EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 3/28/2009

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Men News

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  ADRIATIC LEAGUE   


Vladimir Micov in BC Panionios - by Zoran Popovic
After the offers from Serbian and Spanish teams, Vladimir Micov (201-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) decided to sign contract with Panionios ON Telecoms Athens to the end of this season. Vladimir Micov started career in BC Beopetrol 2001-2002, moved to Crvena Zvezda in season 2002-2003, during the season was loaned to Nova Pazova, played for OKK Beograd in season 2003-2004 and Lavovi 063 in season 2004-2005. Last four seasons Micov spend in BC Buducnost and in March 2007 to the end of that season, Micov was loaned to BC Partizan. Vladimir Micov was member of Yugoslavio U16 National team and Serbia and Montenegro U20 National team. This season in Eurocup Micov average scored 11.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals, in Adriatic league average scored 13.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 22.3 steals.

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  BOSNIA   


Bosnian League 8, 1TH round - by Elvir Halilovic
Bosna ASA BH Telecom - SL IAT Leotar 87:68
(25:22, 13:16, 21:18, 28:12)
Sarajevo, SD Mirza Delibasic Skenderija; Att.: 500; Ref.: Obradovic, Drmic, Milicevic
BOSNA ASA BHT: Ivanovic 11, Sehovic 5, Ikonic 16, Rakic 8, Vucurevic 2, Djurasovic 7 (7 reb., 3 as.), Suljagic 2, Hajric 16 (6 reb.), Pasalic 8 (6 reb.), Djordjevic D. 10 (7 as.), Avdic 2
Coach: Vlada Vukoicic
SL IAT LEOTAR: Kovacevic S., Setencic 18 (4 as.), Aleksic 3 (5 reb.), Radulovic, Zotovic 16 (5 reb.), Vukovic 5, Kourdou 2, Markovic 21 (10 reb.), Kovacevic M., Zagorac, Djordjevic I. 3
Coach: Radomir Kisic


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  DENMARK   


Bakken and Svendborg with one foot in the Final - by Eurobasket News
Bakken and Svendborg have edged closer to the League Final. Both teams have taken 3-0 lead in their respective semifinal series. The Bakken Bears defeated Naestved 92:75 at home court. The hosts looked too good for Naestved in the first half. Bakken piled up an 11-point advantage at halftime. Naestved revived a slight hope in the third period as they trimmed the distance to 8 points. But a perfect offensive effort from the Bears in the final term doomed the visitors. Elliah Clarke (198-F-85, college: De Paul) nailed 18 points and 8 boards to lead the Bears. Jens Jensen (195-G/F-75, college: Cal-Irvine) knocked down 14 points for the winners. Sasha Djordjevic (190-G-85) managed 22 points for Naestved. Martin Hoirup (192-F-82) had 18 points in defeat.
Svendborg dominated their road game against Randers. The hosts were considered the favorites before the semifinal series but could not live up to the expectations losing the third one in a row. Yesterday Randers scored 28 points in the first frame and took a 4-points lead into the second stanza. But the luck ran dry in the second period as Svendborg surged in front and enjoyed a one-point halftime lead. Randers collapsed in the third term losing it 13:28. That was too much to overcome for the home team and they lost another battle. Johnell Smith (186-G-80, college: New Orleans) fired 29 points to pace the Rabbits. Ivan Hoger (225-C-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza) added 24 points and 9 rebounds in the winning case. D.J. Smedley (178-G-84, college: Ill.-Chicago) and Petar Popovic (201-F-79) had 16 points apiece for Randers.


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  D-LEAGUE   


Stats Leaders
D-League Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1.W. Conroy, ABQ 26.1
2.J. Williams, RGV 25.4
3.M. Almond, UTA 24.5
4.B. Ahearn, AUS-DAK 23.1
5.M. Williams, AUS 22.9
Rebounds Per Game
1.R. Hendrix, DAK-BAK 11.6
2.D. Jones, AUS-IDA-IOW, 11.1
3.C. Sims, IOW 11.0
4.E. Daniels, ERI 10.1
5.M. Sene, ABQ 9.8
Assists Per Game
1.W. Russell, FWN 10.9
2.E. Gill, COL 8.7
3.J. Jordan, RGV 8.5
3.M. Cleaves, BAK 8.5
5.C. Stinson, IOW 8.0
5.W. Conroy, ABQ 8.0
Steals Per Game
1.D. Coleman, COL 2.83
2.C. Elliott, FWN-SIF 2.63
3.W. Russell, FWN 2.39
4.D. Noel, REN-ABQ 2.19
5.A. Agudio, ABQ 2.17


Last games (2) - Mad Ants and BigHorns celebrate - by Eurobasket News
Los Angeles - Ft.Wayne 99-110
The Mad Ants scored 110 points last night, what was more than enough for comfortably victory against the LA D-Fenders. Taj McCullough (6'7''-F-86, college: Winthrop) came up with 25, while Ron Howard and Chris Hunter netted 22 pts each. Dwayne Mitchell answered with 25 pts in loss. Mad Ants 17-27, D-Fenders 15-29.

Iowa - Reno 109-131
Victory number 20 for the BigHorns, which got 31 points from Richie Frahm (6'5''-G-77, college: Gonzaga) and 24 from Garry Hill-Thomas. Jameson Curry and Othuys Jeffers posted 24 pts each in defeat.


Jazz Assign Koufos to D-League Affiliate Energy - by Surujh Roopnarine
The Utah Jazz have assigned rookie center Kosta Koufos (7'0''-F/C-89, college: Ohio St.) to the Utah Flash, the Jazzs NBA Development League affiliate. Koufos assignment is the 38th of the 2008-09 NBA D-League season. He joins Jazz teammate Morris Almond on the Flashs roster. This will be his first assignment of the season.
The 7-0 center has appeared in 48 games for the Jazz this season and is averaging 4.7 points and 2.9 rebounds. Selected by the Jazz in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, Koufos played one season at Ohio State. During his NCAA career, Koufos averaged 14.4 points in 37 games, and earned Third Team All-Big Ten honors and was named to the leagues All-Freshman Team.


Energy Sign John Edwards - by Surujh Roopnarine
In desperate need of a serviceable big man, the Iowa Energy have signed D-League veteran center John Edwards (7'0''-C-81, college: Kent St.). The former Kent State product and NBA veteran began this season with Sioux Falls where he averaged 9.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in 15 games before being waived earlier this month. In last nights 131-109 drubbing against Reno, the Energy started Steve Newman (6-9), Othyus Jeffers (6-5) and Mark Tyndale (6-5) at the forward positions. While the Energy managed to out-rebound the Bighorns (43-37), it was a block party on the interior for Reno, as they swatted 13 Energy shot attempts, led by Cezary Trybanski (7) and Rod Benson (5). At 7-0, Edwards, who played in the Ukraine last season, will provide an interior presence for the Energy that has been missing since Courtney Sims was signed to a 10-day contract by the New York Knicks last week.

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  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC   


Reggie Charles leads Gaiteros in Venezuela - by Jordan Olivo
Dominican Reggie Charles (201-F-81, agency: Global Sports Plaza) finished with 17 points in the victory of the Gaiteros de Zulia 87-70 against the La Guaira BBC in the LPB of Venezuela.

Rafael Guevara (194-F-79) and Christopher Jeffries (199-F-80, college: Wash.-St.Louis) 14, Alejandro Barrios (205-C-79) 11 and Enrique Guevara (204-F/C-82) 10 for Gaiteros.

Mike Campbell (197-G/F-75, agency: Court Side, college: LIU Brooklyn) 19, Tomas Aguilera (198-F-77) and Lennox McCoy (188-G-77, agency: Prossin Sports Management, college: Cent.Oklahoma) 15 for La Guaira.

The other Dominicans who played in Venezuela include: Kelvin Pena (193-G-81, college: Southeastern CC) (Guaiqueries de Margarita), Alejandro Flores (202-F-81, agency: Strategic Sports, college: E.Oklahoma St. JC) (Toros de Aragua), Edgar Lugo (189-G-82, agency: HM Sports Agency, college: Lehman) (La Guaira).


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  EBA   


EBA Final Four Weekend to tipoff tomorrow - by Gianni Pascucci
The 2009 Eastern Basketball Alliance season tipped off back on January 3rd with 15 teams. Now, only the top 4 teams remain in the rush, setting the stage for the highly anticiapated 2009 EBA Final 4 to be played in Harrisburg, PA this weekend of March 28/29. All the games will take place in the brand new John Harris Gym on the campus of Harrisburg (Pa.) High School. On tonight, Saturday March 28 at 5:00pm the action will open up with # 1 seed Delaware Destroyers (9-1) facing off against # 4 seed (but 7-time defending league champion) Harrisburg Horizon (8-2). At approx. 7:00pm, the # 3 seed Elmira Bulldogs (9-1) will take to the court in the second semi-final to face the # 2 seed Washington Madness (9-1). The Madness handed the Bulldogs their only loss of the season on March 14th by the score of 112-110 in their regular season finale. Instead, the Horizon had defeated 122-109 the Destroyers in February. Both the semifinals are expected to be very close, and, please, don' t be surprised if the two lower ranked teams will advance to the Final, the 2009 EBA Championship Game, scheduled for Sunday March 29 at 3:00pm.

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  EL SALVADOR   


ExSal keeps the top - by Gianni Pascucci
On tuesday nigh, ExSal defeated San Marcos 97-69 in a Liga Superior de Baloncesto game. After winning the first quarter 27-14, the reigning champions suffered the comeback of San Marcos, ending the first half behind, 37-44. In the second half, however, ExSal used all its strength, and managed to win. Miguel Banos (186-F/C-84) scored 26 pts to lead ExSal, Fabio Molina (195-G/F-81) added 23 points, the best performers in San marcos were Roberto Mendez (181-G-78), Moises Martinez and Sergio Zetino (173-G-87), with 18, 18 and 11 points, respectively.

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  ESTONIA   


Week review - by Eurobasket News
In the latest game of the EMKL KK Valga rolled over BC Rakvere Tarvas 81:63. Antti Vasar (195-F-79) led the winners with 23 points and Heiko Rannula nailed 19. Kristo Saage ended up with 22 points in the losing effort.
In the Semifinals of Baltic Cup Estonia will be represented by whether TU/Rock or Kalev/Cramo. Both Estonian teams play versus each other in the Quarterfinal of the tournament. TU/Rock made a confident step towards Baltic League semis after beating their arch-rivals Kalev/Cramo in Tallinn . The Tartu team took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series and would look for qualification into the semis at home on March 28. Kalev/Cramo had to blame a slow start as they lost the starting period by 11 points and failed to get back into the game. Viktor Sanikidze (203-F-86, agency: Octagon) notched 19 points and 8 boards to pace the visitors. Giorgi Tsintsadze (192-G-86) had 14 points, while Tanoka Beard (205-F/C-71, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Boise St.) added 13 points and 6 boards in the victory. John Linehan responded with 19 points, 7 boards, 5 assists and 5 steals for Kalev/Cramo as they face a tough task to solve. Nate Fox added 17 points in the losing case.
TTU KK looked just too confident for VEF Riga claiming the first win in the quarterfinal series of the Challenge Cup. Kristjan Makke (205-F/C-81, college: W.Illinois) scored 22 points and grabbed 9 boards to lead the Estonian team. Joosep Pokla contributed 17 points and 6 boards in the victory. TTU KK won the third period 28:19 and never looked back in the final stages of the encounter. Evgeniy Kolesnikov and Jurijs Aleksejevs scored 19 points each in the loss.


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  EUROLEAGUE   


Playoffs, Game 2 MVP: Erazem Lorbek, CSKA Moscow - by Eurobasket News

For its second playoff home win in as many games, CSKA Moscow relied not on one of its several signature superstars on Thursday, but rather on a newcomer to its lineup this season. Big man Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) earned the MVP honor for Quarterfinal Playoffs, Game 2 after leading CSKA to a 77-50 blowout over Partizan with a performance index rating of 33, his career-high in six Euroleague seasons. Lorbek became CSKA's first weekly MVP this season by scoring 21 points to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 10 fouls drawn and a steal. He connected on 5 of his 7 two-point shots, 1 of 2 three-pointers and 8 of 12 free throws. What's more, he did not commit a single turnover in his nearly 30 minutes on the floor. By playing such a key role in Thursday's victory, Lorbek helped to bring CSKA within one win of its seventh straight Final Four. Lorbek, meanwhile, has not been to the Final Four since his Euroleague rookie season in 2004, with Fortitudo Bologna. Next on the list of the week's best performers were three players tied with index ratings of 27 each after pacing their teams to Game 2 victories on Thursday. All-Euroleague playmaker Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson) produced 24 points and 4 assists to lead Montepaschi Siena to a tough road win at Panathinaikos. Big man Fran Vazquez (210-C-83) amassed 14 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks as Regal FC Barcelona defeated Tau Ceramica. And Lynn Greer (186-G-79, college: Temple) paced Olympiacos with 21 points in its important home win over Real Madrid. Rounding out the top five was Montepaschi's Rimantas Kaukenas (193-G-77, college: Seton Hall) with 22 points, 3 assists and 4 steals as part of his 26 index rating.


Individual highs: Terrell McIntyre, Montepaschi, 24 poin
ts

McIntyre's scoring effort in Montepaschi's big road win was the highest of all players in Game 2. McIntyre's 24 points put his playoff average at 25.5 points per game over 5 points more than any other player. Vazquez was joined by teammate Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) and Panathinaikos forward Antonis Fotsis (210-F-81) as Game 2's best rebounders with 10 each. Ilyasova now leads the playoffs in that category with 11.5 per game. Vazquez and Ilyasova (16 points, 10 boards) also produced Game 2's only double doubles. Their teammate, Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80), dished 6 assists in Barcelona's win over Tau, more than any other player on Thursday. Thodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) of Olympiacos leads the playoffs in assists so far with 8.5 per game. Rimantas Kaukenas's 4 steals were the most of any player in Game 2. He is among six players to have appeared in both playoff games who have a total of 4 steals in the two games. His Montepaschi teammate Ksistof Lavrinovic has 3 steals in his only playoff game. Fotsis and Daniel Santiago (216-C-76, agency: Priority Sports, college: N.Mexico) of Barcelona each swatted 3 shots in Game 2. Fotsis leads the playoffs with 2.5 blocks per game.

Courtesy of Euroleague



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  FRANCE   


Standings - ProA
ProA Standings
 1. ASVEL 17-6 
 2. Orleans 15-7 
 3. Strasbourg 14-8 
 4. Roanne 14-8 
 5. Le Mans 14-9 
 6. Nancy 13-9 
 7. Chalon 13-9 
 8. Gravelines 12-10 
 9. Cholet 10-12 
 10. Vichy 10-12 
 11. Rouen 9-13 
 12. Hyeres-Toulon 8-14 
 13. Le Havre 8-14 
 14. Dijon 8-14 
 15. Besancon 7-15 
 16. Pau 5-17 


Standings - ProB
ProB Standings
 1. Paris-Levall. 21-4 
 2. Bourg 18-7 
 3. Poitiers 18-7 
 4. Clermont 18-8 
 5. Limoges 18-8 
 6. Saint-Etienne 15-11 
 7. Charleville 15-11 
 8. Nantes 14-12 
 9. Maurienne 12-13 
 10. Nanterre 11-14 
 11. Brest 11-14 
 12. Antibes 11-15 
 13. St.Vallier 9-16 
 14. Evreux 9-17 
 15. Le Portel 9-17 
 16. Boulazac 8-17 
 17. St.Quentin 8-17 
 18. Quimper 4-21 


Stats Leaders - ProA

Points Per Game
 Austin NICHOLS
  Hyeres-Toulon
  (198-G/F-82)
  Avg: 23.1
 1. Nichols, Hyeres-T.23.1 
 2. Rush, Strasbourg21.5 
 3. Page, Pau19.4 
 4. Thompson, Le Havre19.4 
 5. Chatfield, Dijon16.6 
 6. Harper, Roanne15.8 
 7. Greer, Nancy15.8 
 8. Banks, Orleans15.8 
 9. Boddicker, Chalon15.5 
 10. Spencer, Le Ma.15.3 
Rebounds Per Game
 Bingo MERRIEX
  Le Havre
  (204-F-80)
  Avg: 9.7
 1. Merriex, Le Havre9.7 
 2. Slaughter, Le Havre9.0 
 3. Masingue, Hyeres-T.8.7 
 4. Sanders, Dijon8.3 
 5. Falker, Cholet8.3 
 6. Issa, Vichy8.2 
 7. Vaty, Pau8.0 
 8. Greer, Nancy7.5 
 9. Koffi, Le Mans7.2 
 10. Lewin, Strasbou.6.9 
Assists Per Game
 Kareem REID
  Vichy
  (178-G-75)
  Avg: 7.4
 1. Reid, Vichy7.4 
 2. Wright, Chalon6.5 
 3. Thompson, Le Havre6.1 
 4. Heurtel, Pau5.3 
 5. Draper, Hyeres-T.5.1 
 6. Pellin, Roanne5.0 
 7. Sciarra, Orleans4.9 
 8. Jeanneau, AS.4.9 
 9. Greer, Nancy4.6 
 10. Houston, Rou.4.6 
Steals Per Game
 Zack WRIGHT
  Chalon
  (188-G-85)
  Avg: 2.9
 1. Wright, Chalon2.9 
 2. Dobbins, Orleans2.4 
 3. Rush, Strasbourg2.3 
 4. Krupalija, Dijon2.1 
 5. Greene, Orleans2.0 
 6. Banks, Orleans1.9 
 7. Causeur, Le Havre1.9 
 8. Grier, Cholet1.7 
 9. Stanley, Gravelines1.7 
 10. Dorsey, Rou.1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Kevin HOUSTON
  Rouen
  (179-G-85)
  Avg: 1.3
 1. Houston, Rouen1.3 
 2. Rush, Strasbourg1.1 
 3. Laing, Le Havre1.0 
 4. Krupalija, Dijon1.0 
 5. Greene, Orleans1.0 
 6. Wright, Chalon1.0 
 7. MBaye, Dijon1.0 
 8. Grier, Cholet0.9 
 9. Bojic, Le Havre0.9 
 10. Gunn, Besanc.0.9 


