December 2008. This season Canak in Bulagiral Championship average scored 9.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, in Eurocup 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds. Before Lukoil Akademik Canak played for Partizan, Spartak Subotica, BC Vojvodina, Makedonikos Kozani and ALBA Berlin.

Radnicki 034 too strong for Cherno More - by Eurobasket News
Balkan League: Radnicki 034 - Cherno More 78-63

Radnicki 034 grabbed third victory in Balkan league this season. It was the game of Round 7 meaning that Radnicki currently has 3-4 record. On the other side, the Bulgarians slipped on 2-3 and they are currently on the fourth place in Group A. The top ranked teams in the group are Macedonian champion Fnei Industri and Serbian Swisslion with 4-1. Feni will play tomorrow against CSU Brasov in Romania, while Swisslion is free. Third Serbian representative in Balkan league, Mega Hypo Leasing, supposed to play today against Fresped Rabotnicki but the game is postponed due to lack of heating in Skopje's gym.
Rajko Kljajevic (204-F-85, agency: Interperformances) led Radnicki 034 against Cherno More collecting 27 points and 9 rebounds. Uros Duvnjak (190-G-86) was behind him with 17 points, 6 rebs and 8 assists. Danilo Draskovic (207-C-86) added 15 pts and 8 boards. Cherno More got the most points from Corey McIntosh (183-G-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Iowa St.) - 16. Nikolay Kolev (204-F/C-88) had 15 and missed just one board for double-double. Atila Santos (208-C-83, agency: Interperformances, college: Minn.St.-Mankato) and Aleksandar Yanev (202-F-90) contributed with 12 and 11 points respectively in defeat. Radnicki's next game is scheduled for February 18 vs CSU Brasov. Cherno More will play against Swisslion on January 28.

Radnicki 034: Rajko Kljajevic 27+9 boards, Uros Duvnjak 17+6 boards+8 as, Danilo Draskovic 15+8 boards
Cherno More: Corey McIntosh 16, Nikolay Kolev 15+9 boards, Atila Santos 12+7 boards, Aleksandar Yanev 11


Igor Mijajlovic joins Radnicki 034 Group - by Dragan Jankovski
Point guard Igor Mijajlovic (193-G-84, agency: Beo Basket) moved from the Belgrade's team Mega Hypo Leasing to another A league participant - Radnicki 034 Group. Mijajlovic played 16 games for Mega HL this season averaging 9.1 ppg and 2 apg. He also appeared 4 times in Balkan League with 8.8 ppg and 2.5 rpg. Mijajlovic missed the entire last season due to serious knee injury. Before that he played couple of years for Masinac. From 2005 to 2007 he was one of its best players. On season 05/06 Masinac succeeded to reach the Superleague. In 2007 Mijajlovic was a member of Serbian University National Team for the World University Championships in Bangkok.
Mijajlovic's new team, Radnicki 034 Group, currently has 8 wins and 9 defeats in Serbian A league. Its main target is to reach the Superleague. Only 3 teams will have an opportunity to join Partizan, Crvena Zvezda, Hemofarm, FMP and Vojvodina in the battle for the title. There is 7 more rounds to played and it for sure won't be an easy job for Radnicki 034. In the next one it will host Metalac in very important game. The team from Valjevo has 11-6 and the same ambitions.


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


Toya back in Inter and much more - by Martin Galajda
Slovak national team guard David Toya (200-G/F-76, agency: Court Side) signed until end of the season with Inter Bratislava. Toya started season in Vladivostok, later was on try out in Czech Prostejov, but former ULEB Cup player and Hungarian league MVP will continue in Slovakia now.

By one sentence

Inter Bratislava released Canadian-Polish forward Konrad Tota (196-F-80, college: Dickinson St.).

MBK Handlova signed American guard Denarryl Rice (183-G-83, college: Arkansas Tech). He came because All-Stars MVP Dom Johnson (183-G-85, college: Illinois St.) left because of knee injury.

HBK Prievidza signed Czech forward Pavel Bosak (192-G-82).

Astrum Levice signed American guard Nathan Watson (191-G-83, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: Auburn).

SKP Banska Bystrica fired after try out Croatian Ljubo Prgomet (194-G/F-84).

Chemosvit Poprad signed American guard Rico Grier (185-G-82, college: Pfeiffer).


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


Krka target Mulaomerovic, Paravinja fully recovered from knee surgery - by Zeljko Zule

According to rumors, former Croatian National member Damir Mulaomerovic (195-G-74, agency: FCM) of PAOK is interesting Krka.
Milos Paravinja (212-C/F-79, agency: Interperformances) of Anwil Wloclawek has fully recovered from knee surgery he sustained in September which sidelined him for five months. He will made his first league appearance on Saturday.

.



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


Wright out, Karl in? - by Robert Mayor
DKV Joventut decided not to continue with Bracey Wright (191-G-84, college: Indiana) services after several problems with player that started due familiar reasons. Badalona team made official that guard won't play anymore for Sito Alonso squad and that is looking for a sustitute. Several names appeared in Spanish press last days: Arvydas Macijauskas (192-G-80) or Brad Newley (199-G-85), but seems that American player Coby Karl (196-G-83, college: Boise St.), Denver Nuggets coach son, now playing for Idaho Stampede in NBDL, is the chosen. Last season in L.A. Lakers, seems very close to reach an agreement with Spanish team and play in Europe for the first time.

