EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 5/14/2009

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Men News

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  ASIAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS   


FIBA Asia Day 2 Round-Up: 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup - by Maarouf Mawloud
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): WABA champions Mahram of Iran started off slow, but steadily grew in strength and busted the enthusiastic bubble of Smart Gilas for a 98-87 to open their campaign in the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on a winning note on Wednedsay.
Smart Gilas, who defeated Sangmoo on the opening day, thus suffered their first defeat in Group A.
In another Group A game, Al Riyadi Beirut of Lebanon posted their second win in as many days, with a rather comfortable 97-86 result over Koreas Sangmoo alright, but were left with huge fears over spearhead Fadi El Khatibs availability for the rest of the Champions Cup.
In Group B action, Al Arabi of Qatar opened their campaign in style handing down a 88-63 defeat to Indias Young Challengers and Jordans Zain stopped Al Wasl of UAE in their tracks with a 84-65 win.
Mahrams American forward Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) who played a stellar role for Saba Mehr at the WABA qualifiers played all the 40 minutes of the game, and deservingly led the game in scoring as well as rebounds.
The 27-year-old former New Orleans Hornets player returned 42 points, with a 69% (16/23) success rate in field attempts, and collected 13 rebounds
Priest Lauderdale, the other NBA alumnus in Mahram ranks, played only the first half of the game, but during his presence proved tall enough for his 16 points and 11 boards.
Samad Nikkah, the captain of the Iran National Team at the Beijing Olympics last year, celebrated his return to the FIBA Asia mould with 19 points all of them in the second half and eight assists.
Smart Gilas, on the other hand, had an all-round attack.
Mark Barocca was the leader in scoring with 18 points and American import Chester Giles contributed 14 points as the Filipino developmental team kept their more fancied opponents on their toes for almost the entire first half.
Im very proud of the way my boys played, said Smart Gilas coach Toroman Rajkov, under whose training Iran won the 2007 FIBA Asia championship and subsequently the 2008 Olympics.
Im in no way disappointed with our performance. The boys showed we have the attitude to play big opposition without any fear, the Serbian said.
We were caught completely off guard by their speed. We had to make a couple of changes in our thinking, Mahram coach Mostafa Hashemi said about resting Lauderdale for the second half.
We are yet getting used to the condition. And their speed unsettled us. I hope we can learn from this and improve as the tournament progresses, Hashemi said.
Al Riyadi are the next opponents for both Mahram on the morrow and Smart Gilas, on Friday.
Riyadi, thus, have their task cut out.
Riyadi took to the court without their American center Christian Charles, who injured his knee during their opening-game win against Al Qadsia.
And the Lebanese clubs woes just compounded when El Khatib lasted all of 4:34, forced out of the rest of the game with an injured back.
Our team doctor has his hands full, Riyadi coach Fouad Abouchakra said.
Well take a rain check on Charles situation tomorrow morning to decide the further course of action in our planning.
Right now, its rather scary, the coach said about El Khatibs condition.
But Im confident that our boys wont go down without a fight, Abouchakra said.
Nate Johnson was the leader of the Riyadi pack with 37 points, with a staggering 87.5 % rate (14/16) in field attempts. The American also collected eight rebounds.
Ali Fakhreddine chipped in with 17 points and a game-high 10 boards.
Hee Jong Young led Sangmoos scoring as well rebounds with 20 points and nine collections. Jung Kyu returned 15 points.
Sangmoo take on Al Qadsia of Kuwait on Thursday.
A 17-0 spree that ran on either side of the third quarter break helped Zain to cut loose from an equal position and down Al Wasl.
Having ran close throughout hitherto, Ayman Idais scored in the lane to follow-up Mousa Awadis three-pointer to take Zain from 50-50 to close the third quarter 55-50 ahead.
Idais, on resumption, consolidated the Jordanian position with back-to-back three-pointers and Wesam Alsoos struck another long-ranger before American Roderick Riley succeeded.
Rileys compatriot Ontario Lett scored on the paint for Zain before Chukwunke Okusa converted one of the free-throws to break the barren run for Wasl.
Zains stranglehold on the fourth quarter continued as they outscored their opponents 29-15 in the final ten minutes to clinch their second successive win.
Lett led the scoring for Zain with 16 points and Idais 13, with a 3/3 record in three-pointers. Alsoos returned 12 points.
I think we won the game in defense, Zain coach Mario Palma said.
Herve Lamizana, who scored 37 points in Wasls win against Satria Muda on Tuesday was restricted to a mere six points.
Zain, next play hosts Satria Muda on Thursday.
Wasl, who had beaten Sangmoo on the opening day, take on Al Arabi.
Al Arabi made a triumphant return after 25 years they had last played in the 1984 edition at Ipoh with their import Joshua Jones leading the way with 37 points.
It was a nice way to lead into the tournament, Al Arabi coach David Ingham said.
Im happy we didnt lose focus midway. These games are always difficult. This is a testing time for the coach as well as the players.
Im really not worried about the result, said Young Challengers coach Aleksandar Bucan.
I wanted some specific improvements in some specific areas for some specific players. And that was achieved. Im happy with that, the Serbian added.

Scores

Group A
Mahram 98 (Jackson Vroman 42, Samad Nikkah 19, Priest Lauderdale 16) bt Smart Gilas 87 (Mark Barocca 18, Chester Giles 14, Dylan Ababou 11, Marnel Baracel 11). Quarterwise Scores: 16-24, 44-46, 72-63.
Al Riyadi Beirut 97 (Nate Johnson 37, Ali Fakhreddine 17, Brian Feghali 11) bt Sangmoo 86 (Hee Jong Yang 20, Jung Kyu Chun 15, Bong Kyu Sun 12). Quarterwise Scores: 30-17, 56-38, 77-66.

Group B
Al Arabi 88 (Joshua Jones 38, Khalid Abdi 19) bt Young Challengers 63 (Talwinderjit Singh 20, Jagdeep Singh 17). Quarterwise Scores: 21-12, 45-25, 88-63.
Zain 84 (Ontario Lett 16, Ayman Idais 13, Wesam Alsoos 12) bt Al Wasl 65 (Chukwunike Okusa 22, Jassim Muhammed 12). Quarterwise Scores: 19-17, 34-30, 55-50
S MageshwaranFIBA Asia


IRI / PHI Mahram wake up slow, but steady and strong - by Maarouf Mawloud

JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): WABA champions Mahram started off slow, but steadily grew in strength and busted the enthusiastic bubble of Smart Gilas for a 98-87 to open their campaign in the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on a winning note on Wednedsay.

Smart Gilas, who defeated Sangmoo on the opening day, thus suffered their first defeat.

American forward Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.), MVP at WABA qualifiers when he donned the Saba Mehr colors, played all the 40 minutes of the game, and deservingly led the game in scoring as well as rebounds.

The 27-year-old former New Orleans Hornets player returned 42 points, with a 69% (16/23) success rate in field attempts, and collected 13 rebounds

Priest Lauderdale, the other NBA alumnus in Mahram ranks, played only the first half of the game, but during his presence proved tall enough for his 16 points and 11 boards.

Samad Nikkah, the captain of the Iran National Team at the Beijing Olympics last year, celebrated his return to the FIBA Asia mould with 19 points all of them in the second half and eight assists.

Smart Gilas, on the other hand, had an all-round attack.

Mark Barocca was the leader in scoring with 18 points and American import Chester Giles contributed 14 points as the Filipino developmental team kept their more fancied opponents on their toes for almost the entire first half.

Smart Gilas led the first quarter 24-16 and the first half 46-44, but against the more experienced Mahram the Filipino youngsters fell short in terms of the figures on the scoreboard.

Im very proud of the way my boys played, said Smart Gilas coach Toroman Rajkov, under whose training Iran won the 2007 FIBA Asia championship and subsequently the 2008 Olympics.

Im in no way disappointed with our performance. They showed we have the attitude to play big opposition without any fear, the Serbian said.

In my opinion, Mahram is the team to beat for championship here. Therefore, keeping them under pressure for almost the entire game is an achievement for us.

Rajkovs received compliments from his Mahram counterpart, Mostafa Hashemi.

They really scared us. Full marks to Toroman, Hashemi said.

We were caught completely off guard by their speed. We had to make a couple of changes in our thinking, Hashemi said about resting Lauderdale for the second half.

We are yet getting used to the condition. And their speed unsettled us. I hope we can learn from this and improve as the tournament progresses, Hashemi said.

Scores

Mahram 98 (Jackson Vroman 42, Samad Nikkah 19, Priest Lauderdale 16) bt Smart Gilas 87 (Mark Barocca 18, Chester Giles 14, Dylan Ababou 11, Marnel Baracel 11). Quarterwise Scores: 16-24, 44-46, 72-63.

S MageshwaranFIBA Asia


QAT / IND Arabi off to a flying start - by Maarouf Mawloud
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Returning to the Champions Cup after a quarter of century, Al Arabi of Qatar got off to a flying start in the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup with a whirlwind 88-63 win over Young Challengers of India on Wednesday.

American Joshua Jones, playing his first competitive for the club top scored the game with 37 points.

Khalid Abdi was 8/10 in field attempts, including two three-pointers, and chipped in 19 points.

It was a nice way to lead into the tournament, Al Arabi coach David Ingham said.

Im happy we didnt lose focus midway. These games are always difficult. This is a testing time for the coach as well as the players.

Im really not worried about the result, said Young Challengers coach Aleksandar Bucan.

I wanted some specific improvements in some specific areas for some specific players. And that was achieved. Im happy with that, the Serbian added.

Scores

Al Arabi 88 (Joshua Jones 38, Khalid Abdi 19) bt Young Challengers 63 (Talwinderjit Singh 20, Jagdeep Singh 17). Quarterwise Scores: 21-12, 45-25, 88-63.FIBA Asia


LIB / KOR Riyadi down Sangmoo, but left with injury scares - by Maarouf Mawloud

JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Al Riyadi Beirut posted their second win in as many days, with a rather comfortable 97-86 result over Sangmoo alright, but were left with huge fears over spearhead Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) s availability for the rest of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup.

Riyadis worries in fact began last night, when their American center Christian Charles injured his knee during their opening-game win against Al Qadsia.

Charles didnt take to the court at all against Sangmoo. And coach Fouad Abouchakras woes just compounded when El Khatibs lasted all of 4:34, forced out of the rest of the game with an injured back.

Our team doctor has his hands full, Abouchakra said after the game.

Well take a rain check on Charles situation tomorrow morning to decide the further course of action in our planning.

Riyadi take on archrivals Mahram on the morrow and the Toroman Rajkov-trained Smart Gilas on Friday.

Right now, its rather scary, the coach said about El Khatibs condition.

But Im confident that our boys wont go down without a fight, Abouchakra said.

In fact, we have been plagued by injuries throughout the season. Yet we managed to win the Lebanese league and the Arab Championships. I hope the boys can show the same spirit here too.

Nate Johnson was the leader of the Riyadi pack with 37 points, with a staggering 87.5 % rate (14/16) in field attempts. The American also collected eight rebounds.

Ali Fakhreddine chipped in with 17 points and a game-high 10 boards.

Hee Jong Young led Sangmoos scoring as well rebounds with 20 points and nine collections. Jung Kyu returned 15 points.

Im happy we improved from yesterday, Sangmoo coach Lee Hun Jae said.

As a team we combined a lot better and I hope this continues.

Scores

Al Riyadi Beirut 97 (Nate Johnson 37, Ali Fakhreddine 17, Brian Feghali 11) bt Sangmoo 86 (Hee Jong Yang 20, Jung Kyu Chun 15, Bong Kyu Sun 12). Quarterwise Scores: 30-17, 56-38, 77-66.

S MageshwaranFIBA Asia


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  AUSTRALIA   


Tragical history tour: NBL tribute act plays on but music died long ago - by James Hoff

By Richard Hinds; Sydney Morning Herald ----------------------


MIDDAY yesterday: In Sydney, Basketball Australia chief executive Larry Sengstock is telling the media that BA will continue to parade the bones of the National Basketball League with a seven-team competition. Perhaps the best name for the interim league is Ringo. An NBL without Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be like the Beatles without John, Paul and George.

In Atlanta, LeBron James is scoring a disappointing 27 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers sweep the Hawks in the NBA conference semi-finals. Disappointing, because James knocked in 47 points in game three. Last player to disappoint like that was Michael Jordan.

In the prosperous NBA, Jordan's name is now most often raised in the context of the now earnest James-Jordan debate. In the now greatly diminished NBL circles, its mention brings only wistful smiles. Think of Jordan and you think of those heady days in the early 1990s when the NBL briefly rubbed shoulders with the big boys of Australian sport. When it sold out 15,000-seat stadiums, made back-page headlines and converted its still almost ridiculously healthy grassroots participation into a vibrant competition.

Some maintain it was Jordan who put the air in the Australian basketball bubble and his inevitable decline that caused it to burst so spectacularly that, as of yesterday, only Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, New Zealand, Perth, Townsville and Wollongong remained. The truth lies much deeper.

The demise of the NBL contains a lesson that applies equally to all of Australia's major sporting bodies. It is, as one man closely associated with the NBL said yesterday, about how you cannot let 'the lunatics run the asylum'.

The 'lunatics' of the National Basketball League were the club owners. Some were clever, capable and had the best interests of the game at heart. Some were self-interested, short-sighted and opportunistic. Some - like those who run clubs in every professional sport in the country - were a bit of both.

But, inevitably, when the conflicting interests of the owners collided at the boardroom table - or their shared aspirations conflicted with the good governance of the sport - mistakes were made. The NBL insider cites the knee-jerk decision of the owners to add the Singapore Slingers to the competition after Newcastle went out of business in order to ensure there were still the same number of money-making home games as just one example of how short-term imperatives created long-term headaches.

A great regret of those now struggling to keep the NBL on life support is that while other professional leagues in Australia were centralising power and taking decisions out of the hands of the clubs, the private owners grabbed the keys to basketball's car.

During its halcyon days, the NBL was run by a board split equally between league representatives and the clubs - before private ownership, often represented by state or local basketball officials with strong links to the game's healthy grassroots. By the early 2000s, the NBL board was run solely by 'participant representatives'.

Contrast this with the AFL, which in 1993 formalised a process begun in 1984 whereby the clubs voted themselves out of the boardroom. The commission-run league has subsequently thrived and the struggling clubs who feared they had signed their own death warrants have benefited from the game's strong corporate model.

The self-interest of club owners is not the only reason why the NBL has fallen apart. Boomer Mark Worthington points an accusing finger at 'the idiots' who have failed to act swiftly to save the league, although you figure the damage was done a long time ago.

Since the early '90s, sport has endured a litany of missed opportunities and false leads - particularly with the competition's long lost free-to-air television deals. The quality issue that football's A-League confronts - whereby exposure of fans to superior foreign leagues can make your own product seem second-rate - applies equally to basketball. And in the past 20 years, the competition for the sporting dollar has become more intense.

Sengstock, who is spearheading the belated attempt to run the NBL from the top down, acknowledged yesterday that BA 'needs to spend the time to get [a revamped NBL] right. Yet, he said, 'we don't have the capacity to take time off' - presumably for fear of losing what spectator and sponsor interest remains and keeping the players employed.

As it stands, the NBL's success just over a decade ago seems like a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. But they said that about Michael Jordan.



Seven team league to go ahead - by James Hoff
An Australian national league will go ahead in 2009 minus not only teams from the three largest cities in Australia but also minus the four most recent NBL champions. The last time a team to be included in the new league won a championship was the Perth Wildcats in 2002. Basketball Australia CEO Larry Sengstock is hopeful however that teams in Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane could be able to return to a truly national league by 2010. NBL players Chris Anstey (213-C-75), Mark Worthington (202-F-83, college: Metro St.) and John Rillie (195-G-71, college: Gonzaga) have all publicly criticised Basketball Australia, with Rillie particularly focussing on the lack of communication between BA and the NBL's players.