Stats Leaders - ProB

Points Per Game
 Shaun FEIN
  St.Quentin
  (191-G-78)
  Avg: 20.3
 1. Fein, St.Quentin20.3 
 2. Craven, Clermont19.5 
 3. Olivero, Le Portel18.5 
 4. Mohammed, Limoges18.2 
 5. Ingram, Bourg18.0 
 6. Carter, St-Etienne17.3 
 7. Younger, Poitiers17.3 
 8. Wright, Poitiers16.4 
 9. Bing, Clermont16.4 
 10. Hollins, Nant.16.4 
Rebounds Per Game
 Christophe HUMBERT
  St.Quentin
  (202-F-79)
  Avg: 9.5
 1. Humbert, St.Qu.9.5 
 2. Melicie, St.Vallier9.2 
 3. Bing, Clermont8.3 
 4. Almonte, Nanterre8.0 
 5. Cornett, Quimper7.8 
 6. Mathis, Evreux7.6 
 7. Sullivan, Maurienne7.6 
 8. Younger, Poitiers7.5 
 9. Lalugba, Bourg7.5 
 10. Joseph, Maurien.7.5 
Assists Per Game
 Terry WILLIAMS
  St-Etienne
  (189-G-83)
  Avg: 5.9
 1. Williams, St-Etienne5.9 
 2. Taylor, Boulazac5.6 
 3. Gomez, Poitiers5.5 
 4. Ingram, Bourg5.1 
 5. Craven, Clermont4.8 
 6. Ball, Paris-Levall.4.8 
 7. Dunn, Maurienne4.6 
 8. Morlende, St.Qu.4.6 
 9. Thomas, St.Vallier4.1 
 10. Richardson, Bre.3.8 
Steals Per Game
 Errick CRAVEN
  Clermont
  (188-G-83)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Craven, Clermont3.3 
 2. Barnette, St.Vallier2.5 
 3. Sullivan, Maurienne2.5 
 4. Dunn, Maurienne2.3 
 5. Ball, Paris-Levall.2.2 
 6. Block, Quimper2.1 
 7. Traore, Boulazac2.0 
 8. Ingram, Bourg2.0 
 9. Williams, St-Etienne1.9 
 10. Karim, Evre.1.9 
Blocks Per Game
 Joah TUCKER
  St.Quentin
  (195-F-83)
  Avg: 1.4
 1. Tucker, St.Quentin1.4 
 2. Hollins, Nantes1.2 
 3. Fein, St.Quentin1.0 
 4. Bing, Clermont1.0 
 5. Kennedy, Antibes1.0 
 6. Mathis, Evreux1.0 
 7. Mohammed, Limoges1.0 
 8. Barnette, St.Vallier1.0 
 9. Dunn, Maurienne1.0 
 10. Craven, Clermo.0.9 


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  GERMANY   


The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Seek To Hault The 45 Month Winless Streak Against The Brose Baskets Bamberg March 29 - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber
For some faithful Skyliner fans withstanding a 45 month winless dry spell against the dreaded Brose Baskets Bamberg can be as difficult as actor Jack Nickolson being banned from the Staples center in Los Angeles for life, being shown Boston Celtics championship highlight videos for breakfast or being denied wearing his trademark dark sunglass ever again, but nothing can be as cruel as being a Chicago Cubs fan(maybe this year John Bowler (206-F-84, agency: LimeLight, college: E.Michigan)) and having to endure the 100 year(1,200 months) ordeal of not winning a Baseball championship. Frankfurt has not beaten Bamberg since the 2005 BBL final series and want to end this mini curse on Sunday with a win against Chris Fleming and company. 'I am not a Chicago Cubs fan, but I believe that the curse will end Sunday. I have confidence in the team. We have to be competitive and get on a winning streak again and do it for our moral and for the playoffs', warned American Titus Ivory (193-G-79, college: Penn St.). Coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) has had it with the spirits of famous scientists and is content on burying the past with a victory. 'We cant forget the history, but we have to live with the history', stated Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ). Skyliner guard Keith Simmons (196-G-85, college: Holy Cross) hails from New York, but witnessed one of the most famous jinxes, The curse of the bambino with the Boston Redsox that ended after 86 years in 2004 as they won the Baseball World Series as he was a college sophomore at Holy Cross only 40 minutes from Boston. 'As a player, you should never try to think about a so called curse, but block it out. You should always feel like you can win. I was in the middle of Red Sox nation at Holy Cross. It was a big deal. People were partying more after they beat the New York Yankees in the semis then when they actually won the World Series', added Keith Simmons.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners seem light years away from the Chicago Cubs 100 year winless drought with their 45 months of not winning, but Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) has to slowly wonder how he can kick out Bamberg from his cozy lazy boy lounge chair in his Ballsporthalle living room. 'We have to pay many expenses for keeping the Ballsporthalle as our living room, so we have to protect it as best we can', warned Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ). Frankfurt needs to transform their cozy living room into a hostile area like the Bamberg Jako arena is. Bamberg is always very fierce at home having a 8-5 record at home and playing with the heart of a lion, but on the road are only 5-7. Frankfurt hopes that they are able to tame the lion on Sunday. 'It is simple to tame a lion by being a stronger lion', stressed Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ). The Ballsporthalle is not known for being continuously loud like the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, but at times it can get very very noisy. 'We really need the fan support against Bamberg. It is always a give and take between the players and the fans. We play with a lot of emotion and they help us when we are down', said Skyliner guard Keith Simmons.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg have always had a deep roster, but within a few months, the Bamberg player pool has grown rapidly to14 players about as quickly as did Arnold Schwarzeneggers muscles did when he was in his prime as a world class body builder before he started to charm the world as an actor with his unforgettable Austrian accent. Bamberg is slowly finding their rhythm and Chris Fleming is acting less like a mother hen who is waiting for her chics to hatch. Big man Tim Ohlbrecht (211-C/F-88, agency: Pro One Sports) and 277 time NBA player Dan Dickau are injured. (183-G-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Gonzaga). ' Dan and Tim are rehabbing now. I cant really say if they will play. I think it will be a game day decision if they play or not', explained Bamberg American Jared Newson (196-G/F-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Tennessee-Martin). The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have had a deep roster for many months, but at the moment are not consistent enough to be more than a 500 team. 'We have a deep roster, but health has been an issue all season long. We have had guys in and out of the lineup. We only have had a few games where all guys have been healthy. That really messes with our chemistry and how we play together. We have to begin to play better now', warned Skyliner guard Keith Simmons.
In the last three seasons, there have only been three of eight games which The Deutsche Bank Skyliners lost by six or less points. Who could forget the bitter 80 to 60 loss in the cup in the 2005-2006 season, where Skyliner center Antonio Meeking (203-F-81, college: Louisiana Tech) would injure himself so bad, that he would never regain his old form to this day. In the 2006-2007 season, Frankfurt let Bamberg slip away with a 80 to 74 win in overtime, which Frankfurt should of won in the regular time. Their most bitter loss was the 81 to 48 trouncing in the Ballsporthalle in March 2007, which was also the end to the short Charles Barton era, who would be relieved of his duties a short time afterward. Last season, Frankfurt was crushed in Bamberg 88 to 51, but played a very spirited game in the Ballsporthalle losing a close battle 57 to 54, which was the last appearance of coach Dirk Bauermann in the Ballsporthalle as head coach of Bamberg.
A Basketball era is never endless, but sometimes does break apart like the ground does during an earth quake. The tradition in Leverkusen ended last summer as the team moved to Dusseldorf, and in the late 90s the dominance of the Chicago Bulls became history as Michael Jordan (199-F-63, college: N.Carolina) retired and coach Phil Jackson left and soon would win three more NBA titles in Los Angeles. The golden era in Bamberg also ended this past summer after many important puzzles to the championship teams of 2005 and 2007 left. Coach Dirk Bauermann left to concentrate on the job with the German National team, fan favourite Steffen Hamann (194-G-81) left to create havoc for opponents in the Berlin O2 Arena, and big man Chris Ensminger (209-C-73, agency: LimeLight, college: Valparaiso) left Freak city for the calmer pastures of Paderborn. The only two figures remaining from the 2005 championship Bamberg team are German National player Robert Garrett (193-G-77, agency: SportsTalent) and assistant coach Volker Stix .
New coach Chris Fleming surely does not have an easy job having to take over the eight year successful legacy of ex coach Dirk Bauermann , who was able to win two BBL championships and play in many international competitions. Even though, Bamberg was successful the last years, their defensive play was not always appreciated by the neutral German Basketball fan. Chris Fleming has never been shy of experimenting with offensive Basketball, which has been a positive change in Bamberg this season. 'The teams of Chris Flemming have always been strong, but he has a keen sense of organization on offense and defense, which will help Bamberg this season', stated Pascal Roller.
The leading scorer of the Brose Baskets Bamberg is American Dan Dickau, who is averaging 17,6ppg, 3,6rpg and 1,6apg. He went to college at Gonzaga and played 277 NBA games from 2002-2008 for teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trailblazers, New Orleans Hornets, Boston Celtics and The L.A Clippers. Serb Predrag Suput (200-F-77, agency: Beo Basket) is averaging 14,7ppg, 5,1rpg and1,6apg. He is an all around good player being able to play the 2-4 positions. His only blemish is that he tends to have big games, but then again games where he is totally invisible. He is not the quickest defender and Frankfurt should use that to their advantage. Newcomer American Elton Brown (206-F/C-83, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Virginia) is averaging 11,2ppg, 6,8rpg and 1,0apg. He played at the University of Virginia and his rookie season in Greece. He was a bit unlucky being cut by NBA teams the last three years, but he responded by tearing up the D-league with Colorado averaging 20ppg and grabbing 11rpg last season. 'Elton is your typical low post player, who has a lot of experience and knows how to play. He brings that physical presence down low that we need. He will give our shooters more open shots with his inside play', expressed Bamberg American Jared Newson. 'Brown is very physical inside. We will have to deny him and get as much help defense as necessary', warned Skyliner Keith Simmons.
Puerto Rican native Filiberto Rivera (187-G-82, college: UTEP), played under Fleming in Quackenbrck. He is averaging 10,4ppg, 2,5rpg, 3,6apg. He is a classic point guard, who likes to pass first and then shoot. He can also score when called upon and should function well with John Goldsberry. German National player Demond Greene (185-G-79, agency: Court Side) is averaging 8,2ppg, 2,2rpg and 1,0apg. He is very athletic with a dangerous shot. He started his career in Wurzburg, where he played with Dirk Nowitski and Robert Garrett American 2007 BBL slam dunk contest winner Jarred Newson is averaging 7,7ppg and 3,5rpg. He has fallen out of the rotation in the last five games playing only a combined 34.41 minutes. 'I am surprised I am not playing more. I have been talking to coach Flemming and there are some reasons why I am not playing. We were losing a lot and I dont really have the answers. I know that I can help the team', stressed Bamberg American Jared Newson. He made a name for himself with the Leverkusen Giants. He almost made the 2007-2008 Dallas Mavericks roster, but was the last cut. Last season he gathered further Basketball experience playing in Australia and Poland.
. American Eric Taylor (201-F-76, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: St.Francis,PA) is a work horse from the bench and is averaging 7,1ppg, 5,4rpg. Even though he didnt have a successful goodbye from Leverkusen, Bamberg gave him a clean slate to begin from with his signing. Ex German National player Robert Garrett is averaging 6,7ppg, 2,5rpg and 1,2apg. The ex Skyliner is playing his fourth season in Bamberg and is always a threat to light up from outside. American John Goldsberry has been the biggest surprise coming back after missing 22 games. He is averaging 4,7ppg, 2,7rpg and 2,3apg. He is on his way on becoming the old John Goldsberry. 'John Goldsberry has really helped us in the last three games. He came back from his injury and brings another element to the point guard position. He has a lot of toughness and might be our good luck charm', added Jared Newson. Big German talent Karsten Tadda (189-G-88) is averaging 4,0ppg and recently knocked down 14 points against Dusseldorf. German Tim Ohlbrecht is averaging 3,8ppg and 2.8rpg.He has missed eight games and not developed as quickly as management may have liked this season.

As May gets closer, each game for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners gets more and more vital. The strong defense that was witnessed at the end of 2008 and in parts of January 2009 will be needed, if Frankfurt wants to be successful down the stretch. 'TBB Trier hit tough shots. We played ok defense, but not as well down the stretch. Key turnovers hurt us. When your on the road, you have to play as close to perfect', warned Titus Ivory. The one on one defense was poor in Trier, but to improve this deficiency has not only to do with the physical aspect, but also the mental aspect. 'Playing one on one defense has to do with pride. As a competitive player, you have to stop your man and at all times and take pride in responsibility', added Skyliner guard Titus Ivory.
American Jimmy McKinney (192-G-83, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Missouri) is still looking to find his old form after having a very long injury. He has been getting less playing time and has fallen out of the rotation this season. However, his demeanour has improved in the last weeks as he is showing glimpses of his famous slick and suave style that he gained in the last years through his fancy appearance. Mckinney is known as an offensive player, but his 11/35 shooting this season has hurt his confidence and shifted his play in a new direction. 'I was happy to be out on the floor in Trier. My focus now is on defense and I am not worrying about offense. I go game to game, because you never know what coach will do. I am always prepared and play hard on defense', stated American guard Jimmy McKinney. Coach Didin is also getting more and more confident in the abilities of Mckinney. 'Jimmy is going in agood direction after his long injury. I believe he will become even better', stressed Murat Didin. However his focus on defense will not block out his offense if he needs to rely on his shot. 'My shot isnt as comfortable now. This whole situation is hard for me, but I see it as a transition. But if I get the open shot then I will take it', warned Jimmy McKinney. Mckinney and Jared Newson both live in St Louis and might exchange 2008-2009 experiences before the game, because in a way both guys are in the same boat. 'Besides Keith Simmons, Jared is probably the most athletic player in the BBL. He has the same situation as me in Bamberg. He has to deal with it just like me and go in and help his team win as best as he can', said Skyliner guard Jimmy McKinney.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg won the first game in Bamberg 66-61 and The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had chances in crunch time to win, but had some unneeded turnovers and missed key shots. Even though Bamberg had more turnovers and won the rebound battle, the game may have been decided from three point land, where Bamberg hit seven more than Frankfurt, who ended the day hitting only 16,7% from the parking lot. Top scorer was BBL rookie Anthony King (206-F/C, agency: Interperformances, college: Miami, FL) who scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and made his opponent ex NBA player Alexander Johnson (208-F-83, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: Florida St.) look like Shaqs dad. This will be a completely different game. Coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) has no memory of the last Skyliner win, his 2005 game four victory against Bamberg, but surely could have clear memories of a win this time for many years to come. Even though the Bamberg legends Dirk Bauermann , Steffen Hamann and Chris Ensminger are gone, he still has a lot of respect for the two time BBL champion. T'hey are very experienced, shoot well, play with tempo and are a lot better than a few months ago. We will have to play strong defense and eliminate our mistakes in the paint', stressed Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ).
The most important thing for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners will be to get back on the winning streak again. Breaking the four year winless streak against Bamberg could also bring some extra season ending self confidence that could cross over into the next games as well as into the playoffs. Sometimes just forgetting the fancy stuff and concentrating on the fundamentals can be a big stepping stone to returning to old stomping grounds. 'We have to stick to the basics and match their intensity. We have to do a better job protecting the paint and not allowing easy points. We have to score more inside and open up the perimeter', stressed Skyliner guard Keith Simmons. The Brose Baskets Bamberg are on a four game winning streak and want to continue their march upwards into the playoff zone. 'We have to play strong like the last four games. We have to run our plays, get production from all players and finish the game strong', warned Bamberg American Jared Newson. 'We have to play the way we want to play. We have to set the pace, force turnovers and play team defense', added Skyliner guard Titus Ivory. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host The Brose Baskets Bamberg on Sunday March 29th at 15:00


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


Jazz assign Koufos to the D-League's Flash - by Eurobasket News
Utah Jazz rookie Kosta Koufos (7'0''-F/C-89, college: Ohio St.) has been assigned to the NBA Developmental League, the team announced Thursday.

Koufos will report to the D-League's Utah Flash in time their game Friday night against Anaheim at the McKay Events Center.

Because an NBA team can't have more than two players on its D-League affiliate's roster at one time, the Jazz recalled center Kyrylo Fesenko (7'0''-C-86, agency: Arik Krayn Services) from the Flash.

Fesenko will be eligible to play when the Jazz play host to Shaquille O'Neal and the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

In 48 games with the Jazz, including seven starts, Koufos averaged 4.7 points and 2.9 rebounds. Since the return from injury by Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko last month, however, the first-round draft pick from Ohio State has rarely played.

Fesenko played in 18 games for the Jazz before being sent to the Flash on March 20. The second-year center averages 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds.

Courtesy of http://www.foxsports.com


*****************************************************
  GUATEMALA   


Elite sport defeats Milionarios - by Gianni Pascucci
In the last Round of Liga Metropolitana-Apertura, Lanco Elite Sport easily defeated Millonarios 103-52 and now leads the table with a 3-0 record. After a 27-6 start in the 1st quarrrter, Millionarios answered winning the second partial 29-23, but at the half time the score was 50-35 for Elite, and the game was yet decided.The game best performers were Jose Luis Burbano (186-G/F-85) and Guillermo Noack (190-F-79) with 25 and 22 points, respectively, in Elite, and Luis Guillen with 18 at the losing side.