*****************************************************
  SWEDEN   


Uppsala Basket stun Norrkoping Dolphins in a key game of Round 22 - by Eurobasket News
Uppsala Basket stun Norrkoping Dolphins 71:68 in a key game of Round 22. Trailing after the first and the third periods the hosts produced 24-20 in the last to seal the winning outcome. Mindaugas Budzinauskas (198-G-73) led the winners with 22 points to 14-6 record. Danny Gathings nailed 16 and Thomas Jackson posted 9. Joakim Kjellbom (213-C/F-79, college: N.Arizona) finished the night with 18 points in defeat, while Joseph McNaull scored 15.
Solna Vikings meanwhile moved to 16-4 record on top after the win over Jamtland Basket 87:73. The hosts produced 31-12 in the opening quarter to take the full control of the game. Juha Sten (191-G-83, agency: Rasmussen Services) paced all the winners with 17 points. Martin Pahlmblad notched 16 and Lesli Myrthil chipped in 14. Andrew Mitchell (180-G-79, college: Kent St.) ended up with 27 points for the guests.
In another games Helsingborgs BK overcame Gothia Basket 92:90. Sundsvall Dragons beat Plannja Basket 106:75 as Alex Wesby (196-G-80, agency: R.H.Consultancy, college: Temple) top-scored for the winners with 24 points. Sodertalje Kings outgun Boras Basket 84:74 behind 21 points from Johan Jeansson.

Uppsala Basket - Norrkoping Dolphins 71 - 68 (19 - 20, 13 - 12, 15 - 16, 24 - 20)
Uppsala: Mindaugas Budzinauskas 22, Danny Gathings 16, Thomas Jackson 9, Jeff Horowitz 8, Richard Blomberg 8, Giedrius Jankauskas 5, Andreas Person 3.
Norrkoping: Joakim Kjellbom 18, Joseph McNaull 15, Kenneth Grant 9, Andrew Pleick 8, Pedro Cipriano 8, Todd Townsend 7, Fred Drains 2, Anton Saks.

Solna Vikings - Jamtland Basket 87 - 73 (31 - 12, 15 - 20, 22 - 24, 19 - 17)
Solna: Juha Sten 17, Martin Pahlmblad 16, Lesli Myrthil 14, Joseph Taylor 10, Jermaine Flowers 9, Peter Bogner 9, Saulius Dumbliauskas 8, Willy Beck 2, Alexander Lindqvist 2.
Jamtland: Andrew Mitchell 27, Tyrone Levett 19, Stefan Hellgren 9, Joakim Eriksson 4, Samuel Mukooza 4, Matti Koronen 4, Tommy Johnson 2, Jesper Gustavsson 2, Erik Westin 2.

Helsingborgs BK - Gothia Basket 92 - 90 (19 - 25, 31 - 17, 23 - 17, 19 - 31)
Helsingborg: Jens Stalhandske (190-G/F-78) 23, Mattias Goransson 15, Johan Akesson 15, Jonas Christensen 11, Jesper Andersson 9, Srdjan Vukovic 7, Joe Leguia 5, Alexis Tsasidis-Olsson 4, Serabilo Boucari 3.
Gothia: Markus Lenngren (-83) 22, Emil Salon 21, Aaron Cook 15, Brandon Barton 11, Ian Johnson 9, Mehyar Rafii-Aval 7, Patrik Dreikant 3, Wictor Grenthe 2.

Sundsvall Dragons - Plannja Basket 106 - 75 (27 - 20, 25 - 14, 26 - 21, 28 - 20)
Sundsvall: Alex Wesby 24, Liam Rush 22, Srdan Subotic 15, Doug Thomas 12, Olivier Ilunga 10, Michael Palm 8, Aki Ulander 6, Johan Rnstrm 5, Adam Alexander 2, Andreas Nilsson 2.
Plannja: John Rosendahl (203-F/C-77, college: Wyoming) 26, Mark Mc Carroll 15, Christopher Ryan 14, Gerald Riley 9, Jim Enbom 4, Hakan Larsson 4, Alexander Pettersson 3.

Sodertalje Kings - Boras Basket 84 - 74 (17 - 8, 20 - 17, 18 - 29, 29 - 20)
Sodertalje: Johan Jeansson 21, Adnan Chuk 19, Greg Dilligard 12, Jarraun Burrows 11, Alexander Wikner-Nordberg 10, Rickard Eriksson 6, Dino Pita 5.
Boras: Dennis Springs (171-G-82, college: Ferris St.) 18, Christopher Anrin 13, Michael Kingma 12, Jonas Larsson 12, Toni Caktas 9, Ryan McDade 7, Henrik Carlsson 3.


*****************************************************
  TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO   


Shak Attack close out Defense Force, 74-67 - by Albert-Lee Young

Shak Attack close out Defense Force, 74-67

It was billed as the Clash of the Giants, national reigning club champs Defense Force against back to back North Zone champs, Detour Tour Shak Attack.

