EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 5/6/2009

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Men News

*****************************************************
  ANTIGUA   


JSC Outlaws Clipped The Hawks Wings - by Mahijah Davis
By Mahijah Dellar Davis
Even though the hype of Labour Day parties and feting fill atmosphere over the weekend, it couldnt put out the flames that the 2009 Lime Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Championships had to offer in the first rivalry weekend in the First Division. Only one Second Division saw action and it was the Hankook Flyers verses the Freemans Village Risk Takers.
What a game Was the only words fans could have otter when the Baba Trucking Hawks came up against the newly promoted JSC Outlaws in the top league. Both teams are from the same hometown so they have to fight for supremacy in their city. This game was a back and forth shown down right down the dying moments of the match.
With 18.5 seconds Hawks was down four, 65-61and looked like they were finished until Jason London pulled up for the three, got fouled and made the bucket to cut Outlaws margin to one. But London couldnt deliver at the charity line to tie the game.
Outlaws pick up the rebound hurried down court and picked up the foul then seal the victory, 70-66. London19 points and 5 rebounds and Reginald Joseph, 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists for Hawks while Outlaws Kareem Bailey 21 points and 7 rebounds and Kevin Roberts 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals.
Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force warriors (ABDFW) got the best challenge so far for the season by the Yorks Crushers. Crushers in experiences cost them the game a long with bad rotation of their bench, 91-84. Marlon Davis 24 points, 5 steals and 6 assists, Marlon Charles 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 5 assists and Shawn Williams16 points for Warriors. For Crushers, Rodney John, Keroi Lee and Emileo John banked 20, 15 and 10 points respectively.
Samantha Bolans Ravens almost defeated the defending champs, the Big Banana Express. Ravens were leading in the fourth quarter by five with only 2:48 remaining, 67-62. Express turned up their full court trapped defence and overpower their opponent for the win, 74-69. Brian Aaron 20 points, 9 rebounds, Tidale Telemaque 19 points, 9 rebounds and Fitzroy Anthony 15 points and 7 assists for Ravens while Lindsey McDonald, George Francis and Kareem Blair dropped 23, 21 and13 points respectively for Express.
Hon Baldwin Braves managed to put away Asot Yogi Warriors, 64-55. It was Charles Baltimore dropping numbers for Yogi Warriors to keep them in the battle. Baltimore, Joel Joseph and Tyras Grayman netted 18, 14 and 10 points for Yogi Warriors while Neshus Jones, Damian Floyd and Kevin Edwards dropped 14, 11 and 10 points for Braves. Floyd also had five steals.
Lime Freetown Travellers fall to the newly promoted Island Original, 66-61, in a very intensified game. Leroy Percival, Ian Browne and Teon Joseph banked 23, 13 and 11 points respectively for Travellers while Iornie Joseph, Lyle Duggins and Attienne Davis drained 14, 11 and 10 points respectively for Island Original.
The Newly promoted DC Diamond Stars grabbed the win over another establish team but this time it was against the Geotech Golden Eagles, 85-82. Gerard Gore demanded a double-double for the Eagles, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Gore teammates Theophilus Dyette and Barrimore Gore chipped in 25 and 19 points respectively while NDeagwa Malone, Adisa Harris and Noel Joseph banked 20, 19 and 10 points respectively for Stars.
In the Second Division, Flyers defeated Risk Takers, 79-55. Kavari Francis bagged a double-double with 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Flyers. Emory Lee also grabbed a double-double but for Risk Takers, with 22 points and 10 boards. Rafiq Henry and Chaz Samuel chipped in 14 and 12 points for the Flyers and Ashley Matthew and Mckil Alfred banked 12 and 11 points for Risk Takers.


Standings
D1 Standings
 1. Big Banana 5-0 
 2. Defence Force 4-0 
 3. West 5 4-0 
 4. Baldwin B. 4-1 
 5. Isl. Original 3-1 
 6. Point Stars 2-2 
 7. JSC Outlaws 2-2 
 8. Freetown T. 2-2 
 9. Golden Eagles 1-2 
 10. Yorks C. 1-3 
 11. Medcare Kings 0-3 
 12. BT. Hawks 0-3 
 13. Bolans Ravens 0-4 
 14. Asot Arcad YW 0-4 


*****************************************************
  ARAB CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS   


Day 11 (Semi Finals) - 22nd ACC - by Mohammed Malas

* Tuesday 5/5:

Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut (LEB) 100 - Al Manama (BHR) 76 (Qs: 23-17, 51-33, 72-55 & 100-76)
- Best scorers:
Riyadi [Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79) '23 pts, 4 ast' & Nate Johnson (199-F-77, college: Louisville) '17 pts, 4 ast & 4 stl']
Manama [Mohd Hussein '17 pts' & Johnny Taylor (206-F-74, college: Chattanooga) '16 pts, 8 reb']

Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (LEB) 88 - ASU Sports Club (JOR) 86 (Qs: 25-25, 30-54, 51-69 & 88-86)
- Best scorers:
Sagesse [Marcus Melvin (203-F-82, college: N.Carolina St.) '23 pts']
ASU [Chudney Gray (188-G-78, college: St.John's) '23 pts']

# Final - 22nd ACC (+3 GMT):
- Wednesday 6/5:
21:00 Riyadi X Sagesse

# 3rd Place
- 22nd ACC (+3 GMT):
- Wednesday 6/5:
18:00 ASU X Manama



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


National junior squad revealed - by Eurobasket News
Basketball Australia has selected 50 athletes to attend an Australian Development Camp for the National Under-17 Men's and Women's squads.

At the camp held on 15-18 June at the Australian Institute of Sport, 25 men and 25 women will be vying for the chance to represent Australia at the first FIBA Under-17 World Championships for Men and Women, to be held in 2010.

The squads were selected following the 2008 Under-16 National Junior Championships held in July and the 2009 Under-18 National Junior Championships in April.

Following the camp, two teams of 12 athletes will be selected to contest the FIBA Oceania Championships in Brisbane from 20-22 August, 2009, in an attempt to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

The Under-17 men's team will be mentored by former Cairns Taipans coach Guy Molloy (Head Coach), Paul Jones (Asst. Coach) and David Rehn (Manager) while the U17 women's team is headed by Peter Lonergan (Head Coach) and Sandy Tomley (Asst. Coach).