Sengstock recently stated 'We have an obligation to to our players and want to make sure we give them the opportunity to continue in their chosen field [as proffesional basketballers]'. Rillie's team the Townsville Crocodiles gave a submission to join the league by the chosen deadline as did two other Queensland-based clubs the Gold Coast Blaze and Cairns Taipans. The Wollongong Hawks will be the only New South Wales based club, while traditional rivals the Perth Wilcats and the Adelaide 36ers will also play in the modified league along with the New Zealand Breakers. The salary cap, season length and broadcast details of the one-off pseudo-national league have yet to be revealed and the immediate domestic future of some of the leagues best players such as Worthington, Anstey, David Barlow and Sam Mackinnon (197-F/G-76) are also unknown.

Many fans have called for the league to sit out for a season while it organises the direction it needs to take to re-engage the Australian public, however Larry Sengstock and NBL legend Andrew Gaze (201-G-65, college: Seton Hall) have both stated that this would be counterproductive in terms of keeping Australian basketball in the public eye.


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  BELGIUM   


Gent Transfer News - by Peter Buyse


Optima Gent is not wasting any time building their roster for next season. After the last home game of the season, a thrilling win over Oostende new general manager Erik Rogiers announced that the team has extended the contract of 4 of its players on the present roster. The signings of Domien Loubry (186-G-85), Senne Geukens (190-G-83) and Hans Van Langenhove (200-F-80) were expected since the team had already reached agreement with all 3. Today at the press conference after the Gent-Oostende game the GM announced the return of Monwell Randle (203-F/C-83) for next season. At present Randle is the nr 2 rebounder in the Belgian League. Earlier they had already announced that present assistant coach Filip Wintein is taking over from coach Rogiers as head-coach. In his playing days Wintein won 7 championships with Oostende.

The team also announced the addition of Stephane Moris (207-F/C-86) to the 2009-2010 roster, he is expected to sign his contract soon.

Gent also hopes to keep Belgian NT guard Roel Moors (188-G-78) and negotiations are underway.



Standings - Division I
D1 Standings
 1. Charleroi 25-6 
 2. M.Hainaut 23-8 
 3. Aalstar 19-12 
 4. Antwerp 17-14 
 5. Liege 14-17 
 6. Oostende 13-18 
 7. Leuven 13-18 
 8. Gent 9-22 
 9. Verviers-Pep. 7-25 


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  BOSNIA   


Nihad Djedovic shines in LEB Silver playoffs - by Eurobasket News
Bosnian National team member Nihad Djedovic (196-F-90) demonstrates pretty good performance in Spanish LEB Silver. His team Cornella advanced to playoffs from the fifth place in regular season with 18-12 record. The quarterfinals started last Friday and after 2 games Cornella has 2-0 lead.
In the first match Cornella outplayed Vigo 82-68 for 1-0. Nihad Djedovic was totally the best player in his squad delivering 20 points. He also grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists. Mamadou Samb (207-C/F-89) followed him with 16 pts and 6 rebs. Visitors had Timothy Frost (208-C-80, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: Utah) in a game mood with 23 pts and 11 boards.
In the second game Cornella again was the host and once again celebrated. This time it was 77-74. Bosnian prospect was a key player for his team with 22 points (5 triples). Dejdovic pulled down 6 rebounds beside that. Smith Tommy (207-F/C-80, college: Arizona St.) and Jaime Silva contributed with 19 pts each in Vigo.

Third game will be played at the Vigo's home court tomorrow. It will be the first chance for Cornella reach the semis. As a reminder, Nihad Djedovic is originally a player of Regal Barca and his is loaned to Cornella until the end of the season.


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  CHILE   


Stats Leaders - DIMAYOR
DIMAYOR 2009 Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. Heard,Val 27.5
2. Zuniga,Oso 20.4
3. Morton,Esp 19.2
4. Marechal,Ucon 19.0
5. Velasquez,Cas 18.6
Rebounds Per Game
1. Morton,Esp 13.3
2. Hubner,Sag 12.0
3. Briones,Lic 9.7
4. Salinas,Cas 9.6
5. Valencia,Bos 9.4
Assists Per Game
1. Ziegele,Bos 5.2
2. Carrasco,Oso 5.1
3. Werth,Lic 4.3
4. Oliver,Sag 4.0
5. Hernandez,Oso 4.0
Steals Per Game
1. Carrasco,Oso 3.0
2. Contreras,Uc 3.0
3. Marechal,Ucon 2.8
4. Valencia,Bos 2.8
5. Garrido,Llan 2.7
Blocks Per Game
1. Hubner,Sag 2.7
2. Marechal, Ucon 1.7
3. Chaine,Llan 1.3
4. Valencia,Bos 1.2
5. Prutzmann,Val 1.0
3FGP
1. Mendez, Llan 62.5%
2. Gonzalez, Esp 57.7%
3. Ulloa, Llan 53.8%
4. Osses, Ucon 50.0%
5. Campos, Llan 45.8%
Ranking
1. Gutman, Lic 1.25
2. Briones, Lic 0.88
3. Cisternas, Lic 0.86
4. Carrasco, Oso 0.77
5. Morton, Esp 0.71


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  CROATIA   


Standings - Ozujsko A1 League
A1 Standings
Group 1-8
 1. Cibona 12-1 
 2. Zadar 11-2 
 3. KK Zagreb 10-3 
 4. KK Split 7-6 
 5. Dubrovnik 4-9 
 6. Svjetlost 3-10 
 7. Cedevita 3-10 
 8. Sibenka 2-11 
Group 9-14
 1. Kvarner NR 6-4 
 2. Dubrava 6-4 
 3. Zabok 5-5 
 4. Alkar Sinj 5-5 
 5. Trogir 4-6 
 6. Borik 4-6 


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  CYPRUS   


Raca is the new National Coach of Lebanon - by Chris Mammides
The most succesfull Head Coach in the History of the Cyprus Basketball is officially the new Head Coach of the national team of Lebanon. Dragan Raca will lead the national team to the Panasian Games whish will take place later on this seazon. Dragan Raca started already the scouting in order to prepare as best as feasible the Natonal team and to repeat, if possible the great success he had a couple of years ago.

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  CZECH REPUBLIC   


NBL Round: 2 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Decin - Geofin 85-86
Geofin eked out a road win over Decin to ensure a 2-0 lead in the semifinal series. Corey Muirhead (198-F-83, college: W.Carolina) came up with 23 points, 7 boards and 6 assists for Geofin. Emanuel Ubilla provided 19 points for the visitors. William Hatcher responded with 25 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds in the loss.

Prostejov - Nymburk 69-81
The Winner of the Regular Season Nymburk had a road 69:81 win over Prostejov for 2-0 Semifinal lead. Arthur Lee (185-G-77, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: Stanford) top-scored for the winners with 19 points and Sokolovsky Ladislav collected 16 points and 12 rebounds. Miller Jason ended up with 24 points and 12 boards in the losing effort.


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  FINLAND   


KORISLIIGA: Transfer news - by Rauno Hurmalainen

Finnish G Roope Suonio (176-G-82) is coming back home to Lahti (YMCA Lahti) after playing the last five seasons in three Finnish teams: PuHu (Vantaa), Team Componenta (Karkkila) and Kouvot (Kouvola). Last season Suonio averaged 10,2 ppg and 1,7 apg in Kouvola. Suonio and YMCA Lahti signed a 2-year-contract.
YMCA Lappeenranta has re-signed with three Finnish players. Jouko Jarvinen (188-G-87) (5,0 ppg - 3,6 rpg), Tuukka Kulha (193-F-85) (6,5 ppg - 2,3 rpg) and Aleksi Koskinen (181-G-92) (2.9 ppg - 0,8 rpg) will continue on YMCA LPR roster.
G Roope Ahonen (186-G-90) (16,0 ppg - 2,5 apg in I-division) will not return back to Torpan Pojat (Helsinki), but stays in his real home town Salo and belongs to Vilpas roster as Salo is the newcomer in Top League. German Coach Philip Dejworek will start his third season as the Head Coach of Vilpas.

Karhu (Kauhajoki), another newcomer on top level, will be coached by American Greg Gibson also next 2009-10 season. Gibson will start his seventh season as Team's Head Coach. I-division best Finnish player SG Roni Leimu (189-G-82) (17,6 ppg - 3,3 rpg - 1,7 apg) has re-signed with Kauhajoki. The contract is model 2+1 years.



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


Regular season is over, Paris-Levallois is No.1 - by Eurobasket News
Bourg - Quimper 109-70
Bourg blasted the last ranked Quimper 109-70 finishing the regular season on third place with 23-11 record. Terrance Johnson (196-G-82, college: Cal.Baptist) top-scored in victory with 20, while Charles-Henry Bronchard and Pele Paelay delivered 17 points each. Paelay had 8 rebounds and 6 boards beside that. Moses Sonko answered with 16 pts and 7 boards for Quimper, who dropped to NM1 (5-29).

Poitiers - St-Etienne 74-70
Poitiers outsmarted Saint-Etienne at home for 26-8 record (second place). Even 10 days ago the hosts secured position number 2 before the playoffs. Rasheed Wright (196-F-80, college: ODU) stepped up with 18, Pierre-Yves Guillard had 16 pts and 9 rebs, while Kenny Younger added 10 pts and 11 boards. Eric Joldersma had 21 points and 7 rebs in loss. Saint-Etienne advanced to playoffs from the 8th place (19-15).

Nantes - Le Portel 83-71
19-15 (7th place, playoffs) for Nantes and 11-23 (16th place) for Le Portel in Pro B regular season. John Williamson (198-F-86, college: Cincinnati) shined with 19, while Cedric Ferchaud helped with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Ljubomir Avramovic exploded on the other side - 27 points and 15 rebounds.

Antibes - Maurienne 84-82
Yann Mollinari (188-G-75, agency: ANYPEX) led the scorers in Antibes last night with 16 points. Franck Tchiloemba was behind him with 13 pts and 5 rebs. In Maurienne, Rashard Sullivan netted 19 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Both teams entered to the last round with 15-18 record and they stay out of playoffs.

Boulazac - St.Vallier 89-83
Ronnie Taylor (188-G-81, agency: Court Side, college: NC-Greensboro) and Jonathan Aka led the hosts combining 37 points. Lavar Simmons followed them with 17 pts and 7 boards. Cedric Melicie and Jason Jamerson responded with 38 pts in loss (together). Boulazac 13-21 (14th place), Saint-Vallier 12-22 (15th place).

Charleville - Nanterre 89-86
Charleville goes to playoffs from the 6th place (20-14), while Nanterre finished the season on position No.9 with 16 wins. Frederic Minet (187-G-81) netted 19, while Chris Davis and Xavier Corocine helped Charleville with 16 pts apiece. Nanterre got double-double from Jermaine Dearman, 21 pts and 12 rebs.

St.Quentin - Clermont 84-72
Shaun Fein (191-G-78, college: Georgia Tech) was on fire in the winning squad last night scoring 26 points (also had 8 as). Mario Porter delivered 21 and grabbed 5 rebs. Benjamin Rey contributed with 15 pts and 6 boards in defeat. Saint-Quentin 9-25 (17th place), Clermont 23-11 (slipped from 3rd to 4th place).

Paris-Levall. - Limoges 72-70
Paris-Levallois is the regular season champion in Pro B with 28-6 record. Limoges also goes to playoffs, but from the 5th place with 21-13. Jimmal Ball (178-G-78, college: Akron) scored 18 and Wilfrid Aka netted 12 points in victory. In loss, Darnell Hinson drained 24.

Brest - Evreux 79-73
Brest finished regular season on position No. 10 with 16-18, while Evreux is the 13th ranked team with 14-20. Both squads stay out of playoffs. James Mathis (199-F/C-84, agency: Court Side, college: Niagara) and Luc-Arthur Vebobe drained 44 points for the hosts. Visitors got 15 points Aaron Cel.


Standings - ProA
ProA Standings
 1. ASVEL 22-8 
 2. Orleans 21-9 
 3. Le Mans 20-10 
 4. Nancy 20-10 
 5. Roanne 19-11 
 6. Gravelines 17-13 
 7. Chalon 16-14 
 8. Strasbourg 16-14 
 9. Cholet 15-15 
 10. Vichy 13-17 
 11. Hyeres-Toulon 13-17 
 12. Dijon 11-19 
 13. Rouen 11-19 
 14. Le Havre 10-20 
 15. Besancon 9-21 
 16. Pau 7-23 


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  FYR MACEDONIA   


Macedonian NT will participate at Efes Cup - by Eurobasket News
Macedonian NT will travel to Ankara in August to take participation in this years Efes Cup. From August 26th until 30th, Macedonia will face Latvia and Great Britain. If they pass the group their potential opponents could be Turkey, Croatia or Germany. This will be a great test for Macedonia who prepares for the upcoming European Championship in Poland. It was the first idea for Macedonian Federation to organize the Tournament in Ohrid. However they could not wait anymore on Serbian federation to confirm their participation so they decided to accept the invitation from Turkish Federation. Macedonia NT Head Coach, Jovica Arsic still hopes that the free dates between August 16th and 18th will be used to get more friendly games. Currently the possible opponents for that period could be Slovakia and possibly Crvena Zvezda from Belgrade. Arsic would like to arrange as many as possible control games which will enable him to prepare his time so they reach optimal form for the Championship in Poland.
Macedonian NT qualified for European Championship after being better than Portugal, Latvia and Estonia. They have high hopes for this year Championship as they hope to reach at least Quarterfinals. They are a fairly balanced team consisting of players who play mostly aboard. During qualification their main three players were Vrbica Stefanov (188-G-73, agency: Interperformances), Todor Gecevski (209-C-77, agency: Interperformances) and Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.). They were leading scorers during qualification averaging around 13 points per game each. They also received help from Pero Antic and Vlado Ilievski (190-G-80, agency: World Sport Agency). For European Championship Macedonia is drawn in group along with Greece, Croatia and Israel.


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  GERMANY   


Dru Joyce(Ratiopharm Ulm) Playoff Thoughts - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Dru Joyce (183-G-85, college: Akron) is a 24 year old 183cm point guard playing his second season for Ratiopharm Ulm. He won three Ohio state championships with St Marys together with Lebron James and Romeo Travis. The team posted a record of 103-5 in his four years and he averaged 11ppg and 8apg in his four years. He then played at The University of Akron from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he averaged 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 41.3%, 3Pts: 39.6%, FT: 65.6%. Last season for Ratiopharm Ulm, he averaged in 34 games: 9.5ppg, 2.0rpg, Assists-2(4.4apg), 2FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 72.8%. Currently he is averaging 10,1ppg, 1,9rpg and 4,6apg. He is preparing for the Quarterfinal playoff series with The Telekom Baskets Bonn.






Your first playoffs in Germany. How excited are you about playing Bonn?




Hey Miles, I am excited about my first playoffs, I always hear about how the level of play and intensity picks up in the playoffs and I am looking forward to competing





You got killed in Bonn but won at home. What can we expect from this series?




We split during the season, I dont know what to expect in a series of five. You have to stay present in the moment and you cant think of the past and you cant look ahead.






The PG duel between you and EJ Rowland will be very interesting. Could the disruption of either point guard be vital for either team winning the series?





There is no battle at one position individually, but you can have a great game and still lose, for us to win I will need to play well and the same for him.





Mike Taylor lives Basketball 24/7. Has he turned into a different man since Saturday? I mean its playoff time, his first. Has anything changed with him in the last days?






With any first comes anticipation and some nerves, so he definitely hasnt been getting any sleep...lol... He is focused on preparing us for the series





Bonn have great role players and very athletic guys with Frazier, Yarbrough, Bowmann etc. How will you want to stop Bonn on offense? A zone dont work for 40 minutes?







They will be tough to stop individually, but as a team we must play defense as if we were connected by a string





How has the development been with young German Per Guenter? What has he improved the most?