On Monday night at the Jean Pierre Complex in front of the biggest crowd for the season Shak Attack virtually denied Defense Force a place in the Big Four Playoffs with a hard fought 76-67 victory.


Led by centre Steve McSween with 19 points, 5 rebounds and Kelvin Blugh with 17points, Shak Attack led for the first three quarters of the game 21-16, 37-35 and 54-53. In the first half it was an even battle with both teams trading baskets at each end. Despite the intensity of the contest, Defense Force registered the highlight of the game with three amazing dunks; two of which came off inbound plays from Stephen Lighter Lewis on assists by Barry Stewart and the other from centre Wilt Vincent off an alley hoop pass by Stephen Lewis.

By the start of the third quarter Defense Force took control of the game running up a quick 41-37 led with 8:40 remaining in the period. But Shak Attack fought back with Kevin Blugh, McSween and Andrew Ifill leading the charge. They were also aided with an easy three point basket with 1.44 left as Defense Force forward Alert attempt to save an out of bound ball landed in their own basket reducing Shak Atack deficit to 50-49. At the end Shak Attack regained a one point advantage.

The stage was set for an interesting finish in the last quarter. It was a must win for the Defense Force! But they lost control of the contest as Cornelius Cain came off the bench in place of Mayers and scored two 3-pointers which give Shak Attack the initative. They eventually outscored the former 4-times champs 21-13 for a well fought 74-67 victory and at the same time maintaining their unbeaten record with nine wins.

For Shak Attack, Andrew Ifill also contributed 10 points. Stephen Lighter Lewis led Defense Force with 22 points, 5rebs and Mervyn Headley had 12pts & 4rebs.

With the loss Defense Force (4-4) has a slender chance of making the playoffs as two other teams, NFM (5-3) & K Brands Marabella Raptors (3-3) are also battling for the fourth berth but they have both beaten Defence Force in the league. If all three teams finish with the same record, it will be the end of the season for the army team.



Rice's Kadeem Jack is proving to be a quick learner - by Don Farrell

Kadeem Jack was walking through Cambria Heights Park three years ago one spring afternoon when a stranger stopped him. The man, Damien Lesley, asked Jack if he wanted to play basketball for a Catholic school.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Jack knew little about basketball. He played soccer growing up at home.

I was confused, he said. I didnt know what to say. I just said. Yes.

Jack may remember that three-letter word the rest of his life.

That summer Lesley taught him the game and brought him to Mo Hicks, the director of the Bronx-based Gauchos, one of the top AAU programs in the area, and head coach at Rice. Today, he is the starting center for the Raiders, yearly one of the nations elite.

It is kind of weird, the 6-foot-8 junior said, referring to his role and how quickly it has happened.

He didnt start playing the sport in an organized setting until the ninth grade, several years after many of his peers. When he first got to Rice, Hicks intense practices were difficult. He was still hazy on the basics of the game how to box out, how to set a screen, how to defend.

I didnt know what to do, he said. I didnt know anything.

Hicks has constantly worked with him, basically preaching to him about his potential. If he has nothing to do, Hicks implores him to get in the weight room. He should always be working. The message finally got through last year, when he rarely got off the bench despite the Raiders lack of size.

I didnt take it seriously until this past year, Jack said.

While the Raiders are again loaded in the backcourt, led by Miami-bound senior Durand Scott, not to mention talented sophomores Jermaine Sanders and Shamel Williams and skilled seniors James Stukes, Charles Fenner and Jonathan Williams, Jacks emergence had added a dimension to their attack. In a 71-45 win over Long Island Lutheran in the High School Invitational at Hunter College, he scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds, scoring in the paint and showing off a soft touch on a baby jumper.

Its great for our team if we can bring him along, Hicks said. With his presence, it opens up the perimeter.

Scott said he could already see the differences between this years club and the last two because of Jack. Rice was the favorite going into the postseason, but was upset in the intersectional semifinals when their perimeter-based attack went south. But Jacks offensive rebounding adds possessions and teams cant beat up Rice, previously undersized, on the low blocks nearly as much.

Hes starting to get confidence, Scott said.

Kadeems gonna be good, Hicks added. Hes a spirited kid. The skys the limit for him.

Jack, although modest, is starting to see what the future may hold. There are precious few big men in the city, particularly ones with his length and agility. Jack, after all, was a goalie growing up, a nod to his athleticism.

Still, he isnt satisfied. As Rice players exit their Hunter College locker room, they pat him on the back or the shoulder, noticing the big mans improvement. But Jack wants more.

