EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 5/25/2009

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Men News

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  ARGENTINA   


Atenas grabs championship title in Argentina! - by Eurobasket News
Penarol - Atenas 83-91
Atenas is a new champion of the country! After 5 seasons without Liga A title, Atenas made it outplaying Penarol 4-2 in the Finals. Andre Laws (186-G-80, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: San Diego) once again was a key player for Atenas scoring 21 points last night. Bruno Labaque (183-G-77, agency: Interperformances) followed him with 14, while Leonardo Gutierrez (200-F-78) and Juan Locatelli (198-F-75) delivered 13 points each. Federico Ferrini (194-G/F-83) helped with 12 pts. In Penarol, Pablo Sebastian Rodriguez (188-G-78) was on fire scoring 20 points.


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  BELARUS   


Minsk-2006 wins first two of the Finals - by Eurobasket News
Minsk-2006 celebrated the first two victories over Vitalyur in the Final series of the country. The team clinched both victories at home and now will travel to the opponent's' place to prove the superiority. In Game 1 Minsk-2006 won over Vitalyur 68:60 with the win in the first three quarters. The home side opened the game with 22-18 and then added 17-15 at the halftime. Minsk-2006 produced 20-11 in the third quarter, however Vitalyur reduced the score to 8 points after 16-9 victory in the final stanza.
In Game 2 Minsk-2006 grabbed 2-0 in the series after 83:63 victory.


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  BRAZIL   


NBB Round: 5 (Quarter-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Universo/BRB - Vivo/Franca 64-59
Universo/BRB advanced into the semifinal stage after they beat Vivo/Franca in the fifth decisive game of the series. Alexandre Garcia (191-G-80, agency: Interperformances) stepped up with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the hosts. Estevam Ferreira contributed 12 points and 7 boards in the winning case. William Drudi responded with 16 points and 8 boards for Vivo/Franca. Matheus Costa had 14 points and 6 assists in defeat.


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  CHILE   


Dimayor: Liceo and Llanquihue at the top of the Apertura tournament - by Daniel Valencia
On sunday night finished the regular season of Dimayor's 'Apertura' tournament. Liceo Mixto and Provincial Llanquihue ended as the leaders of the north and south zone respectively and will have the home court advantage thru the playoffs that qualify two teams from each zone to the Top 4.

Pending game

Deportes Castro 76 - CD Universidad de Concepcion 79
Cas: Gonzalo Velasquez 27 pts
Ucon: Terrell Taylor 16 pts.

Round 11

Boston College 88 - Liceo Mixto 103
Bos: Jorge Valencia 29 pts.
Lic: Percy Werth 30 pts.

Deportivo Espanol 96 - Everton 69
Esp: Eduardo Sepulveda 30 pts.
Eve: Ricardo de Bem 18 pts.

Universidad Catolica 74 - Sagrados Corazones 56
Uc: Tomas Alvares 19 pts.
Sag: Marcos Hubner 15 pts.

Deportes Castro 78 - Provincial Osorno 88
Cas: Gonzalo Velasquez 35 pts.
Oso: 'Pop' Thornton 26 pts.

Universidad de Los Lagos 70 - Provincial Llanquihue 81
Ula: Alexander Blackwell 27 pts.
Llan: Carlos Sepulveda 29 pts.

Deportivo Valdivia 71 - CD Universidad de Concepcion 79
Val: Francisco Bravo 21 pts.
Ucon: Jorge Vasquez 21 pts.

Round 12

Boston College 90 - Everton 75
Bos: Jefferson Agba 28 pts.
Eve: Ricardo de Bem 24 pts.

Deportivo Espanol 70 - Liceo Mixto 71 (60-60) OT
Esp: Eduardo Sepulveda 17 pts.
Lic: Patricio Briones 25 pts.

Deportes Castro 66 - Provincial Llanquihue 106
Cas: Gonzalo Velasquez 25 pts.
Llan: Leonel Mendez 38 pts.

Universidad de Los Lagos 89 - Provincial Osorno 81
Ula: Alexander Blackwell 24 pts.
Oso: Renato Vera 25 pts.


Dimayor: final standings and playoff's first round series - by Daniel Valencia
Liceo Mixto and Provincial Llanquihue ended the regular season as the leaders of the north and south zone and now will have the home court advantage for the playoffs that qualify two teams from each zone to the TOP 4.

Final standings

North Zone

1. Liceo Mixto 8-2 (18 pts)
2. Universidad Catolica 6-4 (16 pts)
3. Espanol de Talca 6-4 (16 pts)
4. Sagrados Corazones 4-6 (14 pts)
5. Boston College 4-6 (14 pts)
6. Everton 2-8 (12 pts)

South Zone

1. Provincial Llanquihue 8-2 (18 pts)
2. CD Universidad de Concepcion 7-3 (18 pts) *
3. Deportivo Valdivia 6-4 (16 pts) *
4. Provincial Osorno 5-5 (15 pts)
5. Universidad de Los Lagos 4-6 ( 12 pts) **
6. Deportes Castro 1-9 (11 pts)

* Concepcion and Valdivia were benefited with one more point because of problems in the inscription of two players by Universidad de Los Lagos.
** Universidad de Los Lagos was punished with two points less because of problems in the inscription of two players.

Playoffs First round series

North Group

(1) Liceo Mixto vs (6) Everton
(2) Universidad Catolica vs (5) Boston College
(3) Espanol de Talca vs (4) Sagrados Corazones

South Group

(1) Provincial Llanquihue vs (6) Deportes Castro
(2) CD Universidad de Concepcion vs (5) Universidad de Los Lagos
(3) Deportivo Valdivia vs (4) Provincial Osorno

The first round series begins on friday night


Standings - DIMAYOR
DIMAYOR Standings
 1. Prov.Llanq. 8-2 
 2. Liceo Mixto 8-2 
 3. U.Concepc. 7-3 
 4. Dep.Espanol 6-4 
 5. U.Catolica 6-4 
 6. Prov.Osorno 5-5 
 7. Dep.Valdivia 5-5 
 8. U.Los Lagos 4-6 
 9. Boston Coll. 4-6 
 10. Sagrados 4-6 
 11. Everton 2-8 
 12. Dep.Castro 1-9 


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  CHINA   


Cavs sign ownership deal with China group - by Eurobasket News
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed an agreement with an investment group from China to become minority owners of the NBA franchise and its arena, a partnership that could impact superstar LeBron James' future with the team.

The Asian conglomerate, which includes JianHua Huang, a Chinese businessman who has brokered sponsorship deals with the New York Yankees and other sports franchises in the U.S., could acquire up to 15 percent of Cavaliers Operating Company, the entity that owns the team and operates Quicken Loans Arena.

The deal, completed by the sides in recent days, must be approved by the league's board of governors.

Team president Len Komoroski said Sunday the group approached Cavs principal owner Dan Gilbert about the partnership and called the business venture 'an exciting new opportunity.'

Gilbert's role in overseeing the organization and 20,000-seat arena will not be affected by the new partners.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, the Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported the sides had a tentative deal in place. But in recent days, paperwork was completed between Gilbert and the consortium. It will now be sent to the league office for approval.

With an eye on spreading the game on a global scale, the NBA has been quietly pushing for an international group to become involved in ownership on a minority level. And with a huge fan base already in China - mainly because of Houston All-Star Yao Ming - the league has entered into several ventures with the nation to develop players and build arenas to NBA specifications.

Huang and others in the group attended Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference finals in Cleveland. On Friday, they sat courtside and watched James hit a game-winning 3-pointer in the final second to give the Cavaliers a 96-95 win and even the best-of-seven series which resumed Sunday night.

If approved, the deal would provide marketing opportunities for the Cavaliers and James, who is eligible to become a free agent in the summer of 2010. The 24-year-old MVP, who is already among the league's most popular players in Asia, has stated he wants to become the first billionaire athlete. His brand overseas could be enhanced by playing for a team with Chinese business partners.

There has been ongoing speculation that James will leave Cleveland to play in a larger market like New York or Los Angeles because of the vast business opportunities. But James - and his corporate sponsors like Nike - have broader goals and may be able to attain them by tapping into China's colossal consumer marketplace without him ever leaving Cleveland.

James has never given any indication he wants to leave the Cavaliers, who drafted the Akron, Ohio, native with the No. 1 overall pick in 2003. He won a gold medal with the U.S. team last summer at the Beijing Games and has made four trips to China, including one with the Cavs during the preseason two years ago.

'It's a big market,' James said before Game 3. 'They love the game of basketball. I've been over there the last four or five summers. It should be good. It should be fun.'

Gilbert has been approached by outside investors in the past, but his original business group has mostly remained intact since he bought the Cavaliers and the rights to operate their arena for $375 million from former majority owner Gordon Gund in 2004.

Gilbert purchased the team with several other investors, including longtime business partner David Katzman, R&B superstar Usher and others. Gund maintained partial ownership.

However, in the past two years, Katzman has decided to focus on other business interests and the Chinese group would essentially take over his percentage of the Cavs.

Courtesy of www.areyouwatchingthis.com


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  CYPRUS   


Cyprus play friendly games in Serbia - by Eurobasket News
Cypriot National Team traveled to Novi Sad in Serbia to play a bunch of friendly games. They faced Vojvodina in the first two encounters and suffered two defeats. The first game was a close affair with Vojvodina stealing a narrow 81:76 win at the end.
Cyprus improved in the second game as they dominated in the first half. Giorgos Palalas (185-G-81, agency: Globalsports/Globalevents) paced the charge as Cyprus built a 22:18 lead after ten minutes of action. The visitors managed to stay solid in the second frame and ensured a 45:42 lead at the interval. But gradually Vojvodina took over. They accounted for 27 points in the third period to earn an 8-point lead into the final quarter. Cyprus team fought bravely and cut the margin but could not succeed in the dying minutes losing the battle 84:90. Giorgos Palalas came up with 21 points for Cyprus. Alexis Liatsos (200-F-80, college: Ohio) added 13 points, while Joseph Garcia (206-C-75, agency: Interperformances, college: UTEP) finished with 12 points in the loss.
Cyprus will next face FMP Zeleznik on Sunday. Radnicki will oppose the National Team on May 25.
Cyprus will host the XIII Games of the Small States of Europe. Cypriot mens basketball team will play alongside Iceland, San Marino, Malta, Andorra and Luxembourg. The tournament tips off on June 2.


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  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC   


Luis Martinez is replaced in Venezuela - by Oscar Peralta
Luis Martinez (198-F-84, college: William Pater.) has been replaced in Venezuela after 3 games with Trotamundos de Carabobo. He didn't show the level of basketball expected by the club. He played 3 games where he average 14 minutes a game and only scoring 2.67 points per game, 1.33 rebounds per game, and no assist. Martinez never got to make the impact he was capable of there for the team replace him. In his place they have signed Corey Williams (191-G-77, college: Alabama St.), a well known player in the playgrounds of NYC and who has also gotten looks by NBA teams, participating in NBA summer league a couple of times.