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


Stats Leaders - Eredivisie
Points Per Game
 Matt BAUSCHER
  Aris Friesland
  (188-G-85)
  Avg: 23
 1. Bauscher, Aris F.23.0 
 2. Bostain, Landstede20.0 
 3. Walker, Rotterdam19.0 
 4. Pope, West-Brabant18.6 
 5. Wilson, M.Magix18.0 
 6. Beasley, Eiff.Tow.16.8 
 7. Ross, Upstairs.16.7 
 8. Blue, West-Brabant16.3 
 9. Witt, Den Helder15.8 
 10. Chiotti, ZZ Leid.15.5 
Rebounds Per Game
 Marcus JACKSON
  Upstairs Weert
  (202-F-82)
  Avg: 11.4
 1. Jackson, Upstairs.11.4 
 2. Johnson, West-Bra.10.4 
 3. Chiotti, ZZ Leiden9.3 
 4. Briggs, Rotterdam9.2 
 5. Khazzouh, Hanze.9.0 
 6. Beasley, Eiff.Tow.8.6 
 7. Dialls, Den Helder8.0 
 8. Spencer, Aris F.7.9 
 9. Brempong, Hanze.7.8 
 10. Boxley, ZZ Leid.7.2 
Assists Per Game
 Matt BAUSCHER
  Aris Friesland
  (188-G-85)
  Avg: 5.9
 1. Bauscher, Aris F.5.9 
 2. Thomas, Hanzev.Cpt5.3 
 3. Oliver, Eiff.Towers5.0 
 4. Richardson, Rotte.4.8 
 5. Nash, ZZ Leiden4.8 
 6. Bostain, Landstede4.6 
 7. Blackwood, Aris F.4.3 
 8. Downey, Eiff.Tow.4.2 
 9. Witt, Den Helder4.1 
 10. Jansen, Hanzev.Cp4.0 
Steals Per Game
 Charles RICHARDSON
  Rotterdam
  (178-G-84)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Richardson, Rotte.3.3 
 2. Thomas, Hanzev.Cpt3.1 
 3. Sears, M.Magix3.0 
 4. Greene, Amsterdam2.6 
 5. Bauscher, Aris F.2.5 
 6. Nelson, M.Magix2.3 
 7. Punch, Landstede2.2 
 8. Bostain, Landstede2.2 
 9. Walker, Rotterdam2.1 
 10. Smith, Upstai.2.1 
Blocks Per Game
 Julian KHAZZOUH
  Hanzev.Cpt
  (209-C-86)
  Avg: 1.8
 1. Khazzouh, Hanze.1.8 
 2. Steenberge, Aris F.1.7 
 3. Brempong, Hanze.1.4 
 4. Iti, Rotterdam1.2 
 5. Richardson, Eiff.Tow.1.0 
 6. Blue, West-Brabant1.0 
 7. Briggs, Rotterdam1.0 
 8. Gladness, M.Magix1.0 
 9. Patten, Upstairs.0.9 
 10. Kuijper, ZZ Leid.0.9 


FEB Results: Round 38 - by Sanders Jackson


Thursday night in FEB action, with the playoff race heating up, in Zwolle Upstairs Weert took care of business, winning a big road game vs. main challenger Landstede Basketball for the last playoff spot. Meanwhile Hanzevast Capitals and Matrixx Magixx remained in the hunt for homecourt advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs with big wins, while Eiffel Towers had no trouble knocking off Rotterdam Challengers at home.

In the ZBC-hal, Upstairs Weert found themselves in a dogfight vs. Landstede Basketball, but in the end the Limburgers had more bite, with an 88-78 win to allow themselves to climb over Landstede for the last playoff spot. Upstairs overcame a 9-2 Landstede start thanks to the strong play of
Steve Ross (201-G/F-80, agency: Court Side, college: Santa Clara), whose strong play helped the Limburgers control the tempo early. Ross had the ability to get himself free and utilize his quick release to his advantage. Landstede went for the first 4 minutes of the 2nd quarter without a point, which enabled Upstairs to take a 29-18 lead after a Ross three-pointer. Upstairs also took advantage of putback opportunities, bad Landstede perimeter shots, lack of confidence and lack of inside-outside scoring balance, with a Bart Tooms (211-C-83, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: NC-Greensboro) dunk just before halftime giving the Limburgers a 43-33 halftime lead, making 7 of 9 three-pointers.


In the 3rd quarter Landstede picked things up, getting plenty of defensive stops, making big shots and creating scoring opportunities from forcing turnovers, taking the lead at 58-57 on a Gerad Punch (193-G/F-84, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Furman). After trading four three-pointers, two free throws by Robby Bostain (194-G/F-84, college: Furman) gave Landstede a 66-62 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.


In the final quarter up until under four minutes remaining Landstede continued to make big shots, leading 77-70 after a Nikki Hulzebos (206-F-86, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) free throw. From then on Upstairs regained control of the game tempo, coming up with some big defensive stops of its own, also with a good inside-outside balance. Jason Klotz (207-C-81, agency: Court Side, college: Texas) asserted himself in the post, able to get good positioning, and Omni Smith (191-G-84, agency: Court Side, college: Kent St.) was able to knife his way to the basket. Both Klotz and Smith hit big baskets in crunch time, first with two straight Klotz scores, with a turnaround jumper giving Upstairs the lead at 78-77 with 1:24 remaining, and after a Hulzebos free throw tying things up at 78-78, Smith's layup gave Upstairs the lead for good with 0:42 remaining. From then on the Limburgers knocked down some big free throws, with a Smith steal and layup and a Klotz dunk the final nail in the coffin. Ross led Upstairs in scoring with 21 pts. with Bostain also scoring 21. The Limburgers enjoyed a 34-3 bench scoring difference, not to mention a 41-30 rebounding advantage. The win puts Upstairs in the driver's seat, while Landstede suffered its 7th straight loss.


In the Horstacker, Matrixx Magixx continued on their quest for a homecourt advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs with an 86-80 win over Aris Friesland. Darnell Wilson (198-F-85, agency: Court Side, college: Canisius) led Matrixx with 24 pts., with Gerrit Brigitha (204-F/C-82, college: Cent.Michigan) adding 20. Jayme Miller (205-F-85, agency: Passing Lane) had a strong game for Aris, with a double-double of a season-high 30 pts. and 13 rebounds, with Matt Bauscher (188-G-85, agency: 540 Sports) adding 19. Matrixx had strong inside play from the quartet of Brigitha Nelson, Gladness and Flanders. Matrixx remains in 4th place in the FEB standings.


In Leiden, a strong comeback helped Hanzevast Capitals pull out a close 79-77 win over ZZ Leiden to remain in 3rd place in the FEB standings. The team of Marco van den Berg found themselves down 64-50 at the end of the 4th quarter, but found their second win in the 4th quarter, while ZZ, who were on automatic pilot throughout the first three quarters, found themselves in the 4th quarter flying on empty fumes. Around the 6:30 mark in the 4th quarter two scores by Chaz McCrommon (197-F/G-82, agency: Court Side, college: Robert Morris) and Julian Khazzouh (209-C-86) gave Hanzevast the lead at 71-70 and the upper hand for good. McCrommon led all scorers with 21 pts. with also 12 rebounds. ZZ also had only 8 team assists. Hanzevast remains a half-game ahead of Matrixx Magixx for 3rd place in the standings.


In the Maaspoort in the Eiffel Towers-Rotterdam Challengers, Eiffel let Rotterdam Challengers know that in the FEB, there is a big difference between a contender and a pretender, taking control of the game tempo early and cruising to an 104-86 win. Eiffel led at one point 37-21 before the Rotterdammers made a big run, cutting to lead to 49-43 in the 3rd quarter after an Eiffel head coach Don Beck technical foul and two free throws by Ties Theeuwkens (190-G-85, agency: Court Side). That apparently was the shot in the arm Eiffel needed to pull away from the Rotterdammers, going then in a two minute span on a 9-0 run to help Eiffel stake a 58-43 lead, with Eiffel leading 71-58 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Eiffel had five players in double digits, led by David Jackson (195-G-78, agency: Edge Sports, college: Oregon) with 24 pts., Kees Akerboom (200-F-83, agency: Court Side) added 23 including 6 three-pointers. Bobby Walker (188-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Va Commonwealth) led all scorers with 27 pts.



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


Standings - A Division
A Division Standings
 1. Albacomp 18-5 
 2. PVSK Panth. 17-6 
 3. Atomeromu 16-7 
 4. Falco 14-8 
 5. Univer KSE 14-9 
 6. Szolnok 13-9 
 7. ZTE KK 12-9 
 8. Dombovar 12-9 
 9. Soproni 12-10 
 10. Marso-Vagep 8-14 
 11. Kormend 8-15 
 12. Kaposvari 7-15 
 13. Debreceni 4-18 
 14. EnterNet-NTE 0-21 


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


Last market news - by Gianni Pascucci
Snaidero Udine announced that veteran coach Mario Blasone agreed to serve as Technical Consultant of the team, at present struggling at the bottom of the Serie A table. In Lega 2, Trenkwalder Reggio Emilia signed Demian Filloy (198-F-82, agency: Interperformances), from Premiata Montegranaro

Montepaschi wins in Athens despite trailing 55-40 in third quarter (1-1) - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague, quarterfinals: Panathinaikos - Montepaschi 79-84

The Italian champ made it in Athens today tying the score in the quarterfinals to 1-1. Terrell McIntyre (175-G-77, college: Clemson) again was on fire, this time draining 24 points. Rimantas Kaukenas (193-G-77, college: Seton Hall) also shined delivering 22. All other players in the Italian squad had less than 10 pts. The Greens got 16 points from Mike Batiste (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) and 13 from Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket). Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) and Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) contributed with 11 pts each. First quarter belonged to Montepaschi, who ended it with decent 18-24 lead. However, PAO answered immediately and in just few minutes made a turn. After triple by Vassilis Spanoulis the score was 32-29. Later PAO jumped to 41-34 lead, after basket by Nikola Pekovic. Stonerook scored the last points for Siena in the first half cutting the margin to 43-38. PAO had fantastic third stanza making plus 8. Later the hosts created 7-0 run for plus 15, 55-40. However, Terrell McIntyre and his teammates didn't want to give up. They responded with 6-15 for 61-55 after 30 minutes. At the half way of the crucial period the score was 70-69 and Siena made 2-8 run, ended by Benjamin Eze (207-C/F-81, college: S.Idaho JC). PAO tried to do something coming on 75-81, but there was not enough time and Siena knew how to keep its lead until the end. Third game is scheduled for March 31st.

PAO: Mike Batiste 16, Nikola Pekovic 13, Vassilis Spanoulis 11, Sarunas Jasikevicius 11
Montepaschi: Terrell McIntyre 24, Rimantas Kaukenas 22


*****************************************************
  JORDAN   


JPL Round: 1 (Semi-Finals) - by Mohammed Malas
# Friday, 27/3:

Zain 93 - Orthodox 56 (Qs: 26-8, 43-25, 75-44 & 93-56) 'Zain leads the series 1-0'
- Best scorers:
Mohammad Hamdan (201-F-84) '18 pts' from Zain
Ghazi Naber (178-G-76) '16 pts' from Orthodox
Zaid Al Khas (205-C-76, college: Gannon) '15 pts' from Zain

ASU Sports Club 69 - Al Riyadi Amman 62 (Qs: 12-15, 33-27, 45-48 & 69-62) 'ASU leads the series 1-0'
- Best scorers:
Zeid Abbas (203-F-83) '23 pts' from ASU Sports Club
Wesam Sous (181-G-83) '20 pts' from Al Riyadi Amman
Islam Abbas (201-C-80) '17 pts' from ASU Sports Club
Eyad Abdeen (202-F-79) '17 pts' from ASU Sports Club
Malek Khashan (185-G-85) '15 pts' from Al Riyadi Amman


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


tebnin win vs moutahed in a game that doesnt affect standings - by Maarouf Mawloud

By Maarouf Mawloud

Al Moutahed Tripoli vs. Tebnine: This was an unnecessary hard and aggressive game, and that is why Coach
Toni Vujanic did not stress on his major players and gave his Lebanese players a chance to enjoy some game
After securing the top spot in the playoffs Al Moutahed Tripoli faced Tebnine mostly with its reserves and lost by 10 points, 56-46.
Al Moutahed Tripoli started off slow; Opponents Tebnine had a better start to the game,creating an 11-point lead using good inside plays.
Chudney Gray (188-G-78, college: St.John's) and Ghaleb Rida (190-G-81) from Tebnine didnt play in this game due to their injuries.
Al Moutahed Tripoli lost Mohamed Akary (185-G-85) 11 minutes before the end of the game as he was brutally knocked to the floor and hurt his knee.
Tarek Hauchar (208-C-88) from Al Moutahed Tripoli played well in his 18 minutes in courthe was good at defense (4 blockshots) and played good offense
From tebnin's sidethe players had nothing to lose and entered the game with high spirits and 1 objective: WIN this game and beat the leading team in the Lebanese Championship and that is exactly what they did.
Leading 17-9 at the end of the first quarter, Tebnine widened the gap to 12 (36-24) at half-time and finished the game by 10 (56-46) (Q1: 17-09 Q2:19-15 Q3:13-10 Q4:07-12)
Al Moutahed Tripoli faces Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut on March 28, 2009(Murr Stadium) in another meaningless game,and Tebnine will meet Kahraba Zouk in two games in group A. Again, these games do not affect the final standings in the Final Eight, this is why we hope no more players get injured, and for those who have already got their toll of injuries we wish them well and hope to see them back on court as soon as possible in the final eight.



Standings - Division A
Div.A Standings
 1. Moutahed 16-4 
 2. Sagesse 15-5 
 3. Al Riyadi 14-6 
 4. Champville 13-7 
 5. Blue Stars 11-9 
 6. Tebnine 10-10 
 7. Antranik 7-13 
 8. Kahraba 5-15 
 9. Anibal 4-14 
 10. Feytroun 2-16 


Sagesse v/s Tebnin - by Maarouf Mawloud

By Maarouf Mawloud

Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut led for most parts of the game, but faced some resistance from Tebnine that cut the double-digit lead to a single point in the third quarter.

Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut, however, went on a scoring spree and pulled away by 17 points (70-53) before the game stopped with 3:17 on the clock.

Fans broke into a fight that put a halt to everything, before Tebnine decided to pull out, thus giving Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut the 20-0 win.

Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut:
-Marcus Melvin 14Pts, 9Rbs, 2Ass
-Rolando Howell 14Pts, 15Rbs, 5Stls and added 1 Block
-Brian Bechara 11Pts, 1Rbs, 3Ass
-Rony Fahed 9Pts, 2Ass
-Sabah Khoury 8Pts
-Bassem Balaa 6Pts, 3Rbs
-Joe Ghattas 5Rbs, 2Ass
-Nadim Soaid 7Pts

Tebnine:
-Chaudney Gray 16Pts, 4Rbs, 4Ass
-Brandom Kurtz 8Pts, 6Rbs
-Mohamad Akkad 11Pts (with 3, 3's)
-Charbel Sokhen 6Pts

Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut next meets Kahraba and Tebnine meets Mouttahed on March 26, 2009.



FLBB Decisions concerning Sagesse and Tebnine after fans fight - by Maarouf Mawloud

By Maarouf Mawloud

FLBB Decisions concerning Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut and Tebninee:

A-Penalty of 10Millions Lebanese Pounds
B-Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut fans are not allowed to enter the court for the next two games( V/S Kahraba Zouk and Al Moutahed Tripoli)
C-Tebnine Fans are not allowed to enter the court for the next two games (V/S Al Moutahed Tripoli and Kahraba Zouk)
D-Bachir Haykal (Bacho) is not allowed to enter the next 5 games.
E-Final Warning for Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut & Tebninee Fans. Any other problems in the upcoming games, they will be banned till the end of the season.



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


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Leandro GARCIA MORALES
  Saba
  (186-G-80)
  Avg: 24.3
 1. Garcia Moral., Bigua24.3 
 2. Machado, Flamengo24.0 
 3. Leith, Liceo23.7 
 4. Farley, Libertad23.3 
 5. McFadgon, Dep.C.22.3 
 6. Figueroa, Arecibo21.7 
 7. Pedroza, Soles20.7 
 8. Bowie, Halc. Xalpa20.7 
 9. Mikulas, Quimsa20.3 
 10. Fleming, Pioner.20.3 
Rebounds Per Game
 Jefferson AGBA
  Independ.N.
  (209-F/C-80)
  Avg: 10
 1. Agba, U.Concepc.10.0 
 2. Braggs, Pioneros10.0 
 3. Aubry, Arecibo9.7 
 4. Paniagua, Merengue.9.7 
 5. Johnson, Penarol9.3 
 6. Hardwick, U.Con.9.0 
 7. Lopez, Regatas C.9.0 
 8. Leith, Liceo8.7 
 9. Tintorelli, Regat.8.0 
 10. Gonzalez, Penar.8.0 
Assists Per Game
 Facundo SUCATZKY
  Pitagoras/Minas
  (176-G-72)
  Avg: 10.8
 1. Sucatzky, Pitago.10.8 
 2. Mills, Halc. Xalpa6.2 
 3. Hickerson, Halc. X.5.7 
 4. Hernandez, U.Con.5.0 
 5. Chavarria, Liceo5.0 
 6. Treise, Quimsa4.7 
 7. Cruz, Arecibo4.7 
 8. Campos, Pitagora.4.7 
 9. Silva, Un.4.2 
 10. Sandoval, Mereng.4.0 
Steals Per Game
 Leandro GARCIA MORALES
  Saba
  (186-G-80)
  Avg: 2.7
 1. Garcia Moral., Bigua2.7 
 2. Sandoval, Merengue.2.3 
 3. Montecchia, Regat.2.3 
 4. Hickerson, Halc. X.2.3 
 5. Ayon, Halc. Xalpa2.3 
 6. Braggs, Pioneros2.3 
 7. Jennings, Liceo2.0 
 8. Alston, Libertad2.0 
 9. Antonio, Flamengo2.0 
 10. Sucatzky, Pita.2.0 
Blocks Per Game
 Mark Alan BORTZ
  Trotamundos
  (208-F/C-82)
  Avg: 3
 1. Bortz, Bigua3.0 
 2. Calfani, Bigua2.0 
 3. Tavares, Merengue.1.7 
 4. Santos, Un.1.3 
 5. Martinez, Merengue.1.0 
 6. Johnson, Penarol1.0 
 7. Hardwick, U.Con.1.0 
 8. Ayon, Halc. Xalpa0.8 
 9. Hubner, Pitagora.0.8 
 10. Patton, Regatas.0.7 


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


It is all tied in NKL quarterfinals - by Eurobasket News
All four NKL quarterfinals got knotted up at 1-1 after the second games. The hosts were not welcoming yesterday claiming four wins out of four games played. Akademija held off Meresta 100:87 to level things up in the series. Meresta led early in the game but Akademija overcame the slow start and took a 50:45 halftime lead. Meresta did not find the right rhythm and had to surrender at the end. Dovydas Redikas (192-F-92) notched 23 points to lead Akademija. Gydra and Kadzevicius added 16 points each in the winning case. Vaidas Pauliukenas (190-G-79) nailed 16 points for Meresta in the loss.
Pieno zvaigzdes built a 12-point halftime advantage and never looked back en route to the first win in their quarterfinal match-up with Juventus. Zydrunas Valuckis (192-G-75) knocked down 22 points to pace the hosts. Jason Warren (200-F-83, college: Missouri Western) managed 21 points and 11 rebounds for Pieno zvaigzdes. Mineikis had game-high 26 points for Juventus in the loss.
Nafta Uni-Laivite toppled Mazeikiai 83:65 to knot things up. Remigijus Kasparavicius (197-F-78) topscored with 21 points and 7 caroms. Zymantas tallied 14 points, 10 boards and 7 assists for the winning team. Laurynas Jacevicius (193-G/F-88) replied with 13 points for Mazeikiai in defeat.
Evaldas Jocys (203-F-75, college: E.Carolina), Augenijus Vaskys (196-G-72) and Buzas nailed timely buckets late in the game to propel Naglis-Adakris past Rudupis. Evaldas Jocys finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds for Naglis. Mindaugas Reminas (187-G-86) contributed 22 points in the winning effort. Janas Jurgo (200-F-83) had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Rudupis.