I can do better than this, he said. I need to be more aggressive.

zbraziller@fiveborosports.com


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


Latest Market News in Turkish Basketball League - by Baha Kurtulus
Galatasaray Cafecrown Istanbul agreed terms with Kenny Adeleke (205-C-83, college: Hartford) who played Turkey last season in Banvit.
2007-2008: Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (Turkey-TBL): Turkish League: 33 games: 14.1ppg, 11.4rpg
FIBA EuroCup: 8 games: 15.8ppg, 11.0rpg
2008-2009: PBC Lukoil Akademik Sophia (Bulgaria-NBL, starting five), 9 games : 16.3 ppg, 12.7 rpg and left team in Dec.'08

Baris Guney (193-G-83) moved Aliaga Petkim to Kepez Bld Antalya due to financial problems.
2007-2008: Darussafaka Istanbul (TBL, starting five): 29 games: 9.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.3apg
2008-2009: Aliaga Petkim Petkim (TBL): 13 games : 2.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.3 apg


Standings - TBL
TBL Standings
 1. Efes Pilsen 15-1 
 2. Galatasaray 12-3 
 3. Fener.Ulker 11-4 
 4. T.Telekom 11-5 
 5. Antalya 9-7 
 6. Banvit 8-8 
 7. Mersin 8-8 
 8. Besiktas 8-8 
 9. Karsiyaka 7-8 
 10. Darussafaka 7-8 
 11. Aliaga 7-8 
 12. Oyak Renault 7-9 
 13. Selcuk Uni. 6-10 
 14. Kepez Bld 4-12 
 15. Erdemir 4-12 
 16. TED Koleji 1-14 


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  U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS   


Raja Bell finds niche as Bobcats' crowd pleaser - by David Edole
His first three years in the NBA, Raja Bell was labeled a defensive specialist. The past few years, he's been called a 3-point specialist.

His true specialty transcends basketball. At least that's how Bell's father sees it.

My dad always says my best attribute is understanding what someone wants and giving it to him, Bell said.

That starts to explain how a guy who wasn't drafted is now the Charlotte Bobcats' starting shooting guard.

He wasn't even the best basketball player in his immediate family. That was his father, Roger Bell, a former college football player who's now an administrator in the University of Miami's athletic department. When the Philadelphia 76ers first contacted Bell, he was playing rec ball with his dad, and his dad was the featured scorer.

Bell was so shocked when the Sixers called during the winter of 2001, he hung up on them, assuming it was a practical joke. His instincts were more accurate after that, particularly about Larry Brown, his coach then with the Sixers and now with the Bobcats.

Coach Brown was going to play anybody who could lock someone down, Bell said. I was on a 10-day (contract) and just looking for another 10-day. If that's how I was going to eat, then that's what I was going to do.''

It speaks to Bell's savvy and willingness to please that he gave himself over so fully to defense. He'd constantly give up his body fighting through screens or taking charges.

That bought him another season as a Sixer, plus a season in Dallas. The unwritten parameters were obvious; don't take any shot that could be taken by an Allen Iverson or Dirk Nowitzki.

Then Bell moved to the Utah Jazz, and it all changed. The Jazz was hurting for scorers, so coach Jerry Sloan told Bell to shoot. So the pleaser took on a new role.

Once I got to Utah and then Phoenix, I realized I could shoot (3-pointers) because there wasn't necessarily anybody better to shoot them,'' Bell said. (Opponents) didn't want Steve (Nash) to shoot or Amare (Stoudemire) to dunk, so there were a lot of shots open.''

He got so accurate from outside the arc that Bell is now the eighth-ranked 3-point shooter in the league, at 44 percent.

That's where this winds back to his first pro coach and the December trade that shipped Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary from Phoenix to Charlotte. The day of that trade, Brown got some advice from a friend, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.

You need to remember something, Popovich implored, Raja's a much better shooter now than when you had him before.

He sure was Monday against Popovich's Spurs; Bell went off for 25 points, hitting 6-of-11 from the field and 11-of-11 from the free throw line.

And now Brown is inspired to again widen Bell's job description.

In Philly, I thought about making him into a point guard, Brown said. I tell him I'd like him to put the ball on the floor more. He said to give him some time to work that out.

Considering Bell's history, there's every chance he'll aim to please.

By Rick Bonnell
rbonnell@charlotteobserver.com




HS Rankings..... - by David Edole
Charlotte Amalie High School boys basketball had one hiccup but easily blew through the competition at the 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball tournament. The team led by Merwin Potter, Charles Pemberton, Shamal Caines and Ryan Mills used a balance attack to dismantle long time rival Eudora Kean Devil Rays, 55-41. MVP Merwin Potter only scored seven points but led four players who scored at least that much. Charlotte Amalie jumped on Kean and held a 16-point lead at halftime, 38-22.
Eudora Kean was not the only team Charlotte Amalie dumped over the weekend. They blasted Antilles, 50-15, and Sts. Peter and Paul, 55-43. However, the surprise was the way the Chicken Hawks destroyed the Caribs 52-34. They made my Carib team look like they were learning to play basketball. CAHS also showed their grit when they outlasted a talented Educational Complex team, 47-45. For those reasons and an undefeated record the Hawks are number one in the territory.

#2 Ivanna Eudora Kean: Is this the same team that was upset by Sts. Peter and Paul in IAA play? The Devil Rays bounced back in a big way knocking off the heavily favored Educational Complex team (52-44) in pool play and held off Central High in the semifinals (52-49) to advance to the finals of the MLK. Jefferson Faustin has definitely put his name in the talks for Player of the Year consideration. He averaged about 15 points per game for the rapidly improving Rays. The Rays must figure out a way to defeat Charlotte Amalie if they want to compete for a territory title.