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  FRANCE   


Standings - N1
N1 Standings
 1. Lille 28-6 
 2. Bordeaux 26-8 
 3. Fos Ouest 26-8 
 4. Challans 24-10 
 5. Angers 23-11 
 6. Blois 21-13 
 7. Reims 19-15 
 8. Chalons 18-16 
 9. Boulogne 18-16 
 10. St Chamond 16-18 
 11. Get Vosges 16-18 
 12. Lievin 16-18 
 13. Bayonne 13-21 
 14. Longwy 12-22 
 15. Roche-la-Moliere 10-24 
 16. Prisse Macon 8-26 
 17. Juvisy 7-27 
 18. CFBB 5-29 


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  GERMANY   


1.Bundesliga Round: 3 (Quarter-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Telekom B. - ratiopharm 82-68
Telekom became the first team to advance to the Semifinals as the team swept the Quarter-Final series over ratiopharm after 82:68 in Game 3. Brandon Bowman (204-F-84, agency: David Lee services, college: Georgetown) paced all the winners with 24 points and Frazier Winsome added 13. Finn Sean collected 14 points and 14 boards in the losing effort and Gibbs Jeff notched 12.

Goettingen - Brose Baskets 60-72
Brose Baskets grabbed an important road 72:60 victory over Goettingen for 2-1 lead. Karsten Tadda (189-G-88) top-scored for the winners with 13 points and Brown Elton netted 12. Jacobson Ben brought the hosts 13 points and Oliver Chris had 12 points and 11 boards.

EWE Baskets - Dt.Bank SKY 61-50
EWE Baskets edged Dt.Bank SKY 61:50 to step closer to the Semifinal series. Rickey Paulding (196-G-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Missouri) and Boumtje Boumtje Ruben led the way with 13 points each for the winners, while Foster Je'Kel added 11. Simmons Keith ended up with 12 points in the losing case.

ALBA - Pad.Baskets 77-67
ALBA improved to 2-1 record after another home win over Paderborn Baskets 77:67. Julius Jenkins (187-G-81, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Georgia Southern) top-scored for the winners with 20 points, while Jacobsen Casey and Sekulic Blagota posted 13 each. Ensminger Chris and Felton Lavelle ended up with 14 points each in defeat.


Brian Brown re-signs with TBB Trier - by Manuel Schust
TBB Trier and Brian Brown (191-G-79, agency: Pro Partner Sports Management, college: Ohio St.) agreed to extend their partnership for one more year.
The 30-year old american, who started last season with Anwil Wloclawek, signed a one-year contract.
Brown is a familiar face in BBL. He started his overseas career with Telekom Baskets Bonn in 2002 and joined TBB Trier for the first time in 2004 and remained with the team till 2006.
After one season in France with Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket he returned to Germany and signed with Eisbaeren Bremerhaven for the 2007/08 campaign. After a short stint in Poland, Brown returned to Trier in December 2008. In 19 games he averaged 10.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game and helped to deepen Trier's backcourt.

Brown is fifth player with a alid contract for the 2009/2010 season. Derek Raivio (190-G-84, agency: Priority Sports, college: Gonzaga), George Evans (202-F/C-71, agency: Court Side, college: George Mason), Maksym Shtein (206-C-80, agency: LimeLight) an Maik Zirbes (205-C-90) will also be members of next seasons team.


The EWE Baskets Oldenburg Win game Three Gliding By The Deutsche Bank Skyliners In The Last Minutes 61-50 and Frankfurt Have To Win Game Four May 26th To Force Game Five May 28th - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber




Baseball has 9 innings, Pro Football 48 minutes, Ice Hockey 60 minutes and BBL Basketball 40 minutes, but the Deutsche Bank Skyliners fought, scraped, and stayed with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg for only 36 minutes, but then slipped on some of the Thunderbirds yoke from the hatched eggs from their nest as they were outscored 11-2 in the final four minutes losing game three 61-50. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg now lead the best of five quarterfinal series 2-1 and can win the series with a win in Frankfurt in game four May 26th. As bitter as the buzzer beater loss was for Oldenburg in game two, so was the Frankfurt loss in game three as the team was so close to stealing a game on the road, but experienced their crunch time woes of not executing once again. 'We were so close for 36 minutes and were mostly within 3-4 points. We let up many offensive rebounds, which cost us the game. Letting up 16 offensive rebounds is too much', commented Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak . A big plus for The EWE Baskets Oldenburg was their vigorous defense, which halted Frankfurt to seven points in the first quarter, but got even more aggravating in the second half. 'We got a bit tired on defense in the last games of the regular season resulting in loses and we have made an effort to play stronger defense and rebound in the playoffs', stressed Oldenburg American Rickey Paulding (196-G-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Missouri). Even though Frankfurt lost by 11 points, the game was more like a kids fight about who has more rights in the playground sandbox. 'We came to Oldenburg to win. The final score does not represent how the final score was. We were so close, but just couldnt get to zero. It was very frustrating', explained Skyliner forward Ilian Evtimov (201-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina St.).

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners knew that they only had two more chances of stealing a game in Oldenburg, but the opponent was quick thinking, alert and efficient policeman as Frankfurt was unable to steal many many baskets and get around the feisty patrol on defense as Oldenburg had many hidden robocops within the Oldenburg players. The Oldenburg effort was eased again like in game one without the services of Lorenzo Gordon (201-F-83, agency: Hart Sports Mngm, college: Oklahoma City) who has a thigh injury. A physical presence inside was weakened by the absence of Lorenzo Gordon and Greg Jenkins (206-F/C-82, college: Iona) and Anthony King (206-F/C, agency: Interperformances, college: Miami, FL) were unable to out muscle Ruben Boumtje Boumtje (212-C-78, college: Georgetown), Marko Scekic (207-F-81, agency: Agency No 10) and Milan Majstorovic (207-C-83) the way Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) had envisioned. 'I was mad. I really wanted to play. I would of played with one leg if I could. They got too many offensive rebounds', said Skyliner center Lorenzo Gordon. Gordon tried giving King valuable advice form the bench. 'Anthony played well. I told him that he had to try to knock down shots over Boumtje Boumtje and he did that. Our centers did have problems allowing too many second chances', added Lorenzo Gordon. Coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) was not too amused by the play of his centers. 'Our big men have to produce on both ends. If they dont do that, then we have less chance of winning', warned Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ).

Good friends Jimmy McKinney (192-G-83, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Missouri) and Rickey Paulding have met three times in the last eight games and have not seen each other this much since their college days at the University of Missouri. Rickey Paulding leads the current head to head battle 4-3 and win or lose showing some love for each other is just automatic for these two American boys living their Basketball dream in Germany. 'It has been great seeing each other so much in the last week. I got some baked raisin cookies from Rickey. I should come back to Oldenburg more often', joked Jimmy McKinney. It is never easy to beat a friend, but on the court, both guys are playing to win. 'It is always great to see Jimmy having fun on the court and playing against him. It is hard to see him lose, but at the same time we are playing to win. Seeing him so much as made me wonder what it would be like to play on the same team again', marvelled Oldenburg American Rickey Paulding.

Even though they were without American Titus Ivory, The opening minutes for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners was a 180 degree turn from their game one start as they showed unstoppable intensity and a beastly nature inside that was led by American Greg Jenkins. It seemed like both clubs had forgotten what scoring was as they had increased difficulty getting the ball into the hoop as both sides seemed a bit restive. Je kel Foster started the scoring with a jumper which was followed by a mid distance jumper by Jenkins. Jenkins was going inside a lot, but just having problems scoring. Derrick Allen (203-F-80, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Mississippi) gave Frankfurt the lead back 4-2 with a mid distance jumper. Rickey Paulding followed with a lay in knotting the game at four. Skyliner captain Pascal Roller (180-G-76) has made a name for making timely shots and gave Frankfurt the 7-4 lead with a three pointer. It seemed like this three pointer, might give them the needed energy to start a run on foreign territory, but instead came a very very strange ending to the first quarter.

Instead of maintaining their scoring, Frankfurt seemed maimed as if their vision was being blocked seeing a nest and shooting past it instead of into the basket. Oldenburg got four stops on defense and drew four fouls making only 5/8 free throws. Frankfurt was unable to score points in a four minute span. The only bright spot for Frankfurt was American Anthony King who amazed the fans by blocking Jason Gardner (178-G-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) and on the next possession blocking Marko Scekic. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg led 9-7 after one quarter which looked more like a high scoring baseball result. The field goal percentages were about as low as a warm day on the north pole as Frankfurt was shooting 13% and Oldenburg 17%. The three point shooting was a disaster as Oldenburg had a giant goose egg 0 and Frankfurt was shooting only 20%. Oldenburg had the slight 14-13 rebound edge and both teams had four turnovers. 'Both teams struggled in the first quarter. Both teams played great defense. We were rushing our shots', stated Rickey Paulding.

In the second quarter, The EWE Baskets Oldenburg continued showing their early knack for hitting the free throw line, but were not any stronger than 50%, which didnt move Frankfurt farther away as Oldenburg only led 11-10. After some minutes of hardship cracking the Oldenburg defense, Frankfurt had a strong possession with sound ball movement as American Keith Simmons (196-G-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Holy Cross) knocked down a three pointer after a nice touch pass from Adam Emmenecker (185-G-85, college: Drake). Frankfurt was in the middle of a 7-0 run to retake the lead 14-11. Anthony King drowned two free throws and a mid distance jumper. Frankfurt seemed to have the momentum back, but just like the first quarter at the 7-4 lead, Frankfurt lost concentration, couldnt score and produced too many turnovers getting cute with fancy passes and Oldenburg jumped out on a 13-0 run to lead 24-14. Oldenburg was playing healthy inside/out Basketball and finally got rid of the gosse egg from the three point line as Foster nailed two three pointers and Jason Gardner another. Marko Scekic also secured two offensive rebounds which led to baskets. Frankfurt was too harmless down low as the rebounding problems of game one reappeared again. Frankfurt found their face scoring again closing out the second quarter with a 7-2 run.

Oldenburg led only 26-21 which looked more like a high scoring Baseball result after ten minutes. After two Keith Simmons free throws and a Milan Majstorovic lay in after hauling in possibly the highest rainbow/lob pass that the EWE arena had ever seen from Jason Gardner, Frankfurt struck back with a basket from German National player Konrad Wysocki (202-F-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Princeton) who skipped into the zone barrelling around two Oldenburg players and finishing with his left hand. With a few seconds remaining, Adam Emmenecker found Keith Simmons with a crisp bounce pass for a lay up just as time expired. Both teams were shooting under 30% from the field and the parking lot, while Oldenburg narrowly led the rebounding fight 23-22. Frankfurt had ten turnovers and Oldenburg eight. 'We had a great run in the middle, hitting shots and playing good defense while they had bad shot decisions. Then we worked too quickly and Frankfurt came back', expressed Oldenburg guard Marco Buljevic (197-G-87, agency: Court Side). The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were able to keep their lead extending it to 32-23 with a 6-2 run. Je Kel Foster made a fade away jumper, followed by a Boumtje Boumtje shot and a Majstorovic two handed dunk as Frankfurt was not closing the zone. In the first few minutes, Oldenburg was doing a fantastic job limiting Frankfurt to little productive shots as the shot clock was always running down forcing Frankfurt to hurried and low percentage shots.