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


Coach Jan Enjebo 2 for 2 in Cup Finals! T71 defeats Contern 60-78 to end 20 year drought! - by Alex Meyers
Satruday, March 21, 2009

Contern 60 - T 71 78

The last time T71 won the cup was in 1989, Jean-Paul Schumacher(currently assistant coach) was the head coach and Ben Wilson was the import player who led them to a110 - 102 victory over Heffingen. Looking at T71's history, the club, which was founded in 1971, has played now in 11 cup finals winning now 8 of those. This time with a head coach who is also familiar with winning the cup as he did a few years ago in 2006 with Etzella. Swedish coach Jan Enjebo . Enjebo and T71 had a bit of luck as 2 of their top players, Frank Muller (195-F) and Tom Schumacher (188-G/F-87) were available for this most important event. Those two really made a huge difference giving T71 a huge advantage for this game. Contern looked worn out as T71 was able to rest most of its players throughout the contest. Martin Rajniak (205-F-78, college: CSU Bakersfield) and Tim Whitworth (198-G/F-81, agency: Court Side, college: Drexel) were the only ones who played nearly the whole game.

T71 took an early lead last Saturday night behind Tim Whitworth's sharp shooting and good defense play to open up the game with a strong 10-27 1st quarter. Contern made a few adjustments and with Brandon Gary's (202-F-83, agency: Passing Lane, college: Hutchinson CC) heroics, they went on an 11-2 run bringing them back into the game. T71 rallied again late in the 2nd quarter to go in at the half still up by 5. Contern seemed to be ready in the third quarter, closing to with 2 points at 36-38 with 18 minutes to play. T71 then blew Contern away the remainder of the way, leading by as many as 19 points near the game's end.

MVP Tim Whitworth led T71 and the match in scoring with 31 points and 3 steals. Whitworth had great support from three other players. Tom Schumacher scored 15 points had 2 steals and 4 assists. Frank Muller had a huge double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds while defending Brandon Gary the entire time he was on court. Martin Rajniak added 10 points and 9 rebounds. Gilles Ruffato (181-G-85) dished for 5 assists, scored 9 points before fouling out in the last minute. T71 out-rebounded Contern 31-41. This was a huge factor in the winning formula for T71. With Muller and Schumacher, T71 had depth and balance to go along with the defense, rebounding and experience needed to shut Contern down and take the long awaited Cup Victory in front of 5082 spectators.

Contern's Ken Diederich (185-G-77) really struggled out there going 1/7 from 2 pt. range and 0/3 from 3 point range for 10% shooting on the match. Brandon Gary scored 19 points and blocked 2 shots, but he only took 6 rebounds. Eric Jeitz showed a few moments of brilliance ending up with 17 points and Gilles Becker (195-G-80) scored 12 points and took 5 steals before fouling out with 2 minutes remaining in the match. Eric Bissener valiantly tore down 10 rebounds in 24 minutes of play coming from the bench.

T71 celebrated the huge win with all of their supporters after in Dudelange at their sports hall. T71 has Amicale next and it won't be easy as Frank Muller and Tom Schumacher are back in the U.S.A. T71's bench did not score a point in the cup final. This factor could lead to big problems for them in the future. Amicale has had time to rest and prepare so they will be fresh and ready to go.

Contern: 21 field goals, 4 three pointers, 14 for 23 free throws, 31 rebounds, 16 fouls and 17 turnovers
Becker 12, Fasbender 0, Jeitz 17, Gary 19, Diederich 4, also Bissener 4, Braun 4, Torres Dos Santos, Gindt, and Majerus
T71: 29 field goals, 9 three pointers, 11 for 12 free throws, 41 rebounds, 19 fouls and 16 turnovers
Whitworth 31, Rajniak 10, Ruffato 9, Muller 13, Schumacher 15, also Hoffmann, Abreu, Bemtgen, Laures, Siebenbour, and Steinmetz

Technical foul: 22' Gilles Becker(Con); Fouled out: 38' Gilles Becker(Con), 39' Gilles Ruffato (T-71)
Score by quarters: 1st Q 16-27, Halftime 33-38, 3rd Q 47-64, Final 60-78
5082 spectators


*****************************************************
  MALTA   


Luxol top team at end of first phase - by Eurobasket
Compleet IS 86 - BUPA Luxol 87 (22-14, 26-22, 18-26, 20-25)
The direct clash between the top two teams brought an end to the first phase of the Powerade League on Sunday. Champions Luxol will now start the Championship Pool in pole position and one point ahead after pipping their rivals in a high-scoring match to decide first place.
The game was a thriller and kept those present on the edge of their seats until the very end. In fact, with less than a second left, Luxol potted the free-throw that gave them victory and a morale booster as these two sides will meet twice in the space of a few days... in the league and BOV KO final.
Both sides had one of their tall players missing, Dirk Schembri (193-F-85) for Luxol and Compleet's Addison Bonnici (195-F-84). Luxol's defence looked weak at the start and Compleet profited to open a 22-14 lead by the end of the first session.
With Marco Matijevic blotted out and playmaker Alan Borg unable to get his team-mates going in attack, Compleet continued to dictate matters.
Many thought Luxol were already down and out when Joe Galea 's team raced to a 40-23 lead.
Luxol's woes, meanwhile, were compounded with the third foul committed by Robert Azzopardi and Marco Mercieca (184-G-83). It was here that coach John Tabone called a time-out and effected a couple of substitutions. Luxol improved as Matijevic finally woke up and his team went on to reduce the gap to 48-36 at half-time.
Matijevic extended his fine patch to the third session and with more precise shooting from his team-mates in attack, Luxol were now a single basket behind, 59-57.
The match was a battle of nerves as Luxol kept the momentum going and with less than three minutes left they led 77-74.
Compleet, however, pressed hard and when Luxol lost Borg for his fifth foul, they started to win several possessions.
A Matijevic basket, however, saw Luxol ahead with less than a minute left. Compleet were under pressure now but a Robert Azzopardi foul near mid-court allowed David Camilleri to take two free-throws. He only potted one to level at 86-86 with six seconds left.
Matijevic was then fouled in the zone. He was successful from the first free-throw to secure a narrow, but useful, victory for his team.
Compleet: M. Naudi 22, J. Naudi 12, D. Camilleri 4, E. Bezzina, C. Sammut 9, J. Valdisere 6, O. Said 16, C. Calleja, K. Baldacchino 4, S. Cassar 13.
Luxol: B. Micallef Trigona, M. Mercieca 4, R. Azzopardi 20, M. Micallef, A. Portelli 5, A. Borg 5, N. Vasovic 3, T Paris, R. Dalli, E. Caruana Montaldo, M. Matjevic 29, S. Schembri 21.
Referees: G. Barbara, E. Mangani, A. Carbonaro.

Qormi 52 - Siggiewi Smina 68 (14-17, 14-11, 9-22, 15-18)
Siggiewi came from behind to beat Qormi in a low-key match with little interest attached.
After a balanced start, Qormi took a 25-20 lead midway through the second session. Substitutions helped Siggiewi to halt the rot, however, and after levelling the score at half-time, 28-28, they pressed Qormi and mounted a series of fast breaks to start the last ten minutes 50-37 ahead.
Qormi had a good start to the last quarter but after reducing the gap to just four points, 56-51, Siggiewi applied an extra gear to put the issue beyond doubt.
Qormi: G. Borg, J. Sant, J. Camilleri, J. Anastasi 5, D. Debattista, A. Tabone 4, K. Borg 13, A. Axiaq 14, G. Mercieca, A. Costa 14, S. Cauchi, C. Bugeja 2.
Siggiewi: J.P. Antoncich, J.P. Azzopardi, M. Pajec, J. Doughty, E. Xuereb 2, L. Grech, J.P. Bonnici 6, A. Micallef 33, P. Volovic 10, J. Jetsen 17, O. Shamala.
Referees: S. Micallef, E. Mangani, C. Terribile.
Standings: Luxol 23 (11-1), Compleet 22 (10-2), Siggiewi 18 (6-6), Depiro 15 (3-9), Qormi 12 (0-12).
Top scorers: M. Matijevic (Luxol) 249, S. Schembri (Luxol) 200, D Schembri (Luxol) 193.

Courtesy of Times of Malta


Standings
Powerade League Standings
 1. Luxol 11-1 
 2. Compleet 10-2 
 3. Siggiewi 6-6 
 4. Depiro 3-9 
 5. Qormi 0-12 


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


FIBA Americas - Meetings held in Mexico for 2009 FIBA Americas Championship - by Kristian Santiago
During this week FIBA Americas held a meeting with the organizing committee of the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship that will be held in Mexico City and Mexicali from August 26 until September 6.

In the meeting the authorities of FIBA Americas along with the organizing committee outlined the work to be done for the tournament that includes marketing, promotion, and logistics among other important issues. This tournament gives four qualifying berths for the 2010 FIBA World Championship to be played in Turkey.

Group A of the competition and the next rounds will be played at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City which has a capacity for 18,000 fans. Group B of the competition will be played at Auditorio Municipal of Mexicali.

The participating countries in this competition are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mxico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands and Venezuela. The United States will not participate since they already qualified into the 2010 FIBA World Championship by winning the Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympics.

The ten national teams will be divided into two groups of five teams each and will play the preliminary round from August 26-30. The draft of both groups will be done in Mexico on April.

The best four teams per group enter the quarterfinals where they will play four games against the teams that entered from the other group. The quarterfinals are scheduled from September 1-4. The best four in the standings at the end of the quarterfinals will qualify into the FIBA World Championship and the semifinals. The semifinals are going to be played on September 5 and the finals the next day.
(By FIBA Americas)


*****************************************************
  MOLDOVA   


The end of the Regular Season - by Eurobasket News
The Regular Season in Moldova came to the end as UASM became the winner of it! The team smashed Spartak in the last round 121:55 to finish with 27 points. ASEM finished second with 25 points as in the last round the team lost to SDYUSHOR 78:98. The defending champions Gamma beat Orhey 71:65 after three losses in a row. Soroka basket had 91:79 over Fireball to finish with 16 points.
After the Regular season the spectators expect the Semifinal battles of the top teams.


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


Jazz assign Koufos to the D-League's Flash - by Eurobasket News
Utah Jazz rookie Kosta Koufos (7'0''-F/C-89, college: Ohio St.) has been assigned to the NBA Developmental League, the team announced Thursday.

Koufos will report to the D-League's Utah Flash in time their game Friday night against Anaheim at the McKay Events Center.

Because an NBA team can't have more than two players on its D-League affiliate's roster at one time, the Jazz recalled center Kyrylo Fesenko (7'0''-C-86, agency: Arik Krayn Services) from the Flash.

Fesenko will be eligible to play when the Jazz play host to Shaquille O'Neal and the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

In 48 games with the Jazz, including seven starts, Koufos averaged 4.7 points and 2.9 rebounds. Since the return from injury by Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko last month, however, the first-round draft pick from Ohio State has rarely played.

Fesenko played in 18 games for the Jazz before being sent to the Flash on March 20. The second-year center averages 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds.

Courtesy of http://www.foxsports.com


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Dwyane WADE
  Heat
  (193-G-82)
  Avg: 29.8
 1. Wade, Heat29.8 
 2. James, Cavaliers28.5 
 3. Bryant, Lakers27.6 
 4. Durant, Thunder25.9 
 5. Nowitzki, Mavericks25.5 
 6. Granger, Pacers24.7 
 7. Martin, Kings24.2 
 8. Roy, Trail Blazers23.2 
 9. Jefferson, Timberwo.23.2 
 10. Harris, Ne.22.6 
Rebounds Per Game
 Dwight HOWARD
  Magic
  (207-F-85)
  Avg: 14
 1. Howard, Magic14.0 
 2. Camby, Clippers12.0 
 3. Lee, Knicks11.9 
 4. Murphy, Pacers11.8 
 5. Biedrins, Warriors11.5 
 6. Jefferson, Timberwo.11.0 
 7. Duncan, Spurs10.6 
 8. Okafor, Bobcats10.2 
 9. McDyess, Pistons9.9 
 10. Yao, Rocke.9.7 
Assists Per Game
 Chris PAUL
  Hornets
  (183-G-85)
  Avg: 11
 1. Paul, Hornets11.0 
 2. Williams, Jazz10.6 
 3. Nash, Suns9.6 
 4. Calderon, Raptors8.6 
 5. Rondo, Celtics8.5 
 6. Kidd, Mavericks8.3 
 7. Davis, Clippers8.1 
 8. Wade, Heat7.5 
 9. Duhon, Knicks7.4 
 10. James, Cavalie.7.3 
Steals Per Game
 Chris PAUL
  Hornets
  (183-G-85)
  Avg: 2.8
 1. Paul, Hornets2.8 
 2. Wade, Heat2.3 
 3. Kidd, Mavericks2.2 
 4. Chalmers, Heat1.9 
 5. Rondo, Celtics1.8 
 6. James, Cavaliers1.8 
 7. Davis, Clippers1.7 
 8. Wallace, Bobcats1.7 
 9. Harris, Nets1.7 
 10. Ariza, Lake.1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Dwight HOWARD
  Magic
  (207-F-85)
  Avg: 3
 1. Howard, Magic3.0 
 2. Andersen, Nuggets2.3 
 3. Turiaf, Warriors2.2 
 4. Camby, Clippers2.2 
 5. O'Neal, Raptors2.0 
 6. Perkins, Celtics1.9 
 7. Yao, Rockets1.9 
 8. Bynum, Lakers1.8 
 9. Dalembert, 76ers1.8 
 10. Thomas, Bul.1.8 


Lamond Murray is to play in Venezuela - by Interperformances
Former NBA great Murray Lamond (201-F-73, agency: Interperformances, college: California) has signed with Trotamundos de Carababo in the Venezuela LPB League. The 6'7' all-around player can play both the small forward and power forward spots. Lamond has had an amazing career in the NBA where he has played for more than 10 years with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the New Jersey Nets. He also played in China, where he was named MVP of the Finals in the 2007-08 season


Troy Murphy injures knee in practice - by Eurobasket News
The Indiana Pacers were without leading rebounder Troy Murphy (6'10''-F-80, college: Notre Dame) for Wednesday's game against the Miami Heat.

Murphy sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee at the end of the team's morning shootaround Wednesday.

'It's very painful,' Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. 'He can't cut. He tried to warm up and couldn't do it.'

Murphy, who is third in the league in rebounds at 11.8 a game, is scheduled to undergo an MRI today. It's unknown how long he will be out of the lineup.

Murphy injured his knee when he tried to get through a screen at the end of the shootaround.

O'Brien treats his shootaround like a regular practice. He said he plans to keep it that way despite Murphy's injury.

'You have to practice if you want to get better, and you have to practice to get ready for games,' O'Brien said. 'That's what we do. We practice, we don't shoot around. That's the way it goes sometimes. You hate to see somebody injured. It could have been yesterday's practice, it could be tomorrow's practice. That's the way it is in sports.'

Courtesy of http://www.indystar.com


Last games (3) - Lakers, Bulls and Blazers win - by Eurobasket News
Lakers - Pistons 92-77
Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78) stepped for the LA Lakers last night in Detroit collecting 30 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Derek Fisher had 15, while, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom scored 12 each. Will Bynum had double-double in loss, 25 pts and 11 assists. Lakers 57-14, Pistons 34-37.

Heat - Bulls 87-106
John Salmons (6'7''-F-79, college: Miami, FL) was a key player for the Bulls nailing 27 points and handing out 5 assists. Tyrus Thomas also had important role registering double-double, 15 pts and 12 rebs. Dwyane Wade answered with 21 pts for the Heat. Bulls 35-38, Heat 38-34.

Suns - Trail Blazers 109-129
LaMarcus Aldridge (6'11''-C-85, college: Texas) came up with 29 points and 12 rebounds, Brandon Roy had 26 pts and 9 rebs, while Rudy Fernandez helped with 23 pts. On the other side, Shaquille O'Neal collected 20 pts and 6 rebs. Trail Blazers 45-27, Suns 40-32.