#3. Educational Complex: The Barracudas drop one spot in the ranking because of a bad loss to Eudora Kean and showed no composure in the loss to Charlotte Amalie. Complex has one of the most talented teams in the territory but can they put it together? With Central and Country Day not their usual selves Complex may have an easy road to the title. However, this is Educational Complex were talking about. They always find a way to blow it. It is up to seniors Kyle Sylvester (-F-90) and Timothy Sneed to get the guys ready.

#4: What is going on with my Caribs? I saw them play in the Atlanta Dekalb tourney and knew they lacked scorers but I did not know it was this bad. The only player that looks at the rim was Taaron Jones (-G-91). Jones, a junior guard, averaged 17 points in the tourney. Central looked real bad in the loss to Charlotte Amalie. CAHS took Jones out of the game and final score was not pretty. Lamar Bough has to abandon his pass first attitude and shoot the ball!

#5. The fifth ranked team is a definite surprise. Sts. Peter and Paul Jaguars have been praying on teams that dont take them serious. They upset Eudora Kean earlier in the year playing with only five players. The Jaguars knocked off Antilles (39-35) and I believe that they are best private school team in the territory. Big Michael Venzen went to work in the tourney; he had 19 in a loss to Central, 15 in the win over Antilles and 19 in a relatively close game against Charlotte Amalie. I cant wait for the Jaguars -Country Day game.

#6 Country Day rounds out the top six teams in the territory. CDS defeated Antilles in a preseason tourney but looked bad against Eudora Kean in the same tourney. CDS did not attend the MLK so look for them to regroup for the Central High Invitational Tourney. Michael McDonald and Brandon Oreilly must be consistent.

Next HS rankings after Central High School Invitational tournament (2/14/09


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


Superleague Round: 16 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
BC Kyiv - Mykolaiv 91-60
BC Kyiv cruised past Mykolaiv at home court. The visitors arrived to the capital with Sergiy Gladyr and had little chances against the league leaders. Vyacheslav Kravtsov came up with arguably the best performance in the season tallying 17 points and 5 boards for BC Kyiv. Manuchar Markoishvili finished with 15 points in the win. Olexiy Onufriyev and Igor Silkovskiy had 15 points each for Mykolaiv.

BC Donetsk - Sumykhimpr. 98-88
Haywood Owens scored 26 ponts, while Igor Kryvych had 20 to lead Donetsk past Sumykhimprom. Dmutro Zabirchenko added 14 points as the winners posted the tenth victory in the season. Osvaldas Macernis tallied 19 points and 8 boards for Sumykhimprom. Abdullahi Kuso had 18 points and 9 boards in defeat.

Khimik - Poltava 76-73
Khimik scored a tough win against Poltava at home court. The hosts had to overcome a late deficit to pull away with a narrow victory. Olu Famutimi shone for Khimik with game-high 29 points. Andriy Agafonov had 14 points for the winners. Ricky Clemons responded with 16 points for Poltava in defeat.

Azovmash - Pulsar 93-52
Azovmash victimized Pulsar in Mariupol. Simonas Serapinas drained 5 three-pointers en route to 21 points. Serhiy Lishchuk added 20 points and 12 boards for the winning team. Roman Gumenyuk responded with 12 points and 8 boards for Pulsar in the loss.



Nenad Canak will play for Khimik - by Eurobasket News
The official Superleague site reports that Serbian veteran forward Nenad Canak (204-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) is about to join Khimik. A 33-year old was scheduled to arrive to Yuzhny today but his flight was delayed and he would join the team later.
Nenad Canak started the season in Lukoil-Akademik but left the franchise in December. His EurCup figures were up to 6.7 points 1.7 boards per game. In the NBL he averaged 9.1 points and 2.9 boards in ten games played.
Canak is expected to play for Khimik against Mykolaiv in Round 17.
Courtesy of: sl.ukrbasket.net


*****************************************************
  UNITED KINGDOM   


Everton Tigers Match Previews: Tigers vs Jets; Riders vs Tigers - by George Manousidis
BBL Trophy, Group 2: Everton Tigers vs BiG Storage Cheshire Jets
Greenbank Sports Academy, Friday 23rd January, Tip off: 7.30pm.

BBL Trophy, Group 2: Jelson Homes DMU Leicester City Riders vs Everton Tigers
John Sandford Centre, Leicester, Saturday 24th January, Tip off: 7:30pm

Everton Tigers face a double header of games this weekend which will decide whether the team proceed to the BBL Trophy semi-finals.

The team face BiG Storage Cheshire Jets on Friday night at Greenbank, where the side will parade the BBL Cup, followed by a road trip to Jelson Homes DMU Leicester City Riders on Saturday.

The Tigers only need one win out of the two games to book their Trophy semi-final berth.

They have already beaten the Jets 101-91 in the group stage of the competition, and a repeat victory on Friday night would see them qualify for the final four with a game to spare.

Tigers coach Tony Tony Garbelotto is aware that his side need to avoid over-confidence after such a dominant performance against the Raiders last week: 'There's always a risk after winning a cup final that you'll be flat in the next game, and we'll be doing our best to avoid that.

It's an important game for us. If we win we're in another semi-final, and that would complete a great week for the club. We hope to give Tony Dorsey more court time and get him back into the rotation.'

The derby against Cheshire on Friday is followed swiftly by a trip to Leicester on Saturday to face the Riders in the final game of the group.