However as strong and aggressive the Oldenburg defense was and with the knowledge that each possession for Frankfurt was hard work, they continued to fight back and hustle as if this was their last game. Pascal Roller doesnt really surprise anyone, because he will shoot from anywhere on the floor. Roller nailed a three pointer from about two meters behind the line. Rickey Paulding hit a floater after getting an offensive rebound. Oldenburg led 34-26, but Frankfurt continued their mini offensive burst going on a 5-0 run with a Keith Simmons mid distance jumper and another Pascal Roller three pointer cutting the Oldenburg lead to 34-31. The three points was as close as Frankfurt would get to coming back as Oldenburg continued to score on a regular basis as Frankfurt could not. Oldenburg took a 41-33 lead as they stopped Frankfurt three consecutive times on defense. Oldenburg also continued to visit the free throw line four times. After three quarters, Oldenburg had a 42-36 lead. This was just not a good shooting day for either team. Frankfurt was shooting 26% from the field and Oldenburg 29%. Frankfurt was shooting 31% from three point range and Oldenburg only 17%. Oldenburg was gradually pulling away in the rebound department 34-28. Frankfurt still had more turnovers 13-11. 'We wanted to control Pascal Roller on defense more and not let him shoot off the screen and just be more physical', added Oldenburg guard Rickey Paulding. 'The third quarter was pretty even as both teams were playing at a high level on defense', stated Marco Buljevic.

In the fourth quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners started one last comeback, but were not rewarded as down the stretch as the EWE Baskets Oldenburg seemed to have gotten extra gas in the halftime for the needed push. Frankfurt started strong after a few free throws from both clubs as American Derrick Allen made a lay in after a quick feed from Konrad Wysocki and Keith Simmons made a jumper cutting the Oldenburg lead to 46-43. Boumtje Boumtje who was very efficient going 4/4 from the field made a lay in as the height advantage over Allen was obvious. Anthony King followed with a mid distance jumper getting Frankfurt back to 48-45. After a Majstorovic hoop, Allen followed with a lay in off a risky, but perfect lob pass down low from Konrad Wysocki. Wysocki followed with a free throw and Frankfurt trailed only 50-48. With four minutes remaining and crunch time underway, it seemed like the fans would get a spectacular finish, but instead got a one sided finish which didnt annoy any of the Oldenburg fans. Basketball can be so simple, but also so very cruel and unfair as the dreams of stealing a game in Oldenburg was haulted for Frankfurt as Oldenburg cruised to the end on a 11-2 run. Frankfurt was on the verge of possibly retaking the lead, but instead lost control of how to stay with the opponent. 'If we lose the tempo, then we tend to make easy mistakes', warned Skyliner assistant coach Engin Gencoglu .

Oldenburg scored on three consecutive possessions and Frankfurt was always stopped on offense. Paulding started the Oldenburg march with a shot after getting an offensive rebound, Boumtje Boumtje made a lay in as Greg Jenkins slipped to the ground and no help defense was there and Milan Majstorovic, who had hurt Frankfurt in game one with his three point clinic, made a clutch three pointer giving Oldenburg the 57-48 lead. Frankfurt made small mistakes and turnovers, while Oldenburg scored twice more with Boumtje Boumtje and Gardner. Oldenburg led 61-48 and were already risking a quick thought to the possibility of closing the series in Frankfurt Tuesday. Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) brought in little used Dominik Bahiense de Mello (190-G-85) who made best use of his garbage minutes making a jumper in one minute of play. 'Their zone defense had slowed us down, so we wanted to be more aggressive. Everybody stepped up. We got the big plays and key rebounds', stressed Rickey Paulding. 'That 11-2 run at the end really hurt. But we werent able to make our shots the whole game even though we had good looks. I missed too many hook shots and lay ups', described Skyliner American Derrick Allen. 'We made some big plays in that run and they made some bad decisions. The three pointer by Majstorovic broke their back', said Marco Buljevic.

The EWE Baskets Oldenburg were led by Ruben Boutje Boumtje with 13 points and eight rebounds and Rickey Paulding with 13 points and six rebounds. American Je Kel Foster added 11 points and Milan Majstorovic chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Keith Simmons with 12 points and Pascal Roller with 11 points.

This is a game that both teams want to forget quickly in terms of shooting. The EWE Baskets Oldenburg shot 33% from the field and Frankfurt 32%. Three point land was a disaster for both clubs as Oldenburg shot only 18% and Frankfurt 29%. Frankfurt lost the rebound battle 43-34. Frankfurt was unable to find the rebounding touch that they had in game two in the Ballsporthalle. 'We did a poor job boxing them out, gave up too many offensive rebounds and had problems with Boumtje Boumtje again', said Ilian Evtimov. Frankfurt did do one thing well, but also were unlucky with something else. 'I think we did an ok job containing Jason Gardner. But what also hurt was that they got some lucky bounces which led to some easy layups', stressed Ilian Evtimov.

The Deutsche Bank Skyliners now face a do or die contest in game Four May 26th and will have to win to force a game five on May 28. This will be the two teams sixth meeting of the season and there could always be some tricks up the sleeve of Skyliner Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ), but now all that counts is winning no matter what. 'We just have to win to stay alive. We have to get more points in the paint. Our defense was great. We only gave up 61 points', stressed Skyliner forward Derrick Allen. The EWE Baskets now are in the drivers seat and have the recipe for success in two easy steps. 'We have to be consistent on defense and get rebounds', warned Rickey Paulding. Frankfurt needs to lose sight of the bitter loss the same way Oldenburg digested the game winning shot of Keith Simmons in game two. 'We have to forget this loss quickly. The most important adjustment for game four will be boxing out', warned Ilian Evtimov. Frankfurt also should not forget their own strengths.' We have to play with confidence', warned Skyliner guard Jimmy McKinney. However there is one important aspect that might help Frankfurt and Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) again. History is something that The Deutsche Bank Skyliners and Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) can reflect back on in the next two games. Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) has a 2-0 record in his two only five game Quarterfinal series in the BBL. In 2005, Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ) led the Opel Skyliners past the Artland Dragons 3-2 and in 2008, he led Frankfurt past the Bayer Giants Leverkusen 3-2. The question is will his team give him a positive 3-0 record in this five game Quarterfinal series this season? 'In the playoffs anything is possible. We have to be really focused to win this series. I am confident that we can win again in five games', stressed Skyliner coach Murat Didin (agency: Interperformances ). The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host The EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Game four May 26th.


Market News - by Moritz Korff
BBC Bayreuth (2. Bundesliga Pro A) have handed Jermain Raffington (205-F/C-85, college: Southeastern CC) an extended contract that will keep him in Bayreuth until 2010. The 24-year-old German appeared in all 30 games last season and contributed 8.7 points as well as 4.3 rebounds per outing.

Benny Charles Anthony (198-F-88) has agreed a contract-extension with Herzoege Wolfenbuettel. The 21-year-old Power Forward from New Zealand, who holds a British passport, averaged 13.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in 30 games for Wolfenbuettel during this past season and made the Eurobasket.com All-2. Bundesliga Pro B Bosmans Team. Anthony is already the fourth key player from Wolfenbuettels 2008-09 roster who decided to stay another year.
Meanwhile a cooperation between the club and the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig has be fallen through. Thus the goal of moving up to the 2. Bundesliga Pro A is almost moving beyond reach and becomes 'unrealistic', according to the Wolfenbuettel website.

The GiroLive-Ballers Osnabrueck (2. Bundesliga Pro B), who have signed a new naming rights deal recently and therefore changed their team name, have added Jan Rohdewald (194-G/F-73, agency: Court Side) to their 2009-2010 roster. The 36-year-old veteran played more than 300 games in the 1. Bundesliga and spent the past six years with the Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck. Rohdewald signed a contract for one year with the Ballers (including a clausel for another season), that will be valid for both Pro B and Pro A.


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


Standings - A2
A2 Standings
 1. Ilysiakos 24-6 
 2. DASH Perist. 24-6 
 3. Dafni 21-9 
 4. Iraklis 19-11 
 5. Near East 17-13 
 6. Rethymno 17-13 
 7. KAOD 14-16 
 8. HSBC Pagrati 14-16 
 9. Apollon 13-17 
 10. ICBS 13-17 
 11. Xanthi 12-18 
 12. Olimpias 12-18 
 13. Keravnos Aigio 12-18 
 14. Ermis L. 12-18 
 15. Panerythrai. 11-19 
 16. MENT 5-25 


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


SMAFC won the 2nd division - by Tamas Deri
The team of SMAFC from Sopron won the 3rd game of the second division finals last night in Budapest and got the chance to come into the first division for the next season.

Wamsler SE Salgotarjan - SMAFC-NYME 61-80
(15-19, 7-13, 17-23, 22-25)
Budapest, Att.: 800, Referees: Pali, Teczeli, Domokos
Salgotarjan: Wehner 2, Tamas Sebok (191-G-77) 16/6, Tamas Hartvich (199-F-74) 20/3, Gorszkij 9/3,Vavra 3, Kolarics 5/3, Kiss K. 6/3, Coach: Daniel Tamas
SMAFC: Szabolcs Pojbics (183-G-76) 20/9, Gergely Balogh (192-F-81) 16/3, Gombas 9/3, Kornel Bausz (170-G-78) 12, Arnold Csaplar-Nagy (212-C-77) 17, Vesztergom 2, Karacsonyi Z. 4, Derdak, Kovacs B, Coach: Vetesi Imre


Market movements - by Tamas Deri

Some weeks ago the teams of the first division decided about some new rules for the next season. The most important for the hungarian market is the one, which says that two domestic players have to be on the court. It is allowed to sign four foreigners, but only three can be on the cour the same time.

For this reason the top teams of our country started to sign already experienced and skilled hungarian players.


Ferenc Bodi (198-F-77) signed with Albacomp for the season 2009-10. The 32 years old forward played two seasons earlier in Szekesfehervar 2005-05 and 2005-06. After that he spent one season with NYKK and came back to Dombovar where he started his professional carreer. He was a key player of his team this season with 11.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

One of the most talented hungarian youngsters, Gergely Kortelyesi (203-C-83, agency: 24seconds) will move to Paks this summer. ust one year after he wanted to quit playing basketball he had a great season and helped his team Sopron to get into the playoffs again he averaged 11.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and got also invited to our National Team.



*****************************************************
  IBL   


Lightning extends win streak to six, 116-109 - by Serafim Karaiskakis
Bryon Russell (6'7''-F-70, agency: Prossin Sports Management, college: Long Beach St.) scored 10 of his season-high 27 points in the final 1:46 Saturday night, leading the L.A. Lightning to their sixth straight pro basketball win -- a 116-109 decision over the Seattle Mountaineers at Cal Lutheran.

Russell hit 7-of-10 from the field, 5-8 from 3-point land, 8-9 from the charity stripe and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Ex-NBA star Lamond Murray added 21 for the Lightning (7-1) while Trayvon Lathan had a season-best 20 points and six rebounds off the bench.

Donald Watts led all scorers for Seattle with 36 points and eight boards. He nailed 14-16 from the free-throw line for the Mountaineers (7-5), who trailed by trailed 87-67 with 10:10 to play before cutting the deficit to four at 105-101 on two free throws by Watts with 2:04 remaining.

'We got a little relaxed, so coach put us (Russell and Murray) back in to finish it off,' said Russell, a former Utah Jazz standout who's scored 53 in his last two games. 'I'm getting in better shape. I play every day and basketball is so much fun for me right now.