*****************************************************
  NCAA1   


Wild Wild West: 2 Tigers went at each other on Thursday night in Arizona. #3 Missouri surprised #2 Memphis 102:91 to advance to the Elite 8 vs. #1 UConn. - by Rangi Gescheit

Wild Wild West: 2 Tigers went at each other on Thursday night in Arizona. #3 Missouri surprise #2 Memphis, 102:91 to advance to the Elite 8 vs. #1 UConn. Memphis suffered its first loss of 2009.


Big-12 champs, #3 Missouri faced C-USA champs #2 Memphis tonight, looking to capture a spot at the Elite 8, and a chance of giving few more days (or couple more weeks) to this marvelous season both teams have.
#3 Missouri were the first one to take over. Quick 5:0 after one minute forced Coach John Calipari to take a time out. His guys reacted well, and 5 minutes later they had their first lead of the night.
The Tigers from Missouri were waiting patiently for 4 more minutes. Then they tried having another run. They were down 4 (21:25) and in 4 minutes they completed a 18:4 run, to be on top 37:29 with 5 minutes to the break.
Memphis held on and stayed between 6 and 10 below, the rest of the half. Shawn Taggart scored for Memphis few seconds to the break. Missouri's Marcus Denmon (6'3''-G) received a quick inbound pass, and with less than a second to go, hit a court jumper that dropped like the jaws of most of the crowed. Clean bottom of the net swish. Missouri up 49:36.
4 and a half minutes in the second half the Mizoo was up 64:40 and it was point of no return. Even the brilliant performance of Tyreke Evans (6'6''-G-89) (33 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals) and his supporting crew of the night Robert Dozier (19 points and 16 rebounds) and Antonio Anderson (18 points) could not save the day for them. The Memphians came as close as 89:83, 2 and a half minutes to go, but could not hang any longer. They missed few shots, and Missouri made the free throws, once sent to the line, and J.T. Tiller (6'3''-G) could start smiling.
J.T. Tiller, defensive player of the year for the big 12, had an enormous night on offense as well. On top of his 3 steals, he scored career high 23 points, grabbed 4 rebound.
Other scorers for the winning Tigers:
DeMarre Carroll (6'8''-F-86, college: Vanderbilt) 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists
Leo Lyons (6'9''-F) 15 points and 12 rebounds
Zaire Taylor (6'4''-G-86) 14 points and 4 rebounds
Matt Lawrence (6'7''-G) 13 points.



#2 Memphis Suffered tonight its first loss of the year. Last time the team lost was in 2008 - Vsw. #11 in the nation at the time Syracuse. Since then Memphis won 27 games in a row.



East Region: Levance Fields and #1 Pitt to advance to Elite Eight for the 1st time ever, over #4 Xavier. - by Rangi Gescheit

Xavier held tight, and was close all the way. They defended the ball and held DeJuan Blair (6'7''-F-89) on only 10 points for the night. With the time running out, Levance Fields (5'10''-G-87) made couple of shots, a steal and the separation the Panthers were looking for. 60:55 at the end of regulation. Pittsburgh advanced to play the Elite 8 vs. the winner between their 'Big East partners' Villanova and the ACC - Dukes.

Xavier, which was the highest ranked team out of the A-10 the whole year, started the game strong, and showed the Panthers they came ready. DeJuan Blair found it hard to get the ball, and once he did get it, it was no picnic. The Musketeers allowed him only 2 points at the first half, and therefore they had the lead 37:29.
The second half Pittsburgh showed that Blair is important to their offense rhythm and fed him with 2 quick buckets, followed by Sam Young (6'6''-F-85)s layup. Than Xavier was forced to a time out, when they are only up 2 37-35, after 3 and a half minutes in the second half.
Than these 2 teams really went hard at each other, when none can get away from the other. Dante Jackson (6'5''-G-88), B.J. Raymond (6'6''-G/F-87) and Derrick Brown (6'8''-F-87) scored for the Musketeers, and Sam Young, DeJuan Blair and Gilbert Brown (6'6''-G/F-87) did the same thing for the Panthers.
5 minutes to go, Levance Fields put Pittsburgh on top 52:47. Than the Musketeers had 5 points in a row to tie the game. Under 2 minutes to go Dante Jackson make the jumper and it is 54:52 Xaviers favor.
Than Pittsburgh missed, and Xavier did the same thing at the other end.
Pittsburgh with the ball, just under a minute, down two, the offense was scrambled and the ball ended up and Levance Fields hands. The Brooklyn kid made a little fake, dribbled between his legs, just to get into it, and shut a big three with a hand in his face, with the shot clock going down and the sweet 16 game on the line. Big arc, which could kill a bird on the way down and the ball dove in. The Arena is in the air, and Pittsburgh is up one.
On defense, with the energy from the big shot, Fields made a steal after reacting on a pick and roll of Xavier. He took the ball to the hoop, made the lay up to put Pittsburgh in a better position, 57:54, 27 seconds to go.
The quick fouls and the free throw contest did not make any difference, and #1 Pittsburgh advance to the Elite 8, for the 1st time ever.

Pitt will face the winner of Villanova and Duke, for the spot at the final 4.

Leading Scorers:
Pittsburgh:
Sam Young 19 points
Levance Fields 14 points, 6 assists
DeJuan Blair 10 points, 17 rebounds and 2 block shots

Xavier:
B.J. Raymond 15
Derrick Brown 14 points and 9 rebounds
Kenny Frease (7'0''-C) 4 points, 5 block shots, and 2 rebounds.



#1 Louisville to advance to the Elite 8. Pass by the only double digit seed remaining #12 Arizona 103:64. - by Rangi Gescheit
#1 Louisville to advance to the Elite 8. Pass by the only double digit seed remaining #12 Arizona 103:64.

The Cardinals blow by Arizona. The Wildcats which had impressive wins during the season, vs. Gonzaga, Kansas and Washington, could not hold close to Louisville. The Cardinals started the big run 6 and a half minutes to the break. They were up 10, and took off with a 14:2 run. The score board showed 43:21 cardinals favor with 2 and a half minutes to the break. Arizona never came around again.

Pitino's team, which is ranked number 1 in the Midwest and #1 over all, had its fist (relatively) easy game at the NCAA tournament. As a habit this year Louisville suffer a slow first half, and jump at their opponents at the second half.
After struggling at the first half at the 1st round (vs. Morehead St., ending up winning in double digits), they had the same problem at the 2nd round. This time it was Siena (MAAC Champs) which really went hard at the Cardinals, just to lose by 7.
At the Sweet 16, facing Arizona Wildcats, it seems like the Cardinals came ready and focused. Earl Clark (6'9''-G/F-88) with a layup. Jerry Smith (6'1''-G-87) with a dunk. Andre McGee (5'10''-G-87) hit the 3 and the Cardinals are up 7:3. 2 minutes later Samardo Samuels hit a jumper, and by the time Terrence Williams (6'6''-F-87) draining his 3, and Preston Knowles added 2, the crowed is going crazy and the Cardinals are up by 8. Few minutes later they had their 14-2 run, and left the Wildcats behind.
Coming back from half time with 21 points lead, the Cardinals did not let go. It is true Pitino went deep in the bench, but his guy did not let go and kept running and pressing Arizona to extend the lead.
Louisville is advance to the Elite 8 on Sunday, playing the winner between Michigan St. and Kansas.
Leading Scorers:
Earl Clark 19 points and 9 rebound
Jerry Smith 16 points (in 18 minutes on the hardwood floor).
Terrence Williams 14 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists.
Samardo Samuels (6'8''-F-89) 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Edgar Sosa (6'1''-G-88) 13 points, 6 assists
Terrence Jennings (6'10''-F) 7 points and 5 rebounds.
Arizona:
Chase Budinger (6'7''-F-88) 22 points
Jordan Hill (6'10''-F-87) 14 points and 11 rebounds
Nic Wise (5'10''-G) 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.


Gillispie gone at Kentucky - by Kevin Cochran
One of the premier jobs in college basketball is now open. After only two seasons, Kentucky has fired coach Billy Gillispie.

Gillispie was 40-27 as the Wildcats, including a 22-14 mark this season. Despite having two of the SEC's top players in Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson, the 'Cats failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 17 years after a late season swoon.

'Unfortunately there are times when a situation and the people involved do not create the right chemistry or right fit,' said athletic director Mitch Barnhardt. 'It is our belief that is where we are and where we find ourselves with Kentucky basketball today. For that reason, we decided to not bring Coach Gillispie back to lead our men's basketball program. We firmly believe that moving in a different direction will be in the best interest of everyone involved with this program. It is my responsibility, and I understand that, to hire the coaches, a coach that embraces the fans and the national attention at Kentucky and is committed to the principles of our program.'

Former players have criticized Gillispie's game management and dealings with supporters of the program. Reports have also surfaced that current players did not like the coach, and that they were treated poorly. Gillispie also was viewed as caring only about basketball, and did not want to be an ambassador for the program.

I think towards the end, especially when the comments were made that spoke to things that were not in his job description or it was just about winning and losing and recruiting,' Barnhardt said. 'This program is bigger than that. There is much more to it than that. We've been clear about that from the beginning of our administration and when we went through the process last time we were very clear about that. As that became more crystallized, that became apparent that we had a bigger problem.

The early favorites for the job are Memphis' John Calipari and Michigan State's Tom Izzo.


Cooper takes over at Tennessee State - by Kevin Cochran

President Melvin N. Johnson has named John A. Cooper as head coach of the mens basketball program at Tennessee St. University.

Cooper comes to Tennessee St. from Auburn University where he served as Associate Head Mens Basketball coach with Jeff Lebo . Cooper has over 15 years of basketball coaching experience having coached at Oregon, South Carolina and Fayetteville St.. This will be Cooper's first post as a head coach.

Cooper is a native of Kansas City, Mo. and played collegiately at Wichita St., under Eddie Fogler , where he led the Shockers in scoring and rebounding during both his junior and senior seasons. He was a team captain his final two seasons and a Rhodes Scholar candidate in his senior year.

'We had an outstanding group of candidates from which to choose. We were looking for the right fit, a combination of integrity, energy, respectability, community involvement and commitment to player and team development,' said Tennessee St. University President Melvin N. Johnson. 'John Cooper was very impressive in the final interview process. He was ultra-prepared, knew where TSU basketball was, understood where we wanted to go and had a plan to get us there,' added Johnson.

TSU Athletic Director, Teresa Phillips affirms Cooper's ability. 'John Cooper 's vision for the TSU program is outstanding. His background shows that he has learned from great coaches and that he will be a great mentor and steward of young student-athletes,' said Phillips.

Cooper spent five years at Auburn (2004-2009) and played a vital role in the revitalization of the Auburn basketball program, as the Tigers recorded their first winning season in four years (2003). This season, Auburn posted a 24-12 record, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT Tournament.

Prior to his arrival at Auburn, Cooper spent two seasons at Oregon where he helped the Ducks to a 41-23 mark. Oregon went 23-10 with an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002-03 and had an 18-13 record in 2003-04, losing in the NIT semifinals.

He coached a pair of All-Americans in PAC-10 Player of the Year Luke Ridnour (6'2''-G-81) of the NBAs Seattle Supersonics and Luke Jackson (6'7''-F/G-8), formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He spent six years as an assistant at S.Carolina under his former college coach, Fogler, from 1995-2001 helping lead the Gamecocks to the SEC Championship with a 24-8 record in 1996-97.

Prior to S.Carolina, Cooper spent two seasons as an assistant to Rick Duckett at Division II Fayetteville (NC) State in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, where the Broncos went 18-10 in 1993-94 and 15-10 in 1994-95.

Cooper is married to the former Melissa Mathis of Greenwood, S.C. They have two children, a daughter Kennedy and a son Kameron.




Courtesy: Tennessee St. athletics



Grant new boss at Alabama - by Kevin Cochran
!Finally, Alabama's search for a basketball coach is over. Crimson Tide officials have agreed 'in principle' with Virginia Commonwealth coach Anthony Grant for Grant to be the program's next basketball coach, Grant told The Birmingham News in a text message.

Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore identified Grant, made contact, brought him to campus, then did what he could to secure him. Now, the hottest mid-major coach of the last few years will be wearing crimson.

After Kentucky fired Billy Gillispie , and Florida's Billy Donovan removed his name from speculation for the UK job, it meant the Gators didn't have to go after Grant. Regardless, now he's at Alabama.

It's not clear when a news conference is scheduled to announce Grant's hiring. He takes over for Mark Gottfried , who resigned under pressure on Jan. 26. Grant, a 42-year-old Miami native and former Florida assistant, led VCU to a 24-10 with a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.

Courtesy: The Birmingham News


*****************************************************
  NEW ZEALAND   


Mike Efevberha explodes with 42 points against Auckland - by Eurobasket News
Wellington gained the second straight win as they held off Auckland 99:92 on the road today. Mike Efevberha (196-G-84, college: Cal.St. Northridge) came up with another divine performance for the Saints tallying 42 points in the victory. The visitors silenced the crowd with a 15:2 start to the game. The Stars had to find their perfect man to come back into this one and they did. Dylan Perfect-Tait (189-G-87) notched a bunch of triples to clip the margin to two points after the starting period. The Stars maintained the pressure in the second quarter and surged in front taking a 54:48 lead into the major break. The things did not change radically in the third frame as the teams traded baskets. Wellington narrowed the deficit to three points heading into the fourth term. Luke Martin (181-G-81, college: UTEP) orchestrated the revival of the Saints in the fourth period. He banked some timely three-pointers and Mike Efevberha was there to help as the visitors eventually knocked down Auckland. Luke Martin finished with 22 points and 9 boards for the Saints. Damon Thornton (202-F-77, college: N.Carolina St.) added 14 points, 8 boards and 3 assists in the winning effort. Hayden Allen (187-G-79) answered with 23 points for the Stars. Blagoj Janev (203-F-84, college: New Hampshire) had 19 points and 10 rebounds in the second loss for Auckland.
Manawatu opened victory count as they edged Taranaki 90:78 on the road. Marcel Jones tallied 25 points and 12 boards to lead the Jets. Aidan Daly had 22 points for the winners. James Paringatai (202-F-86), Phillip Gilbert (191-G-82, college: Bradley) and Aaron Bailey-Nowell (195-G-81) delivered 19 points apiece as the Dynamos remained winless.


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


PBA Stats Leaders

Points Per Game
 Rod NEALY
  Ginebra
  (198-F-80)
  Avg: 27
 1. Nealy, Ginebra27.0 
 2. Lewis, Rain or Shine27.0 
 3. Sullinger, Coca-Cola26.6 
 4. Thorpe, Purefoods21.5 
 5. Santos, Burger King20.7 
 6. David, Burger King20.4 
 7. Freeman, San M.20.0 
 8. Salvacion, Ginebra19.3 
 9. Yap, Purefoods16.3 
 10. Simon, Purefoo.16.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Jai LEWIS
  Rain or Shine
  (201-F-83)
  Avg: 20.8
 1. Lewis, Rain or Shine20.8 
 2. Johnson, Santa L.20.0 
 3. Nealy, Ginebra15.8 
 4. Freeman, San M.13.2 
 5. Taulava, Coca-Cola12.7 
 6. Daniels, Burger King11.1 
 7. Clark, Rain or Shine11.0 
 8. Hamilton, Puref.10.3 
 9. Sullinger, Coca-Cola10.2 
 10. Norwood, Rain.8.7 
Assists Per Game
 Alex CABAGNOT
  Coca-Cola
  (183-G-82)
  Avg: 6
 1. Cabagnot, Coca-Cola6.0 
 2. Mercado, Rain o.5.2 
 3. Helterbrand, Gineb.5.2 
 4. Nealy, Ginebra5.0 
 5. Arboleda, Burger K.4.7 
 6. Hamilton, Puref.4.5 
 7. Villanueva, San M.4.2 
 8. Taulava, Coca-Cola4.0 
 9. Yap, Purefoods3.8 
 10. Daniels, Burger Ki.3.6 
Steals Per Game
 Brian HAMILTON
  Purefoods
  (198-F-82)
  Avg: 3
 1. Hamilton, Puref.3.0 
 2. Daniels, Burger King2.0 
 3. Yap, Purefoods1.5 
 4. Robinson, Purefoods1.5 
 5. Baguio, Burger King1.4 
 6. Nealy, Ginebra1.3 
 7. Norwood, Rain o.1.2 
 8. Yap, Purefoods1.2 
 9. Villanueva, San M.1.2 
 10. Vergara, Purefoo.1.2 
Blocks Per Game
 Shawn DANIELS
  Burger King
  (200-C-79)
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Daniels, Burger King2.1 
 2. Hrabak, Barako Bull2.0 
 3. Aquino, Santa Lucia2.0 
 4. Lewis, Rain or Shine1.8 
 5. Santos, Burger King1.4 
 6. Mamaril, Ginebra1.3 
 7. Yeo, Santa Lucia1.0 
 8. Rodriguez, Barako B.1.0 
 9. Pingris, San Miguel1.0 
 10. Hamilton, Pur.1.0 


Standings - PBA Fiesta Conference
PBA Standings
 1. San Miguel 6-0 
 2. Rain or Shine 5-2 
 3. Sta Lucia 5-2 
 4. Burger King 4-3 
 5. Purefoods 3-3 
 6. Talk N Text 2-3 
 7. Barako Bull 2-4 
 8. Alaska 2-4 
 9. Coca-Cola 1-5 
 10. Ginebra 1-5 


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


Standings - Superleague B
B Superleague Standings
 1. Avtodor 39-3 
 2. Magnitogorsk 31-10 
 3. Lok.Novos. 28-13 
 4. Revda 27-16 
 5. Chelabinsk 26-15 
 6. N.Novgorod 24-17 
 7. Saransk 20-21 
 8. Krasnodar 19-23 
 9. Rjazan 18-23 
 10. Naltchik 17-23 
 11. Irkutsk 17-24 
 12. Zaretchny 16-24 
 13. Severstal 11-32 
 14. Kursk 7-30 
 15. Ural Ekater. 7-33 


CSKA again blasts Partizan in Moscow - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague, quarterfinals: CSKA - Partizan 77-50

The reigning champion blasted Partizan in the second game grabbing nice 2-0 lead. Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) once again stepped up for CSKA draining 21 points and pulling down 7 rebounds. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) and Terence Morris (206-F-79, college: Maryland) netted 11 pts each. Partzan had only one player with double-digits in scoring and it was Stephane Lasme (203-F-82, college: Massachusetts) - 15 pts. Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) was second scorer of the team with 7 pts. Once again CSKA took control on its rival at the very beginning. The Serbian representative again struggled at the offensive end scoring just 6 points in the first quarter. Thanks to 9-0 run at the end of the period CSKA was ahead 21-6. After couple of minutes in the second frame Erazem Lorbek and his teammates jumped to impressive 30-8. Despite there was about 25 minutes to be played, question about the winner was already resolved. In third period CSKA made 10-0 for plus 31. Everything what Partizan managed to do until the end was minus 20. At the end visitors scored just 3 points more than they had in the first match. Third game will be played on March 31st in Belgrade, what will be the first opportunity for CSKA to reach the Final 4.