Under-17 Men's Squad

Isaiah OMAMOGHO (SA METRO)
Garret SCHEIBNER (QLD SOUTH)
Jake SADAUSKAS (SA METRO)
Thomas DOWNIE (VIC COUNTRY)
Daniel CARLIN (SA METRO)
Mitch NORTON (QLD NORTH)
Jarrod FRYAR (VIC COUNTRY)
Owen ODIGIE (VIC METRO)
Stephen ROWE (ACT)
Andrija DUMOVIC (NSW METRO)
Matt BRAZENDALE (TAS)
Sam POOLE (VIC COUNTRY)
Anthony MUSTAPIC (NSW METRO)
Patrick MOCKIEWICZ (VIC METRO)
Daniel HILL (NSW METRO)
Taylor DYSON (VIC METRO)
Joshua GROVER (VIC COUNTRY)
Sam GILMORE (VIC METRO)
Ashley CONSTABLE (VIC COUNTRY)
Nick ILIADIS (WA METRO)
Phil CHIRCU (NSW METRO)
Sean PRESTON (VIC METRO)
Tyler HICKERT (WA COUNTRY)
Jack BLACKBURN (VIC METRO)
Dylan RAWSON (SA COUNTRY)

Courtesy of the NBL (www.nbl.com.au)


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


Stats Leaders - D1
1. LIGA BiH Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1 Z Jovanovic SLO 22,00
2 M Janjusevic HER 18,64
3 V Vuksanovic IGO 18,09
4 D Markovic LEO 16,82
5 R Velimirovic SLO 15,27
Rebounds Per Game
1 O Peterkin BOR 11,5
2 C Thomas SIR 7,3
3 I Cular ZRI 7,2
4 E Ovcina BOS 6,8
5 C Mason SIR 6,2
Assists Per Game
1 Z Jovanovic SLO 8,2
2 C Mason SIR 5,6
3 D Djordjevic BOS 4,9
4 S Fekete BOR 3,2
5 I Ivanovic BOS 3,2
Steals Per Game
1 Z Jovanovic SLO 3,4
2 T Tomovic ZRI 2,5
3 T Castle IGO 1,9
4 M Vukovic HER 1,4
5 C Thomas SIR 1,4
Blocks Per Game
1 S Kordou LEO 1,2
2 O Peterkin BOR 1,1
3 C Thomas SIR 0,9
2FGP
1 V Vuksanovic IGO 5,50
2 O Peterkin BOR 5,40
3 D Markovic LEO 5,11
4 I Grgat SIR 4,89
5 C Crips BOR 4,22
3FGP
1 Z Jovanovic SLO 3,33
2 R Velimirovic SLO 2,67
3 K Taylor IGO 2,60
4 B Setencic LEO 2,33
5 M Ceskovic ZRI 2,11
Free Throws
1 M Janjusevic HER 7,22
2 D Markovic LEO 5,44
3 B Zotovic LEO 5,22
4 V Vuksanovic IGO 4,80
5 Z Jovanovic SLO 4,78
Ranking
1 O Peterkin BOR 12,7
2 Z Jovanovic SLO 10,2
3 R Velimirovic SLO 10,1
4 D Djordjevic BOS 9,2
5 C Mason SIR 9,1


Standings - BIH League
D1 Standings
League 8
 1. Siroki Eronet 10-2 
 2. Bosna S. 9-2 
 3. Igokea 9-3 
 4. Sloboda Dita 6-6 
 5. BoracNektar 4-7 
 6. Zrinjski MC 4-8 
 7. SL IAT Leotar 3-9 
 8. Hercegovac 2-10 
League 13
 1. Mladost MG 10-14 
 2. Vitez 9-15 
 3. Slavija 9-15 
 4. Grude 9-15 
 5. Posusje 8-16 
 6. Novi Grad 0-24 


Bosna ASA BHT keeps the top and Sloboda Dita surprises Igokea - by Eurobasket News
Bosna ASA BHT remains on top of Bosnian D1 after 11 rounds with 9-2 record. Siroki Eronet has the same numbers (2nd place), while Igokea is third with 8-3.
Bosna ASA BHT cruised past Hercegovac on the road 78-62. Elvir Ovcina (212-F/C-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Syracuse) stepped up for the guests with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Dusan Dordevic (195-G-83) had 15 and Nikola Vucurovic (200-G/F-80) added 13 pts. Filip Goranovic (206-F/C-85) and Milan Janjusevic (197-F-83) combined 32 points in loss. Their Hercegovac fell to 2-9 (last place).
Siroki Eronet outplayed Borac Nektar on the road 77-66 mostly owing to Hrvoje Puljko (193-G-83, agency: Interperformances), who drained 17 points. All of his points Puljko made in the second half. Goran Vrbanc (194-G-84) also shined in victory netting 12, while Ivan Grgat (210-F/C-74, agency: Court Side) stopped on one point less. Filip Adamovic (184-G-88) answered with 22 pts for the hosts (4 triples).
Sloboda Dita made a big surprise celebrated against Igokea as a guest 76-74. Zlatko Jovanovic (181-G-84) was a key player in Sloboda scoring 24 points (17 in the second half). Sloboda now has 5-6, while Igokea dropped to third place with 8-3.
In the last game of the round Zrinjski was better than Leotar 76-59. Matija Ceskovic (192-G-81, agency: Court Side) scored 17 pts for the winners.


*****************************************************
  CANADA   


Energy capture first IBL victory - by Eurobasket News
The Edmonton Energy held off a late charge by the Los Angeles Lightning on Sunday and emerged with a split in their first two games of the International Basketball League season after losing their debut 108-102 to the Lightning late Saturday.

'In the second half, we let their shooters get started,' head coach Paul Sir said Sunday after a 128-115 triumph.

'It's easy to see why their three big players (Lamont Murray, Byron Russell and Fred Vinson) had the success that they did in the NBA. But we were more focused tonight.'

Eastglen High School grad J.R. Patrick (193-G-81, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement, college: Santa Clara) paced the Energy with 22 points. Skouson Harker (203-F-77, college: Oregon) added 18 in his second solid performance of the weekend. Other Energy starters in double figures were Antwon Mills (203-F/C-79, college: Fresno Pacific) with 17 points, Steve Sir with 16, William Funn with 13 and former University of Alberta ace Andrew Parker with 12.


Courtesy of www2.canada.com


Guangdong wins the title in China, NT player Juan Mendez scores 33 in loss - by Eurobasket News
Guangdong won the CBA title by defeating Xinjiang 106-95. Guangdong won four out of five games in the finals.

Xinjiang jumped off to a 32-23 first quarter advantage but Guangdong came back to lead 50-48 at the half. Guangdong led 78-68 after three quarters. Zhu Fangyu (201-F-83) led Guangdong with 28 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Smush Parker had 27 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Zhou Peng had 15 points and 6 rebounds. Jason Dixon had 12 points and 9 rebounds.

Su Wei (212-C-89) had 10 points and 16 rebounds, showing dominance inside. Listed as born in 1989, Su has the potential to be a second-round NBA draft choice if he performs this way consistently next year. But young Wang Zheng also deserves major playing time at center, and 35-year-old Jason Dixon is still going strong.

Mendez Juan (202-F-81, college: Niagara) led Xinjiang with 33 points and 6 rebounds. But he stationed himself outside, hitting 9 of 17 three-pointers. This let Guangdong outrebound Xinjiang 47-34. Mengke Bateer had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks, but fouled out in 41 minutes and lost the rebounding battle to Su, 16-10. Mulati scored 17 points but fouled out in 27 minutes. Myron Allen had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists and 4 steals but hit only 1 of 7 three-pointers. Xu Guochong scored only 3 points, hitting 1 of 8 shots. Mai Wulan scored 8 points in 14 minutes.