'It's easy, the game is so easy to me.'

Russell canned a 3-pointer from the left side and drew the sixth foul on Watts with 1:46 to play. He completed the four-point play to boost the lead back to eight.

Rashaad Powell added 20 for Seattle and Marques Nichols had 15, including a layup that cut it to 109-103 with 1:15 remaining. Russell answered with another trey from the right side on Kamran Sufi's 10th assist.

After a slow start (it was tied 18-18 after a quarter), the Lightning took control with a 65-49 advantage in the middle two quarters.

Phil Givens scored 11 points and ex-UCLA star Billy Knight had nine points and three assists in his 2009 debut. Knight entered with five minutes left in the third period and assisted on back-to-back 3-pointers by Murray and Russell.

The Lightning used a 12-0 run that extended the margin to 75-60 on four straight points by Lathan with two minutes left in the third.

L.A. outshot the visitors 53.8 to 44.6 percent in the second half and finished at 46.9 percent. The Lightning made 22-26 free throws in the final 24 minutes.

'I expect them to come back, they can play,' said L.A. coach Ron Quarterman of the Mountaineers, who were playing their third game in three nights. 'But the veterans got the game back under control. Russell's four-play play was a big bucket because it got their leading scorer out of the game.'

The same teams will meet on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the Gilbert Sports Arena on the campus of Cal Lutheran.


Graham named MVP of NetScouts Basketball Eugene International Tryout - by Carl Berman
Ira Graham (6'2''-G, agency: Duran International, college: W.Washington) currently playing for the Bellingham Slam of the IBL, has been named the Most Outstanding Player at the NetScouts Basketball International Tryout Camp held this weekend in Eugene, OR. Graham showed excellent scoring ability from everywhere on the court. He averaged 31 ppg and shot 6-12 from 3-point range in the two games. Graham is athletic, can attack the basket and has the skills to play point in addition to the two. He has the ability and attitude to play at a high level overseas.
Graham is joined on the All-Tournament Team by Ryan Schmidt, Chris Faidley, Calin Schell and Josh Jarrett. Schmidt a versatile 6-7 forward can score inside and out and is very athletic. Schmidt averged in double figures at Western Oregon after transferring from the University of Hawaii. He was one of the last cuts by the Idaho Stampede of the D-League. Schmidt averaged 19 points and 6 rebounds. Faidley, a strong 6-2 shooting guard averaged over 20 ppg at Whitman College. He showed excellent three point range in shooting 9-15 from downtown. Chris averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Shell, another Western Washington grad playing for the Bellingham Slam, showed a nice inside game with nice pick and pop ability. He averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds. Jarrett, a smart 6-6 from NW Christian, averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds. Jarret showed a nice mid range game and understands how to use his body in the post. All the All-Tournament selections have the ability to play well overseas.
Leo Thornton, a smart point guard from NW Christian, showed poise and understanding of the game in running his team and earned Honorable Mention. Thornton had over a 2:1 assist:turnover ratio and ran the offense well. He focused on directing his team rather than scoring which is commendable at a tryout camp. He is the type of player who would make a team better regardless of how much he plays.
NetScouts Basketball will continue their International Basketball tryouts in San Jose, CA on May 31st. If you are interested in participating, please write to info@netscoutsbasketball.com or go to www.netscoutsbasketball.com and complete the Create a Profile form. Information concerning the tryouts can be found in the Resources section of the website.


Standings
IBL Standings
Eastern
 1. Holland B. 11-2 
 2. Kankakee S. 8-6 
 3. G.Rapids F. 6-6 
 4. Japan T. 0-13 
Independent
 1. S.Illinois T. 0-0 
 2. Arizona F. 0-0 
 3. Red Rock R. 0-1 
 4. Nevada P. 0-1 
 5. Chicago S. 0-1 
 6. Olympia R. 0-2 
 7. Yamhill H. 0-2 
Northern
 1. Bellingham S. 10-3 
 2. Snohomish C. 5-6 
 3. Vancouver T. 4-7 
 4. USA All-Stars 4-16 
Southern
 1. Vancouver V. 8-3 
 2. Oregon Wave 5-1 
 3. C.Oregon H. 3-4 
 4. Shanxi Zh. 0-0 
Western
 1. L.Angeles L. 7-2 
 2. Seattle M. 7-5 
 3. Edmonton E. 6-3 
 4. Tacoma T. 5-0 


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


Iceland U18 win Scandinavian championship - by Eurobasket News
Iceland U18 - Finland U18 78:69

Icelandic U18 National Team triumphed at the Scandinavian Championship held in Sweden. Today they held off Finnish counterparts in the dramatic final game. Sigurdur Thorarinsson (200-C-91) scored 23 points to lead Iceland youngsters to a 78:69 victory. Haukur Oskarsson (194-F) and Houkur Palsson (196-G-92) added 14 points apiece for the victors. Villematti Kopio (178-G-92) answered with 22 points for Finland.
Finnish team enjoyed an early lead in the game but Iceland soon found the right rhythm and took over. They unleashed a 14:2 run to claim a 20:14 advantage late in the opening frame. Icelandic team maintained the gap throughout the second term securing a 46:33 lead at the interval. However Samuli Vanttaja (206-F/C-91) organized a comeback effort from Finland as they cut the distance to just 5 points with ten minutes to go in regulation. Villematti Kopio and Samuli Vanttaja tried to reignite the intrigue in the clash but Iceland keep it cool. Haukur Oskarsson and Sigurdur Thorarinsson accounted for timely buckets late in the game to seal the winning outcome for Iceland.
Tomasson tallied 12 points, 6 boards and 4 assists for the winners. Samuli Vanttaja finished with 13 points in defeat. Iceland outrebounded their opponents 39:30 and forced those to 15 turnovers.

Iceland U18: Sigurdur Thorarinsson 23, Haukur Oskarsson 14, Houkur Palsson 14
Finland U18: Villematti Kopio 22, Samuli Vanttaja 13


*****************************************************
  IRAN   


The Initial Roster of IRAN National Team 2009 ... - by Mohammad Ahmadi
Below you will find the initial roster of Iran National Team invited by Veselin Matic for the upcoming events...

Players :
- Mohammad Samad Nikkhah Bahrami (199-G/F-83) of MAHRAM
- Mehdi Kamrani (181-G-82) of MAHRAM
- Hamed Sohrabnejad (206-C/F-83) of MAHRAM
- Hooman Rezaei (208-C-81) of MAHRAM
- Hamed Afagh Eslamiyeh (191-G-83) of SABA MEHR
- Saman Veissi (190-G-82) of SABA MEHR
- Asghar Kardoust (211-C-86) of SABA MEHR
- Hamed E Haddadi (218-C-85) of MEMPHIS
- MohammadReza Ebrahiminia (198-F-88) of BEEM
- Ali Doraghi (210-C-84) of SHIRAZ A.S PIPE
- Oshin Sahakian (202-F-86) of ZOB AHAN
- Aren Davoudi chegani (184-G-86) of ZOB AHAN
- Jaber Rouzbahani (223-C-86) of ZOB AHAN
- Mohammad Reza Akbari (197-F/G-86) of ZOB AHAN
- Ali Baheran (184-G) of ZOB AHAN
- Saeid Davarpanah (190-G-87) of PETROCHIMI
- Javad Davari (185-G-83) of PETROCHIMI
- Amir Amini (192-G-84) of AZAD UNIVERSITY
- Ali Jamshidi (196-G/F-85) of SHAHREKORD


Coaching Staff :

Head Coach :
- Veselin Matic

Assistant Coach :
- Mehran Hatami
- Safa Ali Kamalian

<<>><<>>


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


When I grow up... - by Ido Singer
When I grow up, I want to be a leader just like Derrick Sharp (183-G-71, college: S.Florida), said Final Four MVP Carlos Arroyo (188-G-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Intern.). Derrick Sharp (183-G-71, college: S.Florida), who will turn 38 soon, is and has been the undisputed leader of Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv ever since he joined the team 13 seasons ago. His role in the championship game who pivotal as he was rushed into the game by Pini Gershon (agency: Arik Krayn Services ) (After Gur Shelef advised him to do so) while Maccabi were trailing by 12 points 5:45 to the end of the first half and turned things around for Maccabi right away with a 3 pointer (one of two that he made) and lit up the fans who went from almost booing their team to rallying behind Maccabi and giving its players the push they so desperately needed.
After a season where Sharp's role was more that of a locker room motivator, a mentor for the young players and a guide to the Maccabi system for the new foreign players, Derrick was yet again called for a Hail Marry in a style that made him legendary. So much pressure was riding on his shoulders and Sharp, as usual, delivered. As soon as the first shot came in, the 3 pointer, you could feel the confidence of the players rise and their game improved. Haifa almost froze, as though they were nor prepared for Sharp to even be a part of the game (Which was the case almost all season long). They failed to respond and that was the turning point for Maccabi and the whole game.
The referees took care of the rest, calling 61 fouls and sending both teams to the line 80 times in what was probably one of the worst displays ever seen in Israeli basketball . Haifa, with a much shorter bench, was unable to adjust, as it seems that no matter what they covered - the blanket seemed to always be short. Doron Perkins (188-G-83, college: Santa Clara) and Devon Jefferson got into foul trouble and with Sharp reigniting the fans the game was all but over.
Marcus Brown (193-G-74, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Murray St.), who was referred to as this year's on and off the court leader in Maccabi gave credit to Sharp saying he was and is the undisputed leader. Marcus Brown (193-G-74, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Murray St.) has more than a couple European championships under his belt and to hear him say that speaks volumes of Sharp's ability to lead and motivate.
With the planning of a new season already in full motion, Maccabi's management knows the importance of keeping Sharp on the roster for as long as he is able to play. After that, there are already talks of keeping him in the system in some capacity, perhaps as an assistant coach.
No matter what the direction is, Maccabi is blessed to posses one of Europe's greatest 3-point and free-throw shooters, one of it's most influential leaders and one of the most decorated players to ever play the game on that level.


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


Latina and Siena will battle for the second Lega 2 spot - by Gianni Pascucci
Consum.IT Virtus Siena defeated 66-63 in front of its fans Assigeco Casalpusterlengo, advancing to the second Final Series, where will meet Latina. The winner will advance to Lega 2. The yesterday game was balanced till the end of the first half, when the score was 28-28, then Siena played a very good third quarter (23-12), keeping the lead, and never looked back. With 19 points and 12 rebounds, Thomas De Min (203-G-86) was the game best performer, followed in Siena by Fabio Marcante (196-G-80, agency: Players Group) and Gianluca Tomasiello (188-G-80), with 17 and 11 pts, respectively. The game top scorer was Alexander Simoncelli (188-G-86), with 27 pts for Casalbusterlengo, but it wasn' t enough.

Lega2 Round: 4 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Fastweb CM - Vanoli SO 89-77
Fastweb Casale tied the semifinal series against Vanoli Soresina at 2-2 winning the fourth game at home court. Zabian Dowdell (191-G-84, college: Virginia Tech) came up with 17 points to lead the way for the hosts. Jamar Smith added 14 points and 11 boards in the victory. Troy Bell answered with 26 points for Vanoli Soresina in the loss.