CSKA: Erazem Lorbek 21+7 boards, Ramunas Siskauskas 11, Terence Morris 11
Parrizan: Stephane Lasme 15, Milenko Tepic 7


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


CSKA again blasts Partizan in Moscow - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague, quarterfinals: CSKA - Partizan 77-50

The reigning champion blasted Partizan in the second game grabbing nice 2-0 lead. Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) once again stepped up for CSKA draining 21 points and pulling down 7 rebounds. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) and Terence Morris (206-F-79, college: Maryland) netted 11 pts each. Partzan had only one player with double-digits in scoring and it was Stephane Lasme (203-F-82, college: Massachusetts) - 15 pts. Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) was second scorer of the team with 7 pts. Once again CSKA took control on its rival at the very beginning. The Serbian representative again struggled at the offensive end scoring just 6 points in the first quarter. Thanks to 9-0 run at the end of the period CSKA was ahead 21-6. After couple of minutes in the second frame Erazem Lorbek and his teammates jumped to impressive 30-8. Despite there was about 25 minutes to be played, question about the winner was already resolved. In third period CSKA made 10-0 for plus 31. Everything what Partizan managed to do until the end was minus 20. At the end visitors scored just 3 points more than they had in the first match. Third game will be played on March 31st in Belgrade, what will be the first opportunity for CSKA to reach the Final 4.

CSKA: Erazem Lorbek 21+7 boards, Ramunas Siskauskas 11, Terence Morris 11
Parrizan: Stephane Lasme 15, Milenko Tepic 7


Velickovic in Maccabi's sights - by Zoran Klansic
Partizan's starlet - Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) is hot in the Maccabi Tel-Aviv books for next season,According to reports today in Belgrade.
The young forward,who had the best season in his career,is well admired by Maccabi's coaching staff and they are trying to tie a deal before the season ends.
Velickovic is avreging 13.0ppg,6.9 and 2.2apg in the Adriatic league and 10.7ppg,5.1rpg and 1.7apg in the Euroleague.
Partizan is playing in the Euroleague playoffs and are down 2-0 in the series against CSKA Moscow.
Velickovic signed a two years extention contract at Partizan in August 2008 and he is a product of the Partizan youth academy


Vladimir Micov in BC Panionios - by Zoran Popovic
After the offers from Serbian and Spanish teams, Vladimir Micov (201-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) decided to sign contract with Panionios ON Telecoms Athens to the end of this season. Vladimir Micov started career in BC Beopetrol 2001-2002, moved to Crvena Zvezda in season 2002-2003, during the season was loaned to Nova Pazova, played for OKK Beograd in season 2003-2004 and Lavovi 063 in season 2004-2005. Last four seasons Micov spend in BC Buducnost and in March 2007 to the end of that season, Micov was loaned to BC Partizan. Vladimir Micov was member of Yugoslavio U16 National team and Serbia and Montenegro U20 National team. This season in Eurocup Micov average scored 11.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals, in Adriatic league average scored 13.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 22.3 steals.

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


Standings - D1
Extraliga Standings
1-6 places
 1. Pezinok 24-8 
 2. Nitra 23-9 
 3. Prievidza 20-12 
 4. Nova Ves 17-15 
 5. Levice 16-16 
 6. B.Bystrica 16-16 
7-12 places
 1. Komarno 19-13 
 2. Chemosvit 17-15 
 3. Inter Bratisl. 14-18 
 4. Handlova 12-20 
 5. Dolny Kubin 7-25 
 6. Kosice 7-25 


Pezinok is regular season champion - by Eurobasket News
Pezinok registered 24 wins in 32 rounds of Slovakian Extraliga heading to the quarterfinals from position No.1. In the last round, which was played on Wednesday, Pezinok was better than Astrum levice at home 86-75. Matas Niparavicius (207-C/F-82, agency: Edge Sports, college: Weber St.) and Kevin Houston (193-G/F-76, college: St.Bonaventure) stepped up for the hosts combining 56 points. Nenad Milosevic (188-G-83) responded with 25 for the loosing side. Pezinok's rival in the quarterfinals will be Chemosvit. Levice will meet Spisska Nova Ves.
No.2 Nitra faced with road defeat against Spisska Nova Ves 70-78 dropping to 23-9. It will play against Komarno in the semis. Sasa Avalic (197-G-80) led the hosts to 17th win netting 19 points. Eugene Lawrence had 25 in Nitra.
Prievidza lost the game at home 70-72 vs Banska Bystrica which didn't change anything. Third place is reserved for the hosts, which will meet its Wednesday's rival in the semis. Maros Rendla (195-G-88) and Ivan Skara (204-F-82, college: Cleveland St. CC) drained 31 points in victory. Gabriel Szalay (215-C-86) had 27 for the hosts.
Komarno blasted Slavia 100-61 winning the 'Group 7-12;w. It means that Komarno will take on Nitra in the quarterfinals. Ivan Barisic (200-C-84), Marek Jurik (191-G/F-78, agency: Promotex) and Peter Seman (193-F-77) led the winners in scoring with 15 points each. Second team from this group who booked a spot for the next stage is Chemosvit. The team from Poprad lost at home vs Handlova 80-88 ending the regular season with 17-15. Antonio Bicvic (199-F-82) was a key player for Handlova with 25 points. In third game Dolny Kubin outplayed Inter 95-85 thanks to 21 points by Stefanec. Neither of these two teams succeeded to reach the play-off.


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


Riera replaces Brewer in Estu - by Francisco Martinez
MMT Estudiantes has reached an agreement with Basquet Mallorca for the loanship of Joan Riera (188-G-79), the starting playmaker of the islander LEB team, till the end of the current season.

This movement has been caused for the injury of Corey Brewer (188-G-75, college: Oklahoma), who will be sidelined for the next month.

Besides, Joan Riera has agreed terms with his team, Basquet Mallorca, to extend his contract for the next three seasons.

The playmaker averages 14.5 points per game in LEB Gold league.


Olympiakos jumps to 2-0 against Real Madrid - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague, quarterfinals: Olympiakos - Real Madrid 79-73

The Reds made it again. The team of Panagiotis Yannakis was better than real Madrid in the second game of the Euroleague quarterfinals taking 2-0 lead. Lynn Greer (186-G-79, college: Temple), who came of the bench, top-scored for the hosts with 21 points. Giorgos Printezis (206-F-85, agency: FCM) had 18 and Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78, agency: Interperformances) delivered 14 points. Thodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) stopped on 12 pts. On the other side, Felipe Reyes (203-F/C-80) and Louis Bullock (186-G-76, college: Michigan) combined 45 pts. All other players had less than 7 points. First half of the game was almost leveled. Actually, the host managed to create plus 6 at the half way of the second quarter, but Louis Bullock then exploded for Real and with long range strokes lifted his team to 31-32. However, Nikola Vujcic and Thodoros Papaloukas stepped up for Olympiakos after that setting the score on 38-36 at the half time. Third stanza totally belonged to the Reds. Lynn Greer led 12-4 run for double-digit lead, 50-40. Later Olympiakos touched plus 13, but Mumbu quickly led his team to 56-49. Thodoros Papaloukas drained a triple at the Olympiakos' last possession in third period for 59-49. In just 2 minutes of the last quarter Real came to 63-59 and after that to 70-66. Louis Bullock drained a 3-pointer for minus 1, but then Nikola Vujcic stepped up with assists and a basket for plus 5. At the end Lynn Greer was concentrated from the line making it 77-71. Third game is scheduled for March 31st.

Olympiakos: Lynn Greer 21, Giorgos Printezis 18, Nikola Vujcic 14, Thodoros Papaloukas 12
Real Madrid: Felipe Reyes 23+9 boards, Louis Bullock 22


Regal Barca smashes Tau for 1-1 in the quarterfinals - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague, quarterfinals: Regal Barca - Tau Ceramica 85-62

Fantastic performance by Regal Barca for 1-1 in the quarterfinal against powerful Tau. Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) came up with 17, Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) and Fran Vazquez (210-C-83) scored 14 points each. Vazquez also grabbed 10 rebounds beside that. Tau got 18 points from Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) and 14 from William McDonald (207-C-79, college: S.Florida). Hero from the first game Pablo Prigioni (186-G-77) this time stopped on just 2 points in 24 minutes. Barca had plus 4 during the first period, but mostly owing to Rakocevic and McDonald, Tau ended it with 23-24. Barca quickly made a turn at the beginning of the next frame and later, actually after Fran Vazquez's lay-up, the hosts jumped to 36-29. Tau came closer very soon, but Jaka Lakovic beat the buzzer with a lay-up for 46-40 after 20 minutes. Third quarter was the crucial one as Barca extended lead to 55-45 and 60-47 at the end of it. Gianluca Basile (192-G-75) made it from downtown at the beginning of the last stanza for huge plus 16. That was a clear sign that this quarterfinal series will include at least two more games. Barca ended last night with pretty decent 26-41 for FG2. The hosts also totally outjumped Tau grabbing 12 rebounds more. The next game is scheduled for March 31st.

Regal Barca: Jaka Lakovic 17, Ersan Ilyasova 16+10 boards, Juan Carlos Navarro 14, Fran Vazquez 14
Tau Ceramica: Igor Rakocevic 18, William McDonald 14


Standings - LEB Gold
LEB Gold Standings
 1. Alicante 19-7 
 2. Valladolid 18-7 
 3. Melilla 18-8 
 4. Tenerife 16-9 
 5. Leche Rio 16-10 
 6. Burgos 15-11 
 7. Axarquia 14-11 
 8. Caceres 14-12 
 9. Los Barrios 13-12 
 10. Leon 13-13 
 11. La Laguna 12-13 
 12. La Palma 11-14 
 13. Plus Pujol 11-14 
 14. Mallorca 11-15 
 15. Vic 11-15 
 16. Aguas Gandia 7-18 
 17. Illescas 5-20 
 18. Rosalia 5-20 


Standings - LEB Silver
LEB Silver Standings
 1. Torrons Vic. 17-8 
 2. Palencia 17-8 
 3. Vigo 16-9 
 4. Navarra 16-10 
 5. Plasencia 15-10 
 6. Caja Rioja 15-11 
 7. Cornella 15-11 
 8. CB Tarrag. 15-11 
 9. Ourense 13-12 
 10. Jerez 13-13 
 11. Huesca 12-14 
 12. Prat 10-15 
 13. Gijon 9-16 
 14. CajasurCord. 9-17 
 15. Coruna 7-19 
 16. Qalat Caja Sol 5-20 


Stats Leaders-LEB Silver

Points Per Game
 Tarick JOHNSON
  Gijon
  (192-G-81)
  Avg: 20.1
 1. Johnson, Gijon20.1 
 2. Djedovic, Cornella17.3 
 3. Beeson, Cornella17.0 
 4. Johnson, Palencia17.0 
 5. Holmes, Torrons .16.5 
 6. Wolfram, Huesca16.3 
 7. Bravo, Palencia15.3 
 8. Ferrer, CajasurC.15.3 
 9. Ortega, Prat15.3 
 10. Smith, Vi.14.9 
Rebounds Per Game
 Josep ORTEGA
  Prat
  (201-C-84)
  Avg: 8.7
 1. Ortega, Prat8.7 
 2. Joseph, Coruna8.6 
 3. Johnson, Palencia8.5 
 4. Diouf, Qalat C.8.4 
 5. Mesa, CB Tarrag.7.9 
 6. Johnson, Cornella7.6 
 7. Martin, Plasencia7.3 
 8. Frost, Vigo7.3 
 9. Gitterer, Huesca7.2 
 10. Samb, Cornel.6.8 
Assists Per Game
 Lino LOPEZ
  Coruna
  (189-G-76)
  Avg: 4.4
 1. Lopez, Coruna4.4 
 2. Rodriguez, CB Ta.4.0 
 3. Smith, Vigo3.9 
 4. Bavosi, Jerez3.9 
 5. Robles, Plasencia3.6 
 6. Aguilar, Qalat C.3.5 
 7. Mediano, Caja R.3.4 
 8. Garrido, Huesca3.4 
 9. Garrido, CajasurC.3.4 
 10. Beeson, Cornel.3.3 
Steals Per Game
 Daniel RODRIGUEZ
  CB Tarrag.
  (180-G-84)
  Avg: 1.9
 1. Rodriguez, CB Ta.1.9 
 2. Djedovic, Cornella1.7 
 3. Smith, Vigo1.7 
 4. Nualart, Torrons .1.7 
 5. Beeson, Cornella1.6 
 6. Perez, Cornella1.6 
 7. Ott, Navarra1.6 
 8. Garrido, CajasurC.1.6 
 9. Jackson, Vigo1.5 
 10. Suka-Umu, Cajasu.1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Robert JOSEPH
  Coruna
  (204-C-78)
  Avg: 2.3
 1. Joseph, Coruna2.3 
 2. Samb, Cornella2.2 
 3. Diouf, Qalat C.1.9 
 4. Eyenga, Prat1.7 
 5. Lett, Jerez1.2 
 6. Martin, Plasencia1.1 
 7. Adams, Palencia1.1 
 8. Santana, Plasencia1.1 
 9. Cage, Navarra0.9 
 10. Clarkson, Plasenc.0.8 


Stats Leaders - LEB Gold

Points Per Game
 Ricardo GUILLEN
  Los Barrios
  (205-F/C-76)
  Avg: 18.5
 1. Guillen, Los Barrios18.5 
 2. Detrick, La Laguna17.5 
 3. Garcia, Burgos17.1 
 4. Kiefer, Vic17.0 
 5. Simien, Caceres16.8 
 6. Terrell, La Palma16.2 
 7. Cusworth, Leche R.15.7 
 8. Robinson, Gandia B.15.1 
 9. Prestes, Cl.Rincon14.9 
 10. Riera, Mallor.14.6 
Rebounds Per Game
 Paulo PRESTES
  Unicaja
  (210-C-88)
  Avg: 9.5
 1. Prestes, Cl.Rincon9.5 
 2. Donaldson, La La.9.5 
 3. Battle, Valladolid8.9 
 4. Simien, Caceres8.2 
 5. Hamilton, Tenerife7.8 
 6. Guillen, Los Barrios7.5 
 7. Baez, Leon7.4 
 8. Nana, Rosalia7.4 
 9. Cusworth, Leche R.7.1 
 10. Moss, Cacer.7.1 
Assists Per Game
 Diego CIORCIARI
  Melilla
  (185-G-80)
  Avg: 6.3
 1. Ciorciari, Melilla6.3 
 2. Corrales, Burgos4.8 
 3. Mendiburu, Plus Pujol4.3 
 4. Sala, La Palma4.3 
 5. Bernabe, Leon3.8 
 6. Brown, Caceres3.8 
 7. Dumas, Valladolid3.7 
 8. Lopez, Leche Rio3.5 
 9. Jimenez, Illescas3.4 
 10. Colom, Plus Puj.3.4 
Steals Per Game
 Marc BLANCH
  Mallorca
  (195-F-82)
  Avg: 2.4
 1. Blanch, Mallorca2.4 
 2. Van Lacke, Valladolid2.0 
 3. Hill, Alicante1.8 
 4. Lopez, Leche Rio1.8 
 5. Ciorciari, Melilla1.8 
 6. Baez, Leon1.7 
 7. Bernabe, Leon1.7 
 8. Battle, Valladolid1.6 
 9. Cusworth, Leche R.1.6 
 10. Angulo, Cacer.1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Robert BATTLE
  Valladolid
  (200-C-81)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Battle, Valladolid2.2 
 2. Hamilton, Tenerife1.7 
 3. Southall, Melilla1.6 
 4. Donaldson, La La.1.5 
 5. Cusworth, Leche R.1.3 
 6. Simien, Caceres1.3 
 7. Sinanovic, Burgos1.2 
 8. Lewis, Plus Pujol1.2 
 9. Nana, Rosalia1.1 
 10. Andriuskevic., Ali.1.0 


*****************************************************
  SWITZERLAND   


Stats Leaders LNA

Points Per Game
 Corey MUIRHEAD
  Geofin
  (198-F-83)
  Avg: 20.8
 1. Muirhead, Herens20.8 
 2. Almanson, Lugano T.19.1 
 3. Alston, Monthey18.9 
 4. Fahnbulleh, Bonco.18.7 
 5. Volcy, Monthey18.7 
 6. Wells, Lugano Tigers17.8 
 7. Scott, MGS17.7 
 8. Brown, Lausanne17.1 
 9. Siggers, Boncourt17.0 
 10. Grimm, SAM Mas.16.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Hatila PASSOS
  Marinos
  (212-C-86)
  Avg: 10.4
 1. Passos, Herens10.4 
 2. Grimm, SAM Massa.10.4 
 3. Wells, Lugano Tigers9.9 
 4. Fahnbulleh, Bonco.9.6 
 5. Sloan, Fribourg9.3 
 6. Thomas, Starwings9.3 
 7. McFarlin, Nyon9.2 
 8. Volcy, Monthey9.1 
 9. Durant, Lausanne8.7 
 10. Allen, Fribou.8.4 
Assists Per Game
 Pascal PERRIER-DAVID
  Fribourg
  (184-G-75)
  Avg: 7.6
 1. Perrier-D., Fribo.7.6 
 2. Coffin, Starwings7.4 
 3. Pleux-D., Lausanne6.3 
 4. Jefferson, Geneva5.4 
 5. Gray, Lugano Tigers5.1 
 6. Brown, Lausanne4.8 
 7. Bah, Nyon4.5 
 8. Maio, Monthey4.5 
 9. Gibson, Vacallo4.4 
 10. Angley, SAM Mas.4.4 
Steals Per Game
 Jean-Richard VOLCY
  Monthey
  (202-F-82)
  Avg: 3.5
 1. Volcy, Monthey3.5 
 2. Angley, SAM Massa.3.3 
 3. Gray, Lugano Tigers3.0 
 4. Wright, Starwings2.8 
 5. Pleux-D., Lausanne2.4 
 6. Dacevic, Vacallo2.4 
 7. Sloan, Fribourg2.4 
 8. McFarlin, Nyon2.3 
 9. Muirhead, Herens2.3 
 10. Gibson, Vacal.2.3 
Blocks Per Game
 Bilal SALAAM
  Lausanne
  (201-F-81)
  Avg: 3.4
 1. Salaam, Lausanne3.4 
 2. Allen, Fribourg3.3 
 3. Niang, Lausanne1.8 
 4. Volcy, Monthey1.3 
 5. Wells, Lugano Tigers1.3 
 6. Valmera, Boncourt1.1 
 7. Sloan, Fribourg1.0 
 8. Vogt, Fribourg0.8 
 9. Holland, Nyon0.8 
 10. Martins, Here.0.8 


LNA Round: 1 (Quarter-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Fribourg - Nyon 69-65
The defending champions Fribourg narrowly defeated Nyon in the starting game of the series. Dennis Harrison (201-F-79, college: Colorado) netted 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to lead the hosts. Oliver Vogt added 13 points and 10 boards in the winning case. Yuanta Holland managed 17 points as Nyon kept it close throughout the battle. Ivan McFarlin produced 16 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.