(by Arthur Volbert, China)


*****************************************************
  CHILE   


Dimayor: Noria will coach Everton - by Daniel Valencia
The leaders of Everton de Vina del Mar decided to end the contract with the coach Nelson Martinez . The team started the season with four consecutive defeats and are at the bottom of the standings in the north group of the 'Apertura' tournament. To replace Martinez, the leaders agreed terms with the argentinian Gustavo Noria. He has experience in the chilean league were he coached Deportes Castro, Provincial Osorno and Provincial Llanquihue. His debut will be tonight, in the pending game from round 4 against Boston College.

Stats Leaders - DIMAYOR
DIMAYOR 2009 Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
1. Zuniga, Oso 20.4
2. Marechal,Ucon 20.3
3. Ziegele, Bos 19.0
4. Morton, Esp 18.2
5. Gutman, Lic 16.3
Rebounds Per Game
1. Hubner, Sag 15.0
2. Morton, Esp 12.8
3. Briones, Lic 12.7
4. Gutman, Lic 10.0
5. Bugueno, Uc 8.0
Assists Per Game
1. Werth, Lic 6.3
2. Carrasco, Oso 6.3
3. Ziegele, Bos 6.0
4. Holt, Eve 5.5
5. Gutman, Lic 5.5
Steals Per Game
1. Gutman, Lic 5.0
2. Marechal, Ucon 4.0
3. Carrasco, Oso 4.0
4. Del Solar, Val 3.3
5. Sepulveda, Llan 3.3
Blocks Per Game
1. Chaine, Llan 2.0
2. Marechal, Ucon 2.0
3. Hubner, Sag 1.7
4. Holloway, Eve 1.5
5. Prutzmann, Val 1.3
3FGP
1. Mendez, Llan 62.5%
2. Gonzalez, Esp 57.7%
3. Ulloa, Llan 53.8%
4. Osses, Ucon 50.0%
5. Campos, Llan 45.8%
Ranking
1. Gutman, Lic 1.25
2. Briones, Lic 0.88
3. Cisternas, Lic 0.86
4. Carrasco, Oso 0.77
5. Morton, Esp 0.71


Standings - DIMAYOR
DIMAYOR Standings
 1. Liceo Mixto 5-0 
 2. Prov.Llanq. 4-1 
 3. U.Concepc. 3-1 
 4. Dep.Espanol 3-2 
 5. Sagrados 3-2 
 6. U.Catolica 2-3 
 7. Prov.Osorno 2-3 
 8. Dep.Valdivia 2-3 
 9. U.Los Lagos 2-3 
 10. Boston Coll. 2-3 
 11. Dep.Castro 1-3 
 12. Everton 0-5 


Dimayor: Boston won the pending game - by Daniel Valencia
CD Boston College Santiago defeated Everton de Vina del Mar 83-57 playing as visitors and ended a three game losing streak, while the host is the only team in the tournament without victories. Four players scored in double figures for the winners, with Felipe Ziegele (178-G-80) leading the way with 18 points. For Everton, that played without the brazilian Ricardo de Bem (208-C-84, agency: Huss Sport Agency, college: Oklahoma City), Miguel Zuniga was the offensive leadetr with 13.

Everton 57 - CD Boston College 83
Eve: Miguel Zuniga 13 pts. Oliver Hermosilla 12 pts.
Bos: Felipe Ziegele 18 pts. Felipe Zapata 14 pts.


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


Guo Shi Qing is the New China National Headcoach - by Robert Wang
Guo shi Qiang from Liao Ning team are on the China National Team head coach position today. This is the info. just relesed from CBA this afternoon, Guo was the Liao Ning team head coach and WCBA assist coach 3 years ago. His working style is his shining point that helped him to go onto the headcoach position. The assist coach is Gong Lu Ming who coahced WCBA. There would be som eforeign assist coaches as well. Hope Guo can lead the team to success.

New rival to world's tallest man - by Eurobasket
Zhao Liang is seeking official recognition as the world's tallest man. A new contender for world's tallest man has been discovered in China, after he attended hospital for surgery. Zhao Liang was measured at 2.46m (8ft 07in) by doctors in Tianjin, where the ex-basketball player was being treated for an injury to his left tendon. It puts him 10cm (3.9in) above the official title-holder, Chinese citizen Bao Xishun, who was first recognised by Guinness World Records in 2005.
Mr Zhao, 27, is now seeking official recognition of his huge stature. Until Mr Zhao is independently measured by judges from the Guinness team, he cannot be officially considered the world's tallest man. The current holder, 57-year-old Bao Xishun, stands at 2.36m (7ft 8.95in) tall. Zhao Liang's career in his home province of Henan was cut short when he injured his foot a decade ago, state media reported. I am so worried about his marriage, job and his health that my hair has turned white Mr Zhao's mother. He was unemployed until 2006, when he started working with a street art troupe and learned to perform magic tricks and play instruments, according to Xinhua news agency. But the 27-year-old caused a new stir when he walked into the Tianjin hospital, and staff there took his measurements. Doctors also performed an operation on his foot and said he should make a full recovery within two months. Mr Zhao does not reportedly suffer any health complications related to his height. However his parents - who are of average height - have other concerns. 'I am so worried about his marriage, job and his health that my hair has turned white,' his mother, Wang Keyun, told Xinhua.

Courtesy of BBC


19 Named to Try Out for 2009 National Team - by Arthur Volbert
The Chinese Basketball Association announced 19 prospects for the national team that will play in the FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin from August 6 through August 16.

Ming Yao (226-C-80) was named to the team as well as Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) and Yue Sun (205-G/F-85, agency: Passing Lane). The only players on the Olympic Team who were dropped from this team were Li Nan and Wang Lei. Bayi had a bad year this year and the only Bayi player named was Wang Zhizhi (214-C-77). League champion Guangdong had five players named.

Chen Jianghua (188-G-89) made the team even though he doesn't start for Guangdong. But he has physical skills that no other Chinese player has and provides instant offense off the bench.