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


Dwight Howard scores 24 to lead Orlando to 99-89 win over Cleveland in Game 3 - by Eurobasket News
LeBron James (6'8''-F-84) had no shot. Dwight Howard (6'10''-F-85) scored 24 points -- 14 on free throws -- and Rafer Alston (6'2''-G-76, college: Fresno St.) added 18 as the Orlando Magic, sick of seeing replays of James' dramatic Game 2 buzzer-beater, downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-89 on Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in an Eastern Conference finals getting nastier by the minute.

James scored 41 on just 11-of-26 shooting and missed five free throws in the fourth quarter. But once again, Cleveland's superstar didn't get enough help from his teammates. Maurice Williams (6'1''-G-82, agency: Priority Sports, college: Alabama), who needed four stitches to close two gashes around his left eye after being elbowed in the first half, Delonte West and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (7'2''-C-75, agency: Interperformances) shot a combined 13-of-37. Game 4 is Tuesday night.

The first two games of the series in Cleveland were each decided by one point. This one was resolved by elbows, shoves and hard fouls. Howard, Ilgauskas and Cleveland's Anderson Varejao (6'9''-C-82) all fouled out as the officials called 58 personals, handed out two technicals, a flagrant and spent half the night stepping between players on both sides as tempers flared inside an overheated Amway Arena.

'We just kept fighting. That's what we got to do, we fight to the end,' Howard said. 'We can't worry about nothing, we can't worry about the calls, can't worry about nobody else. We just got to get out there and play.'

When the referees weren't making peace, they were sending players to the free-throw line.

Unlike Games 1 and 2, the Magic didn't fall behind by double digits and need to rally. They got out fast, stayed close despite Howard's early foul trouble and put the Cavs away at the line.

Howard, a notoriously poor foul shooter, went 14-of-19 from the line and the Magic made 39 of 51 attempts. In the fourth quarter alone, Orlando made 19 of 23 to hold off the top-seeded Cavaliers, who began the playoffs with eight straight wins and have now dropped two of their last three.

Cleveland better figure out a way to win in steamy Florida fast. The Cavs, who were thumped here by 29 on April 3, have lost six of their last seven in Orlando.

Courtesy of www.wftv.com


Cavs sign ownership deal with China group - by Eurobasket News
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed an agreement with an investment group from China to become minority owners of the NBA franchise and its arena, a partnership that could impact superstar LeBron James' future with the team.

The Asian conglomerate, which includes JianHua Huang, a Chinese businessman who has brokered sponsorship deals with the New York Yankees and other sports franchises in the U.S., could acquire up to 15 percent of Cavaliers Operating Company, the entity that owns the team and operates Quicken Loans Arena.

The deal, completed by the sides in recent days, must be approved by the league's board of governors.

Team president Len Komoroski said Sunday the group approached Cavs principal owner Dan Gilbert about the partnership and called the business venture 'an exciting new opportunity.'

Gilbert's role in overseeing the organization and 20,000-seat arena will not be affected by the new partners.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, the Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported the sides had a tentative deal in place. But in recent days, paperwork was completed between Gilbert and the consortium. It will now be sent to the league office for approval.

With an eye on spreading the game on a global scale, the NBA has been quietly pushing for an international group to become involved in ownership on a minority level. And with a huge fan base already in China - mainly because of Houston All-Star Yao Ming - the league has entered into several ventures with the nation to develop players and build arenas to NBA specifications.

Huang and others in the group attended Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference finals in Cleveland. On Friday, they sat courtside and watched James hit a game-winning 3-pointer in the final second to give the Cavaliers a 96-95 win and even the best-of-seven series which resumed Sunday night.

If approved, the deal would provide marketing opportunities for the Cavaliers and James, who is eligible to become a free agent in the summer of 2010. The 24-year-old MVP, who is already among the league's most popular players in Asia, has stated he wants to become the first billionaire athlete. His brand overseas could be enhanced by playing for a team with Chinese business partners.

There has been ongoing speculation that James will leave Cleveland to play in a larger market like New York or Los Angeles because of the vast business opportunities. But James - and his corporate sponsors like Nike - have broader goals and may be able to attain them by tapping into China's colossal consumer marketplace without him ever leaving Cleveland.

James has never given any indication he wants to leave the Cavaliers, who drafted the Akron, Ohio, native with the No. 1 overall pick in 2003. He won a gold medal with the U.S. team last summer at the Beijing Games and has made four trips to China, including one with the Cavs during the preseason two years ago.

'It's a big market,' James said before Game 3. 'They love the game of basketball. I've been over there the last four or five summers. It should be good. It should be fun.'

Gilbert has been approached by outside investors in the past, but his original business group has mostly remained intact since he bought the Cavaliers and the rights to operate their arena for $375 million from former majority owner Gordon Gund in 2004.

Gilbert purchased the team with several other investors, including longtime business partner David Katzman, R&B superstar Usher and others. Gund maintained partial ownership.

However, in the past two years, Katzman has decided to focus on other business interests and the Chinese group would essentially take over his percentage of the Cavs.

Courtesy of www.areyouwatchingthis.com


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


Graham named MVP of NetScouts Eugene International Tryout - by Carl Berman
Ira Graham (6'2''-G, agency: Duran International, college: W.Washington), currently playing for the Bellingham Slam of the IBL, has been named the Most Outstanding Player at the NetScouts Basketball International Tryout Camp held this weekend in Eugene, OR. Graham showed excellent scoring ability from everywhere on the court. He averaged 31 ppg and shot 6-12 from 3-point range in the two games. Graham is athletic, can attack the basket and has the skills to play point in addition to the two. He has the ability and attitude to play at a high level overseas.
Graham is joined on the All-Tournament Team by Ryan Schmidt, Chris Faidley, Calin Schell and Josh Jarrett. Schmidt a versatile 6-7 forward can score inside and out and is very athletic. Schmidt averged in double figures at Western Oregon after transferring from the University of Hawaii. He was one of the last cuts by the Idaho Stampede of the D-League. Schmidt averaged 19 points and 6 rebounds. Faidley, a strong 6-2 shooting guard averaged over 20 ppg at Whitman College. He showed excellent three point range in shooting 9-15 from downtown. Chris averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Shell, another Western Washington grad playing for the Bellingham Slam, showed a nice inside game with nice pick and pop ability. He averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds. Jarrett, a smart 6-6 from NW Christian, averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds. Jarret showed a nice mid range game and understands how to use his body in the post. All the All-Tournament selections have the ability to play well overseas.
Leo Thornton, a smart point guard from NW Christian, showed poise and understanding of the game in running his team and earned Honorable Mention. Thornton had over a 2:1 assist:turnover ratio and ran the offense well. He focused on directing his team rather than scoring which is commendable at a tryout camp. He is the type of player who would make a team better regardless of how much he plays.
NetScouts Basketball will continue their International Basketball tryouts in San Jose, CA on May 31st. If you are interested in participating, please write to info@netscoutsbasketball.com or go to www.netscoutsbasketball.com and complete the Create a Profile form. Information concerning the tryouts can be found in the Resources section of the website.


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


Standings - Men
PBBA Standings
Gaza Group
 1. Gaza SC 4-1 
 2. Rafah 4-1 
 3. Khadamat B. 4-1 
 4. Khadamat DA. 2-3 
 5. Khadamat KY. 1-4 
 6. Khadamat J. 0-5 
West Bank Group
 1. Ibdaa D. 15-0 
 2. Orthodox BJ 13-2 
 3. De La Salle 12-2 
 4. Sarriyet 11-3 
 5. Qalandia 10-4 
 6. Orthodox R. 9-5 
 7. Al Ahli 9-6 
 8. Catholic A. 8-6 
 9. Hiteen 8-6 
 10. Ebal 6-8 
 11. Islami 6-9 
 12. RaI AlSaleh 5-9 
 13. AlBireh 4-9 
 14. Al Fara 4-10 
 15. Huwara 4-11 
 16. Thaqafi BS 3-11 
 17. Balata 0-15 
 18. Thaqafi T. 0-15 


PSL(14): Good Wins for AlRa'i, AlAhli, Qalandia - A Surprising loss for Orth.Ramallah - by Tamara Awartani
AlRaI Saleh vs. Balata 102 43
AlRa'i Saleh showed off their talents & skills and didnt leave any space for Balata who tried to keep up with AlRaI Saleh getting experience. Fares Sweiti with great moves stood out along with Derrick who had four amazing dunks & several 3pointers, Ghazi Njoom with a nice dunk along with Mustafa AlZaghari who stood out with 13point in the 4th quarter.
While Harbi Mleitat played well for Balata with great shots & 3points.
1st 21 16, 2nd 30 4, 3rd 27 11, 4th 24-11

Ahli vs. Eibal 96 72
A competitive game between two well known teams. Ahli led the whole game, however, Eibal kept on playing hard throughout the game, a lot of skill and good potential of players was reflected in the game.
Raed Diyab (184-G-74) led AlAhli Team with determination along with Mahdi Eid (194-F-81) & Sameh Hdeib (191-C-81) under basket and great shots from Rami Al Bakri (185-G-77) while Basheer Abdelazeez (178-G-78) led Eibal team with great skill along with Raed Amouri (185-F-76), Obadah Mabroukeh, Qasem Turabi (194-F/C-90) and Tamer Qanadeelo (192-F/C-80) with great moves under basket.
1st 25-19, 2nd 20-19, 3rd 24-16, 4th 27-18


Qalandia vs. Orthodoxi Ramallah 97 87
What an exciting game to watch filled with skill, high game level & winning spirits! With two great imports & locals on both teams eager to play and win. Qalandia led the first quarter & managed to tie the game in the fourth quarter & surely didnt stop there by great teamwork & skill continued to play hard and win the game, through Brian who stood out with his shooting, drives & rebounding along with Ismael Hamad, Nizar Shehadeh, Hamzawi, Muyad Matkh and Firas Afaneh with their great defense.
While Orthodoxi Players showed skill, great passes & shots specially through Mohamed AlKhalili with several 3pointers, Justin Williams with great drives and shots along with Ahmad Deeb, Ramzi AlHusari, and Ghassan Elayyan.

1st 20 15, 2nd 18-19, 3rd 18-25, 4th 24-21, 5th 17 - 7


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


LPB Round: 4 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Academica - Benfica 90-87
Karlton Mims (189-G-80, college: Washburn) knocked down 29 points and made 6 steals to lead Academica to the second win over Benfica in the semifinal series. The teams will now play the decisive fifth game. Fernando Sousa added 23 points and 6 rebounds for the winners. Sergio Ramos unloaded 35 points and 8 rebounds for Benfica in defeat.


LPB Round: 3 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Ovarense - CAB 75-71
John Waller (193-F-82, college: ODU) knocked down 17 points, pulled down 5 boards and made 5 steals to propel Ovarense to the third win over CAB Madeira. Rolan Roberts added 16 points for the victors. Jason Smith answered with 24 points for CAB Madeira.

Academica - Benfica 64-54
Academica stayed alive against Benfica claiming a win at home. Manuel Johnson (201-F-83, agency: Court Side, college: Tex.A&M-Comm.) scored 19 points and pulled down 12 boards for Academica. Karlton Mims and Fernando Sousa added 12 points apiece in the victory. Sergio Ramos replied with 16 points for Benfica in defeat.