Vacallo - Lausanne 91-77
Vacallo opened the quarterfinal series with a comfortable win over Lausanne. Matt Schneidermann (205-F/C-81, college: N.Iowa) and Nikola Dacevic scored 20 points and pulled down 8 rebounds each to pace the hosts. Martin Mihajlovic added 19 points for the winners. Tony Brown responded with 20 points for Lausanne in defeat.

Monthey - Boncourt 81-66
Herman Alston fired 22 points to lead Monthey to the first quarterfinal win over Boncourt. Kareem Johnson (205-C-80, college: Cincinnati) added 20 points and 1o rebounds, while Sebastien Maio had 18 points for the winners. Emmanuel Messy responded with 20 points and 6 rebounds for Boncourt. Kevin Corre had 14 points in defeat.

Lugano Tigers - Starwings 81-70
Dusan Mladjan (199-G-86, agency: Interperformances) poured in 28 points allowing Lugano to score the opening win over Starwings in the quarterfinal series. Kameron Gray was helpful with 16 points and 8 rebounds as the Tigers outrebounded their opponents 33:22. Raymond Henderson finished with 20 points for the Basel outfit. Jarred McCurry had 18 points in the loss.


*****************************************************
  TOURNAMENT OF THE AMERICAS   


FIBA Americas - Meetings held in Mexico for 2009 FIBA Americas Championship - by Kristian Santiago
During this week FIBA Americas held a meeting with the organizing committee of the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship that will be held in Mexico City and Mexicali from August 26 until September 6.

In the meeting the authorities of FIBA Americas along with the organizing committee outlined the work to be done for the tournament that includes marketing, promotion, and logistics among other important issues. This tournament gives four qualifying berths for the 2010 FIBA World Championship to be played in Turkey.

Group A of the competition and the next rounds will be played at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City which has a capacity for 18,000 fans. Group B of the competition will be played at Auditorio Municipal of Mexicali.

The participating countries in this competition are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mxico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands and Venezuela. The United States will not participate since they already qualified into the 2010 FIBA World Championship by winning the Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympics.

The ten national teams will be divided into two groups of five teams each and will play the preliminary round from August 26-30. The draft of both groups will be done in Mexico on April.

The best four teams per group enter the quarterfinals where they will play four games against the teams that entered from the other group. The quarterfinals are scheduled from September 1-4. The best four in the standings at the end of the quarterfinals will qualify into the FIBA World Championship and the semifinals. The semifinals are going to be played on September 5 and the finals the next day.
(By FIBA Americas)


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


Vestel Parts Ways With Inceler, Beles Arrives - by Serdar Ortakuyu
TB2L side Vestel has decided to part ways with their head coach Mehmet Ali Inceler right before the post season despite a 13-9 run that kept them at the fourth place of the Group A. Manisa team's management found the solution at Ismail Beles of Bursa Basket who failed to keep his team at the leage due to financial problems but managed to beat Vestel the previous weekend in a game featured more than 200 points. Beles is an experienced coach who has worked with various teams such as Tofas, Oyak Renault and Selcuk Uni. so far in his career.

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


Standings - BBL
BBL Standings
 1. Newcastle E. 24-4 
 2. Everton T. 22-5 
 3. Guildford H. 18-10 
 4. Plymouth R. 18-11 
 5. Leicester R. 16-12 
 6. Scottish R. 16-13 
 7. MK Lions 12-16 
 8. Cheshire J. 12-17 
 9. Worcester W. 12-18 
 10. Sheffield S. 11-18 
 11. Worthing T. 11-19 
 12. London C. 1-30 


*****************************************************
  USBA   


USBA Expect Good Turnout For Last Weekend Of Free Agent Tryouts - by USBA Media

The United States Basketball Association (USBA) is pleased to announce the last weekend of open tryouts for their inaugural season. The season starts on April 11th and runs until the first weekend of July.

Tryouts will be taking place at the following locations:

Atlanta: Clark Atlanta University. Two sessions March 28th 9:00-12:00 3:00- 6:00 Coach: Tony Leonard

Location switched to Clark Atlanta University V. W Henderson Gymnasium 233 James P. Brawley Drive Atlanta, Georgia 30314

Augusta: 100 Riverview Park Drive, North Augusta; March 28thtwo sessions8:00-12:00 and 1:00-5:00. Coach: Chuck Graham

Birmingham Jess Lanier HS; 100 HS Drive; Bessemer, ALMarch 28th 4:00-6:30. Coach: Jeff Hill

Columbia: Benedict College HRC Arena1600 Hardin St; March 28th; 10:00-1:00 and 2:00-5:00. March 29th 2:00-5:00. Coach: Willie Washington (Posponed)

Jacksonville Edward Waters College; Adams-Jenkins GymMarch 28th; 1:00-4:00. Coach: James Easton

Montgomery: St. James High School 6010 Vaughn Street; Montgomery; March 28th 10:30-1:30. Coach: Wilbert Hamilton

Nashville Fisk University; 1000 17th Ave N.E. Nashville; March 28th; 1:00-5:00 and March 29th; 2:00-5:00. Coach: Oliver Lee (Posponed)

Richmond: Virginia Union University: Barco-Stevens Gymnasium; March 28th; 1:00-6:00 Coach: Henry Coker

Savannah: Savannah State University; 3219 College Street; Wilcox Gym March 28th; 2:00-5:00 March 29th2:00-5:00. Coach: Lee Pearson

West Virginia: Charleston Catholic High School. 1 Players Club Drive Charleston; March 28th; 10 am - 3pm Coach: Thomas Jones

Registration for tryouts will begin one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the tryout with a cost of $75.00. Players will be required to complete the following: Player Claim Release Form, Medical Clearance Form, and Player Profile Information. Players are requested to be prompt. No one will be admitted to the tryouts after the scheduled start time.

USBA President Duane Jenkins says, We are excited about this set of tryouts. Last weekend we had some very talented players attend and the talent pool is very deep. We are hoping for the same level of talent this weekend.

The USBA is a mid spring through early summer professional basketball league. League offices are in Atlanta, Georgia. Players can be catapulted to enjoy further opportunities in the National Basketball Association Developmental League as well as exposure to other professional basketball leagues from around the world. The league age requirement is 20 years or older.

For media inquiries, please contact Director of Communications Chris Munson at chris.munson8@gmail.com, or by phone at 802-318-1012.



*****************************************************
  VENEZUELA   


Lamond Murray is to play in Venezuela - by Interperformances
Former NBA great Murray Lamond (201-F-73, agency: Interperformances, college: California) has signed with Trotamundos de Carababo in the Venezuela LPB League. The 67 all-around player can play both the small forward and power forward spots. Lamond has had an amazing career in the NBA where he has played for more than 10 years with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the New Jersey Nets. He also played in China, where he was named MVP of the Finals in the 2007-08 season

Lamond Murray is to play in Venezuela - by Interperformances
Former NBA great Murray Lamond (201-F-73, agency: Interperformances, college: California) has signed with Trotamundos de Carababo in the Venezuela LPB League. The 6'7' all-around player can play both the small forward and power forward spots. Lamond has had an amazing career in the NBA where he has played for more than 10 years with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and the New Jersey Nets. He also played in China, where he was named MVP of the Finals in the 2007-08 season


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


Standings
HBA Standings
 1. JBC 23-1 
 2. Sigauke 21-3 
 3. Leopards 20-3 
 4. Raiderz 19-4 
 5. Cavaliers 17-7 
 6. Stormers 11-11 
 7. Pistons 10-14 
 8. Jammers 9-13 
 9. NABA Pross 9-14 
 10. Nuggets 7-15 
 11. Gentelmen 6-15 
 12. U.Z. Stars 6-18 
 13. Golden Spurs 4-19 
 14. South Central 3-21 




*****************************************************

Women News

*****************************************************
  AUSTRALIA - Women  


Jennifer Crouse retires at peak - by Eurobasket News
Fire coach Peter Buckle reckons import Jennifer Crouse (192-C-77) could keep playing at her peak for at least another two years and tried to convince her to do exactly that.

The hard-working centre even concedes her best is probably not behind her.

But on Friday night, Crouse shocked Townsville basketball by closing the curtain on her WNBL career at the club's presentation dinner at the Greek Community Centre.

At 31 years old, she said the desire to combine work, training and playing was no longer there and, after a golden season, decided it was best to go out on a high.

'I probably could (keep playing), but, for me, the time is right to move on,' said Crouse, who revealed she only made her teary final decision to retire last Wednesday.

'There comes that point, it's nothing specific, but the timing was right.

'It's not easy to walk away from something I have done for the last 10 years, there are lots of things I'll miss but, to be perfectly honest, I won't miss training.'

Crouse had a stand-out season for the Fire, helping the team to its most successful season, a third-place finish and a 16-6 regular season win-loss record.

On a personal level, the Illinois native was named in the WNBL's all-star team, after leading the league in defensive rebounds and most blocked shots, while she averaged 13.5 points and 10.45 rebounds per game. She was rewarded with the Fire's commitment to excellence award on Friday.

Crouse and Buckle had a number of 'retirement' meetings during the season and he said he had one last tilt at talking her out of it last week.

But while some players hang on to their careers too long, Buckle said Crouse's decision to step down ensured she would go out at the top of her powers.

'She is certainly going out on a high and I think that is important for her,' he said.

'As captain, as a leader, she was hugely important for setting a tone for how we work, how we train and those things are very important.

'The younger team members have really learned from Crouse in her professionalism and how she turned up to train and play and we'll be so much better for it.'

Crouse, who played for the Townsville Fire for four seasons, said she was yet to make a decision on what her future career path would be, but all but ruled out coaching.

Despite falling agonisingly short of a grand final appearance and a potential WNBL championship, she said she would bow out with nothing but fond memories.

With her visa due to expire at the end of the month, Crouse will return to the United States, but said it would not be her last time in Australia. Buckle said the mission of filling Crouse's big shoes would begin almost immediately.

Courtesy of The Townsville Bulletin (by Anthony Stewart)


*****************************************************
  BELGIUM - Women  


Standings - Women
D1 Standings
Poule A
 1. Dexia 5-1 
 2. Waregem 5-2 
 3. Sint Kateline 0-7 
Poule B
 1. BBC Boom 6-2 
 2. Point Chaud 4-4 
 3. Monceau 4-4 
 4. Ieper 4-4 
 5. Houthalen 4-5 
 6. N.Namur 3-6 


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


Porras Claudia leads Lemvig - by Eurobasket News
Claudia Porras (188-F-84, college: UTEP) leads Lemvig in the majority of the games and together with Ashley Wettengel remain great foreigners in the Danish team.
Vaerlose overcame Lemvig 79:69 away from home in the qualifying Round 8. The visitors grabbed 14-9 from the start and improved to 6 more points at the halftime. Another 25-15 in the third period gave them more confidence and they did not try too hard in the last frame. Lemvig produced 31-20 in the final stanza to reduce to 79:69. Ditte Graae Jakobsen led the winners with 17 points, while Jovanka Nane Mitrovic and Trine Alma Knudsen nailed 16 each. Claudia Porras and Ashley Wettengel ended up with 18 points each in the losing effort.
Before that Horsholm were slowed down by Lemvig in Round 15. The 79ers suffered just the second loss in the season as they lost to Lemvig at home court. Lemvig got to a quick start as they outscored the 79ers 13:9 in the opening term. Horsholm leveled the game in the second period as they trailed by just one point at halftime. However Lemvig went on a decisive rally in the third quarter as they cleared off to an 8-point distance heading into the fourth quarter. Horsholm failed to strike back in the final term and lost the battle. Claudia Porras tallied 20 points and 17 boards for Lemvig. Ashley Wettengel had 18 points and 8 rebounds in the win. Kristine Dalgaard had 15 points and 8 boards for the 79ers in defeat.


*****************************************************
  DENMARK - Women  


Vaerlose and Horsens achieve the latest victories - by Eurobasket News
Vaerlose and Horsens achieve the latest victories in the games played on March 25th. Vaerlose overcame Lemvig 79:69 away from home in the qualifying Round 8. The visitors grabbed 14-9 from the start and improved to 6 more points at the halftime. Another 25-15 in the third period gave them more confidence and they did not try too hard in the last frame. Lemvig produced 31-20 in the final stanza to reduce to 79:69. Anika Jakobsen led the winners with 17 points, while Jovanka Nane Mitrovic and Trine Alma Knudsen nailed 16 each. Claudia Porras (188-F-84, college: UTEP) and Ashley Wettengel (178-F, college: John Brown) ended up with 18 points each in the losing effort.
Horsens Pirates grabbed a 71:47 road victory over Virum. Both teams stayed even after the end of the opening quarter having 12:12 score. Horsens Pirates exploded with 19-4 in the second frame to take the full control of the game. In the third quarter the guests had 18-14 and finished the game with 22-17 in the last. Tena Matthews (173-G-85, college: Northwestern St.) paced all the winners with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Emma Kiis (183-F-89) nailed 19 and Josefine Sorensen had 10. Stephanie Lovingood (185-F-86, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: W.Illinois) finished the night with 11 points in the losing effort.
SISU continues to lead the standings with 18-2 record, while Horsholm 79ers is second with 17-4 record.


*****************************************************
  FRANCE - Women  


LFB, Round 22: Bourges and Tarbes again celebrate (21-1) - by Eurobasket News
Aix-en-Prov. - Bourges 48-68
As it was expected, powerful Bourges cruised past Aix-en-Provence on the road for impressive 21-1 record. Tarbes also won meaning that these two teams stay on top of LFB together. Celine Dumerc (168-G-82) and Alessandra Santos came up with 15 points each, while Catherine Melain added 14. Visitors got 11 points from Renae Camino, as well as from Laurence Van Malderen.

Union Hainaut - Arras 67-68
Arras celebrated in thriller against Union Hainaut mostly owing to Bernice Mosby (186-F-84, agency: LBM Management, college: Baylor), who collected fantastic 31 points and 11 rebounds. Chioma Nnmaka replied with 16 points for the hosts. Arras jumped to 10-12, while Union Hainaut fell to 12-10.

Montpellier - Reims 87-58
Montpellier blasted Reims at home 87-58 improving to 12-10 record in LFB. The same numbers also have Union Hainaut and Challes (4-6 place). Aurelie Bonnan (187-F-83) stepped up for the hosts with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Gaelle Skrela and Elodie Bertal helped with 13 points each. Reims got 17 pts from Mame-Marie Sy-Diop.

Nantes - Landes 53-71
Landes did not have any troubles to beat Nantes on the road and to reach the 6th win of the season. Nantes stays on just 2 in 22 appearances. Marion Laborde (178-G-86) top-scored in victory with 20 points. Anais Le Gluher had 15 and Jennifer Humprhey added 14 pts. Jessica Moore scored 16 for the hosts.

ESB Villeneu. - Challes 79-63
14-8 for Villeneuve (third place) and 12-10 for Challes after this game. Jolene Anderson (173-G-86, agency: Regeneracom Sports, college: Wisconsin) was a key player in victory draining 28 points and handing out 5 assists. Kirby Copeland answered with 15 points and 7 boards in loss.

Clermont - COB Calais 82-88
COB Calais registered 11th win in 22 games this season staying at the middle of LFB standings, together with Pays d'Aix. Claudia Das Neves (175-G-75) paced her team to victory nailing 25 points and dishing out 5 assists. Joyce Cousseins was pretty close to triple double in loss: 20 pts, 7 rebs and 9 as.

Mondeville - Trabes 68-77
The box-score will be available soon. Tarbes 21-1, Mondeville 9-13.