Ming Yao -- Houston Rockets
Jianlian Yi -- New Jersey Nets
Yue Sun -- LA Lakers
Wang Zhizhi -- Bayi
Zhu Fangyu (201-F-83) -- Guangdong
Du Feng (206-C/F-81) -- Guangdong
Wang Shipeng (197-F/G-83) -- Guangdong
Chen Jianghua -- Guangdong
Zhou Peng (207-F-89) -- Guangdong
Zhang Kai (211-C-82) -- Dongguan
Qiu Biao (200-F-83) -- Dongguan
Yi Li (203-F/G-85) -- Jiangsu
Hu Xuefeng (185-G-80) -- Jiangsu
Xu Guochong (198-F/G-81) -- Xinjiang
Zhang Qingpeng (188-G-81) -- Liaoning
Li Xiaoxu (204-C-90) -- Liaoning
Liu Wei (190-G-80) -- Shanghai
Ding Jinhui (204-C-90) -- Zhejiang


*****************************************************
  COLOMBIA   


The Fastbreak Cup in Cali, Elite Basketball - by Victor Garcia
The Fastbreak Club has organized the 1st Fastbreak Elite Cup in Cali, the explayer Abimael Palacios (Sabios, Toros, Azucareros, Indervalle) and president of the Club made a big effort to bring to the people of Cali this important event.
Five teams are already playing in the Evangelista Mora coliseum in the weekends, EMCALI with the Colombian star Stalin Ortiz and the American guard Jomo Belfor, Fastbreak with the Colombian Star Edgar Moreno, the Valle U-23 team coached by Guillermo Moreno and with the best Young players of Valle and the American guard Marcus Bennett, Winning from Manizales with the African venter Bob Kalodokubo, and the National Sports School with a very talented group.
Fastbreak leads undefeated, Emcali and U-23 are tied in the second place, the National school of sports and Winning are closing the standings.
Stalin Ortiz, Jomo Belfor, Edgar Moreno, Salomon Mosquera (Fastbreak), Bob Kaladokubo, Edgar Pimiente (Fastbreak), and Marcus Bennett are at the top of the scorers.


*****************************************************
  CYPRUS   


Interview with Lonnie Cooper and Jo Jo Garcia! - by Nasios Orinos

Profile:
Lonnie Cooper, Guard, #11, APOEL Nicosia
Height: 1.96
Born: 1975
Player of the year-Guard of the year

Profile:
Jo Jo Garcia, Center, #15, APOEL Nicosia
Height: 2.06
Born: 1976
Domestic player of the year-Center of the year


Jo Jo Garcia and Lonnie Cooper were the two best players in the league this past year. They both played for APOEL and they greatly helped their team win the championship.

Jo Jo has great moves under the basket and is usually unstoppable. He is a smart Center and can move well with and without the ball. He knows very well how to put and use his teammates in the game. No team could guard him successfully this past year.

Lonnie is among the best guards that visited the island since 1989 when the 1st import players landed on the island. As I have told him during the interview, I have seen no one stealing the ball from him all season long. He is a great ball handler, passer and organizer and this past year has been the 'brain' of the team.

Eurobasket.com had a chat with both of them.

(eurobasket)
Jo Jo you have been awarded as the Cypriot player of the year and the Center of the year and you have also entered the League's Best Starting lineup. How do you comment on that?
Lonnie, on your side you have been officially awarded as the Player and Guard of the year, plus you have also entered the Best Starting lineup. What are your comments?
(Jo Jo)
I am very glad. I worked hard and I am really honored. I know that eurobasket.com is a very distinguished basketball site with readers not only in Cyprus but in all over the world, so it is nice to know that has given me these awards.

(Lonnie)
Well, I am very happy and satisfied with this because it seems all the effort has paid of. People do not know how hard we worked and personally I am really glad.

(eurobasket)
Guys, you have succeeded something that since 1989, with the landing of import players on the island, no other team has ever achieved. You won the championship having a double disadvantage. Did you really believe you could do it, or did it just happen?
(Lonnie)
Oh, we definitely believed. I know that we had problems at the beginning but after some point not only we believed but we really wanted this title. Especially after the Cup Final against AEL I really believed. I mean we almost had them there.

(Jo Jo)
Lonnie is right. We believed and we were thirsty for it. Especially, after the punishment and after we came back in Lefkotheo and won Keravnos by 25 we believed that we had the potentials. Sure!

(eurobasket)
Some people believe that AEL was the best team in the league, considering the fact that it went as deep as the Eurochallenge Final Four and all. What do you guys believe?
(Lonnie)
Oh, it was a great team, especially at the first part. It was deep and indeed strong. But after some point we know we also had potentials and that we were also good.

(Jo Jo)
It was an incredible team. I mean they beat us at the beginning in Lefkotheo. Definitely after the Cup Final things had changed.

(eurobasket)
Let's go to the final at which you have faced the ex-champions. Which do you think was your advantage, (the one thing) against Keravnos that helped you win this championship?
(Lonnie)
Determination for sure.

(Jo Jo)
Oh yes. Guys were hungry to win. Lonnie, Van Dorpe, Seril, Rasheed, Zeno, George, everybody wanted this. And Darrel was there all the time. He was pushing all the others, giving them hope and strength. I am telling you, we were a hungry team, everyone was there for each other. Not too many people know about this, but it is true.

(eurobasket)
Which was the most difficult team you have played against to this year?
(Lonnie)
AEK. I mean AEL was a good team but we had it, even at the 1st game in Lefkotheo. But AEK, it beat us twice and I mean, it really beat us.

(Jo Jo)
It is AEK. It is true. It beat us badly. All others we had them.

(eurobasket)
What about the most difficult player you had to guard?

(Lonnie)
Oh, that's a good one.

(Jo Jo)
Lewis Sims was good.

(Lonnie)
Definitely we did not have an answer for Lewis Sims and also Taylor. He was also very good.

(Jo Jo)
I would agree.

(eurobasket)
What are your plans for next year?
(Jo Jo)
I have a 1+1 and for sure I don't want to leave. I will talk to people at the club and we'll see.

(Lonnie)
I played in many teams in Europe so far and I have nothing else to prove. I want to come back to Cyprus. I like Cyprus a lot, it is a safe country to live in and people are friendly. Of course this depends on many things. I will have to talk to APOEL and know what they think and we'll see.

(eurobasket)
Guys thanks for your time
.

(Jo Jo)

No problem.
(Lonnie)

Any time.



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


Plzen tie things in the 1Liga final - by Eurobasket News
Lokomotiva Plzen defeated Vysehrad in the second game of the 1Liga finals. The regular season champions scored a 70:52 to level things up after a bitter home loss in the opener. Plzen start from start to finish in Game 2. The hosts earned just a 4-point advantage at halftime but increased the tempo after the interval. Lokomotiva Plzen extended the margin to 9 points with one quarter remaining. Vysehrad could not bounce back in the final period and Plzen sealed the winning outcome at the end. Pavel Frana (212-C-77) nailed 19 points to pace Plzen. Jaroslav Kovanda (204-F/C-82) added 12 points for the winners.
Vysehrad eked out a 61:58 victory in the opener. The teams were tied at 16 after ten minutes but the visitors surged ahead in the second stanza to pile up a 4-point lead into the major break. Plzen tried hard to change the outcome in the second half but failed to prevail. Pavel Frana had 17 points for Plzen. Tomas Kubiznak (193-G/F-78) added 16 points in the losing effort.
Game 3 is scheduled for May 8 with Vysegrad hosting the clash.