*****************************************************
  PUERTO RICO   


Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
 1. Quebradillas 13-4 
 2. Santurce 11-4 
 3. Bayamon 11-6 
 4. Arecibo 9-5 
 5. Carolina 9-7 
 6. San German 8-7 
 7. Mayaguez 8-8 
 8. Ponce 5-10 
 9. Caguas 5-10 
 10. Guaynabo 3-12 
 11. Humacao 3-12 


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


Ploiesti are the Champions of the country! - by Eurobasket News
Ploiesti became the Champions of Romanian Play-offs as they swept the series over Timisoara. The Winners of the Regular Season needed 3 games to prove the superiority. Last night Ploiesti produced 80:66 to be crowned in the country.
First two wins in the Finals made the last game very interesting and exciting for Ploiesti at home. Timisoara came however to win and to stay alive in the series. The latter opened the game with 17:14 in the first frame and hoped to keep the score for good. Ploiesti responded immediately in the second frame as they created a 21-9 run to take 35:25 halftime advantage.
Sala Olimpia in Ploiesti remanied cheerful as the hosts never looked behind in the rest of the game. The teams came back from the lockers and the hosts continued to control the game. A 25-18 lifted them up to 60:43 and it became clear that Timisoara would not recover. The latter replied with 23-20 in the last stanza to reduce somehow the margin in the game. Led by Darius Hargrove (193-G-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Virginia Union) and Dumitru Carutasu (204-C-76) the hosts celebrated 80:66 win in Game 3 to become the Winners of 2008/2009 Season. Darius Hargrove top-scored for the winners with 16 points, while Dumitru Carutasu collected 15 points and 16 rebounds. Rashard Griffith (212-C-74, agency: Edge Sports, college: Wisconsin) ended up with 13 points, while Carl Krauser (188-G-81, agency: AMI, college: Pittsburgh) delivered 9. Milos Pesic (202-F-84) chipped in 17 points for the visitors, whilst Markovic Nenad scored 13.


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


A Superleague Round: 3 (Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Khimky - CSKA 67-66
Khimky remained alive in the Final series as they beat CSKA 67:66. Moreover that was the first loss of the defending champions in Russian Superleague 2008/2009. Timofey Mozgov (215-C-86), Carlos Delfino (199-G-82) and Anton Ponkrashov (200-G-86) each scored 12 points to lead the second team of the season. Siskauskas Ramunas top-scored for the guests with 16 points, while Smodis Matjaz nailed 12.


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


Stats Leaders - 1B
B Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 Dukanac, Mladost 27.5
2Bajic, Vrbas 26.6
3Becin, Proleter 22.8
4Mitrovic, Beograd 20.4
5Markovic, Vrbas 18.2
6Dragojevic, Beov 17.3
7Lesic, Superf 17.2
8Boricic, Obren 16.9
9Ljubicic, Superf 16.8
10Andjic, Beogr 15.4


Eurobasket.com All-Serbian B League Awards 2008-09 - by Eurobasket
#s#
BecinBecin
Becin
MitrovicMitrovic
Mitrovic
LesicLesic
Lesic
RajkovicRajkovic
Rajkovic
#e#5
Player of the Year: Dejan Becin (205-C-76) of Proleter Naftagas Zrenjanin

1st Team
Dragan Mitrovic (192-G-85) of Beograd
Bojan Markovic (192-G-74) of Vrbas
Ivan Dukanac (199-F-80) of Mladost
Sava Lesic (205-C/F-88) of Superfund
Dejan Becin of Proleter

2nd Team
Jovan Bajic (-80) of Vrbas
Sava Rajkovic (201-G/F-73) of Proleter
Branko Andjic (-82) of Beograd
Marko Ljubicic (-87) of Superfund
Dragan Boricic (201-F-77) of Radnicki O.
Stefan Dragojevic of Beovuk


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


Alicante blasts Burgos booking a place for LEB Gold Final 4 - by Eurobasket News
Alicante - Burgos 84-57
Alicante blasted Burgos last night booking the last place for LEB Gold Final 4. Kyle Hill (188-G-79, college: E.Illinois) top-scored in victory with 20 points, while Jorge Garcia (203-C-77) added one point less. Jose Urtasun (193-G-84, agency: Interperformances) helped with 12. Diego Garcia (186-G-79) responded with 17 pts for the guests. In the semifinals Alicante will meet Los Barrios, while Melilla will take on Tenerife.


Unicaja and Real Madrid advance to Semifinals with 2-1 - by Eurobasket News
Unicaja - Kalise G.C. 88-57
Unicaja destroyed Granca in Game 3 advancing to Play-Off Semifinals with 2-1. Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, college: Washington St.) led the hosts with 18, Robert Jr. Archibald (211-C/F-80, agency: Priority Sports, college: Illinois) had 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Marcus Haislip added 13 pts and 7 boards. In Granca, Joel Freeland (208-F-87) collected 12 points and 6 boards. The team from Malaga will take on Regal Barca in the Semis.

Real Madrid - DKV Joventut 78-61
2-1 for Real Madrid, who will meet the defending champion Tau Ceramica in the Semis. Big guy Felipe Reyes (203-F/C-80) stepped up for the hosts collecting 16 points and 8 rebounds. Louis Bullock (186-G-76, college: Michigan) was second scorer of the team with 14 points. Luka Bogdanovic (206-F-85, agency: Beo Basket) shined in loss nailing 20 pts.


Unicaja Malaga grabs U-18 Spanish Championship - by Natxo Mendaza

Unicaja Malaga became U-18 spanish champion after defeating Pamesa Valencia 82-71 in the final game played in Vitoria on Sunday morning. Unicaja capped an incredible tournament, in which it has remained unbeaten. The Andalusians dominated the final since the tip-off, leading all the way thanks to a very intense deffense over the perimeter players of Pamesa and taking advantage of its frontcourt size. Miguel Lorenzo (205-C/F-91) was named the MVP of the Final thanks to a 18-points performance coming off the bench. Augusto Cesar Lima (206-C-91), who saved Unicaja with a winning basket in semfinals against Joventut- had a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards, while Malick Fall (210-C-92) got 14 points and 9 rebounds for the winners. Pamesa was led by Victor Arnau, who poured in 28 points in a losing effort, as ACB team member Tornike Shengelia (207-G/F-91) had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.


For further information about U-18 Spanish Championship please check www.feb.es



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


SAV Vacallo Basket sweep the Final series - by Eurobasket News
SAV Vacallo Basket became the Winner of LNA Play-offs 2009 as the team swept the Final series over Lugano Tigers. Game 3 became the last in the series as the new Champions triumphed with 93:84 win.
This season definitely belongs to SAV Vacallo Basket in the country as they won the Regular Season, the Cup and now celebrated LNA Play-offs 2009 victory. After finishing the season with 18-3 record, Vacallo claimed the first title in the season as they raced to win the Swiss Cup. The regular season best team overcame Geneva 73:67 for the triumph. That time Slaven Smiljanic provided 25 points to pace the winners. Matt Schneidermann added 16 points for the Cup champions. Mike Jefferson responded with 16 points for Geneva. Rashard Lee topscored with 21 points for the Devils.


*****************************************************
  TAIWAN   


Yang's game winner saves TB - by Chris Wang
Yang Yu-min made a game-winning 19-footer with one second left as Taiwan Beer held off Dacin's furious 4th quarter rally and prevailed 87-85 in Game 6 to tie the seires at 3-3. Game 7 is scheduled on next Tuesday.

Dacin pulled off a 21-10 run in the final 10 minutes and tied the game at 85-85 after consecutive baskets from regular season MVP Chang Chih-feng. Tien also had two follow-up putbacks in the run.


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


UBL Round: 1 (Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Kryvbasbasket - Budivelnyk 89-54
Kryvbasbasket overcame Budivelnyk in the UBL finals opener. Viktor Kondratovets (187-G-76) scored 20 points to propel the Kryvyi Rih outfit to the resounding victory. Milos Pavlovic had 11 points for the winners. Derrick Zimmerman answered with 11 points for Budivelnyk. Pavelis Chukinas added 10 points in defeat.


UBL Round: 2 (Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Kryvbasbasket - Budivelnyk 81-72
Kryvbasbasket stepped closer to the UBL title after they edged Budivelnyk for the second straight time. Jarrett Howell (188-G-84, college: Texas Arlington) came up with 24 points and 5 steals to pace the hosts to a 2-0 lead in the series. Milos Pavlovic added 12 points in the winning effort. Derrick Zimmerman answered with 18 points for Budivelnyk in the loss. The teams will now travel to Kyiv for the third game in the finals.


*****************************************************
  URBL   


URBL Stats Leaders
URBL Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1.Barnes, DFW 41.5
2.James, Irving 30.9
3.Boyd, DFW 30.5
4.Harner, Con 25.3
5.Harris, Texas 21.0
Rebounds Per Game
1.Boyd, DFW 15.0
2.Barnes, DFW 10.9
3.Ellison,Texas 10.2
4.Cato, Con 10.0
5.Moon, Irving 9.0
Assists Per Game
1.Douglas, DFW 13.5
2.Fisher, Con 12.2
3.De La Cruz, Irving 10.9
4.Oxley, Austin 9.6
5.Negrin, Houston S. 9.5
Steals Per Game
1.Barnes, DFW 5.2
2.Fisher, Con 4.0
3.Sloan, Irving 3.7
4.Negrin, Houston 3.5
5.Trinquier, Texas 2.5
Blocks Per Game
1.Boyd, DFW 3.0
2.Ellison, Texas 2.5
3.Moon, Irving 2.0
4.Barnes, DFW 1.8
5.James, Irving, 1.0
2FGP
1.Boyd, DFW .913
2.Fisher, Con .750
3.James, Irving .532
4.Cato, Con .500
5.Barnes, DFW .500
3FGP
1.Douglas, DFW 100
2.Harner, Con .700
3.James, Irving .600
4.Tranquier, Texas .500
5.Barnes, DFW .495


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  USBA   


USBA 2010 Basketball Season, Start Date April 7, 2010 - by USBA Media
---The United States Basketball Association is pleased to announce their inaugural season opening on April 7, 2010. The league will take an aggressive posture by activating 18 teams housed in 3 divisions. Permanente home gymnasiums of each individual team are in the process of being completed. 'Come Hades or high water, we will tip off in 2010, we have agreements in place to use gymnasium for 12 of our teams already, the colleges and universities that we planned to occupy this year, understood the challenges we faced in 2009 and they graciously permitted the league to renew their commitment to play at their facilities', said USBA president and C.E.O Duane Allen Jenkins. We anticipate having all locations set by early fall.

The 2010 regular season will begin on April 7, 2010 and end on July 3, 2010. There is a mid season All Star Game slated for May 22nd and May 23rd, 2010. The Championship game is scheduled for July 11, 2010. Both series will be held in Atlanta, Georgia.

The league will continue its partnership with churches, civic groups and charitable organizations in each individual team city. A special invitation has been extended to the Boys and Girls Clubs as well as Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The league is also extending a very special invitation to children in foster care each city. The league has authorized each team conduct educational contest between clubs to select children to be official ball girls and boys.' We'll issue complimentary tickets to games and well pay the ball kids $25.00 apiece per game', said Jenkins.