The two BBL Championship games this season have seen Tigers win 78-73 in overtime in Leicester and 101-86 at Greenbank, but coach Tony Tony Garbelotto is still expecting a tough game on Saturday: 'Whenever we've played them this season, they have been really impressive.

They are certainly a team that I wouldn't want to face in the play-offs. Rob's done a really good job there, they've had a couple of sticky patches, but they're having a great season.'

Tony Garbelotto is hoping that Saturday's game will have no relevance to the final positions in the three team group: 'Obviously we're hoping that we'll have already qualified. We'll be able to rest Chris Haslam, because he's struggling, and also be able to give Tony Dorsey some more minutes - which will be a real bonus.'


*****************************************************
  WBA   


Tyrone, GA Tornadoes to Tear Up the Opposition in the WBA Exposure League 2009 Season - by Eurobasket
ATLANTA, GA, January 21, 2009The WBA Exposure League announces the addition of Tyrone, GAs Tyrone Tornadoes, to its prominent 2009 team roster that includes the Buford Majic [Buford, GA], Decatur Court Kings [Decatur, GA], Marietta Storm [Marietta, GA], Memphis Blues [Memphis, TN], Palm Coast Blue Waves[Palm Coast, FL], Rome Gladiators[Rome, GA] and the Alabama Airmen [Birmingham, AL].
In 2002, music business mogul Leroy McMath founded the WBA Exposure League to educate, develop and expose talented players to the NBA, the D-League, CBA and International scouts. The WBA [headquartered in Atlanta, GA] has served as home to hoop stars such as Jamario Moon of the Toronto Raptors, the Los Angeles Lakers Josh Powell, Majic Dorsey of Californias Arsenals and Anthony Grundy who played for the Atlanta, Hawks.
Tyrone Tornadoes owner Marlon Sims expressed excitement about the new partnership and upcoming season, Coming into the WBA with my new team the Tyrone Tornadoes, is a dream come true for me! This partnership allows my coaching staff and I to work in a sport we love, while building our community through enterprise and family fun.
Mr. Sims will join the other WBA team owners and scouts for official WBA Tryout Camp, April 17-18th at Bogan Park in Buford, GA to draft gifted athletes from around the country, for the 2009 playing season that runs May-July.
McMath elaborates on the WBAs partnership with Sims, The WBA targets franchises such Mr. Sims that are both passionate about sports and understand the need to forge alliances in the community to help with initiatives that will improve the quality of life of residents by utilizing the core values that have made the WBA successful.
For more information about the WBA Exposure League, and/or the 2009 Tryout Camp contact our office at (770)904-5081 or visit us at www.wbaball.net. Media Inquires email: media@wbaball.net or contact Media Relations Director Trea Davenport at 678-523-3088. For information concerning the Tyrone Tornadoes, email Mr. Marlon Sims at marlon.sims@caeinvestments.com


Standings
WBA Standings
 1. Macon B. 0-0 
 2. Rome G. 0-0 
 3. Buford M. 0-0 
 4. Decatur CK 0-0 
 5. Marietta S. 0-0 
 6. Palm Coast 0-0 
 7. Memphis B. 0-0 
 8. S.Crescent L. 0-0 


*****************************************************
  ZIMBABWE   


Standings
HBA Standings
 1. JBC 14-0 
 2. Sigauke 12-2 
 3. Leopards 12-2 
 4. Raiderz 11-3 
 5. Cavaliers 10-4 
 6. Stormers 8-5 
 7. Jammers 7-7 
 8. Nuggets 5-8 
 9. Pistons 5-9 
 10. NABA Pross 4-9 
 11. Gentelmen 4-9 
 12. Golden Spurs 3-10 
 13. U.Z. Stars 2-12 
 14. South Central 1-13 




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Women News

*****************************************************
  BOLIVIA - Women  


Claudia Porras top-scores in Denmark - by Eurobasket News
Claudia Porras (188-F-84, college: UTEP) top-scores in Denmark for her Lemvig but it was not enough for the total win. SISU grabbed the eleventh win in the Dameligaen as they cruised past Lemvig 89:63 in Round 13. Lemvig challenged the league leaders in the first half trying to answer for every strike from the hosts. SISU led by just 7 points at the first break. However the home team held their opponents to 13 points in the second frame and opened up a 13-point advantage at halftime. SISU felt much more comfortable after the big break and coasted to the victory in the second half. Melissa Manzer scored 23 points to lead the hosts. Jackie Adamshick added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the winners. Claudia Porras secured 18 points for Lemvig as they slipped at 1-8 record.
In Round 11 Vaerlose defeated Lemvig 74:68 as Claudia Porras collected 19 points and 10 rebounds. It was a good game for her team as they started with 15-10 lead. The decisive moment of the game was the second and the third periods when Vaerlose produced 18-12 and 26-18 respectively.
The next game Claudia Porras's team will play on January 25th against Amager.