*****************************************************
  DENMARK   


Danish Eurobasket Awards 2008-2009 - by Thomas Soltau

Player of the year: Bonell Colas (206-F-82, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Florida) - Randers

1st team:

PG: Andreas Jakobsen (187-G-83, college: Columbia (MO)) - Bakken
SG: Johnell Smith (186-G-80, college: New Orleans) - Svendborg
SF: Mickey Dennis (190-G/F-78, college: JMU) - Naestved
PF: Peter Johansen (204-F/C-80, agency: Arik Krayn Services) - Amager
C: Bonell Colas - Randers

2nd team:

PG: D.J. Smedley (178-G-84, college: Ill.-Chicago) - Randers
SG: Jesse Pellot-Rosa (193-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Va Commonwealth) - Sisu
SF: Jimmy Binnie (201-F-86, college: Dayton) - Hoersholm
PF: Chris Gilliam (201-F/C-86, college: Pitt-Johnstown) - Aabyhoj
C: Chris Christoffersen (218-C-79, college: Oregon) - Bakken

Bosman player of the year: Danilo Fatic (191-G-77) - Naestved

Bosman 1st team:

PG: Sasha Djordjevic (190-G-85) - Naestved
SG: Danilo Fatic - Naestved
SF: Tomas Vilkius (199-F-81) - Naestved
PF: Ivan Miskovic (203-F/C-84, college: Alaska-Fairb.) - Bakken
C: Ivan Hoger (225-C-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza) - Svendborg

Domestic player of the year: Andreas Jakobsen - Bakken

Domestic 1st team:

PG: Andreas Jakobsen - Bakken
SG: Chris Nielsen (193-G-85) - Randers
SF: Kristian Jakobsen (190-G/F-79) - Amager
PF: Peter Johansen - Amager
C: Chris Christoffersen - Bakken

Newcomer of the year: Johnell Smith - Svendborg

Rookie of the year: Mikkel Plannthin (195-G-88) - Svendborg

Most improved player: Chris Nielsen - Randers

Coach of the year: Marcus Collins - Randers


Congratulations to everyone and thank you for a great season.

Eurobasket Denmark.


1. division awards for 2008/2009 season - by Thomas Quaade

The season's last game is several a weeks ago and now it's time to give out the awards of the 1. division men 2008/2009 season.

All the coaches except 2 from the 1. division have voted and here are the results:

MVP
Christian Thomsen (199-F-84) - Aalborg Basket

1st team
PG Florian Houguet - Aalborg BK
SG Andreas Heinung - Herlev
SF Christian Thomsen - Aalborg BK
PF Torsten Gotterup - Herlev
C Dreshawn Vance - Aalborg BK

2nd team
PG Jeppe Kristiansen - Aalborg BK
SG Jakob Wang - Aarhus BF
SF Michael Guldbaek - Odense
PF Jens Bisgaard - Herlev
C Quade Milium - Virum

Most improved player
Michael Vincent Nielsen - Falcon

1st team foreign players
1. Florian Houguet - Aalborg BK
2. Kinsey Durgin - Lemvig
3. Mike Haiduc - Lemvig
4. Quade Milium - Virum
5. Dreshawn Vance - Aalborg BK

1st team domestic players
PG Andreas Heinung - Herlev
SG Jeppe Kristiansen - Aalborg BK
SF Michael Guldbaek - Odense
PF Christian Thomsen - Aalborg BK
C Torsten Gotterup - Herlev

Coach of the year
Thomas Silfen - Vaerlose

Team of the year
Aalborg BK

Surprise team of the year
Aarhus BF

Congratulations to the winners and best of luck next season.



*****************************************************
  EL SALVADOR   


Liga Premier updatings - by Jaime Arevalo
In the last week round of Liga Premier action, Cosmos-2 defeated Delgadense 71-67 with Diego Zaffanela leading the way thaks to his experience. In the same night, San Marcos prevaied over Santa Tecla 94-90 at the end of a very close game, in which shined Salvador Soto, Oscar de Leon and Marlon Avila for San Marcos. In the other games,Universidad Francisco Gavidia (UFG) defeated Biomedical 68-64 and UTEC-2 beat Denver-2 79-72

*****************************************************
  ESTONIA   


Kalev/Cramo down TTU KK in semifinal opener - by Eurobasket News
Kalev/Cramo - TTU KK 105:84

Rait Keerles (201-F-80) nailed 19 points to pace Kalev/Cramo to the initial win over TTU KK in the semifinal series.
Kalev/Cramo tamed ambitious TTU KK overcoming a sloppy start and showing some well-balanced offense down the stretch. TTU KK proved they were never accidentally among top four teams in the league stunning the hosts with aggressive offense. The visitors matched every bucket from Kalev/Cramo and finally posted a 20:19 lead after ten minutes. Kalev/Cramo needed to increase the tempo in the second stanza to leavy pesky TTU KK behind. The hosts fired 31 points to earn a 4-point lead at the interval. The outcome was decided in the third frame. Kalev/Cramo stormed out of the blocks taking TTU KK by surprise. The visitors defense did not work allowing Kalev/Cramo to account for as many as 39 points in the frame. TTU KK scored just 13 themselves and appeared trailing by 30 points heading into the fourth period. TTU KK got back to life in the final stanza but it was too late. The visiting team won the fourth quarter by 9 points but managed to only sweeten the pill.
John Linehan (175-G-78, college: Providence) provided 15 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds for Kalev/Cramo. Josh Pace (198-G-83, agency: Dynasty Sports, college: Syracuse) had 17 points for the winners. Kristo Orula (186-G-85) responded with 17 points for TTU KK. Joosep Pokla (198-G-86) added 15 points in the loss.
Game 2 is scheduled for May 7.

Kalev/Cramo: Rait Keerles 19, Josh Pace 17, John Linehan 15
TTU KK: Kristo Orula 17, Joosep Pokla 15