Per Guenther, I think Rookie of the Year says enough





What are your picks for the Frankfurt-Oldenburg, Bamberg-Gottingen and Berlin-Paderborn series?








As far as the other series go, the better team over that period of games will win...I cant upset people by picking winners Miles...lol...who knows what is in store for the 2nd round.











Your pick Lebron James-Boston Celtics? hahaha Let me guess Lebron 4-2 vs Celtics. I am speculating Boston beats Orlando.








Cavs v. Celtics/Magic.... either the Celtics or Magic will be lucky if they see a game 6. 'Akron is in the Building'






What was the last DVD that you saw?








I watched Casino starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci



Alba Berlin-Paderborn Baskets Playoff Preview - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

Alba Berlin- Paderborn Baskets 3-0





Alba Berlin is seeking their second BBL title in a row and ninth in 13 years as they prepare to defend their 2008 BBL title against the feisty Paderborn Baskets, who slipped in in the last seconds against Gottingen with a 72-71 win. Berlin management will never admit it, but they were surely doing their own innovative Albatros dances as they found out that their opponent would be The Paderborn Baskets and not The Artland Dragons. This is a perfect 2009 Basketball version of David and Goliath. The big mighty Alba Berlin players with more than 400 NBA games experience against The less experienced Paderborn Baskets, who make their first trip to the playoffs and only have two real experienced playoff players with ex Skyliner Stefano Garris (200-G/F-79), who won 4 titles with Berlin and Chris Ensminger (209-C-73, agency: LimeLight, college: Valparaiso) who won two BBL titles with Bamberg and is making his 10th consecutive BBL playoff appearance.

Alba Berlin won the BBL season title with a 26-8 record, while The Paderborn Baskets finished the season with a 18-16, due to a strong run in February 2009 winning five games in a row. Alba Berlin had a strong season reaching the final 16 in the Euroleague and are on course of winning another BBl title. The Paderborn Baskets had to fight injuries and the finance crisis with the club, and the whole uncertainty of the team seemed to have given the team new energy and brought the team a lot closer together.

Alba Berlin was able to win the season series against the Paderborn Baskets. Paderborn offered a lot of resistance at home, but were out scored in the second half 44-32 and losing 74-68. Alba Berlin was led by Julius Jenkins (187-G-81, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Georgia Southern) with 16 points and five assists as five Berlin players reached double figures. Paderborn out rebounded Alba Berlin 46-27, but if they would of shot a bit better and had less turnovers, then they might of had a chance. Paderborn shot only 33% form the field, while Alba Berlin shot 50%. Paderborn was a bit wild registering 17 turnovers. In the return game in the O-2 arena, Alba Berlin gave Paderborn an unfriendly welcome winning easily 82-65. Berlin were led by Americans Casey Jacobsen (198-G/F-81, agency: Octagon, college: Stanford) and Julius Jenkins with 15 points a piece. Paderborn was already trailing 44-28 at half time. Alba Berlin was near unstoppable posting a 16-1 record in the new modern O-2 arena losing only to Bamberg 72-62. Paderborn might want to imagine the Maspern Halle while their playing or even have some good luck charm from their gym for luck, because they will need much of it in Berlin. Paderborn once again controlled the rebounds 37-31, but shot poorly again with 34%. The Paderborn defense was unable to hinder Alba Berlin from shooting 51%. Berlin also won easily in cup play in Paderborn.

Alba Berlin has the current strongest 14 man roster in the world. A roster contains 12 players, but Berlin has the double luxury to choose from a few more. Many critics have argued if the 2008-2009 Alba Berlin roster is their strongest of all time? When going down the Alba Berlin roster, you can become dizzy by all the talent. Alba Berlin have two starting five teams. The team is led by American 2008 BBL MVP Julius Jenkins(14,6ppg, 1,9rpg, 4,2apg), who was injured for a long time and was for a time coming from the bench ended the season as top scorer. He is a great clutch time shooter that has upped his assist average through more knowledge of the opponents defense. American Immanuel McElroy (193-G-80, college: Cincinnati)(10,7ppg 4,9rpg, 3,2apg) is one of the most complete players and belongs to the top players in the BBL. American Ansu Sesay (206-C/F-76, college: Mississippi)(10,6ppg, 4,2rpg) who was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1998 has had a solid season in a deep roster scoring in double figures 20 times and has a very feared three pointer (49,5%). American Casey Jacobsen, who played many years in the NBA is averaging 10,1ppg, 2,7rpg and 1,2apg. He was the go to guy in the 2007 Bamberg title run, but in Berlin is just a role player, but very dangerous shooter who can decide a game at any time. Aleksandar Nadjfeji (203-F-76) is averaging 9,5ppg, 3,2rpg, and 1,7apg. He is a strong player inside and sharp passer for a forward. He has gotten less minutes(not more than 18 min in last 12 games) down the stretch and only scored in double figures in two of his last 12 games. Blagota Sekulic (209-F/C-82, agency: FCM) is averaging 9,3ppg and 4,3 rpg. He came some months ago to compensate the loss of injured Patrick Femerling (216-C-75, college: Washington). He has done a solid job scoring and rebounding in an average of 17 min. American Rashad Wright (189-G-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Georgia) who was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 2004 is averaging 8,0ppg, 3,3rpg, and 2,3apg. He has missed the last seven games, but had a nice comeback against Oldenburg scoring 13 points. American Adam Chubb (207-F/C-81, college: Pennsylvania) is averaging 6,9ppg and 3,2rpg. He is a very strong finisher, but with less playing time, because of the deep roster, his playing time has suffered. German National player Steffen Hamann (194-G-81), who won the BBL title twice with Bamberg is averaging 6,3ppg, 1,9rpg and 1,7apg. Despite less minutes, he remains a fierce defender and solid point guard that can hit the open three pointer. German title record holder Patrick Femerling was injured for most of season and may return in the playoffs. Dragan Dojcin (204-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) is averaging 2,8ppg and 1,8rpg. He is another great role player that would start for most other BBL teams. German National players Johannes Herber (197-G-83, agency: Pro One Sports, college: W.Virginia) and Philip Zwiener (198-F-85, agency: Court Side) have their place reserved on the bench, which robs Basketball Germany of seeing these fine players develop.

The Paderborn Baskets have a routine nine man roster that has been shaped smartly by long time coach Douglas Spradley (agency: LimeLight ). The leading scorer is American Nathan Peavy (203-F-85, agency: LimeLight, college: Miami, OH) who is averaging 13,7ppg and 5,3rpg. He missed ten games, but since his return, he has become the number one go to guy and has helped Chris Ensminger under the boards. American Steven Esterkamp (198-F-81, college: Ohio) is averaging 13,1ppg, 3,7rpg and, 2,1apg. He has been in Paderborn since 2004 and can call Paderborn his second home. He even went on the streets to help sell tickets as the team was in their worst period of their finance crisis. He can be a deadly shooter. The biggest signing in the history of Paderborn could be debated between Timothy Black (178-G-81, agency: LimeLight, college: Barton (NC)) and Chris Ensminger. The ex Bambegr center has been a big part of the team success as he is averaging 11,1ppg, 9,6rpg and 1,5apg and continues to show that his body is more like a 28 year old then a 35 year old. American Lavelle Felton (193-G-79, agency: Court Side, college: Louisiana Tech) is averaging 10,4ppg, 3,1rpg and 2,4apg. He is a scoring point guard and has had an up and down season, but he can score in bunches if needed and has scored in double figures in 17 games. American Steven Wright (191-G-83, agency: LimeLight, college: N.Kentucky) is a solid combo guard who is averaging 8,1ppg, 2,9rpg and 2,0apg. He has scored in double figures in 17 games. American Bryant McAllister (191-G-84, agency: LimeLight, college: Duquesne) is averaging 7,7ppg, 1,7rpg and 1,7apg. He is a strong shooter coming from the bench and showed with his 23 point outburst against Dusseldorf. German Marius Nolte (206-C-81) is averaging 6,0 ppg and 3,0 rpg and is the heart and soul of the team as he has been with the club since 2001. He gives added stability under the boards and can swish the mid distance jumper. Ex Deutsche Bank Skyliner Stefano Garris is averaging 4,7ppg, 2,0rpg and 1,4apg. He returned home this season and was able to play all 34 games, something he was unable to do in Frankfurt where he only managed 52 games in three seasons. American Matt Terwilliger (206-F/C-85, agency: 540 Sports, college: Ohio St.) who was able to play one on one against Portland Trailblazer Greg Oden (213-C-88, college: Ohio St.) at Ohio State is averaging 3,0ppg 1,4rpg. He averages nine minutes per game and helps under the boards.

Something has to go drastically wrong for Alba Berlin if they are to lose this series to Paderborn. Paderborn has to hope that The Basketball god is not only present in their Maspern Halle, but also try to find a way to get around the glitz of the O-2 arena and bring some indirect distraction to the Berlin game. First and foremost, Alba Berlin has the experienced players and have played Euroleague. Second Berlin has the most talented and deepest team in the BBL. Alba Berlin play very disciplined Basketball and very structured. Paderborn will play with 180% and hope that Alba Berlin will underestimate them, but that wont happen. Paderborn needs to find a way to disrupt the rhythm of Alba Berlin. Paderborn did a good job controlling the boards in their two encounters. What people tend to forget is that Alba Berlin shoot so well at 52%, that they will more than likely have less offensive rebounds than most teams. Blagota Sekulic definitely boosts Alba Berlin down low and the return of Femerling could present problems for Paderborn down low. Paderborn has to shoot better than their 36% from the field which they averaged in their pervious two games against Alba Berlin. The Paderborn Baskets will be very motivated especially Chris Ensminger as it could be his last appearance to the big BBL dance, or Stefano Garris who will want to show his ex team that he can still play or Marius Nolte who will be playing his first playoffs. It would be a beautiful fairy tale, if Paderborn could achieve the totally unexpected with an upset, but it would be more likely for pigs to fly out of the White House in Washington D.C than for an upset to happen.



Grothe stays with Phoenix Hagen - by Daniel Poerschke
Matthias Grothe (200-F-78) will stay another year with Phoenix Hagen, who just received their licencse to play in the BBL next year. Grothe was the first player to sign with Phoenix five years ago and was their team capitan ever since. The 31 year old forward never missed a 2. Bundesliga game for Hagen and is also the clubs youth coordinator now.

In the 1. Regionalliga West NOMA Iserlohn Kangaroos lost two key players to league rival Dortmund in Tim Schonborn (191-G-90) and Christian Behrends (200-F-89). Both youngsters joined the Kangaroos two seasons ago and played crucial roles in Iserlohns 3rd place finish this season.


Tuebingen: Perovic promoted to Head Coach - Ongoren leaves - by Moritz Korff
The club officials of the Walter Tigers Tuebingen (1. Bundesliga) have decided not extend the contract with their Head Coach Tolga Ongoren. Though especially the fans wanted the Turk to stay, the financial situation of the club did not allow to offer the 45-year-old a new contract. Ongoren is going to be replaced by Igor Perovic who will be promoted to the Head Coaching job after serving one year as an Assistant to Ongoren. The 35-year-old Serb spent three seasons on the Tuebingen roster as a player and hung up his sneakers in 2008.


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


One on one interview with Bane Prelevic - by Chris Mammides
Eurobasket interviewed Branislav Prelevic the legent of PAOK!

Eurobasket.com interviewed the great veteran player Branislav Prelevic in order to solve all these behind the scenes news in regards to the player and PAOK. The overall interview took place in Panorama on Sunday morning with Bane being very open and ready to answer all of our questions without any fear and with deep honesty. One of the question had to do with the current situation of the veteran player and the overall story with CSKA Sofia
Eurobasket.com: Bane, firstly I want to thank you for the time spent for us, please tell us what is the story with the Bulgarian club as there are many stories in the market.
Prelevic: Mr. Stergiopoulos and I got into very weird situation as we received a club with many problems, especially financial wise and in very short time we were able to solve all the problems that the team had, we created a strong team consist of Bulgarians, Serbians and Greeks and we were more ready than ever to do a fresh start without any problems and with all the financial problems solved, unfortunately due to the Bulgarian federation and its decisions our president decided to take the team off the league with the support of all the CSKA fans, until further notice. The team in any case was, is and will be ready to participate as long as the Federation changes its attitude towards the team. Our players are getting paid normally, just to practice with the team, and unless they dont receive any other offer from a team abroad to play (actively) they are free to go. Mr. Stergiopoulos will remain as a president of the team.
Eurobasket.com: What about all these rumors with Bane and PAOK, please inform us about everything as there are many rumors in the market?
Prelevic: A month ago, i received two phone calls the one was from the veterans of PAOK and the other one was from Mr. Vangelis Galatsopoulos, basically to come in Thessaloniki and help PAOK by leading KAE in a new era as at this stage the team has no management and no future. That was the initial communication, as you know Im currently working in Bulgaria together with Mr. Stergiopoulos so I had to leave all my businesses (athletic businesses) to come, as promised to help the team of PAOK by freezing all my jobs in Bulgaria with the only promise that I will not be a part of a scheme but of the overall PAOK as the team needs to be united and not having any schemes.
Eurobasket.com: And then what?
Prelevic: When I arrived a month ago, I realize that things were even worst, not only there was no management, not only there were not any guaranties as there was a great financial issue with the federation and unless the specific amount is paid the team doesnt practically exist and has no right in participate in the new league the coming season. Further to that, I realize that there is no unanimity within the management team and that there are three unofficial schemes to run for the management of KAE, (officially there is only one). I spoke with Mr. Dimokratis Papadopoulos and told him that I can help as I freeze all my responsibilities in Bulgaria to help PAOK, a team that is and was always in my heart. I know that both Spyros and Papadakis can help the team. I, then spoke with Mr. Patridas and Mr Hatzispyrou and told them that I will try with all my forces to lead the management without any schemes and that Im counting to their help and participation too, they agreed and they told me that in a couple of days would have been calling me. That was three weeks ago, since then I hear nothing from nobody. A week ago I saw in the newspapers that Mr. Patridas and Mr. Hatzispyrou do not agree with me and that they will create their own scheme and they will run for the presidency. As I promised to Mr. Dimokratis Papadopoulos that I will help the team I talked to Dr. Samaras, another friend of mine, that is dealing in business the last 25 years, to 2 veterans and my self, and created a scheme of five to be and act as a temporary solution to solve the main problems of PAOK and to run the team in the new season.
Eurobasket.com: And then what? Do you invite Mr. Drosos (the ex president) in a dialogue?
Prelevic: The scheme that I mentioned will act on a temporary basis to solve the huge problems of the team and help PAOK to survive in this difficult situation. In regards to Drosos of course I will invite him for a dialogue, all people are invited, and all PAOKs friends are welcome! There is no luxury to be picky, everybody can help, PAOK needs everybody! There is no space for schemes, PAOKs friends must unify.
Eurobasket.com: How long can Mr. Stergianopoulos waits for Prelevic in Bulgaria?
Prelevic: Mr. Stergianopoulos, told me that there is no problem in regards to time, as long as it will take, is ok with him, but I need to produce something not just having my holidays in Thessaloniki, if you know what I mean!
Eurobasket.com: Is Mr. Stergianopoulos able and ready to help PAOK?
Prelevic: Yes, Mr. Stergianopoulos can help but he needs to know that there is a business plan, and serious job behind it to back it up, he can also invite his business friends (very serious people with lots of power) to help the situation, considering that there is a good management and that there is a vision and a mission for a historic team like PAOK.
Eurobasket.com: The current head coach, Kalafatakis stated that will not be waiting for ever.
Prelevic: First, there is the case of the survival, guaranties, transactions and problems with federation and then the coaches and the players comes in a second fate, that is the reality!
Eurobasket: Are you going to discuss once more with Mr. Patridas and Mr. Hatzispyrou?
Prelevic: Yes, they are very good guys and they can definitely help the team, no matter if they may disagree with me, I consider them being very important and vital asset for the club. Unfortunately, in order to manage a club is not something that you can learn in school, it comes with the experience. I need to have by me people that I know and trust and people with experience so as to have more possibilities to save PAOK as fast as possible.
Eurobasket: Say that KAE is giving you the green light to proceed without having any elections but under a specific scheme, would it be the case that an entrepreneur will not participate as he doesnt like the scheme. What would you do especially if Mr. Patridas, Mr. Hatzispirou and the other blocks will no support you, are you going to continue fight for PAOK?
Prelevic: YES I will fight until the end as I gave a promise to Mr. Papadopoulos.
Eurobasket.com: Did you have any meetings with Zagorakis management?
Prelevic: Unfortunately not as this is a very crucial period for them trying to gain a position in the Champions league. But as Zagorakis model worked very well, Im planning on discussing with them as on how they could be of help.
Eurobasket.com: Are you going to ask for help somewhere else too?
Prelevic: I will not ask for help I will ask for collaborations, help is once of and on an ad hoc basis, collaborations have bigger and better life cycle.
Eurobasket.com: We would like to wish you all the best and hopefully we will talk very soon once more
Prelevic: Thanks a lot for the interview


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  GUATEMALA   


D-Team sweeps series 2-0 over Elite Sport and advances to the Finals - by Victor Padilla
In a dominant fashion, D-Team ended the reign of the champions of Liga Metro, Elite Sport, by defeating them 94 to 91, sweeping their semifinal series and earning a spot in the quest for the Championship of Liga de Apertura 2009. Once again, D-Team found its offensive strength in the hands of Heberth Rodriguez (185-G-82), Fernando Marroquin (180-G-81) and Dangelo Vaughn (189-G/F-82), who outperformed their opponents in most of the game and left the former champions out of rhythm and trailing D-Team at one time by 20 pts. Although the final score reflects only a 3-point difference, the winners, who appear at the finals for the first time in their history, proved in every intermediate, accumulated quarter score (18-14, 43-38 and 66-56) that it was their moment, their time. So, Congratulations to Luis Hernandez, D-Team's recently appointed coach, for these triumphs - 3 in a row against Elite Sport! This success comes indeed with no surprise, when their 7-game winning streak is considered. Now with the Finals at hand, where they will face SAT-Cybertech, a favorite to the title to many, D-Team has to prove that their motivation, hard work and momentum can be sustained to the end, so to claim their First Championship at the highest level basketball league in the country. With the help of: D-Team Press Office.