LFB Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Emma RANDALL
  Clermont
  (188-C-85)
  Avg: 18.4
 1. Randall, Clermont18.4 
 2. Yacoubou-D., Tarbes16.7 
 3. Mosch, Montpellier16.4 
 4. Das Neves, Clerm.16.1 
 5. Grima, Aix-en-P.15.8 
 6. Mosby, Arras15.5 
 7. Robert, ESB V.14.9 
 8. Williams, Mondeville14.5 
 9. Wright, Tarbes14.2 
 10. Laborde, Land.13.7 
Rebounds Per Game
 Isabelle YACOUBOU-DEHOUI
  Tarbes
  (195-C-86)
  Avg: 10.9
 1. Yacoubou-D., Tarbes10.9 
 2. Robert, ESB V.10.9 
 3. Randall, Clermont10.8 
 4. Neaves, COB Calais9.6 
 5. Grima, Aix-en-P.8.6 
 6. Mosby, Arras7.8 
 7. Diouf, Landes7.7 
 8. Berezhynska, Reims7.6 
 9. Moore, Nantes7.4 
 10. Ndiaye, Tarb.7.2 
Assists Per Game
 Florence LEPRON
  ESB Villeneu.
  (183-G-85)
  Avg: 4.8
 1. Lepron, ESB V.4.8 
 2. Wright, Tarbes4.8 
 3. Dumerc, Bourges4.5 
 4. Mitchell, Arras4.4 
 5. Sharp, Aix-en-Prov.4.4 
 6. Bouderra, Nantes4.2 
 7. Das Neves, Clerm.4.2 
 8. Wambe, Union H.4.1 
 9. Melain, Bourges4.0 
 10. Englert, Rei.3.7 
Steals Per Game
 Sarah MICHEL
  Arras
  (178-F/G-89)
  Avg: 6.3
 1. Michel, Arras6.3 
 2. Luptakova, Challes3.0 
 3. Dumerc, Bourges2.9 
 4. Robert, ESB V.2.6 
 5. Stansbury, Union H.2.0 
 6. Mosch, Montpellier2.0 
 7. Anderson, ESB V.1.9 
 8. Williams, Mondeville1.8 
 9. Nikipolskaia, Clerm.1.8 
 10. Skrela, Montpelli.1.8 
Blocks Per Game
 Vaida SIPAVICIUTE
  Arras
  (193-C-85)
  Avg: 1.1
 1. Sipaviciute, Arras1.1 
 2. Van Gorp, Nantes0.9 
 3. Evtoukhovitc., ESB V.0.9 
 4. Ndongue, Bourges0.9 
 5. Yacoubou-D., Tarbes0.8 
 6. Drljaca, ESB V.0.6 
 7. Coulibaly, Landes0.6 
 8. Moeggenberg, Tar.0.6 
 9. Melain, Bourges0.6 
 10. Ndiaye, Tarb.0.6 


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  ISRAEL - Women  


D1 Round: 2 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Bnot Hash. - Electra Ramat 58-83
Electra Ramat improved to 2-0 in the semifinal series over Bnot Hasharon as they rolled past them 83:58. Jia Perkins (173-G-82, agency: Merit Sports, college: Texas Tech) led the winners with 31 points and Kityzina Elizaveta had 15 points and 11 boards. Houston Charde finished the night with 19 points and 11 rebounds in defeat.

Ramla - Ramat Hen 95-91
Ramla overcame Ramat Hen 95:91 to grab 2-0 Semifinal lead. Olena Ogorodnikova (186-F-81) top-scored for the winners with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Sam Sheri Lynette posted 23. Latta Ivory ended up with 24 points in the losing effort.


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  ITALY - Women  


A2 Coppa Italia - Final Four draft - by Carlo Grilli
Palasport Colle dallAra in Chieti will host Wednesday 8th to Thursday 9th of April the A2 Coppa Italia Final Four. Here below the semifinal brackets:
Ducato Lucca Castellani Pontedera (04.08.09 h. 16.30)
CUS Chieti Sernavimar Marghera (04.08.09 h. 18.30)

On Thursday, April 9th the final game, at 17.30.

The A2 Coppa Italia Young MVP Trophy will be entitled to Natalino Carzaniga , former manager in Sesto San Giovanni and counsellor in Italian female League, who died last year.


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  NCAA1 - Women  


Oregon hires Paul Westhead - by Eurobasket News
Paul Westhead , who has won titles in the NBA and WNBA, was hired as the women's head coach at Oregon on Thursday.

The 70-year-old Westhead replaces Bev Smith, who was let go last week after the Ducks went 9-21 last season.

Westhead most recently was an assistant for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. He was dismissed along with coach P.J. Carlesimo in November after the Thunder started the season 1-12.

Westhead guided the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA title in 1980 and the Phoenix Mercury to the WNBA championship in 2007.

Smith, a former All-American as a player for the Ducks from 1978-82, was 123-121 in eight seasons as head coach at Oregon.

Westhead, known for his run-and-gun teams, has never been head coach of a women's college team. He becomes the sixth coach in the history of Oregon women's basketball.

'Over the years, Paul Westhead coached teams are the epitome of exciting and entertaining basketball. He clearly has a reputation as one of the top teachers of the game on both the men's and women's side,' outgoing Oregon athletic director Pat Kilkenny said.

Westhead was coach of the Mercury for two seasons before joining the Thunder. He was 41-27 overall in Phoenix.

At the college level, Westhead coached the men's team at Loyola Marymount from 1985-90, taking the Lions to three straight NCAA tournaments. Loyola Marymount made the round of eight in 1990.

Westhead has also coached men's teams at George Mason and La Salle.

Westhead's 1980 championship Lakers included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and rookie Magic Johnson. He was with the Lakers from 1979-82.

Westhead also was head coach of the Chicago Bulls during the 1982-83 season.

Kilkenny plans to step down on June 20. Football coach Mike Bellotti will take over as AD, and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly has been promoted to head coach.

Courtesy of http://www.cbssports.com


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  NCAA2 - Women  


Mavericks roll past Seawolves to the NCAA Finals - by Eurobasket News
The #4 Minnesota State Mavericks defeated the #2 Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves 83-60 to advance to the NCAA Finals. The win brings MSU's record to 31-2, while UAA ends its season with a 32-4 record.

'We worked hard all year and talked about the possibility of playing in the championship game, and here we are' interim head coach Pam Gohl said.

The Mavericks set a quick pace early on as they connected on their first six shots from the field to build a 17-6 lead with 13:48 left on the clock. Senior guard Heather Johnson (5'8''-G-87) chipped in 10 points during that span, including two shots from beyond the three point line.

Minnesota State and Alaska-Anchorage would match each other throughout the rest of the first half scoring 21 points each to bring the first half score to 38-27 in favor of MSU. Johnson led all scorers with 16 points, while senior guard Jo Noreen added nine more points for the Mavericks.

MSU maintained its double-digit lead throughout most of the second half as it held an 11 point lead at 58-47 with less than nine minutes left in the game. The Seawolves then managed to pull within seven points to Mavericks at 58-51.

The floodgates opened after this as the Mavericks responded with a 9-0 to extend their lead to 67-51 and never looked back as they closed out the game with an 83-60 win.

Johnson led all scorers with 25 points, while shooting 5-of-7 from behind the three point line. With her five three point field goals Johnson has tied Kelli Freeman for the most three point field goals made in a career at MSU with 241.

'Yesterday I stood a lot,' Johnson said. 'Today I moved better off the screens to get some better shots.'

Noreen added 16 points and five rebounds while senior forward Alex Andrews recorded 15 points. Senior center Teresa Parker chipped in on the defensive end with five rebounds and three blocks.

The duo of junior guard Tiffany Moe (5'9''-G-88) and sophomore guard Andrea Walsh (5'8''-G-87) added a combined 15 points, 10 assists and five steals to the Mavericks cause.

Minnesota State will take on the winner of the #24 Delta State/#14 Franklin Pierce game Friday, at 7 p.m.

Courtesy of www.ncaa.com


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  ROMANIA - Women  


Standings - Women
D1 Standings
 1. Targoviste 25-0 
 2. Alexandria 21-4 
 3. Sf.Gheorghe 19-6 
 4. Arad 18-7 
 5. Satu Mare 18-8 
 6. Govora 16-9 
 7. Oradea 13-12 
 8. Craiova 12-13 
 9. Cluj Napoca 12-13 
 10. Rapid 10-15 
 11. Olimpia 5-21 
 12. Iasi 5-21 
 13. S.Studentesc 3-23 
 14. Alba Iulia 0-25 


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  SLOVAKIA - Women  


Nitra go through, Poprad and Kosice to play third game - by Eurobasket News
Nitra became the third semifinalist of Extraliga. Yesterday they outlasted Presov on the road to complete the sweep in the quarterfinal series. A well-balanced offense was the key to the success. Nitra looked consistent and solid throughout the opening frame and piled up a 21:15 lead at the intermission. Presov however managed to slow down the visitors in the second term. Patricia Cizmarova (173-F-86) paced Presov as they stayed 6-point away from their opponents at halftime. But the hosts could not change the complexion of the game in the second half. Nitra slowly mounted the pressure and continued to stretch the gap. Presov trailed by 9 points heading into the fourth period and failed to threaten the margin in the final stanza.
Bibiana Kalafutova (184-C-85) finished with 15 points to lead Nitra. Edita Sujanova (190-C-85) and T Sujova had 13 points each in the win. Patricia Cizmarova pitched in game-high 24 points. Karavajevova had 18 points in defeat.
In the meantime Poprad forced the third game in their series against Kosice. Poprad celebrated a 78:71 home victory to level things at 1-1. Trailing by 3 points at the first break Poprad struck back in the third quarter. They won it 27:11 to head into the fourth term leading by 13 points. Kosice cut the margin but it was too late to save the game. Zuzana Brezaniova (167-G-87) fired 23 points for Poprad. Katarina Tetemondova (187-F-88) and Eva Kmetova (188-C-87) had 15 points each in the victory. Nikola Kovalova (168-G-89) responded with 19 points for Kosice.


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  SPAIN - Women  


Standings - LFB
LFB Standings
 1. Ros Casares 22-1 
 2. Halcon A.Per. 18-5 
 3. Rivas Ecopolis 17-6 
 4. Olesa 14-9 
 5. Mariana 14-9 
 6. San Jose 14-9 
 7. EBE Ibiza-PDV 13-11 
 8. Hondar.-Irun 11-12 
 9. Real C.Vigo 11-13 
 10. Cadi la Seu 8-15 
 11. Gran Canaria 5-18 
 12. Mann Filter 5-18 
 13. Extrugasa 5-18 
 14. Estudiantes 5-18 


Stats Leaders - LFB
Points Per Game
 Eshaya MURPHY
  San Jose
  (180-G-85)
  Avg: 20.6
 1. Murphy, San Jose20.6 
 2. Lyttle, EBE I.18.8 
 3. Valdemoro, Ros C.17.1 
 4. Price, Mariana17.0 
 5. Lovelace-T., Hondar.16.0 
 6. Kresovic, Gran C.15.4 
 7. Perovanovic, Gran C.15.1 
 8. Page, Mariana15.1 
 9. Thomas, Mann F.15.0 
 10. Vega, Maria.14.9 
Rebounds Per Game
 Sancho LYTTLE
  EBE Ibiza-PDV
  (193-C-83)
  Avg: 11.3
 1. Lyttle, EBE I.11.3 
 2. Page, Mariana10.3 
 3. Ble, Gran Canaria9.5 
 4. Snow, Halcon A.9.0 
 5. Turner, Mann F.8.7 
 6. De Souza, Ros C.8.5 
 7. Ujhelyi, Rivas E.8.1 
 8. Murphy, San Jose7.5 
 9. Lovelace-T., Hondar.7.5 
 10. Perovanovic, Gran.7.5 
Assists Per Game
 Silvia MORALES
  EBE Ibiza-PDV
  (170-G/F-79)
  Avg: 4
 1. Morales, EBE I.4.0 
 2. Dominguez, Halcon A.4.0 
 3. Bermejo, Rivas E.3.8 
 4. Aguilar, Ros C.3.7 
 5. Santos Luz, Hondar.3.6 
 6. Cruz, Olesa3.5 
 7. Price, Mariana3.3 
 8. Castillo, Mariana3.1 
 9. Montanana, Ros C.3.0 
 10. Revuelto, San Jo.3.0 
Steals Per Game
 Eshaya MURPHY
  San Jose
  (180-G-85)
  Avg: 2.9
 1. Murphy, San Jose2.9 
 2. Price, Mariana2.7 
 3. Valdemoro, Ros C.2.6 
 4. Palau, Ros Casares2.5 
 5. Lyttle, EBE I.2.4 
 6. Revuelto, San Jose2.1 
 7. Vesela, Ros Casares2.1 
 8. Santos Luz, Cadi l.2.0 
 9. Cruz, Olesa2.0 
 10. Bermejo, Rivas.2.0 
Blocks Per Game
 Olga PODKOVALNIKOVA
  Olesa
  (195-C-84)
  Avg: 1.4
 1. Podkovalniko., Olesa1.4 
 2. Lyttle, EBE I.1.3 
 3. De Souza, Ros C.1.2 
 4. Ble, Gran Canaria0.9 
 5. Bavendam, Hondar.-.0.9 
 6. Snow, Halcon A.0.9 
 7. Turner, Mann F.0.8 
 8. Riley, Rivas Ecopolis0.7 
 9. Holmes, EBE I.0.7 
 10. Pirsic, EBE.0.7 


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  SWEDEN - Women  


08 Stockholm makes first step to semifinals - by Eurobasket News
08 Stockholm Human Rights - Norrkoping Dolphins 82 - 72

08 Stockholm grabbed the first win in the battle for the semifinals against the Dolphins. The winner of this eightfinals best-of-three series will take on Solna Vikins in the semis. Martina Staalvant (175-G-89) stepped up for the hosts nailing 18 points. Nina Risto (187-F-85, agency: Rasmussen Services) and Jennie Thingwall (184-F-85) had 14 pts each, while Jillian Ingram (175-G-85, college: Georgia Tech) helped with 11 points. The Dolphins got 13 points from Marscilla Packer (175-G-86, college: Ohio St.). Petra Jacob (163-G, college: S.Alabama) had 12 and Helen Thorold (181-F-85) contributed with one points less. 08 Stockholm had much better beginning. Martina Staalvant and her teammates managed to make decent 21-15 lead after 10 minutes. The Dolphins woke up later, but it was not enough for any better than 48-43 at the half time. Third period was the crucial one yesterday. The hosts had above mentioned players in a game mood grabbing the first double-digit lead. During the last ten minutes the Dolphins were not able to treat seriously. The second game of the series is scheduled for March 28th. This time the host will be Norrkoping.

08 Stockholm: Martina Staalvant 18, Nina Risto 14, Jennie Thingwall 14, Jillian Ingram 11
Norrkoping Dolphins: Marscilla Packer 13, Petra Jacob 12, Helen Thorold 11


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  SWITZERLAND - Women  


Sdent Sierre and Neuchatel into the semis - by Eurobasket News
The quarterfinal action in LNA continued with four return games yesterday. Two teams sealed the series outcome with road victories.
Sdent Sierre became the first squad to reach the semifinal stage. They knocked down Helios Basket on the road to make it through. The first period just proved the worst fears of Helios fans as Sdent Sierre dominated and built a 22:12 lead into the first intermission. However the hosts had their moments in the second frame. They outscored the visitors 18:14 to trail by just 6 points at halftime. But it all went astray in the third stanza as Sdent Sierre limited the home side to 4 points and coasted to an insurmountable 27-point advantage before the fourth quarter. Sdent Sierre eased to overall win at the end. Maria Villarroel (174-G/F-78, college: Oklahoma) provided 20 points for the winners. Katrien Vercauteren (170-G-84, agency: LBM Management) added 15 points, while Lenka Zimova (198-C-83, college: Texas A&M) finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds for Sdent Sierre in an 81:46 success. Aleandra Brown (191-F/C-86) had 12 points for Helios Basket.
Neuchatel cruised past Pully 105:54 on the road to complete the sweep in the series.
In the meantime Riva Basket stayed alive against BBC Troistorrents beating them 71:60 at home court. Riva led by just two points after ten minutes but stretched the margin to 7 points at halftime. BBC stayed close throughout the second half but did not manage to change the course of the encounter and had to surrender at the end. Leslie Knight (185-F-86) fired 27 points and grabbed 9 boards for Riva Basket. Jessica Smith (183-F/C-85, college: Stony Brook) added 17 points and 14 rebounds in the winning effort. Lori Crisman (186-C/F-82, college: W.Michigan) tallied 29 points and 17 boards for BBC in defeat.
Fribourg also forced the decider as they held off Nyon 75:64 at home court.


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  U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - Women  


Richards named to All Mertor First team by Baltimore Sun - by David Edole
Akeema Richards
Western

The versatile senior closed out a fine career with four Baltimore City championships and four trips to the state Class 3A tournament. Richards, a 5-foot-8 guard who excelled at driving to the basket, scored 28 points in her final game, a 76-68 loss to Paint Branch in the state semifinals. She led the No. 5 Doves (20-7) with 13.2points a game and also averaged 5.9 rebounds, fourassists and 2.6 steals against a schedule that included six nationally ranked teams. With her athleticism and determination, she could spark her team with a big steal or a nifty move to the hoop. In a comeback win over top rival City, Richards scored 21 points, including 11 in a row in the second half, for a 51-48 win. She also hit a 12-foot jumper that brought the Doves within 63-62 midway through the fourth quarter against Paint Branch. A three-time first-team All-Metro selection, Richards signed early with West Virginia.


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  WNBA - Women  


Mercury trade 1st-round pick for point guard - by Eurobasket News
The Phoenix Mercury have acquired point guard Temeka Johnson (5'3''-G-82, agency: Ronsport, college: LSU) from the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for their first-round draft pick in 2010.

Since my first year in the WNBA, Temeka has been one of the top point guards in the league, said Mercury coach Corey Gaines. She will give us exactly what we need at the point guard position. She's a tenacious guard who has all of the assets of a floor leader. She plays both ends of the floor, can penetrate and distribute the ball.

Last season, Johnson appeared in 23 games for the Sparks, making eight starts, and averaged 4.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 17.1 minutes per game. In her three seasons with Los Angeles, the 5-foot-3 guard averaged 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 20.4 minutes per contest.

Originally selected by Washington with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 WNBA draft, Johnson was named the 2005 Rookie of the Year. She started all 34 games for the Mystics that season and posted averages of 9.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 28.6 minutes per game. The Louisiana State University product ranked second in the league in assists, dishing out a career-high 5.2 per game.

Courtesy of http://www.eastvalleytribune.com