*****************************************************
  EUROLEAGUE   


2009 Final Four - Broken records - by Chris Mammides

The Final Four is History! Zeljko Obradovic 's Green Empire History has broken quite a number of records with this fifth Euroleague title, some of which are registered right below:
1. The Super Serb Head Coach, Zeljko Obradovic reached the seven Euroleague titles, four of which succeeded with his Green team in the seasons 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2009. None of his competitors is Close to the Serb, not only in the total number of the titles but also in the series with the same team. Furthermore, it is worth mentioned that the Serbian coach is unbeaten against his Italian rival, Ettore Messina . Zeljko Obradovic has 4 victories out of 4 games either as a Head Coach of a National team or as a Coach of a club. Lastly, the Serbian Coach never lost a Euroleague title as a Head Coach as he won all six of them.
2. Every 2.5 years according to the statistics of the last 14 years, the Euroleague goes to Panathinaikos
3. Panathinaikos won all three times played against CSKA in Semi Final and Final games. In 1996, Euroleague semi finals, in 2007, in Athens Finals and two days ago in Berlin, the Greens are counting 3 out of 3 games.
4. The Lithuanian super star Jasikevicius won all the Final Four that he ever participated.
5. Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) became the first ever player to win the Euroleague title with three different teams, Barcelona, Macabi Tel Aviv and now with Panathinaikos.
6. Fragiskos Alvertis (206-F-74) and Sarunas Jasikevicius are currently the only two players in action that have the most Euroleague titles, Franki with 5 and Saras with 4. Number one player is Dino Meneghin (204-C-50) with titles.
7. Panathinaikos is the third team after Real Madrid (8 titles) and CSKA (6 titles) in terms of Euroleague titles.
8. Andrew Nickolas became just the fourth player in the history of Final Fours that won both Euroleague and NCAA title, the other three are: Tyus Edney (178-G-73, college: UCLA), Jiri Zidek (212-C-73, college: UCLA) and Tony Delk (186-G-74, college: Kentucky) with Panathinaikos.
9. Spanoulis became the 21st player in the History of Final Fours that succeeded to win both Euroleague title and Pan European title in National Team level.
10. Greece reached the 6 Euroleague titles in total (Panathinaikos 5 and Olympiakos 1) and has the biggest number followed by Spain (Real Madrid, Badalona and Barca).
11. Messina lost the most Euroleague titles than any other Head Coach, the Italian lost 5 Euroleague titles, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2009
12. Matjaz Smodis (205-F-79) is the only player in the Euroleague history that lost four finals.
13. Statistically wise the 2009 Final Four was the best ever, since 1988 the games never ended with so close deficits. The two semis and the final had in total 8 points deficit. The smaller goal-average took place back in 1988 and 1993 with 16 points each season.

source:sport24.gr

14. Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) is voted for fifth consecutive time as the best defender in Euroleague!




Obradovic: Messina is better than me - by Kostas Papadopoulos
The coach of the champions of Euroleague, Panathinaikos, mr. Zeljko Obradovic gave an interesting interview at Blic, referring to his collection of trophies, his being used in drinking the champagne after the so many wins in his carreer and many others: 'To be honest, I've never really paid much attention to my trophy cabinet. It was once my mothers duty, now my son Stefan has taken over the job. I don't even know where all the trophies are some are; in Athens, some in Cacak, while some are in Belgrade. It's important they are accounted for, but if you ask me if this one is my most favourite one, I will tell you the latest trophy is always the closest to your heart', Zeljko Obradovic stated.
About the fact that there is not a single Panathinaikos' fan who wouldn't produce the name of Zeljko Obradovic if they were being asked to name their finest individual: 'I am ecstatic for winning the trophy mostly because of the club and the fans. When I saw how many of them there were in Berlin to support us, I was very happy to have been able to repay them with this victory. I must also mention club's president Giannakopoulos, who was unfortunately unable to attend the Final Four in Berlin due to illness'.
About his friendly shaking of hands at the end of the match with Ettore Messina , which proves the two great coaches' friendship lingers despite bitter basketball rivalry: 'I congratulated Ettore Messina on everything he has done with CSKA Moscow, as it has been phenomenal'. Commenting on the fact the Italian opposite number considers him the best basketball coach in Europe, Zeljko Obradovic responded: 'I consider him the best basketball coach in Europe, too'.
Zeljko Obradovic managed to summon the strength and energy of his team after a gruelling and emotionally draining semi-final match against their Greek arch-rivals of Olympiacos and eventually beat the Euroleague title holders CSKA in the final: 'I agree the players showed great character and winning mentality'.
And about the last shot of the match which froze the hearts of many a Panathinaikos' fan: 'I've never placed great attention to the final attack, but this time it proved to be the key moment of the match. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) is a terrific player who was once in a team I coached and I told my players not to double him so that we don't open any other position and concede an open three-pointer and eventually lose the game. Drew Nicholas (191-G-81, college: Maryland) played terrific defence on Ramunas Siskauskas and he missed. If it had been different, I would now probably be criticized for my defensive tactics in the last CSKA attack, but that luckily didn't happen'.
Finally, regarding on whether signing Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) and Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket) from Partizan in summer was the right move for Panathinaikos: 'I am extremely pleased they have achieved this great success in their first season in their new club. I know too well how hard they trained during the season and how much they desired this trophy. There is no better reward for the hard work you put in than this'. Zeljko Obradovic had another special advice for the Montenegro centre: 'I told Nikola Pekovic in the locker room not to even consider settling for this trophy and stopping here. His mission is to continue working hard in order to dominate the European courts in the years to come and win many more trophies'.


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


INTERNATIONAL: Aki Ulander Swedish Champion - by Rauno Hurmalainen
The Swedish basketball season 2008-09 is over. There is a new Swedish Champion as Sundsvall Dragons has won Team's first championship ever by beating
Solna Vikings in the Game # 7 by six pts 69-75 (32-52). Quarters: 17-26, 15-26, 19-9, 18-14. There was also Finnish colour in the finals. NT C Aki Ulander (208-C-81) was part of Sundsvall roster. Ulander played in the play-off-games 14:43 mpg averaging 3,0 ppg and 3,4 rpg. Solna Vikings Head Coach Pekka Salminen is also from Finland as well as Solna's G Juha Sten (191-G-83, agency: Rasmussen Services). Sten was the defender of the season in Sweden.


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


Standings - ProA
ProA Standings
 1. ASVEL 20-8 
 2. Orleans 20-8 
 3. Nancy 19-9 
 4. Le Mans 18-10 
 5. Roanne 18-10 
 6. Strasbourg 16-12 
 7. Gravelines 16-12 
 8. Chalon 15-13 
 9. Cholet 13-15 
 10. Hyeres-Toulon 12-16 
 11. Vichy 12-16 
 12. Dijon 11-17 
 13. Rouen 10-18 
 14. Le Havre 9-19 
 15. Besancon 8-20 
 16. Pau 7-21 


Standings - ProB
ProB Standings
 1. Paris-Levall. 26-6 
 2. Poitiers 24-8 
 3. Clermont 22-10 
 4. Bourg 21-11 
 5. Limoges 20-12 
 6. Saint-Etienne 19-13 
 7. Charleville 19-13 
 8. Nantes 18-14 
 9. Antibes 15-17 
 10. Maurienne 15-17 
 11. Nanterre 15-17 
 12. Brest 14-18 
 13. Evreux 13-19 
 14. Boulazac 12-20 
 15. Le Portel 11-21 
 16. St.Vallier 11-21 
 17. St.Quentin 8-24 
 18. Quimper 5-27 


*****************************************************
  GEORGIA   


Shermadini - Only Georgian Holding Euroleague Title - by GEO Basket
Giorgi Shermadini (216-C-89) was invited on Adidas Superstar Camp 2005 in Berlin, Germany where he was selected in All-Star Team and was one of the top performers. It was his first international exposure and a lot of experts started talking about his potential and bright future. Despite no doubt that nobody could imagine seeing player (who started learning basics of basketball from January of 2005) after 4 years again in Berlin but this time on the Euroleague F4 in the roster of Euroleague Champion Panathinaikos Athens who suitably defeated CSKA Moscow in the final and clinched its 5th Euroleague title. In the Greek A1 Championship Shermadini helped his team in 4 games by 38 points and 18 rebounds in 52 minutes what is really convincing result for debutant. 20 years old Georgian NT center is 216cm.