SAT-Cybertech also advances to the Finals by defeating USAC - by Victor Padilla
With SAT-Cybertech's 100-91 victory over USAC (2-0 overall at the series), the Finals at Liga Metro Torneo de Apertura 2009 are already set. Oscar Salguero (196-F-87), with 29 points, led his experienced team to their third shot at the Championship in a row. For the losing cause, Miguel Gonzalez scored 39 points. At the Finals, SAT-Cybertech, still undefeated this year, will meet D-Team, a young, talented group of players that have already routed out last year's champions in their own semifinal series. The format of competition will call a champion for the team that wins 2 out of 3 possible games, starting Sunday, May 17, 2009 at Gimnasio de la Universidad Popular.

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  HOLLAND   


Eiffel Towers joins Amsterdam in the big final - by Eurobasket News
Eiff.Towers - Hanzev.Cpt 84-69
Eiffel Towers outplayed Hanzevast Capitals in fifth crucial game of the semifinals ending the series with 3-2. It means that the team of HC Don Beck joined Amsterdam in the big Eredivisie final. Dean Oliver (180-G-78, college: Iowa) and Kees Akerboom (200-F-83, agency: Court Side) led the scorers last night with 18 points each. Anthony Richardson had 2 points less, plus 6 boards. On the other side, the team from Groningen got 15 points from Chaz McCrommon (197-F/G-82, agency: Court Side, college: Robert Morris) and 14 from Julian Khazzouh (209-C-86) (7 rebs). The first game of the final series is scheduled for tomorrow and Amsterdam will be the host.


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  HUNGARY   


The semifinals began - by Tamas Deri
Both teams could win the first home game after a lost first half. In Pecs Thomas Kelley (188-G-76, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: Michigan St.) had an amazing game with 31 points and also hungarian guard, Krisztian Wittmann (185-G-85, agency: FCM) scored 19. On the other side only Kalman (20 points) and Ciric (24 points) played as expected.
Even the team of Atomeromu SE decided the game only in the second half (52-32), lead by the foreigners. Nick Williams (192-G-83, agency: Beo Basket, college: Cincinnati) scored 20 points, Charles Gosa (202-F-77, agency: Arik Krayn Services, college: N.Mexico St.) had 18. Michael English (194-F/G-82, college: UMKC) was very close to a tripple-double with 18 points, 14 assists and 8 rebounds.
Game 2 will be played on Saturday.

Atomeromu SE FALCO-SZOVA KC Szombathely 89-73
(22-22, 15-19, 28-16,24-16)
Paks, Att.: 1000, Referees: Cziffra Cs., Kapitany G., Bognar T.
Paks: Nick WILLIAMS 20/9, Michael ENGLISH 19, Meszaros 7/3, Charles GOSA 18, Csaplar-Nagy 5/3, Johnson 10, Gulyas 7, Kiss Zs. 5/3, Coach: Branislav Dzunic
FALCO: Laszlo Kalman (186-G-72, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 20/6, Hudson 2, Andrija Ciric (199-G-80, agency: Beo Basket) 24/12, Perincic 15/3, Horvath Z. 3/3, Vrsaljko 6, Lakatos, Pankar 3/3, Borszeki, Vida, Coach: Srecko Sekulovic

Pecsi VSK-PANNONPOWER Zalakeramia ZTE KK 84-68
(25-23, 15-18, 28-11, 16-16)
Pecs, Att.: 3500, Referees: Foldhazi T., Hegedus T., Farkas G.
Pecs: Thomas KELLEY 31/9, Krisztian WITTMANN 19/15, Denes G. 4, Toth N. 8/6, Bencze 5, Kapov 8/3, Aleksic 6/3, Czigler 3, Hosszu, Lepsenyi, Kovacs, Coach: Stojan Ivkovic
ZTE: Louis Hinnant (193-G-84, college: Boston Coll.) 17/6, Watson 10/3, Kaman 7/3, Jones 9/3, Srdjan Helbich (205-F/C-76) 15, Trepak 2, Baki 4/3, Simon L. 4, Gaspar, Toth, Coach: Volgyi Peter


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  IBL   


BLAST HOSTS TEAM FROM JAPAN - by John Gary
The Holland Blast will welcome a team from the Far East this week to the Holland Civic Center. The Japan Tornadoes are scheduled to play two IBL games against the Blast thursday and sunday at the Holland Civic Center.'It should be a lot of fun for the players and our fans,'said Blast playercoach Duane Bosma. Thursday game will tip at 7:15pm,while sundays will start at 5:30pm. Tickets are on sale,eight dollars for adults and five dollars for students. The team from Japan is touring the Midwest this month on a six game road trip. Last weekend, it lost 149-88 to the Bellingham Slam and 127-101 to the Central Oregon Hotshots. courtesy oursportscentral

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  IRAN   


Mahram of Iran muscles way past Smart Gilas - by Houman Bagheri
JAKARTA, Indonesia- Mahram of Iran, the 2009 West Asian Basketball Association champions, dealt the Smart Gilas RP Mens Basketball Team its first loss in the 20th Fiba-Asia Champions Challenge Cup, 98-87, on Wednesday at the Britama Arena here.

The spunky Philippine team held a slim 46-44 lead at the half. They even racked up a 10-point lead at one point, 24-14, but Irans American reinforcementsseven-foot-two Priest Lauderdale and 610 Jackson Vromanwho scored 75 percent of their teams 44 points, kept Mahram Iran unbeaten in Group A play.

The two Americans who have an NBA pedigreeLauderdale was the 28th overall draft by the Atlanta Hawks in 1996 and Vroman was picked 31st overall in 2004 by the Chicago Bulls but who suited up for the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Hornetswere too much for the smaller Philippine frontline.

Smart Gilass 610 American import, Chester Jarrel CJ Giles, was whistled for three fouls, Aldrech Ramos also for three and Marnel Baracael for two, all in the first half. That forced Gilas coach Rajko Toroman to go small but their trapping and double-teaming defense held the Iranians at bay.

Mahrams national players, led by the 69 Hamed Sohrabnejad and 63 Samad Nikkah Bahrami, grabbed the spotlight in the second half and helped the squad take the lead for good at 49-48 after a trey by the latter.

Smart Gilass Andy Barroca, who again led the Philippines in scoring with 18 points, scored on a lay-up to make it 56-58, but Mahram uncorked a 17-7 blitz to close out the third canto, 75-63.

The Iranians didnt even need Lauderdale anymore for the second half. Vroman led a more spirited Mahram team as he compiled a game and tournament-high 42 points behind some devastating dunks and drives.

Giles picked up his fourth foul on a drive by Jackson at the 8:57 mark. The former draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers finished with 14 points.

Despite giving up a lot in size, Smart Gilas, which went all-Filipino after Giless fourth foul, gamely battled on behind the shooting of Dylan Ababou and Baracael, who both added 11 points each.

Mahram has five players who played for Toroman when he was head coach of the Iranian national team that won the 2007 Fiba-Asia title and competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Mehdi Karmani, Hamed Afagh, Hamed Sohrabnejad, Hooman Rezaee and Samad Nikkah Bahrami.

The Philippines takes a rest on Thursday games before playing a powerful Lebanon Al Riyadi Beirut on Friday at 2 p.m.

The scores: Mahram Iran 98Vroman 42, Bahrami 19, Lauderdale 16, Kamrany 8, Sohrabnejad 5, Veisi 3, Kabir 3, Eslameih 2

Smart Gilas Philippines 87Barroca 18, Giles 14, Baracael 11, Ababou 11, Casio 9, Tiu 8, Jazul 8, Ramos 3, Cawaling 3, Ballesteros 2.


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  ITALY   


Lega2 Round: 5 (Quarter-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Banco Sard. - Fileni JE 78-66
Banco Sardegna became the last team to advannce after the win over Fileni JE 78:66 in Game 5. Trent Whiting (185-G-76, college: BYU) paced all the winners with 24 points, while Ezugwu Peter nailed 13. Maggioli Michele collected 19 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort.


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  JORDAN   


UCA'S QAHWASH TO COMPETE INTERNATIONALLY - by Mohammed Malas
University of Central Arkansas guard Imad Qahwash (188-G-87) left Conway for Amman, Jordan on Tuesday for an international basketball trip that could eventually earn him a spot in the Olympics.

Qahwash, a sophomore from Kitchener, Ontario, was invited by the Jordanian Basketball Federation to train with the Jordanian National Team. Qahwash was assigned to the Jordan B roster for the Brunei Cup from Aug. 23-28 in Brunei, Malaysia. The training camp will run from August 13-20, followed by the Brunei Cup and the FIBA Asian Championships in Tehran, Iran from Aug. 29-Sept. 6.

UCA head coach Rand Chappell said it will be a great experience for a 21-year-old student-athlete.

Qahwash, who holds dual citizenship in Canada and Jordan, will be joined by at least one other player who plays at an American university, Jamal Abu-Shamala (196-G/F-87) who plays for the Minnesota .

You can find more details in BasketballFollowers.com


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  LATVIA   


LBL Round: 1 (Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Ventspils - Barons/LMT 70-94
Barons/LMT posted the first win in the LBL final as they dismantled Ventspils in the opener. Todd Abernethy (185-G-84, college: Mississippi) scored 16 points, issued 6 assists and grabbed 4 boards to lead Barons/LMT. Armands Skele and Arturs Brunins scored 14 points apiece for the winners. Ronalds Zakis answered with 16 points and 7 boards in defeat.


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  LEBANON   


LIB / KOR Riyadi down Sangmoo, but left with injury scares - by Maarouf Mawloud

JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Al Riyadi Beirut posted their second win in as many days, with a rather comfortable 97-86 result over Sangmoo alright, but were left with huge fears over spearhead Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) s availability for the rest of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup.

Riyadis worries in fact began last night, when their American center Christian Charles injured his knee during their opening-game win against Al Qadsia.

Charles didnt take to the court at all against Sangmoo. And coach Fouad Abouchakras woes just compounded when El Khatibs lasted all of 4:34, forced out of the rest of the game with an injured back.

Our team doctor has his hands full, Abouchakra said after the game.

Well take a rain check on Charles situation tomorrow morning to decide the further course of action in our planning.

Riyadi take on archrivals Mahram on the morrow and the Toroman Rajkov-trained Smart Gilas on Friday.

Right now, its rather scary, the coach said about El Khatibs condition.

But Im confident that our boys wont go down without a fight, Abouchakra said.

In fact, we have been plagued by injuries throughout the season. Yet we managed to win the Lebanese league and the Arab Championships. I hope the boys can show the same spirit here too.

Nate Johnson was the leader of the Riyadi pack with 37 points, with a staggering 87.5 % rate (14/16) in field attempts. The American also collected eight rebounds.

Ali Fakhreddine chipped in with 17 points and a game-high 10 boards.

Hee Jong Young led Sangmoos scoring as well rebounds with 20 points and nine collections. Jung Kyu returned 15 points.

Im happy we improved from yesterday, Sangmoo coach Lee Hun Jae said.

As a team we combined a lot better and I hope this continues.

Scores

Al Riyadi Beirut 97 (Nate Johnson 37, Ali Fakhreddine 17, Brian Feghali 11) bt Sangmoo 86 (Hee Jong Yang 20, Jung Kyu Chun 15, Bong Kyu Sun 12). Quarterwise Scores: 30-17, 56-38, 77-66.