The leagues three divisions, the Atlantic, the Appalachian and the Southern will consist of six teams in each division.' With the economy stabilizing, its full steam ahead', said USBA vice president of basketball operations, Kenneth Green. 'This is a prime opportunity for us to get this party started. We plan get to know our fans and supporters in each city. We want our fans to be able to have access to the coaches players', said Green

The league will make season ticket packages available. The availability of the 2010 USBA Season Ticket Extravaganza is October 1, 2009. This season ticket promotion is a special event for the fans and is sponsored by the advertisers and sponsors of the USBA. The league has set aside 1200 single season tickets for this promotion. This collaborated effort includes the USBA, the USBA Youth Outreach, Inc and many of the leagues partners, sponsors and advertisers', said Jenkins.

The league has set the price of $105.00 per season ticket and comes with admission to all fifteen home games and fifteen free single game tickets; this includes admittance to all home playoff games. As a bonus, fans receive priority seating, complimentary concessions, a free game day program and a 24-inch x 36-inch full color poster with the basketball team and dance team. (The total number of admittance per season ticket is 25, which breaks down to $3.50 per admittance). 'We designed the USBA basketball games to be family friendly, our promotions, our entertainment and our price will fit right into anyones budget', said Jenkins

According to the league, each season ticket holder will be automatically included in a raffle sponsored by the USBA Youth Outreach, Inc. 'We're very excited about this promotion. Not only do fans get a chance to see high quality basketball at affordable prices, but also there is the chance to win a new car, a trip to see an NBA game and to go on a Disney World vacation'.

The prize list is as follows:

* Grand Prize: 2010 Lincoln Mercury Grand Marquis LS
(one automobile and a $40.00 Quik Trip, BP or RaceTrac weekly gas card for one year, will be given away in each USBA team city, 18 total league wide),

* 2nd Prize: Disney World Family Vacation
(Family of four, rt airfare on Delta Airlines, transfers to and from the airport, daily Disney World Park passes, meals and lodging at a Disney World theme park hotel included, two given away in each USBA team city, 36 total league wide),

* 3rd prize: The NBA Extravaganza
( Trip for two to an NBA game, round trip airfare on Delta Airlines, overnight stay at Marriott Hotel, one day car rental from Enterprise, dinner for two at Outback Steak House and breakfast for two at International House of Pancakes, two given away in each USBA team city, 36 total league wide.)

* 4th Prize: The Trek Bicycle Explosion
(Six mens, six womens, six boys and six girls ten speed bicycles, 24 given away at each USBA team city, 432 total league wide)

* 5th Prize: The Outback Steak House Family Feast
(A $60.00 gift card, 25 given away in each USBA team city, 450 total league wide)

* 6th Prize: Russell Athletic Team Polo Shirts
(25 shirts will be given away in each USBA team city, 450 total league wide)

All drawings for this promotion will be held at halftime of the teams home season opener. 'As far as we know, this is the biggest and most extravagant season ticket promotion in the history of minor league sports'. says Jenkins. Fans can visit our website at www.usbaball.com for rules and disclaimers about the raffle and the United States Basketball Association. We plan to begin our first season with a bang. 'All of our games will be geared toward top notched basketball competition, family fun and entertainment surrounded in a faith based environment, our goal is to offer each community a great experience' proclaimed, Mr. Jenkins. For more information, call the USBA league office at (770) 729-0306 or go to www.usbaball.com.


2010 USBA Season Ticket Extravaganza Rules and Disclaimer:
Purchase of a season ticket to any 2010 USBA team necessary to be included in the raffle drawing. The USBA Youth Outreach, Inc., is the sponsor of this promotion. This promotion is open to all residents of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina and the District of Columbia who purchase a season ticket during this promotion. Promotion ends April 5, 2010 at midnight Eastern Daylight Time. USBA employees, family member of USBA employees, team members, Season Ticket Extravaganza sponsors, their employees and their families are ineligible to participate in this promotion. Participants must be at least 18 years old to participate in this promotion. One entry in raffle per season ticket purchased. No other restrictions apply. No substitution of prizes. Prizes are not refundable or transferable. Prize winners are responsible for all taxes and /or gratuity associated with prizes won in this promotion. Odds of winning any prize in this promotion will be determined in direct relation of the number of season tickets sold during this promotion. (Example: 1200 season tickets sold per USBA team season, Grand Prize winning odds are 1200 to 1, 2nd prize winning odds are 600 to 1, 3rd Prize winning odds are 600 to 1, 4th Prize winning odds are 50 to 1, each, 5th prize winning odds are 48 to 1, 6th Prize winning odds are 48 to 1. The USBA has set aside 1200 season tickets per USBA team city to be sold, a total 12,000 league wide. Odds of winning a prize in this promotion are derived on a per city basis only. If the same individual purchases two season tickets for the 2010 basketball season and before April 5, 2010 the odds will increase to give the ticket holder double the chance of winning a prize. This promotion is a USBA Youth Outreach sponsored event. The USBA Youth Outreach, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) not for Profit Company. Single ticket purchases are not included in this promotion. 2nd and 3rd Prizewinners must make travel reservation through the USBA. Travel blackout periods may effect certain travel dates. All NBA games must be east of the Mississippi River and in the Continental United States. Grand prizewinners have a choice of color. There is no time limit for any of the travel prizes, gift card or any other prize in this promotion. Promotion is void where prohibited by law


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


Unstoppable horse - by Yelitza La Torre
Toros De Aragua defeated Cocodrilos del Caracas 98-96 in an overtime game; Alejandro Flores (The Horse) was unstoppable versus Cocodrilos Del Caracas, beating to Jack Martinez once again. On Saturday 23rd, Alejandro Flores (202-F-81 college: E.Oklahoma St. JC) made 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds versus 16 points and 15 rebounds of Jack Michael Martinez , today Sunday 24th the Alejandro 'the horse' Flores made 28 points while Martinez finished with 15 points.
The best player for Toros de Aragua was Alejandro Flores with 28 points followed by Corey Bradford with 23, Ernesto Mijares (190-G-76, college: McClennan CC) 14 points and Jesus Urbina (201-F-84, college: George Mason) with 10. The best player for Cocodrilos was Luis Bethelmy (200-C-86) with 24 points


Another mistake - by Carlos Santander
Toros de Aragua doesn't stop of making mistakes, now Julio Morillo takes over the head coach position. This decision it's good enough to understand that the team from Aragua State gave up its hopes to go to the 2009 playoff. Last night Julio Morillo made a lot of mistakes with the rotation to give to Cocodrilos Del Caracas the opportunity to step up. Tonight Cocodrilos' Head coach has the opportunity to give to Mr. Morillo another coaching class.



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Women News

*****************************************************
  BELARUS - Women  


Poland complete Victory Cup with win - by Eurobasket News
Poland - Belarus 87:70

Polish National Team finally posted the victory at the international friendly tournament in Istanbul. They overcame Belarus on the final day of the competition to improve at 1-2 record. Agnieszka Bibrzycka (184-F/G-82, agency: Data Plus Group, college: Abil.Christian) fired 22 points, issued 7 assists and pulled down 5 boards to pace the Polish team.
Poland led from start to finish. The teams kept it close in the opening frame but Poland still managed to pile up a 24:22 lead after ten minutes of action. Agnieszka Bibrzycka and Ewelina Kobryn (193-C-82, agency: Data Plus Group) stepped on the gas in the second frame as Poland started to get away. They accumulated a 7-point advantage at the interval. The tempo decreased in the third frame as the teams paid more attention to defense. Poland however succeeded in limiting Belarus to just 13 points and enlarged the advantage to as many as 11 points. Belarus tried to force the issue in the final term but Poland reacted immediately. Paulina Pawlak (170-G-84, agency: Data Plus Group) and Ewelina Kobryn helped Poland to stay aggressive in the fourth quarter as they coasted the win at the end. Ewelina Kobryn and Paulina Pawlak scored 13 points apiece for the winners. Marina Kress (193-F/C-80) responded with 16 points and 8 boards for Belarus. Natalia Marchanka (170-G-79) delivered 11 points in the losing effort.

Poland: Agnieszka Bibrzycka 22, Ewelina Kobryn 13, Paulina Pawlak 13
Belarus: Marina Kress 16, Natalia Marchanka 11


*****************************************************
  BOSNIA - Women  


Standings - Women
D1 Standings
Liga 4
 1. M.Kraj. BL 4-0 
 2. Zeljeznicar 3-1 
 3. Celik 2-3 
 4. Jedinstvo 0-5 
Places 5-12
 1. Brotnjo 94 13-7 
 2. Trebinje 13-7 
 3. Sloboda 12-8 
 4. Banovici 10-10 
 5. Borac-Mladost 7-12 
 6. Livno 5-14 
 7. Bugojno 1-19 
 8. Zrinjski 1-19 


*****************************************************
  CROATIA - Women  


Bralic announces NT list of candidates for Mediterranean Games - by Eurobasket News
Croatian National team will miss out on European Championship this year but they will be competing at Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Italy. Head Coach on Croatian National Team Stipe Bralic has called up 15 candidates who will be competing for the place in the squad.

Players which have been called are: Luca Ivankovic (200-C-87), Tina Perisa (170-G-84), Antonija Misura (177-G-88), Neda Lokas (182-F-85), Ana Semren (190-C-88), Marta Cakic (175-G-82), Anda Jelavic (175-G-80, agency: Data Plus Group), Jelena Ivezic (184-G-84), Marija Vrsaljko (195-C-89), Iva Ciglar (170-G-85), Ivona Matic (188-F/C-86), Josipa Bura (185-C-85), Mirna Mazic (188-F-85, college: Richmond), Iva Sliskovic (196-F-84, college: S.Carolina) and Sena Pavetic (198-C-86).

This is very young and inexperienced team (except of Anda Jelavic) with only Iva Sliskovic and Sena Pavetic playing abroad. Bralics reason for choosing such a young team is that he wants to build foundation of Croatian National team for years to come and he believes that these candidates will fit in his plans perfectly. So these Mediterranean Games will be a first step toward building a strong team which is expected to battle for medals at international level in the near future. Croatian Basketball Federation has also issued the plan of preparation for Mediterranean Games which will start in Porec. The first phase will be held at Porec until May 27th, and from the team will move to Italy where it will take participation in an International Tournament also featuring Italy, Greece and Serbia. Here Bralic will have a chance to evaluate the progress the team has made after the first phase and to further evaluate each of the candidates. After the tournament the team will get 3 days of rest and then they will continue to Hungary. In Pecs, Hungary, Croatia will play two friendlies on June 3rd and 4th with Hungarian National Team who will be participating in European Championship. After that, 2nd phase of preparation is planned to commence in Vodice and it will last for 20 days. For the closing of preparatory period three control matches against the Great Britain are scheduled for June 20th, 21st and 22nd. By then Bralic should have the complete picture of the team he will be taking to Pescara two days later on 24th when the Mediterranean Games will start.