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  HUNGARY - Women  


MKB Euroleasing and Szeged open Round 14 celebrating - by Eurobasket News
The only undefeated team in Hungarian A league continued where it stopped in 2008. This time MKB Euroleasing blasted Atomeromu on the road 91-65. Kathleen Macleod (167-G-86) stepped up for the winners with 19 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes. Jelena Milovanovic (191-F/C-89) also shined collecting 17 points and 5 rebounds, while Amber Holt (183-G/F-85, college: Middle Tenn.St.) added 14 points and 6 rebs. Katalin Honti (178-G-87) was the last one with double-digits in scoring for MKB with 11 pts. On the other side, Reka Balint (181-F-91) answered with 16 points. Alisa Ievtushenko and Bettina Bozoki had 14 each. With this victory MKB Euroleasing jumped on prefect 11-0. Atomeromu dropped on 4-9.

Szeged also celebrated on the road, but against BEAC 71-48. After this game the winners improved on 9-3, while BEC fell on poor 2-11. Viktoria Vincze (189-C-87) was maybe the key player for Szeged nailing 16 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Ildiko Szakacs (187-F-81) helped with double-double, 11 pts and 14 rebs. Szeplaki Marta contributed with 13 points and 6 boards in loss.


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  LATVIA - Women  


Merike Anderson shine bright for TTT Riga - by Eurobasket News
Merike Anderson (181-G/F-81) pitched in outstanding 46 points to lead TTT Riga past RTU-Merks 105:60 in Round 13. She also pitched in 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 1 block to highlight her impressive tally. The defending champions looked too sloppy in the starting frame and the teams were tied at 15 after ten minutes of action. However the second and third quarters restored the status. Merike Anderson fueled her team as TTT Riga exploded with 71 points in the next two stanzas to enter the fourth term ahead by insurmountable 38 points. The league leaders coasted to the win as Merike Anderson completed her fantastic stats in this one. Dita Krumberga (183-F-84, college: Mt.St.Marys) had 18 points and 15 boards in the 16th straight win for TTT Riga. Aija Brumermane (191-C-86) added 15 points and 18 boards for the winners. Ieva Malkevica (174-F-87) netted 16 points as RTU-Merks fell at 8-10 record.
In the meantime TTT dominance in the LSBL was proved once again by TTT-Juniores. They thumped SK Riga 53:36 away from home to stay in the second position in the table. TTT-Juniores limited their opponents to only 11 points in the first half to clear off for good in this one. Liga Surkusa (192-C-91) stepped up with 12 points and 9 boards for the winners. Ieva Jansone (180-F-90) and Anete Steinberga (186-C-90) had 11 points each for the visitors. Ilze Gotfrida (182-F/C-91) topscored with 9 points in the loss.


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  LITHUANIA - Women  


TEO clinch the 15th win in LMKL - by Eurobasket News
TEO outscored Lemminkainen to earn the fifteenth straight win in the season. The fans gathered at the Neptunas Sport Hall saw their team trailing by 8 points at the first intermission. TEO never slowed down and raced ahead to a 17-point advantage before the final term. Lemminkainen closed the gap in the fourth term but never seriously threatened the margin. Jurgita Streimikyte (191-F-72) nailed 18 points and grabbed 6 boards to lead TEO. Gintare Petronyte (195-C-89) added 14 points, 6 boards and 5 assists for the winners. Rita Milieskiene (175-G-78) delivered 18 points for Lemminkainen. Marina Solopova (180-G/F-90) had 14 points in defeat.
Arvi managed the 13th victory in the season as they fired down Laisve at home court. The hosts cleared off to an 8-point distance after the starting frame. Arvi added more positive emotions in the second frame as the distance grew to as many as 20 points at halftime. Laisve finally came back to life in the third frame outscoring the hosts. But a 28:9 rally in the fourth period sealed the deal for Arvi. Vaida Pacauskiene (176-G-79) stepped up with 17 points for Arvi. Tetyana Shchypakina (180-F-85, agency: LBM Management) contributed 15 points, while Laima Rickeviciute (188-F-88) delivered 14 points and 13 boards in the win. Irma Raugaite (176-G-84) tallied 24 points for Laisve in the losing case.


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  LUXEMBOURG - Women  


Standings - Women
Diekirch League Standings
 1. Etzella 12-3 
 2. T71 Dudelange 11-4 
 3. Residence 10-5 
 4. Basket Esch 10-5 
 5. AB Contern 10-5 
 6. Musel Pikes 10-5 
 7. Amicale 7-8 
 8. Grengewald 3-12 
 9. Racing 2-13 
 10. Black Frogs 0-15 


*****************************************************
  POLAND - Women  


PLKK Round: 18 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
AZS Gorzow - MUKS Pozn. 93-54
Gorzow eased past MUKS Poznan behind 24 points from katerina Zohnova. Lindsay Taylor pitched in 20 points, 10 boards and 5 blocks as Gorzow stayed in the third position at 13-4 record. Djenebou Sissoko had an outstanding game for Poznan with 21 points, 17 rebounds and 4 steals.

AZS J.Gora - Duda Leszno 54-90
Duda Leszno leapfrogged Jelenia Gora in the standings beating them on the road today. Ashley Shields stepped up with 22 points for the visiting side. Edyta Krysiewicz secured 16 points for Duda Leszno. Ryan Coleman responded with 21 points and 5 steals. Magdalena Skorek managed 14 points and 4 steals in defeat.