S MageshwaranFIBA Asia


FIBA Asia Day 2 Round-Up: 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup - by Maarouf Mawloud
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): WABA champions Mahram of Iran started off slow, but steadily grew in strength and busted the enthusiastic bubble of Smart Gilas for a 98-87 to open their campaign in the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on a winning note on Wednedsay.
Smart Gilas, who defeated Sangmoo on the opening day, thus suffered their first defeat in Group A.
In another Group A game, Al Riyadi Beirut of Lebanon posted their second win in as many days, with a rather comfortable 97-86 result over Koreas Sangmoo alright, but were left with huge fears over spearhead Fadi El Khatibs availability for the rest of the Champions Cup.
In Group B action, Al Arabi of Qatar opened their campaign in style handing down a 88-63 defeat to Indias Young Challengers and Jordans Zain stopped Al Wasl of UAE in their tracks with a 84-65 win.
Mahrams American forward Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) who played a stellar role for Saba Mehr at the WABA qualifiers played all the 40 minutes of the game, and deservingly led the game in scoring as well as rebounds.
The 27-year-old former New Orleans Hornets player returned 42 points, with a 69% (16/23) success rate in field attempts, and collected 13 rebounds
Priest Lauderdale, the other NBA alumnus in Mahram ranks, played only the first half of the game, but during his presence proved tall enough for his 16 points and 11 boards.
Samad Nikkah, the captain of the Iran National Team at the Beijing Olympics last year, celebrated his return to the FIBA Asia mould with 19 points all of them in the second half and eight assists.
Smart Gilas, on the other hand, had an all-round attack.
Mark Barocca was the leader in scoring with 18 points and American import Chester Giles contributed 14 points as the Filipino developmental team kept their more fancied opponents on their toes for almost the entire first half.
Im very proud of the way my boys played, said Smart Gilas coach Toroman Rajkov, under whose training Iran won the 2007 FIBA Asia championship and subsequently the 2008 Olympics.
Im in no way disappointed with our performance. The boys showed we have the attitude to play big opposition without any fear, the Serbian said.
We were caught completely off guard by their speed. We had to make a couple of changes in our thinking, Mahram coach Mostafa Hashemi said about resting Lauderdale for the second half.
We are yet getting used to the condition. And their speed unsettled us. I hope we can learn from this and improve as the tournament progresses, Hashemi said.
Al Riyadi are the next opponents for both Mahram on the morrow and Smart Gilas, on Friday.
Riyadi, thus, have their task cut out.
Riyadi took to the court without their American center Christian Charles, who injured his knee during their opening-game win against Al Qadsia.
And the Lebanese clubs woes just compounded when El Khatib lasted all of 4:34, forced out of the rest of the game with an injured back.
Our team doctor has his hands full, Riyadi coach Fouad Abouchakra said.
Well take a rain check on Charles situation tomorrow morning to decide the further course of action in our planning.
Right now, its rather scary, the coach said about El Khatibs condition.
But Im confident that our boys wont go down without a fight, Abouchakra said.
Nate Johnson was the leader of the Riyadi pack with 37 points, with a staggering 87.5 % rate (14/16) in field attempts. The American also collected eight rebounds.
Ali Fakhreddine chipped in with 17 points and a game-high 10 boards.
Hee Jong Young led Sangmoos scoring as well rebounds with 20 points and nine collections. Jung Kyu returned 15 points.
Sangmoo take on Al Qadsia of Kuwait on Thursday.
A 17-0 spree that ran on either side of the third quarter break helped Zain to cut loose from an equal position and down Al Wasl.
Having ran close throughout hitherto, Ayman Idais scored in the lane to follow-up Mousa Awadis three-pointer to take Zain from 50-50 to close the third quarter 55-50 ahead.
Idais, on resumption, consolidated the Jordanian position with back-to-back three-pointers and Wesam Alsoos struck another long-ranger before American Roderick Riley succeeded.
Rileys compatriot Ontario Lett scored on the paint for Zain before Chukwunke Okusa converted one of the free-throws to break the barren run for Wasl.
Zains stranglehold on the fourth quarter continued as they outscored their opponents 29-15 in the final ten minutes to clinch their second successive win.
Lett led the scoring for Zain with 16 points and Idais 13, with a 3/3 record in three-pointers. Alsoos returned 12 points.
I think we won the game in defense, Zain coach Mario Palma said.
Herve Lamizana, who scored 37 points in Wasls win against Satria Muda on Tuesday was restricted to a mere six points.
Zain, next play hosts Satria Muda on Thursday.
Wasl, who had beaten Sangmoo on the opening day, take on Al Arabi.
Al Arabi made a triumphant return after 25 years they had last played in the 1984 edition at Ipoh with their import Joshua Jones leading the way with 37 points.
It was a nice way to lead into the tournament, Al Arabi coach David Ingham said.
Im happy we didnt lose focus midway. These games are always difficult. This is a testing time for the coach as well as the players.
Im really not worried about the result, said Young Challengers coach Aleksandar Bucan.
I wanted some specific improvements in some specific areas for some specific players. And that was achieved. Im happy with that, the Serbian added.

Scores

Group A
Mahram 98 (Jackson Vroman 42, Samad Nikkah 19, Priest Lauderdale 16) bt Smart Gilas 87 (Mark Barocca 18, Chester Giles 14, Dylan Ababou 11, Marnel Baracel 11). Quarterwise Scores: 16-24, 44-46, 72-63.
Al Riyadi Beirut 97 (Nate Johnson 37, Ali Fakhreddine 17, Brian Feghali 11) bt Sangmoo 86 (Hee Jong Yang 20, Jung Kyu Chun 15, Bong Kyu Sun 12). Quarterwise Scores: 30-17, 56-38, 77-66.

Group B
Al Arabi 88 (Joshua Jones 38, Khalid Abdi 19) bt Young Challengers 63 (Talwinderjit Singh 20, Jagdeep Singh 17). Quarterwise Scores: 21-12, 45-25, 88-63.
Zain 84 (Ontario Lett 16, Ayman Idais 13, Wesam Alsoos 12) bt Al Wasl 65 (Chukwunike Okusa 22, Jassim Muhammed 12). Quarterwise Scores: 19-17, 34-30, 55-50
S MageshwaranFIBA Asia


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  MONTENEGRO   


FINAL of MNT Play-Off : Buducnost easy win for 1-0 - by Dragan Scepanovic
First game of Final Play-Off CG : KK Buducnost M:tel - KK Primorje Herceg Novi 1-0
Buducnost 106 - Primorje 73
PODGORICA - SC 'Moraca'. Spect :250. Reff : Vojinovic (Niksic), Dragojevic i Savovic (Podgorica). By - Q. : 29:14, 27:18, 26:16, 24:25.
BUDUCNOST: Sehovic (2-0), Filip Barovic (206-F-90) 6 (2-2), Marko Popovic (200-F-85) 20 (1-1), Bojovic 5 (2-2), Gordic 15 (4-2),Otasevic 10, Dragicevic 22, Simonovic 5, Maras 11 (3-2), Ljujic, Novakovic 3 (1-1), Dzenkins 9.
PRIMORJE: Arapovic, Petar Jovanovic (192-G/F-80) 16 (4-4), Goran Gajovic (199-G/F-88) 3 (3-1), Miljanic 5 (2-2), Milan Stojanovic (191-F/G-83) 5, Oldrih, Goran Pejovic (203-F-77) 9 (3-3), Zambelic, Najdenov 8 (3- 1), Zarko Dragicevic (188-G-81) 5 (2-0), Kovacevic 10 (2-2), Boris Lalovic (206-C-81) 12 (2-2).


Dusan Ivanovic wins COY award in Spain - by Eurobasket News
Tau Vitoria Head Coach Dusko Ivanovic has won Coach of the Year award in Spanish ACB League after fantastic results in regular season. His Tau Vitoria finished it on the first place with 28 wins and only 4 losses. Ivanovic is a first coach ever to lead a team in ACB to only four defeats during the regular season. In the voting for Coach of the year, Ivanovic finished with 430 votes, and managed to beat Barcelona's Xavier Pascual who was second with 380 votes. Unicaja Head Coach Garcia Aito Reneses rounded up top three with 340 votes. After succeeding Neven Spahija as Head Coach of Tau Vitoria, Ivanovic was voted three times Coach of the Month. He will receive his award on Monday.
Dusko Ivanovic has illustrious coaching as well as playing career. As a player he won Euro Cup and Yugoslavian League in 1988 and 1990 with Yugoplastika. He also played for Girona and Limoges in France. He started his coaching career at Fribourg in Switzerland. He won Swiss League Champion two times in a row in 1998 and 1999. For season 1999-2000 he was signed by Limoges with whom he won French Cup and League as well as Korac Cup. Next year he signed with Tau Vitoria which he led to Spanish Cup in 2002, 2004 and 2009. He was also Spanish ACB Champion in 2002. In 2005 he transferred to Barcelona where he enjoyed moderate success winning only Spanish Cup in 2007. Season 2008-2009 was his second coming to Tau Vitoria.


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  NBA   


Former Bulls Player caught with BLOUNT - by Alex Yam
HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) -- Former NBA player and University of Cincinnati star Corie Blount was sentenced to one year in prison on Wednesday in a plea arrangement resulting from drug charges.

Blount, 40, had pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court last month to two felony counts of marijuana possession after prosecutors dropped two trafficking charges.

Blount was arrested Dec. 4 after sheriff's deputies intercepted 11 pounds of marijuana sent to him at a relative's house. Investigators said they found another 18 pounds in a subsequent search of his home.

Although Judge Craig Hedric did not sentence Blount to the maximum 10 years in prison, he rejected Blount's claim that the marijuana was intended for personal use and to share with friends.

'Cheech and Chong would have had a hard time smoking that much,' Hedric told Blount.

Hedric fined Blount $10,000 and ordered him to surrender two vehicles and $34,000 in cash seized in the bust.

Blount was a first-round draft pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1993. In an 11-year NBA career, he also played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors.


Celtics rally for Game 5 victory over Magic - by Eurobasket News
Ray Allen's (6'6''-G-75, college: Connecticut) 3-pointer with 1:20 left gave Boston its first lead since the opening minutes and the Celtics beat the Orlando Magic 92-88 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Stephon Marbury (6'2''-G-77, college: Georgia Tech) scored all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, keeping the Celtics in the game after a lackluster 36 minutes that left them trailing by 14 with 8:49 to play. Orlando led 85-75 with 5:39 left, then Boston scored the next 13 points to open an 88-85 lead before Rashard Lewis free throws with 7.3 seconds left.

Paul Pierce (6'7''-F-77, college: Kansas) had 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Kendrick Perkins (6'10''-C-84) grabbed 11 rebounds, and Game 4 hero Glen Big Baby Davis scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. Davis also grabbed the rebound and hit a pair of free throws after Dwight Howard (6'10''-F-85) intentionally missed a free throw with 5.9 seconds left.

Its all about never giving in and having the heart of a champion, Pierce said.

Howard had 12 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which needs a victory in Game 6 on Thursday night to force the series back to Boston for a decisive seventh game.

Lewis scored 19 and Hedo Turkoglu had 18 with seven assists for the Magic, who almost blew a 28-point lead in Game 1, then lost Game 4 on Sunday when Davis hit a 21-foot buzzer-beater.

Davis hurt them again on Tuesday, but he didnt wait quite as long.

Howard dunked on an alley-oop from Rafer Alston to make it 77-63 with 8:49 left, Orlandos biggest lead of the game, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers disgustedly called a timeout.

But Marbury hit a 3-pointer, then another jumper, and after Davis sank a pair of hook shots, Marbury converted a three-point play to make it 83-75. Turkoglu made a jumper to extend the lead to 10 points before Rivers put Pierce, Perkins and Rajon Rondo back in the game with 4:55 left.

Two jumpers by Davis, a layup by Pierce and a reverse from Perkins made it 85-83. Davis missed a potential game-tying shot with 1:55 left, but Allen made up for it by putting Boston ahead with a 3-pointer just his third basket of the game.

Orlando had a chance to take back the lead when Rondos 3-pointer as the 24-second clock expired seemed to skim only the net as it came down, and the shot clock buzzer went off. But Perkins, who had grabbed the rebound, argued vociferously that the ball tipped the rim, and the referees overruled the call, giving the ball back to Boston with just 37 seconds left and allowing them to run the clock down to the final seconds.

Notes: Brian Scalabrine played 19 minutes after missing the morning shootaround with symptoms of the flu. ... The fans stood and cheered when the scoreboard showed the highlights and final score from the Bruins 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, which forced a seventh game in the new Boston Garden on Thursday night. ... Coming off their best-shooting game of the playoffs - .528 in Game 4 - the Celtics shot just 36 percent through three quarters.

Courtesy of www.chron.com


Nuggets advance to Western Conference finals - by Eurobasket News
The Denver Nuggets are leaving all the animosity with the Dallas Mavericks players, fans and owner behind and are heading to their first Western Conference finals since 1985.

Behind 30 points from Carmelo Anthony (6'8''-F-84, college: Syracuse) and 28 from Chauncey Billups (6'3''-G-76, college: Colorado), the Nuggets beat the Mavericks 124-110 on Wednesday night to wrap up their semifinal series in five feisty games.

The Nuggets, who are 8-2 in the playoffs after tying their franchise record with a 54-win regular season, will face either Los Angeles or Houston for the conference championship.

Its special. We worked hard in the offseason and training camp and throughout, Anthony said. We stuck to everything, we overcame adversity, we stayed humble and our hard work paid off.

Winners of 16 straight games at the Pepsi Center, where no opponent has won since March 9, the Nuggets would start their next series on the road if the Lakers win, and at home if Houston does. The Lakers lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 Thursday night in Houston.

The Nuggets didnt dare dream of this type of success when the season began in November following the departures of defensive stalwarts Marcus Camby (6'11''-F/C-74, college: Massachusetts) and Eduardo Najera (6'8''-F-76, college: Oklahoma).

Then came the biggest trade in team history, Allen Iverson to Detroit for Billups, who turned his hometown team from an afterthought into a championship contender after leading the Pistons to six straight Eastern Conference finals and the NBA championship in 2004.

Hes a leader, Anthony said of Billups. He came on this team and he brought a businesslike attitude to our team. He brought a defensive mind-set we were looking for.

Fired up from the ugliness on and off the court in Dallas in Games 3 and 4, the Nuggets came out in front of their home crowd with a passion and shot 64 percent in the first half while building a 69-55 lead.

The Mavericks wouldnt go down easily, though, making five straight 3-pointers, three by Jason Kidd (6'4''-G-73, college: California), to pull within 79-72.

The Mavericks were within 103-97 with 7 minutes left but Anthony took the inbounds pass and with 2 seconds on the shot clock, hit a turnaround 25-foot jumper at the buzzer. Antoine Wright was assessed a technical and Billups free throw made it a 10-point game with 6:35 left.

The Mavs didnt have another run in them, and their season ground to a halt much sooner than they expected after dispatching San Antonio in five games in the first round.

Dirk Nowitzki had his usual monster game, scoring 32 points he averaged 34.4 in the series and Kidd added 19.

Its not over, were still on the road man, Billups said. We are moving on to bigger and better things and hopefully we can remain successful.

Before the game, the NBA said it wouldnt punish anybody over the ugly incidents that occurred on and off the court in the games in Dallas, which included Mavs owner Mark Cuban throwing a fit after a non-call helped Denver win Game 3, when he also yelled at Kenyon Martins mother.

In Game 4, Anthony shoved Wright to break away from his elbow clamp underneath the basket, resulting in one of a slew of technical fouls.

Cuban wasnt in Denver to hear from the Nuggets fans Wednesday night as he skipped Game 5 to attend an awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

Cuban had written in his blog this week that the Nuggets families and friends could sit in his private suite when the series returns to Dallas.

There didnt appear to be any incidents with the crowd surrounding the Mavericks on Wednesday night other than a small giveaway plastic ball that bounced near their bench as the clock ticked off the final seconds.

Courtesy of www.m.dailycamera.com


Lakers rout Rockets to take 3-2 series lead - by Eurobasket News
Now that was impressive -- very impressive.

The Lakers applied a beat-down on the Houston Rockets, 118-78, tonight in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals at Staples Center.

The game became such a bore for the fans, with nothing to cheer about after the Lakers built a 40-point lead, through three quarters, that the fans started a wave in the fourth.

They were happy to see the Lakers rebound from Sunday's poor performance to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Houston, back at the site where the Lakers played an embarrassing Game 4, losing to a Rockets team that didn't have Ming Yao (7'5''-C-80) (broken left foot).

But the Lakers can close out the series with a win Thursday.

Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78), limited to just 15 points in Game 4, had 26 points in just 31 minutes tonight. He didn't play in the fourth quarter.

Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80) had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Lamar Odom (6'10''-F-79, college: Rhode Island) didn't start because of a bruised back so Andrew Bynum (7'0''-C-87, agency: David Lee services) started in his place at center.

Bynum scored a playoff career-high 14 points. He also had six rebounds.

Odom, who played 18 minutes, scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.

The Rockets team that built a 29-point lead against the Lakers in Game 4 was not the same team.

Aaron Brooks (6'0''-G-85, agency: Buck Andre, college: Oregon), who scored a playoff career-high 34 points Sunday, was held to 14 points tonight. Shane Battier (6'8''-F-78, college: Duke), who had 23 points in the last game, had only five. Ron Artest (6'7''-G-79, college: St.John's) had nine points.

By the end of the third quarter tonight, after the Lakers had built a 40-point lead, the Houston Rockets knew Game 5 of the Western Conference playoff series was over.

The Lakers, who led by 25 points at halftime, didn't let up in the second half in taking a 94-54 lead at the end of the third at Staples Center.

They scored 35 points in the first quarter, 29 in the second and 30 more in the third.

The Rockets offered little resistance, scoring just 15 points in the third, just like the 15 they scored in the second.

Bryant left with one minute remaining in the third quarter, having scored 26 points. His night was done.

Gasol had a double-double through three quarters with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

'I was very happy,' Bryant said. 'He was playing with the skills I like to see from Andrew.'

There were signs of a possible revival as early as the Tuesday morning shoot-around.