*****************************************************
  CYPRUS - Women  


Cypriot National Team travel to Bulgaria - by Eurobasket News
Cypriot National Team is scheduled to play series of friendly games in Bulgaria. The team is getting ready for the upcoming Games of the Small States of Europe. The event is scheduled to start early June with Cyprus hosting it.
The first game in Bulgaria was a success as Cyprus defeated Lukoil Academic Sofia 64:51. Cypriot team led from start to finish as they piled up a 10-point lead at halftime. The hosts failed to recover in the second half allowing Cyprus to secure a 64:51 victory at the end.
Nikolina Kouzi (178-F-75) scored 13 points for Cyprus. Michaela Vezenkova (191-F-84, college: NC-Wilmington) added 12 points, while Valentina Emilova Ionova (176-G-83, college: Adelphi) provided 10 in the winning effort.
Cypriot National Team will face Slavia Sofia next.


*****************************************************
  FINLAND - Women  


Anette Juvonen lifts Finland U16 to success in Sweden - by Eurobasket News
Sweden U16 - Finland U16 55:56

Finnish U16 National Team celebrated the title at the Scandinavian Games today. They narrowly defeated hosting Sweden to claim the top spot. Anette Juvonen (171-G-93) became the hero of the Final as she knocked down a go-ahead jumper with 21 seconds remaining in regulation which proved victorious for Finland.
The hosts were consistent early in the game as they managed to run away to a 9-point distance at 18:9. Sweden led 18:11 after ten minutes of action. However Finnish girls went on a 17:2 rally to take a 28:22 advantage late in the first half. Persson responded with a three-pointer to cut the margin at 3 points at halftime.
The teams traded baskets throughout the third frame before Janniina Koivunen (183-F-93) capped the third stanza with a trey to give Finland 41:38 after thirty minutes of action. Ulrica Holmqvist and Fonteaine converted four free throws in a row to give Sweden the lead midway through the fourth term. Janniina Koivunen and Juvonen replied with four consecutive points as Finland regained the advantage. Fonteaine followed with three points of her own as Sweden surged back in front just to see Anette Juvonen taking the floor in the dying seconds. Fonteaine had a chance to save the game but her jumper missed the mark.
Anette Juvonen finished with 16 points to lead the way for Finland. Janniina Koivunen added 14 points for the winners. Ulrica Holmqvist replied with 18 points for Sweden. Fonteaine had 11 points and 9 boards in the losing case.

Sweden U16: Ulrica Holmqvist 18, Fonteaine 11
Finland U16: Anette Juvonen 16, Janniina Koivunen 14, Annika Holopainen (183-F-93) 9


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


France post two wins over Greece - by Eurobasket News
French National Team continued their preparations for the upcoming EuroBasket 2009. They are scheduled to play three-game friendly series against Greece in France. The first two games were played lately and France showed excellent form claiming consecutive victories.
The first game was a close affair only in the opening frame. The hosts accumulated a 4-point lead and soon took over completely. They limited their opponents to 9 points in the second frame and cleared off to an 18-point distance at halftime. Things were just getting worse for Greece after the major break as the hosts eased to a 22-point advantage and never looked back en route to an 83:47 success. Sandrine Gruda (191-F/C-87) finished with 20 points for France. Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui (195-C-86) added 13 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Dimitra Kalentzou (174-G-78) and Stella Kaltsidou (187-C/F-83) replied with 16 points apiece in the loss.
The second game had a slightly different scenario as France stormed into the game. They kept Greek side scoreless for almost 7 minutes before Dimitra Kalentzou stopped the bleeding with a bucket. France enjoyed an 18:2 lead at the moment and completed the opening frame up by 20 points 24:4. Greece looked woeful offensively in the first half coming up with only 9 points as the home team accumulated a 30-point lead. Greece finally showed some character as they won the second half and got within 10 points from the hosts but it was still insufficient effort to spark the intrigue. France posted the second straight victory 62:52 with Sandrine Gruda notching 15 points. Elodie Godin (190-C-85) had 9 points and 11 boards, while Emmeline Ndongue (191-F/C-83) added 9 points in the winning effort. Stella Kaltsidou banked game-high 13 points for Greece.
The third game of the series is scheduled for today in Lyon.


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  GREECE - Women  


France post two wins over Greece - by Eurobasket News
French National Team continued their preparations for the upcoming EuroBasket 2009. They are scheduled to play three-game friendly series against Greece in France. The first two games were played lately and France showed excellent form claiming consecutive victories.
The first game was a close affair only in the opening frame. The hosts accumulated a 4-point lead and soon took over completely. They limited their opponents to 9 points in the second frame and cleared off to an 18-point distance at halftime. Things were just getting worse for Greece after the major break as the hosts eased to a 22-point advantage and never looked back en route to an 83:47 success. Sandrine Gruda (191-F/C-87) finished with 20 points for France. Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui (195-C-86) added 13 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Dimitra Kalentzou (174-G-78) and Stella Kaltsidou (187-C/F-83) replied with 16 points apiece in the loss.
The second game had a slightly different scenario as France stormed into the game. They kept Greek side scoreless for almost 7 minutes before Dimitra Kalentzou stopped the bleeding with a bucket. France enjoyed an 18:2 lead at the moment and completed the opening frame up by 20 points 24:4. Greece looked woeful offensively in the first half coming up with only 9 points as the home team accumulated a 30-point lead. Greece finally showed some character as they won the second half and got within 10 points from the hosts but it was still insufficient effort to spark the intrigue. France posted the second straight victory 62:52 with Sandrine Gruda notching 15 points. Elodie Godin (190-C-85) had 9 points and 11 boards, while Emmeline Ndongue (191-F/C-83) added 9 points in the winning effort. Stella Kaltsidou banked game-high 13 points for Greece.
The third game of the series is scheduled for today in Lyon.


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  POLAND - Women  


Poland complete Victory Cup with win - by Eurobasket News
Poland - Belarus 87:70

Polish National Team finally posted the victory at the international friendly tournament in Istanbul. They overcame Belarus on the final day of the competition to improve at 1-2 record. Agnieszka Bibrzycka (184-F/G-82, agency: Data Plus Group, college: Abil.Christian) fired 22 points, issued 7 assists and pulled down 5 boards to pace the Polish team.
Poland led from start to finish. The teams kept it close in the opening frame but Poland still managed to pile up a 24:22 lead after ten minutes of action. Agnieszka Bibrzycka and Ewelina Kobryn (193-C-82, agency: Data Plus Group) stepped on the gas in the second frame as Poland started to get away. They accumulated a 7-point advantage at the interval. The tempo decreased in the third frame as the teams paid more attention to defense. Poland however succeeded in limiting Belarus to just 13 points and enlarged the advantage to as many as 11 points. Belarus tried to force the issue in the final term but Poland reacted immediately. Paulina Pawlak (170-G-84, agency: Data Plus Group) and Ewelina Kobryn helped Poland to stay aggressive in the fourth quarter as they coasted the win at the end. Ewelina Kobryn and Paulina Pawlak scored 13 points apiece for the winners. Marina Kress (193-F/C-80) responded with 16 points and 8 boards for Belarus. Natalia Marchanka (170-G-79) delivered 11 points in the losing effort.

Poland: Agnieszka Bibrzycka 22, Ewelina Kobryn 13, Paulina Pawlak 13
Belarus: Marina Kress 16, Natalia Marchanka 11


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  SPAIN - Women  


The National team of Turkey wins the Victory Cup - by Eurobasket News
Turkey-Spain 76:71

The National team of Turkey wins the Victory Cup after the team celebrated the victories in three games. The last one was the toughest for the home side that overcame Spain 76:71 in overtime.
It was an easy start for the Turkish outfit that grabbed 27:11 lead after the opening quarter. Tarama Abalde made it 27:13 and later the board showed 30:18. In the second period Spain played better reducing the margin from time to time. Torrens Aiba scored another points for 32:24 when the intrigue was back into the game. After 21-17 in the second frame the hosts still enjoyed 44:32 lead.
In the third period the tempo had definitely slowed down as both teams participated more time and attention in defense. Aguilar and Abalde pulled their team to 46:46 as the teams had to start from the very beginning. The board showed 64:64 as well at the end of the fourth period, that did not become the last in the game. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) gave Spain 69:68 advantage in the first minutes of extra time, however Turkey deserved the win more. With a great support in Ahmet Comert Spor Salonu the hosts pushed the tempo at the end to clinch 76:71 victory.
Birsel Vardarli (173-G-84) was unstoppable with 14 points for the winners, while Melek Bilge (193-C-89), Naile Ivegin (186-F/C-85) and Bahar Caglar (188-F-88) each added 11. Laura Nicholis ended up with 14 points in the losing effort, while Isabel Sanchez (178-G-76) produced 12.

Turkey: Saziye Ivegin 5, Nihan Anaz 4, Birsel Vardarli 14, Nilag Yigit 3, Tugba Palazoglu 7, Sariye Gokce 1, Naile Ivegin 11, Yasemin Horasan 6, Bahar Caglar 11, Tugce Canitez, Gulsah Gumusay 3, Melek Bilge 11
Spain: Laura Nicholis 14, Tarama Abalde 6, Isabel Sanchez 12, Lucila Pascua 4, Laira Palau 2, Elisa Aguilar 11, Silvia Dominguez 2, Anna Montanana 8, Torrens Aiba 8, Anna Cruz 4


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  TURKEY - Women  


The National team of Turkey wins the Victory Cup - by Eurobasket News
Turkey-Spain 76:71

The National team of Turkey wins the Victory Cup after the team celebrated the victories in three games. The last one was the toughest for the home side that overcame Spain 76:71 in overtime.
It was an easy start for the Turkish outfit that grabbed 27:11 lead after the opening quarter. Tarama Abalde made it 27:13 and later the board showed 30:18. In the second period Spain played better reducing the margin from time to time. Torrens Aiba scored another points for 32:24 when the intrigue was back into the game. After 21-17 in the second frame the hosts still enjoyed 44:32 lead.
In the third period the tempo had definitely slowed down as both teams participated more time and attention in defense. Aguilar and Abalde pulled their team to 46:46 as the teams had to start from the very beginning. The board showed 64:64 as well at the end of the fourth period, that did not become the last in the game. Elisa Aguilar (178-G-76, college: George Washington) gave Spain 69:68 advantage in the first minutes of extra time, however Turkey deserved the win more. With a great support in Ahmet Comert Spor Salonu the hosts pushed the tempo at the end to clinch 76:71 victory.
Birsel Vardarli (173-G-84) was unstoppable with 14 points for the winners, while Melek Bilge (193-C-89), Naile Ivegin (186-F/C-85) and Bahar Caglar (188-F-88) each added 11. Laura Nicholis ended up with 14 points in the losing effort, while Isabel Sanchez (178-G-76) produced 12.

Turkey: Saziye Ivegin 5, Nihan Anaz 4, Birsel Vardarli 14, Nilag Yigit 3, Tugba Palazoglu 7, Sariye Gokce 1, Naile Ivegin 11, Yasemin Horasan 6, Bahar Caglar 11, Tugce Canitez, Gulsah Gumusay 3, Melek Bilge 11
Spain: Laura Nicholis 14, Tarama Abalde 6, Isabel Sanchez 12, Lucila Pascua 4, Laira Palau 2, Elisa Aguilar 11, Silvia Dominguez 2, Anna Montanana 8, Torrens Aiba 8, Anna Cruz 4