Inea AZS P. - Cukierki 86-79
Inea Poznan celebrared the ninth victory in the championship as outsmarted Cukierki at home court. Okeisha Howard had 24 points for the hosts. Joanna Walich added 17 points and 7 rebounds for Inea Poznan. Amber Petillion replied with 22 points and 12 boards for Cukierki as they surrendered in the 13th game of the season.

LKS - Energa Torun 66-75
Energa Torun stole a road win against Lodz. Monika Krawiec banked 21 points, while Emilia Tlumak chipped in 20 as Torun improved at 10-7 record. Olga Zytomirska topscored for Lodz with 18 points and 7 boards.



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  SLOVAKIA - Women  


Standings - Women
Extraliga Standings
 1. Maxima Br. 12-1 
 2. MBK Ruz. 11-2 
 3. Nitra 9-3 
 4. Poprad 7-7 
 5. SSK Abovia 6-7 
 6. Presov 5-8 
 7. Slovan 5-8 
 8. Cassovia K. 3-11 
 9. Roznava 1-12 


*****************************************************
  U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - Women  


HS Rankings... - by David Edole
Charlotte Amalie Lady Hawks has backed up what I have been saying all along. They are the best team in the land. The Hawks destroyed all comers in the annual Martin Luther King Basketball tournament. Led by MVP La-Shonda Creque's 15 points in the second quarter of the championship game, the Hawks went on to defeat rival Antilles Hurricanes 45-31. Creque finished with 20 points. The 5-foot-8 guard was amazing over the course of the tourney. She had 12 points in the first game when the Hawks walloped Antilles 49-16 in the opening game. Charlotte Amalie also defeated rival Central High, 47-27.The Big Dipper Aesha Peters (6-4, Jr. F) led CAHS with 12 points. Charlotte Amalie has reconfirmed that they are the team to beat in the territory.

2. Antilles: The LadyCanes pulled a major upset when they knocked off Central High in the semifinals of the MLK tourney. Radford University signee Victoria Hamilton had a game high 14 points in the 35-24 win. The Lady Canes will need Julia Cassazza and Capricia Richards to step up if this team plans on winning a territory championship

3.Central High: Where do I start? Central started the season in the Dekalb Tourney in Atlanta and showed no spirit. They traveled to the MLK and lost two games including one they showed have won. Coach Donald Bough will have to tap the B team and bring up some heart to change the way this thing is going. The ship is sinking. Maybe Denequa Phillips and Johvanna John can be the life support.

Educational Complex: The defacto team. I know nothing about them. Country Day has not shown me anything and someone has to be placed fourth! I hope they have a good team as the SCIAA starts today!

Next HS rankings after Central High School Invitational tournament (2/14/09)


MLK Jr. tourney results - by David Edole

Group
Charlotte Amalie (3-0)
Antilles (2-1)
Central (1-2)
Eudora Kean (0-3)

Game 1: Charlotte Amalie 49 Antilles 16
CAHS: Lashonda Creque 12, Shayla Kelly 12
Antilles: Victoria Hamilton 9

Game 2: Central wins a game forfeited by Eudora Kean

Game 3: Antilles wins a game forfeited by Eudora Kean

Game 4: Charlotte Amalie 47 Central 27
CAHS: Aesha Peters 12

Game 5: Antilles 35 Central 28

Antilles: Victoria Hamilton 14

Monday's Championship Games

9:30 am Charlotte Amalie vs. Antilles (Girls)

11:00am Charlotte Amalie vs. Eudora Kean (Boys)



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  VENEZUELA - Women  


Maria Villarroel notches 19 points in a key game - by Eurobasket News
Maria Villarroel (174-G/F-78, college: Oklahoma) notches 19 points in a key game for her Sdent Sierre in Switzerland, but as a result it was not enough for the total win. Neuchatel gained an important home win over their key rivals in the LNA this season. Caroline Turin nailed 21 points and Neuchatel held off Sdent Sierre 79:53 at home court. The winners thus improved at 11-1 record just one win shy of the league-leading Sierre. The teams exchanged the baskets in the starting frame with the outcome leveled at 16. Neuchatel however limited their opponents to 7 points in the second term to gain an 11-point cushion at the interval. Things started to roll smoothly for the hosts as they extended the margin to 15 points heading into the final quarter. Sierre had to answer for the onslaught and folded at the end. Kadie Riverin knocked down 20 points for Neuchatel. Sophie Charlier had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists for the winners. Maria Villarroel responded with 19 points and 6 boards for Sierre. Rhona McKenzie posted 13 points and 8 boards in defeat.
Earlier in the season Sdent Sierre Basket is the top ranked team in LNA after 12 rounds. In the last one Maria Villarroel and her teammates outplayed Fribourg on the road 82-67. It means that Sdent Sierre Basket jumped on almost perfect 11-1 record while the hosts dropped on 4-6. Villarroel was totally the best player in this game draining 32 points. At the same time she also had 5 assists and 3 rebounds making 11 of 12 attempts for FG2. Lenka Zimova and Rhona McKenzie followed her with 16 points apiece. On the other side, Fribourg got 18 points and 9 boards from Maud Leres. Tereza Brantlova also was on decent level collecting 15 points and 4 assists, while Rachel Maenpaa contributed with 13 points.


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  ZIMBABWE - Women  


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