'I'd say they're pretty determined,' Jackson said at the time. 'They're talking a real good game. Now it's the action that counts.'

There was plenty of that.

Bynum scored the Lakers' first six points and Jordan Farmar's off-balance, 30-foot three-pointer provided a 35-24 lead after the first quarter.

Sasha Vujacic's fastbreak dunk after a length-of-the-court pass from Gasol gave the Lakers a 43-24 lead with 10:14 left in the second quarter.

If it wasn't obvious at that time, it soon became apparent. The Lakers are one victory away from returning to the Western Conference finals.

Courtesy of www.latimes.com


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  NIGERIA   


Jeleel Akindele and his Scavolini clinched the Play-offs - by Eurobasket News
Jeleel Akindele (216-C-83, college: Chicago St.) and his Italian Scavolini held off Angelico Biella in the last game of the Regular Season at home court behind 21 points from Michael Hicks. LeRoy Hurd added 20 points for the winners and Jeleel Akindele scored 17. James Gist responded with 22 points for Angelico Biella as they made it to the playoffs despite the defeat.
In Round 29 Scavolini sneaked past NGC Cantu on the road as LeRoy Hurd notched 19 points. Jeleel Akindele provided 15 points and Hicks Michael nailed 12 as Scavolini improved at 13-16 record. Kevinn Pinkney replied with 21 points and 10 boards for NGC Cantu.
In Round 28 Scavolini cruised past Air Avellino for the 12th win in the season. Michael Hicks came up with 18 points for Scavolini. Ramel Curry added 15 points for the winners and Jeleel Akindele had 10 points and 8 rebounds. Andrea Crosariol delivered 18 points and 4 boards for Air Avellino in defeat.
In the Play-offs Hicks team will face Montepaschi Siena that finished the regular season in style beating Armani Jeans on the road. Romain Sato scored 20 points to lead the visitors. Henry Domercant added 15 points in the 29th win for Siena. David Hawkins responded with 24 points for Armani Jeans.


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  PALESTINE   


Ibdaa vs. Sariyet A Game to enter Palestinian Basketball History - by Tamara Awartani
Ibdaa vs. Sarriyet Ramallah 110 - 106

An Incredible game in every second, a game that fans of both teams look forward to every year, but this time with an addition of two great import. The game was amusing with great skills & moves. Ibdaa won with two overtimes entering the history of Palestinian Basketball History.
Both teams started off strong with a strong will to win the game, Ibdaa led the first two quarters through Jimmy Williams (196-G-86, college: Alders.-Broad.) who was on fire scoring 42 points, 16 rebounds & 3 assists along with three outstanding dunks in the 2nd quarter, Iyad Yousef Abdalla (205-C-80), Yahia Al Khatib (190-G-77), Nader AlGlassy & Husam Zyadeh the 3pointer, Thaer Jaffal, Husam Obeid, Abdallah Jaber. While players of Sariyet Ramallah didnt go down but instead increased their game level specially in the third quarter through Dante Hunter (191-G-83, agency: Low Country Sports Management, college: Calumet) with his smooth 3pointers, fast strong drives scoring 29 points, with 6 great assists, 9 rebounds & 4 steals , Ibrahim Al Habash (194-F-75), Saleem Al Husari (184-G-85), Saleem Sakikini , Ahmad Yasser, Murad Abu Laban, Ghassan Habash (175-G-85) & Bashar Kassis leading the game 52 51. The fourth quarter was nerve killing, the game was point by point, foul trouble on main players, tying three times 58 58, 79 79, 84 84 with a buzzer unlucky shot for Sariyet that could have won them the game. The fifth quarter was so tense, two main players from both teams were fouled out Ibrahim Al Habash & Yayha AlKhatib, while Dante Hunter scored an important 3pointer along with great assists from Saleem Al Husari to Saleem AlSakakini who was unstoppable under basket, where Jimmy Williams along with Iyad Yousef Abdalla stood out on Ibdaas side tying the 5th quarter. Last quarter was breathtaking, point by point, foul after foul especially for Ibdaa that gave them an edge in winning, with unmissed free throws from both imports, Ibdaa won the game by 4points getting closer to winning the title with being the only unbeatable team for the 13th week unless they face surprises from other teams.

1st 21- 16, 2nd 22 16, 3rd 15 26, 4th 26 26, 5th 9 9, 6th 17 - 13


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  PANAMA   


Hicks became the best top-scorer in Italy - by Eurobasket News
Michael Hicks (193-G-76, college: Texas A&M - C.C.) became the best top-scorer in Italy as he averaged 18.8 points per game for his Scavolini Spar Pesaro in the Regular Season.
Scavolini held off Angelico Biella at home court behind 21 points from Michael Hicks. LeRoy Hurd added 20 points for the winners. James Gist responded with 22 points for Angelico Biella as they made it to the playoffs despite the defeat.
In Round 29 Scavolini sneaked past NGC Cantu on the road as LeRoy Hurd notched 19 points. Jeleel Akindele provided 15 points and Michael Hicks nailed 12 as Scavolini improved at 13-16 record. Kevinn Pinkney replied with 21 points and 10 boards for NGC Cantu.
In Round 28 Scavolini cruised past Air Avellino for the 12th win in the season. Michael Hicks came up with 18 points for Scavolini. Ramel Curry added 15 points for the winners. Andrea Crosariol delivered 18 points and 4 boards for Air Avellino in defeat.
Michael Hicks recorded 27 points in the season when Ramel Curry nailed a free throw late in regulation to propel Scavolini past Banca Tercas. Ryan Hoover pitched in 15 points for Banca Tercas.
In the Play-offs Hicks team will face Montepaschi Siena that finished the regular season in style beating Armani Jeans on the road. Romain Sato scored 20 points to lead the visitors. Henry Domercant added 15 points in the 29th win for Siena. David Hawkins responded with 24 points for Armani Jeans.


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  PHILIPPINES   


Standings - PBA Fiesta Conference
PBA Standings
 1. San Miguel 9-2 
 2. Rain or Shine 8-5 
 3. Ginebra 7-5 
 4. Purefoods 7-5 
 5. Talk N Text 7-6 
 6. Burger King 7-6 
 7. Sta Lucia 6-6 
 8. Coca-Cola 4-7 
 9. Alaska 4-8 
 10. Barako Bull 2-11 


Iran stops Smart Gilas RP Mens Basketball Team - by Hector Santos
Mahram Iran, the 2009 West Asian Basketball Association champions, defeated the Smart Gilas RP Mens Basketball Team in the 20th Fiba-Asia Champions Challenge Cup, 98-87, on Wednesday at the Britama Arena, Jakarta Indonesia.

The Philippine team held a slim 46-44 lead at the half but Irans American reinforcements Priest Lauderdale and Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) kept Mahram Iran unbeaten in Group A.

Smart Gilass Andy Barroca, who again led the Philippines in scoring with 18 points, scored on a lay-up to make it 56-58, but Mahram uncorked a 17-7 blitz to close out the third canto, 75-63.

Mahram has five players who played for Rajko Toroman, Smart Gilas coach, when he was head coach of the Iranian national team that won the 2007 Fiba-Asia title and competed in the 2008 Beijing OlympicsMahdi Karmany, Hamed Afagh, Hamed Sohrabnejad, Hooman Rezaee and Samad Nikkah Bahrami.

The Philippines takes a rest on Thursday games before playing a powerful Lebanon Al Riyadi Beirut on Friday at 2 p.m.

The scores:
Mahram Iran 98Vroman 42, Bahrami 19, Lauderdale 16, Kamrany 8, Sohrabnejad 5, Veishi 3, Kabir 3, Eslameih 2
Smart Gilas Philippines 87Barroca 18, Giles 14, Baracael 11, Ababou 11, Casio 9, Tiu 8, Jazul 8, Ramos 3, Cawaling 3, Ballesteros 2.


Smart Gilas five storms past Koreans - by Benny Lirio
JAKARTA Smart Gilas Pilipinas rode on a big third quarter run to demolish Sangmoo of Korea, 90-76, last night and make good impression in the 20th FIBA-Asia Champions Cup at the Britama Arena here.

The Filipinos blitzed the sweet-shooting Koreans with a fiery 14-5 run in the pivotal third, turning a shaky 55-53 lead into a 69-58 advantage. They kept the momentum into the fourth to complete the rout in a victory that augured well for the national teams campaign.

Mark Barroca shot 20 points and had five steals in a sterling performance while C.J. Giles (211-F/C-85, college: Oregon St.) made a double-double job of 19 points and 12 rebounds plus two shot blocks.

We actually struggled in the first half, maybe the players were pressured playing their first game here, said Smart Gilas Serbian coach Rajko Toroman. But we came out aggressive in the third quarter even though Korea hit us with some three-point shots.

The win is expected to boost Smart Gilas confidence going into todays 3 p.m. (RP time) showdown with defending champion Mahram Iran.

The Iranians, who drew a first round bye, will be parading former Atlanta Hawk 7-4 Priest Lauderdale and former NBA player Brett Jackson.

Its a big win for us, it would help us going into our game against Iran, which I think is the toughest team here, said Toroman, who steered the Iran national team to the 2007 FIBA-Asia Championship title in Tokushima, Japan and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Team RP led by seven points in the third quarter twice, the last at 53-46, midway in the period. But Koreans started to hit their mark from behind the arc, making five of their 13 triples to threaten at 53-55.

But the Filipinos countered with a 14-5 binge to hold off the Koreans and raced to as many as 20 points in the fourth highlighted by nifty passes and jams by Giles.

Earlier, Al Riyadi of Lebanon turned back a tough Qadsia of Kuwait, 87-78, to likewise open its title campaign on a bright note.

Import Nate Johnson, who played for the San Miguel team that won a PBA conference five years ago, finished with 28 points and seven rebounds while US-educated Fadhi El-Khatib and Canadian-born Ali Mahmoud scattered 20 and 16 points, respectively, for Al Riyadi.

Mac Baracael chipped in 14 points while skipper Chris Tiu (178-G-85) and JV Casio, rivals during their UAAP days, added 11 apiece for Smart Gilas.
abs-cbn.com/Villar


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  POLAND   


1Liga Round: 2 (Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Polonia 2011 - Stal SW 78-73
Polonia 2011 became the Polish 1Liga champions. They defeated Stal Stalowa Wola in the second game of the finals to clinch the title. Dardan Berisha (193-G-88, agency: Global Sports Plaza) and Przemek Lewandowski (204-F/G-78, agency: Promotex) scored 14 points apiece to lead Polonia 2011. Tomasz Snieg added 12 points and 8 rebounds in the winning case. Bartlomiej Szczepaniak nailed 13 points to lead Stal Stalowa Wola. Tomasz Andrezejewski had 12 points in defeat.


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  PUERTO RICO   


Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
 1. Santurce 10-1 
 2. Bayamon 9-3 
 3. Quebradillas 8-4 
 4. Carolina 6-5 
 5. Arecibo 6-5 
 6. San German 5-6 
 7. Mayaguez 5-7 
 8. Humacao 3-7 
 9. Guaynabo 3-7 
 10. Caguas 3-8 
 11. Ponce 3-8 


Lions Woes Continue - by Luis Ramirez
Up to now it has been a disappointing season for the Ponce Lions. At present they are the worst team in the League with a record of 3-8 are dead last in the standings.
Last night the Lions had another heartbreak loss as they were beaten by the Guaynabo Conquistadors 95-94, so far it has been that type of year, the Lions have lost several games by 1 or 2 points and this is frustrating the fans who some are already asking for Head Coach Carlos Mario Rivera to resign.
The Lions took the 1st qtr 26-25 and were able to keep this slim lead in the 1st half 48-47. In the 3rd qtr the Conquistadors had a 1 point lead 77-76. The Lions were leading with just seconds to go in the 4th quarter and it was Gabriel Mouneke who with a 3 point shot with 2 seconds left on the clock mad the winning basket for the Conquistadors.
For Guaynabo, Carlos Escalera (190-G-79, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Missouri So.) scored 40 points and was perfect from the 3 point line making 4 out of 4. He was followed by Gabriel Mouneke with 19 points to include the game winning 3 pointer.
For Ponce, Ricardo Melendez scored 22 points followed by Lee Nailon and Darian Townes with 18 points each, Townes also captured 14 rebounds.
In the other BSN game last night, the Carolina Giants stopped the Quebradillas Pirates 90-87. Both teams played at an even pace in the 1st qtr 19-19, but the Giants had a 4 point lead as the 1st half came to an end. The Pirates did manage to take the lead in the 3rd quarter by playing good defense, but the Giants had a good 4th qtr to surprise the Pirates for the win.
For Carolina, Alejandro Carmona scored 26 points followed by Ebi Ere with 21 points. For Quebradillas, Marcus Williams scored 21 points followed by Shawn Redhage with 19 points and 15 rebounds.


Last games (7) - Two wins for Santruce for top of BSN - by Eurobasket News
Mayaguez - Bayamon 69-92
Bayamon blasted Mayaguez 92-69 remaining the second ranked team in BSN with 9-3 record (Santruce won twice). Javier Mojica (190-G-84, college: Cent.Conn.St.) once again led the scorers in victory with 22 points. He also handed out 8 assists beside that. Franklin Western followed with 21 points and 8 boards, while Monty Wilson added 17 pts and 9 rebs. Joel Quinones and Giovanni Jimenez combined 23 pts in loss. Their Mayaguez fell to 5-6.

Caguas - Mayaguez 71-74
Mayaguez grabbed this one thanks to Dan Langhi (208-F-77, college: Vanderbilt), who scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. James Maye had 15 pts and 9 rebs, Giovanni Jiminez scored 14 and Alex Galindo added 12 pts. Caguas got the most from Matt Freije - 21 pts and 7 rebs. Mayaguez 5-6, Caguas 3-7.

Bayamon - San German 65-85
Third loss of the season for Bayamon, who left the first place to Santruce. Jesse Pellot-Rosa (193-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Va Commonwealth) stepped up for the winners with 26 points and 6 rebounds. Chris Vega helped with 19 pts. Jovier Mojica nailed 31 in defeat. San German 4-6, Bayamon 9-3.

Arecibo - Quebradillas 74-83
The Quebradillas Pirates beat the reigning Champions Arecibo Captains 83-74. The Captains took the 1st qtr 24-20. At the end of the 1st half the Pirates were leading 43-36. In the 2nd half the Pirates kept the Captains in check and inflicted the Captains 5th loss of the season. For Quebradillas Marcus Williams (191-G-85, college: Connecticut) scored 17 points followed by Shawn Redhage and Peter John Ramos with 16 points. For Arecibo, Jeff Aubry scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, followed by David Cortes with 17 points. (by Luis Ramirez)

Santurce - Ponce 90-88
The Crabbers had an 18 point lead at one point, only to go on to win by 2 points 90-88. The Lions had 2 opportunities to tie or go up on the Crabbers in the final seconds of the game but failed to make the 3 point baskets on both occasions. For Santurce, Josh Davis (203-C/F-80, college: Wyoming) scored 24 points with 15 rebounds, followed by Ricardo Dalmau with 21 points. For Ponce, Lee Nailon scored 22 points and 11 rebounds followed by Samuel Villegas with 17 points. *More comments for this game already posted in the previous news by the local correspondent Luis Ramirez

Humacao - Guaynabo 86-89
The Guaynabo Conquistadors beat the Humacao Grays 89-86. The Grays took an initial lead in the 1st qtr 23-22 and managed to lead at the half 44-42. The Conquistadors were finally able to catch up with the Grays and hold on for the win. For Guaynabo, Jumaine Jones (201-F-79, agency: Octagon, college: Georgia) scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds; he was followed by Carlos Escalera with 20 points. For Humacao, Ansel Guzman scored 26 points followed by Joel Nieves with 16 points. (by Luis Ramirez)

Santurce - Carolina 100-90
Larry Ayuso (190-G-77, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: USC) demonstrated magnificent performance for Santruce in this game draining 35 points. He made 6 of 10 attempts from behind the arc and was almost unmistakable from the field and FT line. Manuel Navarez was second scorer in victory with 14 pts. On the other side, Carolina (6-5) got 30 points and 14 rebounds from Alejandro Carmona. Ebi Ere contributed with 24 pts and 7 rebs.