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


Coach Douglas Spradley to leave Paderborn - by Moritz Korff
Head Coach Douglas Spradley (agency: LimeLight) and the Paderborn Baskets will part ways when this current season has come to a close. The 42-year-old American who received a German passport in 1998 first came to Paderborn in 1992 and spent several years with the club as a player. In the year 2000 Spradley was named the Paderborn Head Coach. Six years later he led the Baskets to a 2. Bundesliga North championship and to promotion to the first league. The Paderborn club-officials are now looking for a new coach. However, it's still unsure, if the club will continue to play in the 1. Bundesliga next season or step back to the Pro A.

A Conversation With Arthur Lee(Nymburk) - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber
Arthur Lee (185-G-77, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: Stanford) is a 31 year old 185 cm guard playing his second season for the Czech champion Nymburk. He grew up of dreaming to play like his idol Magic Johnson. He visited Stanford University from 1995-1999. In his senior year, he averaged in 33 games: 13.2ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.4apg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 88.6%. He reached the Final Four in 1999. He is the NCAA Tournament career leader in free throw percentage at .935 (58-for-62 in 12 games), having broken mark of .906 shared by Princeton's Bill Bradley and Indiana's Steve Alford. He is often compared to Tyus Edney and has had a successful career in Europe. He is a true point guard. He enjoys this position because it allows him to get others involved. He believes that a point guard's role is to run the team, play great defense, and make good decisions on the court. He is a great team leader who possesses excellent speed, quickness and work ethic. He has great ball-handling skills. He has played in countries like Turkey, Croatia, Italy, Israel, Greece, France and the Czech Republic. He won the Croatian championship and cup in 2001 with Cibona Zagreb averaging 14.1ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.8apg in the Euroleague. Last season he won the Czech tile and cup with Nymburk. This season, he is averaging 11,9ppg, 1,6rpg and 2,7apg and has not lost his touch from the free throw line averaging 92%. Arthur spoke to eurobasket before the exhibition game with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners.






This is your second season in the Czech Republic. How do you like it?



It has been great. I play for a great team and I hope we can end the season with another championship



You had a record of 39-1. Is your team that good or the opponents that bad?



It is a combination of both. We have a great bunch of guys and our team plays good inside/out Basketball. You also have to remember that Basketball is not the number one sport in the Czech Republic.


The domination that Nymburk has had reminds me a little on the 2007-2008 New England Patriots team that almost had a perfect season losing in the Superbowl to the New York Giants. Does that remind you a bit on that team?


It does remind me a bit, and it is always nice to be undefeated, but we did lose a game and our main focus now is to win the championship



In the Quarterfinals, you easily beat USK Prag 3-0 in games. Was this series as easy as it looked?



Yes that series was pretty easy as has the season, but we have the best opportunity to win each year, because we have the biggest budget in the Czech league and we know as players that we have to take care of business each season.



In the semi final, you will meet either Pristejov or Liberec. Who would you rather have?



Personaly I would rather play against Liberec, because it is only an hour by bus. That is really my biggest concern. Lol.


What is your impression of The Deutsche Bank Skyliners? You played against last years team twice in test games.



I dont know much about this years team. I know that they have a good coach and I have played against Titus Ivory in Italy.



Do you know any players on the team besides Titus Ivory?



No I do not.



What Skyliner do you respect?



I respect each player. If you dont respect your opponent, then they could always surprise you on the court.



What was your childhood like?


My childhood was great in Los Angeles. I am looking forward to going home again this summer. I really miss home. The thing that I remember most was wonderful beautiful sunshine.



Who were your Basketball idols growing up? I suppose Magic Johnson was up there.



Magic Johnson was my idol as a point guard. I believe he was the greatest point guard ever.



Do you ever goose bumps when you think about your record in NCAA tournament play of 93% in free throw percentage having made 58-62 free throws beating the record of illustrious ex NBA players like Bill Bradley and Steve Alford?



I dont get goose bumps, but when I look back it is nice knowing that I accomplished something that stands in the record books. I actually met Bill Bradley a few times, because he often visited Stanford when I was going there.



You reached the 1998 Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Why didnt the team win the title?



It was already very tough reaching the Final Four. The teams were very competitive and we lost to Kentucky by one point in overtime. I often look back on that game trying to figure out how we could of won the game.


Who were the best players that you played against in the NCAA?



I played against Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Mike Bibby and quite a few times against Baron Davis. I played together with Brevin Knight. Casey Jacobson came to Stanford after I graduated.



You have played all over Europe, including countries like France, Israel, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Turkey. What was your nicest place?



I experienced so much in all these places meeting many different kinds of people and seeing many different cultures. I had great memories in Israel and Italy, but the best place was Croatia, because that is where I met my future wife. It is hard to believe it has almost been ten years since coming over to Europe.



Why do you think that you never made the NBA?



It is always difficult for a guard to reach the NBA. I came over to Europe and just continued playing here and to be honest I have no regrets! I have had a great time in Europe.


In March 2003, you had a contract to play in Israel, but left because of the Iraq war, but soon you returned to finish the season. Describe that experience?


I decided to go back to the States as USA went into Iraq, because I felt it was too dangerous being so close being in Israel and knowing about the relationship of the two countries. But I returned after about three weeks, because there was no real threat and was able to finish the season.



What do you want to do after your playing career?




I want to go into teaching helping young kids, but since teaching jobs dont pay so well, I am also looking in investing in real estate. So I am concentrating on working on investments now.




How many free throws have you made in a row?



I made 50 free throws in a row and then just stopped and went home. My goal was to make 50 and that was it.




What was the last DVD that you saw?




The last DVD was Anchorman. I think that Will Ferrill is a comedic genius.


Standings - 1. Bundesliga
1.Bundesliga Standings
 1. Goettingen 25-8 
 2. Oldenburg 25-8 
 3. ALBA 24-8 
 4. Bonn 22-11 
 5. Frankfurt 21-12 
 6. Ulm 20-13 
 7. Bamberg 19-14 
 8. Paderborn 17-15 
 9. Art.Dragons 16-16 
 10. Trier 16-17 
 11. Ludwigsb. 15-18 
 12. Tuebingen 14-19 
 13. Duesseldorf 13-20 
 14. Braunschweig 13-20 
 15. Noerdlingen 11-22 
 16. Koeln 99ers 10-23 
 17. Giessen 8-25 
 18. Bremerhaven 6-26 


Ludwigsburg fires coach Stafford - by Manuel Schust
With just one game left in the regular season EnBW Ludwigsburg announced the departure of head coach Rick Stafford .
Assistant coach Tyron McCoy will be responsible for the team in this week's practice and the last game against Walter Tigers Tuebingen.