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  ROMANIA   


Ploiesti, Sibiu, Timisoara and Otopeni battle for final - by Vasile Racovitan
Both decisive games of the play-off semifinals will be played today, despite threats from CSU Sibiu that they will not enter the court in Ploiesti.
In Ploiesti, champions CSU Asesoft Ploiesti will host CSU Atlassib Sibiu and are favourites to play again in the final. Still, the guest team will try to get another away win after the one in teh first game of the series. The score in now tied, 2-2, after CSU Ploiesti won Sunday in Sibiu, following a game that was full of protests against the referees. After the game, the team from Sibiu announced that they will not play in Ploiesti.
In Timisoara, BCM Timisoara and CS Otopeni Bucuresti are fighting for their first ever presence in the championship's final. Until now, every team has won its home game, so Timisoara are considered favourites to qualify.


Krstanovic stays in Cluj - by Vasile Racovitan
Zoran Krstanovic (205-C-82) and Univ Mobitelco Cluj Napoca have come to an agreement and the player will stay with the team for next season.
'Cluj is like a second home to me. Maybe I will end my career here. Together with executive president Mircea Cristescu we reached an agreement and I will stay here for next season, maybe even longer', Krstanovic said. He rejoined Univ Mobitelco Cluj Napoca at the middle of this season, after playing in Holland, for Hanzevast Capitals Groningen. Before that, the Serbian player was part of Univ Mobitelco Cluj Napoca for one and a half seasons.
'Zoran has the ideal profile for what we are trying to build here', executive president Mircea Cristescu said for the team's official website.


Div.A Round: 5 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Ploiesti - CSU Atlassib 82-72
Ploiesti advanced into the final and would look to grab the sixth straight Romanian Division A title. They overcame Atlassib from Sibiu in the fifth decisive game to reach the title series. Arvydas Cepulis (195-G-79) knocked down 20 points to pace the hosts. Mike Jones contributed 16 points for the winners. Bryant Matthews responded with 28 points in defeat.

Timisoara - Otopeni 87-69
Milos Pesic (202-F-84) nailed 23 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to lead Timisoara past Otopeni in the decisive game of the semifinal series. Rade Dzambic produced 15 points in the winning effort. LeVar Seals replied with 17 points and 6 boards for Otopeni in the loss.


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  SENEGAL   


Sow Pape finishes Regular Season with Armani Jeans Milano - by Eurobasket News
Pape Sow (208-F-81, college: Cal.St. Fullerton) finishes Regular Season with Armani Jeans Milano in Italy. Montepaschi Siena finished the regular season in style beating Armani Jeans on the road 76:72. Romain Sato scored 20 points to lead the visitors. Henry Domercant added 15 points in the 29th win for Siena. David Hawkins responded with 24 points for Armani Jeans.
In Round 28 Lottomatica held off Armani Jeans to clear off from their opponents in the ladder. Ibrahim Jaaber fired 21 points and made 5 steals for Lottomatica. Andre Hutson had 18 points and 6 boards for the winners. David Hawkins and Pape Sow responded with 12 points apiece for Armani Jeans.
On April 19th Armani MI overcame Benetton 83:68 behind 23 points from Hall Mike. Hawkins David delivered 13 and Pape Sow scored 11. Wood DaShaun finished the night with 13 points in the losing case.
Pape Sow recorded 14 points against Eldo Caserta, however the latter celebrated the first win in the season as they defeated Armani Jeans Milano 70:68 at home. Guillermo Diaz buried 21 points for Caserta in the win. Ronald Slay was responsible for 17 points and 9 rebounds as the hosts improved to 1-2 record and caught up with Armani Jeans in the standings. Jobey Thomas fired 16 points for Milano.
In the play-offs will face Banca Tercas Teramo that defeated GMAC Bologna sending a well-known team to Lega Due. Jaycee Carroll came up with 18 points and 9 boards as Banca Tercas settled in the third spot before the playoffs. David Moss added 17 points in the win. Marcelinho Huertas and Lazaros Papadopoulos answered with 14 points each for GMAC Bologna.


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  SLOVAKIA   


Nitra edge Pezinok in Game 4 - by Eurobasket News
Nitra - Pezinok 88:69

Nitra overcame Pezinok at home court to tie things at 2-2 in the Extraliga finals. Andrej Cervenka (198-G/F-84) scored 22 points to pace Nitra to a valuable victory today. The teams started the game evenly as they exchanged baskets in the starting minutes. However the hosts unleashed ten points in a row midway through the frame to earn a 20:10 lead. Nitra ensured a 25:18 advantage at the first intermission and continued to mount the pressure in the second frame. Dametri Hill (203-C-74, college: Florida) and Andrej Cervenka helped the home side to enlarge the margin to 13 points. Nitra wisely kept their opponents at bay and piled up a 19-point lead at halftime.
Andrej Cervenka netted another jumper to give Nitra a 21-point cushion early in the third frame. Micuda and Lorenzo Williams (191-G-84, college: Rice) clipped the gap to 13 points late in the quarter before Dametri Hill and Eugene Lawrence made it 68:51 for the hosts with one term remaining. Eugene Larence and Vido tipped off the fourth period with consecutive baskets as Nitra coasted to the win. Pezinok never threatened the margin and had to give it up at the end. Dametri Hill and Branislav Tomek (205-C-83) finished with 20 points apiece for Nitra. Pohanka had 10 points in the win. Lorenzo Williams responded with 16 points and 5 assists for Pezinok. Kevin Houston (193-G/F-76, college: St.Bonaventure) and Matas Niparavicius (207-C/F-82, agency: Edge Sports, college: Weber St.) posted 11 points each in the loss.
The decisive fifth game is scheduled for May 16.

Nitra: Andrej Cervenka 22, Dametri Hill 20, Branislav Tomek 20
Pezinok: Lorenzo Williams 16, Kevin Houston 11, Matas Niparavicius 11


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  SOUTH KOREA   


Veteran Guard Lee to Stay With Thunders - by Rick Ross
Lee Sang-min and Lee Jung-suk have decided to stay with the Samsung Thunders.
Thunders veteran guard Lee Sang-min agreed to a two-year, 200 million won
($160,000) deal, while Lee Jung-suk signed a five-year, 250 million won contract with the Seoul-based team.
Lee Sang-min, 36, moved from the KCC Egis in 2007 and led the Thunders to the finals in two straight seasons.
Though he averaged just 5.9 points with 3.7 assists during the regular season,
the veteran generated 11 points per game in the Champion series and was a leader both on and off the floor.
After I joined the Thunders, I could focus solely on basketball and I felt comfortable because all my
team mates and staff fully believed in me,'' veteran Lee said.
Though I missed out on winning the champion title for the second straight year,
it made us more solid and made us believe in each other.
Samsung Thunders is definitely a reputable team, even though it failed to be the champion.
I will do my best not to disappoint all my supporters,'' added Lee
I am really satisfied with my contract to play for Thunders again.
I will certainly grab the title next season,'' Lee Jung-suk said.
By Yoon Chul
Staff Reporter
Lee Jung-Suk (183-G-82)


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  SPAIN   


Standings - LEB Silver
LEB Silver Standings
 1. Palencia 20-10 
 2. Caja Rioja 19-11 
 3. Navarra 19-11 
 4. Torrons Vic. 19-11 
 5. Cornella 18-12 
 6. Vigo 18-12 
 7. Jerez 17-13 
 8. CB Tarrag. 17-13 
 9. Plasencia 16-14 
 10. Ourense 15-15 
 11. Huesca 14-16 
 12. Prat 11-19 
 13. Gijon 10-20 
 14. CajasurCord. 10-20 
 15. Coruna 9-21 
 16. Qalat Caja Sol 8-22 


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  SWEDEN   


Jonas Jerebko advances to the Play-offs abroad - by Eurobasket News
Jonas Jerebko (206-F-87) advances to the Play-offs in Italy with his Angelico Biella. Scavolini held off Angelico Biella at home court behind 21 points from Michael Hicks. LeRoy Hurd added 20 points for the winners. James Gist responded with 22 points for Angelico Biella as they made it to the playoffs despite the defeat. Jonas Jerebko ended up with 8 points and 4 rebounds.
In Round 29 Angelico Biella earned a home win over Armani Jeans to improve at 15-14 record. Joe Smith knocked down 18 points to lead the hosts. Reece Gaines distributed 10 assists for the winners, while Jonas Jerebko had 5 points and 6 rebounds. Mindaugas Katelynas responded with 16 points for Armani Jeans.
Joe Smith canned 25 points, while Jonas Jerebko added 20 points and 13 boards as Angelico Biella eked out a narrow road win over Carife. Greg Brunner delivered 13 points for the winners. Andre Collins had 24 points and 6 assists for Carife Ferrara.
In the Play-offs Jonas Jerebko's team will face Lottomatica Roma that held off NGC Cantu as Andre Huston ensured 14 points. Ibrahim Jaaber added 13 points, 7 boards and 5 assists for the home side. Kevinn Pinkney answered with 21 points and 14 boards in NGC Cantu loss.


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  UKRAINE   


UBL Round: 1 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Kryvbasbasket - Politek.Lviv 91-88
Kryvbasbasket needed an overtime to overcome Politekhnika-Halychyna in the first game of the semifinal clash. Dmitri Korablev (198-F-77) netted 18 points to pace the home side. Dubravko Zemljic finished with 15 points for the winners. Gerrod Henderson responded with game-high 24 points for the Lviv team. Volodymyr Gurtovoy tallied 19 points and 13 boards in the loss.

Budivelnyk - BC Odessa 98-87
Budivelnyk ensured the opening win over BC Odessa in the UBL semifinals. Tomas Delininkaitis (192-G-82, agency: Interperformances) nailed 26 points, pulled down 6 boards and issued 4 assists to lead the Kyiv outfit to the initial win. Derrick Zimmerman and John DeGroat added 14 points apiece in the victory. Otis Hill answered with 25 points, 7 boards and 4 assists for BC Odessa. Darius Pakamanis had 23 points in defeat.


Superleague Round: 4 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
BC Donetsk - BC Kyiv 84-74
BC Donetsk will play in the Superleague Final. The inaugaral season can become triumphant for BC Donetsk after they set up the clash with Azovmash in the championship series. Andres Rodriguez (182-G-81, college: American) scored 14 points, dished out 7 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds to pace Donetsk to a decisive win over BC Kyiv in the fourth game. Demetrius Alexander added 13 points for the winners. Manuchar Markoishvili nailed 20 points for BC Kyiv. Nikola Vasic and Oleg Saltovets had 16 points apiece in defeat.


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  VENEZUELA   


Standings - LPB
LPB Standings
 1. Guaros 25-7 
 2. Cocodrilos 23-11 
 3. Marinos 23-11 
 4. Trotamundos 20-14 
 5. Guaiqueries 20-15 
 6. Gaiteros 14-20 
 7. La Guaira BBC 14-21 
 8. Toros 12-22 
 9. Panteras 9-23 
 10. Gigantes 9-25 


LPB 2009 - Week 12 (Tuesday): Guaiqueries reaches 20th victory and number 700 - by Francisco Vega

Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Guaiqueries de Margarita reached their 20th victory in the LPB 2009 regular season and the 700th in their history as a Venezuelan basketball franchise, by taking down La Guaira BBC as visitors.

Guaiqueries de Margarita 90 - La Guaira BBC 75
Jose Maria Vargas Arena - La Guaira, Vargas

Quarter by quarter
LG: 16-19-20-20= 75
GUAI: 25-13-18-34= 90

Scorers
GUAI: Kelvin Pena (193-G-81) 16 points and 6 assists, Dennis D'Adezzio (191-G-81) 16 points, Cesar Silva (187-G/F-81) 11 points and 6 rebounds, Rogers Washington (198-F-77) 10 points, Jackson Zapata (198-F-85) 10 points

LG: Johnell Smith (186-G-80) 16 points, Oswaldo Gonzalez (203-F/C-79) 12 points and 6 rebounds, Andres Sandoval (193-G-83) 11 points



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  WBA   


WBA 2008 Champs-Decatur Court Kings Announce 2009 Tryout Camp - by Bobby Rouse


WBA 2008 Champs-Decatur Court Kings Announce 2009 Tryout Camp

ATLANTA, April 30, 2009-
Decatur's champion professional basketball team, the Decatur Court Kings will hold its Tryout Camp on Sunday May 17th at City of Decatur Gym on 231 Sycamore St. in Decatur GA. This camp will give talented athletes an opportunity to be exposed to the Decatur Court Kings staff. The top players will be signed. The registration fee is $100.00 in advance and $125.00 at the door. The mission of the WBA Exposure League is to teach, develop, and expose basketball players to NBA, D-League, CBA, and International Scouts, while providing each community with an exciting brand of basketball and entertainment. The WBA serves as a training ground to develop players and coaches on and off the court. Emphasis is placed on fundamental development, community involvement, and most importantly exposure. Over 400 WBA Players have gone on to play professionally overseas, in the CBA, D-League, and the NBA.
WBA teams are comprised of talented athletes with a maximum of five years professional experience. WBA exposure teams have produced and worked with top coaches, such as former Rome Gladiators coach Harold Ellis, who recently signed to the NBAs Detroit Pistons coaching staff and standout players who made it to the next level, including Kenyon Gamble, who played with the WBAs the former Magic City Court Kings and now plays with the Manchester Millrats of the PBL. Other star athletes include Josh Powell who signed to the L.A. Clippers; former Hawks Anthony Grundy, and Kyle Davis of the New Jersey Nets.

About The Decatur Court Kings Open Tryout Camp:

WHERE: City of Decatur Gym at 231 Sycamore St. in Decatur, GA 30031

WHEN: Saturday-May 17, 2009

SCHEDULE: 10:00am - 3:00 pm

REGISTRATION FEE:
Registration: $100
Walk-up Registration: $125
Acceptable Forms of Payment: Cash, Money Orders, PayPal

For more information about the WBA Decatur Court Kings Tryout Camp and to register, visit our website at www.wbaball.net or call the WBA Office directly at 770.904.5081 or email WBA Commissioner Lionel Garrett at lionel@wbaball.net. Media Inquiries contact Trea Davenport, WBA Director of Media Relations at treadaypr@gmail.com.





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Women News

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  DENMARK - Women  


Stats Leaders - Damenligaen
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 K.Jensen 79ers 19.7
2 C.Luhta Vrlse 19.3
3 T.Matthews Horsens 19.3
4 N.Piggott 79ers 19.0
5 E.Ramberg Amager 17.8
Rebounds Per Game
1 T.Matthews Horsens 11.6
2 J.Adamschik SISU 11.4
3 C.Porras Lemvig 10.8
4 S.Scott Amager 10.2
5 N.Piggott 79ers 9.3
Assists Per Game
1 M.Vespa Falcon 4.4
2 T.Freil Amager 4.0
3 A.Thorius 79ers 3.6
4 I.Kostic Virum 3.6
5 I.Udovalieva Lemvig 3.2
Steals Per Game
1 M.Vespa Falcon 3.4
2 E.Hesseldal byhj 3.1
3 T.Matthews Horsens 2.6
Blocks Per Game
1 T.Huff Horsens 6.5
2 C.Porras Lemvig 2.3
3 L.Olden Falcon 1.8
2FGP
1 N.Piggott 79ers 58.6%
2 C.White Horsens 56.3%
3 L.Gronemann SISU 51.7%
3FGP
1 K.Jensen Hrsholm 79ers 66.0%
2 T.Knudsen Vrlse 42.9%
3 E.Kiis Horsens 41.2%
Free Throws
1 N.Piggott 79ers 90.6%
2 A.Gadeberg Horsens 85.7%
3 M.Manzer SISU 85.5%


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  FINLAND - Women  


HoNsU changes coaches - by Esko Saarinen
HoNsU, Jyvaskyla, is changed the coaching team totally for next season. Last three seasons was coaching Mikko Tupamaki and last season HoNsU was seventh in the regular season. The new head coach is Kalle Johansson, who is helping by Ari Aumo. Virpi Rahikkala is a fysical treineer. The same team was coaching HoNsU in the season 2003/2004 when HoNsU played in I division. The team had possipility to get up, but didn't wanted. HoNsU is now trying to establish the place in the highest level and make the team for it's own material. Last season A-girls won silver and had many possipilities to go to the women's team. The team is now looking after to students who are coming to Jyvaskyla university and after that they decide about foreign pleyers.

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  FRANCE - Women  


Eurobasket.com All-French LFB Awards 2008-09 - by Eurobasket
#s#
Yacoubou-DehouiYacoubou-Dehoui
Yacoubou-Dehoui
DumercDumerc
Dumerc
WrightWright
Wright
MoschMosch
Mosch
GrimaGrima
Grima
#e#6
Player of the Year - Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui (195-C-86) of Tarbes
Guard of the Year - Celine Dumerc (168-G-82) of Bourges
Forward of the Year - Sheana Mosch (177-G/F-81) of Montpellier
Center of the Year - Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui of Tarbes
Newcomer of the Year - Bernice Mosby (186-F-84) of Arras
Most Improved Player of the Year - Lauren Neaves (188-F-83) of Cote d'Opale
Bosman Player of the Year - Martina Luptakova (184-F-77) of Challes-les-Eaux
Import Player of the Year - Tanisha Wright (180-G-83) of Tarbes
Domestic Player of the Year - Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui of Tarbes
Defensive Player of the Year - Geraldine Robert (184-F-80) of Villeneuve
Coach of the Year - Francois Gomez of Tarbes

1st Team
Celine Dumerc of Bourges
Tanisha Wright of Tarbes
Sheana Mosch of Montpellier
Hollie Grima (190-C/F-83) of Pays d'Aix
Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui of Tarbes

2nd Team
Kristen Sharp (175-G-81) of Pays d'Aix
Martina Luptakova of Challes-les-Eaux
Geraldine Robert of Villeneuve
Emmeline Ndongue (191-F/C-83) of Bourges
Emma Randall (188-C-85) of Clermont

All-Domestic Players Team
Celine Dumerc of Bourges
Paoline Salagnac (176-G-84) of USO Mondeville
Geraldine Robert of Villeneuve
Mame-Marie Sy-Diop (185-F-85) of Reims
Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui of Tarbes

All-Imports Team
Lauren Neaves (188-F-83) of Cote d'Opale
Tanisha Wright of Tarbes
Sheana Mosch of Montpellier
Emma Randall of Clermont
Hollie Grima of Pays d'Aix

All-Bosmans Team
Orsolya Englert (172-G-80) of Reims
Frida Eldebrink (174-G-88) of Tarbes
Martina Luptakova of Challes-les-Eaux
Elena Nikipolskaia (188-F-71) of Stade Clermontois
Sylvia Janostinova (193-F/C-78) of Challes-les-Eaux


Bourges defends LFB title! - by Eurobasket News
Big final, Game 3: Bourges - Tarbes 72-52

Bourges did it again. Celine Dumerc (168-G-82) and her teammates defended the championship title in France outplaying Tarbes 2-1 in the big final. First game of the final series belonged to Tarbes 55-47, after what Bourges registered magnificent 78-37 home win. Last night, Bourges once again resolved question about the winner already at the half time. After 10 minutes of the game it was 18-8 for the hosts. Second period was even better (25-11) meaning that Bourges jumped to huge 43-19. That was the end for Tarbes, who slightly improved later, what of course was not enough even for a small treat. Celine Dumerc was a key player for the new-old champions collecting 19 points and 4 rebounds. Endene Miyem (188-F-88) also was good netting 13 pts and pulling down 5 rebs, while Ana Lelas (183-G/F-83) followed with 9 pts. In Tarbes, Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui (195-C-86) shined with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Tanisha Wright (180-G-83, agency: LBM Management, college: Penn St.) had 12 and Isis Arrondo (166-G-89) added 10 pts. Once again Bourges totally outjumped its rival with 13 rebs more (37-24). As a reminder, Bourges was the regular season champion in LFB with almost perfect 25-1 record. The decisive game for top of LFB was the one in the last round against Tarbes.

Bourges was the LFB champion last season and also in 2006. The same trophy belonged to Bourges from 1995 to 2000.


Bourges: Celine Dumerc 19+4 boards, Endene Miyem 13+5 boards, Ana Lelas 9
Tarbes: Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui 16+7 boards, Tanisha Wright 12+4 boards, Isis Arrondo 10


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  GERMANY - Women  


News from Halle - by Moritz Korff
Head Coach Peter Kortmann has signed a contract extension with the SV Halle Lions (DBBL). The 47-year-old led the club to the play-off semifinal in 2008-09. The new contract runs through the 2009-2010 campaign.
Also team captain Andrea Krug (185-F/C-84) and playmaker Amanda Rego (170-G-86, college: San Diego), who has been named the 200-09 Eurobasket.com All-DBBL Guard of the Year just recently, will stay with the Lions one more year. Meanwhile, the Halle club-officials are anticipating the departure of Polina Hadjiyankova and Jitka Peterkova.


Drozd stays in Herne - by Cornelius Damm
Belarus NT player Nadzeya Drozd (168-G-83, agency: LBM Management) will wear the Herner TC jersey for another season in 2009/10. The sharpshooting PG guided Herner TC to a 10-12 record in Regular Season and its first ever Play Offs appearance in 1.DBBL to surprise the league with a 81-72 upset win in Wasserburg at the Play Off opener on March 27th. That night Drozd finished with 26 pts shooting 6 of 12 treys and 9 of 19 overall to go along with 8 reb and 7 ass in 39 minutes of action. In 22 Regular Season and 3 Play Off games Drozd combined for 16.2 PPG on a .432 shooting performance, 4.5 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.9 SPG. Her 62 converted three-pointers (out of 172 attempts) list her second in three-pointers made in 1.DBBL this season. One reason for her to stay in Herne might be the fact that her Belarus teammate 1.DBBL great Katsiaryna Zberch (188-C-78, agency: LBM Management) will stay in Herne as well due to her two year contract she had signed last summer.

Herner TC also announced the signing of Emina Karic (178-G/F-91) for another season. The young talented Guard with Bosnian heritage who just turned 18 years old recently finished the season as the teams best German scorer, combining for 111 pts (4.4 PPG) in 25 games. Karic is considered as one of the biggest talents in Germany at her age. Past summer she averaged 23 minutes per game for the German U18 NT at the European Championship in Division B. Throughout the eight game event in Skopje, MKD August 6th through 16th 2008 she scored 8.3 PPG, grabbed 4.8 RPG, dished out 1.4 APG and got her hands on 2.0 SPG.


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  HOLLAND - Women  


AutoCAD Amazone and ProBuild Lions escape elimination - by Eurobasket News
AutoCAD Amazone stayed in the title race in the Eredivisie playoffs after they ensured a 55:52 win over HLB Accountants at home court. Jamell Beasley (175-G-84, college: Towson) came up with 11 points and 7 rebounds to propel Amazone to a vital success. Audrey Tabon (190-C-85, college: Illinois) produced 9 points and 16 rebounds for the winners. Amazone looked as if they were on the way to the abyss after the opening frame. HLB Accountants showed determined effort and gained a 9-point advantage after ten minutes of action. But the hosts braced up to open the second frame on a 9:2 run. HLB Accountants did not allow the home team to surge in front though clinching a 27:23 lead at the major break. The hosts went on a 7:0 rally at the start of the second half and finally got in front. The teams traded baskets throughout the third stanza and completed it tied at 39. It all came down to the final seconds when HLB Accountants pulled in charge 52:51 but Maaike van de Bovenkamp (178-F-85) answered with a bucket to retain the lead for Amazone. Maaike van de Bovenkamp then sealed the winning outcome for Amazone bringing the scoreline to 55:52. Sharon Bos (181-F-79) finished with 8 points and 10 boards for the winners. Leonie Kooij (187-F-86, agency: LBM Management) had 13 points and 10 rebounds for HLB Accountants. Anna Vicenzetto (183-C/F-77) delivered 9 points in the loss.
In the meantime the ProBuild Lions also escaped elimination as they beat Woonbron/DAS 66:50 on the road. The Lions used a 16:4 first frame to build a decisive lead in the game. Chelsey Warburton (173-G-85, college: Weber St.) finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds to pace the Lions. Jasmijn Overbeeke (188-C/F-84) had 16 points and 6 steals in the victory.
The fifth games in both series are scheduled for May 14.


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  ISRAEL - Women  


Israel lose two in Russia - by Eurobasket News
Israeli National Team continued their preparation for the upcoming European championship in Latvia. Recently Israel traveled to Russia to take part in a warm-up tournament in Vidnoe.
Israel took on the hosts in the opening day. The visitors looked good in the starting stanza and enjoyed an 18:17 advantage after ten minutes. But Russia soon surged ahead and finished the first half leading by 10 points. The gap grew to as many as 23 points in the third quarter. Israel could not get back on track and lost the game 46:76. Katya Levitsky (194-C-85, agency: Data Plus Group, college: Villanova) scored 13 points for Israel. Ekaterina Abramzon (186-F/C-87, agency: ZAG Advocates) had 8 points in defeat. Ilona Korstine (183-G-80) topscored with 17 points for Russia.
Israel faced Ukraine yesterday and had to surrender once again 61:70. This game was a tough battle though with neither side able to dominate. Ukraine grabbed a 19:17 lead after the first frame and maintained the margin throughout the second term. The scoreboard read 33:31 for Ukraine at the interval. Israel got within a single point 51:52 at the end of the third stanza but it never helped. Ukraine increased the tempo in the fourth period and managed to run away for good. Liron Cohen (174-G-82) fired 24 points to pace Israel. Shay Doron (175-G-85, college: Maryland) added 13 points in the losing effort. Olexandra Gorbunova (186-F-86) sank 20 points for Ukraine.


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  ROMANIA - Women  


Targoviste topple Sf. Gheorghe in finals opener - by Eurobasket News
Targoviste - Sf. Gheorghe 63:43

Targoviste claimed the opening win in the Romanian D1 finals. They defeated Sf. Gheorghe at home court to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Targoviste were obvious favorites before the playoffs as they finished the regular season without a single loss. Targoviste stormed into the game playing some stifling defense in the starting frame. The hosts limited their opponents to just 9 points in first ten minutes to earn a 6-point lead. Sf. Gheorghe adjusted offense in the second frame and did not allow Targoviste to run away. But Targoviste fired from all guns in the third stanza. They outgunned the visitors 21:9 to build a 19-point cushion before the final period. Targoviste maintained the pressure in the fourth quarter and clinched a comfortable win at the end.
Chrissy Givens (180-G-85, agency: LBM Management, college: Middle Tenn.St.) scored 19 points and collected 10 rebounds to lead Targoviste. Monique Coker (188-F-82, college: ODU) added 17 points in the winning effort. Erzsebet Ambrus (187-F-72) responded with 13 points for Sf. Gheorghe. Sharnee Zoll (170-G-86, college: Virginia) finished with 11 points in defeat.
The second game of the finals is scheduled for May 16.

Targoviste: Chrissy Givens 19+10 boards, Monique Coker 17, AnneMarie Parau (174-G-84) 7
Sf. Gheorghe: Erzsebet Ambrus 13, Sharnee Zoll 11


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  VENEZUELA - Women  


Venezuelan U18 National Team 2009 - by Richard
Juferlyn Alfonzo of Cojedes
Edicta Blanco of Cojedes
Karen Hernndez of Falcon
Angely Frontado of Aragua
Waleska Perez of Aragua
Mariangel Carrero of Merida
Ayalexis Ylarraza of Guarico
Yanilca Montoya of Tachira
Odalis Pacheco of Carabobo
Hilda Ortega of Carabobo
Wanda Perez of Portuguesa
Jannaly Montilla of Portuguesa
Sharon Guzman of Yaracuy
Jhurney Reverol of Yaracuy
Maria Arteaga of Yaracuy
Marianna Duran of Yaracuy
Coach: Eduardo Gil
Assistant Coach:
Cecilio Escobar


Venezuela's U18 Squad to play friendly matches in Caracas - by Francisco Vega
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Venezuela's Women U18 squad, preparing for the Women U18 South American Championship to be played in Chile, will play a couple of friendly matches in Caracas on May 14th and May 15th against Instituto Pedagogico de Caracas (IPC) and Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV).

The team coached by Eduardo Gil, assisted by Cecilio Escobar, wants to be able to repeat the first place that Venezuela got in Ecuador two years ago, the first gold medal for this country in Women's basketball. Players are Juferlyn Alfonzo, Edicta Blanco (Cojedes), Karen Hernndez (Falcon), Angely Frontado and Waleska Perez (Aragua), Mariangel Carrero (Merida), Ayalexis Ylarraza (Guarico), Yanilca Montoya (Tachira), Odalis Pacheco, Hilda Ortega (Carabobo), Wanda Perez y Jannaly Montilla (Portuguesa), Sharon Guzman, Jhurney Reverol, Maria Arteaga y Marianna Duran (Yaracuy).


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  WNBA - Women  


CHEN-ese Import - by Alex Yam
Sky Sign Chinese National Team Center Chen Nan Through 2010 Season

CHICAGO, April 28, 2009 Chicago Sky Head Coach and General Manager Steven Key announced today that the team has signed 2009 Womens Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) Most Valuable Player, Chen Nan, through the 2010 season. Per team policy, terms of the contracts have not been released. Chen, a 65 center, will add even more height to an already big Sky lineup that includes 66 center Sylvia Fowles and 62 forward Candice Dupree.

Twenty-six-year-old Chen, began playing for the Chinese National Team at age 16, and became a WCBA rookie at age 18. Chen currently plays for team BaYi Stationery of the WCBA, and was named 2009 WCBA MVP averaging 23.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game. Chen a four-time WCBA Champion was named 2003 All-WCBA Center of the Year.

Chen has represented the Chinese Womens National Basketball team for 10 years, appearing in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, 2006 World Championship in Brazil, and most recently in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing where she averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. The dynamic and versatile play of Chen Nan helped lead the Womens Chinese National team to its best Olympic finish-ever, placing fourth overall.

It was my dream to play in the WNBA and now as a member of the Chicago Sky my dream has come true, said center Chen Nan. The WNBA is the top league for womens basketball, and hosts the best players in the world. I know it will be a challenge, but I am glad to be playing for the Sky. I am committed to assisting the Sky in any way possible to become a championship team. Im excited to be on the same team as Sylvia , during the 2008 Beijing Olympics I learned she is an extremely aggressive and dominant player in the paint, I am a lucky dog playing aside her. The Sky to me has been something that Ive liked since I was young, to me it represents having no limits the Sky has no limits!

The addition of Nan is a bold and exciting move, said Head Coach and General Manager Steven Key. Nan has incredible experience in playing for both the Chinese National Team and in the WBCA, she is prepared, skilled, and ready to compete with the best in the world, which is why we are excited to have her as a member of the Sky. At 65 her addition will add to the overall height and size of our front court, which we need to challenge the best in the WNBA. Her ability to shoot from the outside as well as drive to the basket is exceptional for a player of her size. Theres no doubt that Nan dramatically adds to our athleticism and versatility which we must have to build a championship team.

Nan is the second international player for the Sky, and will arrive in Chicago in early May in time to report to Sky training camp, which begins on May 17, with media day on May 18. The Sky season opens on June 6 at Minnesota. The Skys home opener is on June 12 against the Atlanta Dream at 7:30pm at the UIC Pavilion.