Stafford, who joined the club last summer, was sacked by the management because he could not fulfill the expectations. Ludwigsburg did not qualify for the play-offs this season.
After the end of his successful player career, Stafford started as a headcoach for TSV Troester Breitenguessbach, he also was assistant coach of the Brose Baskets Bamberg in that year. Last season the 37-year old american was a full-time assistantcoach of Dirk Bauermann in Bamberg. Ludwigsburg was his first head coach experience in Germany's division 1.


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


Obradovic: Messina is better than me - by Kostas Papadopoulos
The coach of the champions of Euroleague, Panathinaikos, mr. Zeljko Obradovic gave an interesting interview at Blic, referring to his collection of trophies, his being used in drinking the champagne after the so many wins in his carreer and many others: 'To be honest, I've never really paid much attention to my trophy cabinet. It was once my mothers duty, now my son Stefan has taken over the job. I don't even know where all the trophies are some are; in Athens, some in Cacak, while some are in Belgrade. It's important they are accounted for, but if you ask me if this one is my most favourite one, I will tell you the latest trophy is always the closest to your heart', Zeljko Obradovic stated.
About the fact that there is not a single Panathinaikos' fan who wouldn't produce the name of Zeljko Obradovic if they were being asked to name their finest individual: 'I am ecstatic for winning the trophy mostly because of the club and the fans. When I saw how many of them there were in Berlin to support us, I was very happy to have been able to repay them with this victory. I must also mention club's president Giannakopoulos, who was unfortunately unable to attend the Final Four in Berlin due to illness'.
About his friendly shaking of hands at the end of the match with Ettore Messina , which proves the two great coaches' friendship lingers despite bitter basketball rivalry: 'I congratulated Ettore Messina on everything he has done with CSKA Moscow, as it has been phenomenal'. Commenting on the fact the Italian opposite number considers him the best basketball coach in Europe, Zeljko Obradovic responded: 'I consider him the best basketball coach in Europe, too'.
Zeljko Obradovic managed to summon the strength and energy of his team after a gruelling and emotionally draining semi-final match against their Greek arch-rivals of Olympiacos and eventually beat the Euroleague title holders CSKA in the final: 'I agree the players showed great character and winning mentality'.
And about the last shot of the match which froze the hearts of many a Panathinaikos' fan: 'I've never placed great attention to the final attack, but this time it proved to be the key moment of the match. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) is a terrific player who was once in a team I coached and I told my players not to double him so that we don't open any other position and concede an open three-pointer and eventually lose the game. Drew Nicholas (191-G-81, college: Maryland) played terrific defence on Ramunas Siskauskas and he missed. If it had been different, I would now probably be criticized for my defensive tactics in the last CSKA attack, but that luckily didn't happen'.
Finally, regarding on whether signing Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) and Dusan Kecman (197-G/F-77, agency: Beo Basket) from Partizan in summer was the right move for Panathinaikos: 'I am extremely pleased they have achieved this great success in their first season in their new club. I know too well how hard they trained during the season and how much they desired this trophy. There is no better reward for the hard work you put in than this'. Zeljko Obradovic had another special advice for the Montenegro centre: 'I told Nikola Pekovic in the locker room not to even consider settling for this trophy and stopping here. His mission is to continue working hard in order to dominate the European courts in the years to come and win many more trophies'.


2009 Final Four - Broken records - by Chris Mammides

The Final Four is History! Zeljko Obradovic 's Green Empire History has broken quite a number of records with this fifth Euroleague title, some of which are registered right below:
1. The Super Serb Head Coach, Zeljko Obradovic reached the seven Euroleague titles, four of which succeeded with his Green team in the seasons 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2009. None of his competitors is Close to the Serb, not only in the total number of the titles but also in the series with the same team. Furthermore, it is worth mentioned that the Serbian coach is unbeaten against his Italian rival, Ettore Messina . Zeljko Obradovic has 4 victories out of 4 games either as a Head Coach of a National team or as a Coach of a club. Lastly, the Serbian Coach never lost a Euroleague title as a Head Coach as he won all six of them.
2. Every 2.5 years according to the statistics of the last 14 years, the Euroleague goes to Panathinaikos
3. Panathinaikos won all three times played against CSKA in Semi Final and Final games. In 1996, Euroleague semi finals, in 2007, in Athens Finals and two days ago in Berlin, the Greens are counting 3 out of 3 games.
4. The Lithuanian super star Jasikevicius won all the Final Four that he ever participated.
5. Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) became the first ever player to win the Euroleague title with three different teams, Barcelona, Macabi Tel Aviv and now with Panathinaikos.
6. Fragiskos Alvertis (206-F-74) and Sarunas Jasikevicius are currently the only two players in action that have the most Euroleague titles, Franki with 5 and Saras with 4. Number one player is Dino Meneghin (204-C-50) with titles.
7. Panathinaikos is the third team after Real Madrid (8 titles) and CSKA (6 titles) in terms of Euroleague titles.
8. Andrew Nickolas became just the fourth player in the history of Final Fours that won both Euroleague and NCAA title, the other three are: Tyus Edney (178-G-73, college: UCLA), Jiri Zidek (212-C-73, college: UCLA) and Tony Delk (186-G-74, college: Kentucky) with Panathinaikos.
9. Spanoulis became the 21st player in the History of Final Fours that succeeded to win both Euroleague title and Pan European title in National Team level.
10. Greece reached the 6 Euroleague titles in total (Panathinaikos 5 and Olympiakos 1) and has the biggest number followed by Spain (Real Madrid, Badalona and Barca).
11. Messina lost the most Euroleague titles than any other Head Coach, the Italian lost 5 Euroleague titles, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2009
12. Matjaz Smodis (205-F-79) is the only player in the Euroleague history that lost four finals.
13. Statistically wise the 2009 Final Four was the best ever, since 1988 the games never ended with so close deficits. The two semis and the final had in total 8 points deficit. The smaller goal-average took place back in 1988 and 1993 with 16 points each season.

source:sport24.gr




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


Walfred Corado point of view - by Gianni Pascucci
Just after falling to Sat, 81-98 in the showdown between the two top teams in Liga Metro, Elite Sport coach Walfred Corado stated: 'the main factors in our loss wera a very poor accuracy in free throws (we failed 16 of them) and the better defense, played with great toughness, from Sat. The inside players of our opponents were almost insuperable, if Sat will go on in this way, it wil be very hard to beat them before the end of the season. We will go on in pointing on fast paced game, but we have less size, and this is very important'.

Standings
Liga Metropolitana Standings
 1. SAT 10-0 
 2. Elite Sport 9-2 
 3. D-Team 7-2 
 4. URL 7-2 
 5. USAC 7-3 
 6. Le Mans 5-4 
 7. Compusys 5-6 
 8. Millonarios 4-6 
 9. Wildschine 3-8 
 10. Deportivo P. 2-9 
 11. Juventud 0-9 
 12. Fenix 0-9 


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


Oregon Wave sign Jeremiah Dominguez - by Eurobasket
Oregon Wave signed 24-year old guard Jeremiah Dominguez (5'6''-G-85, college: Portland St.) (168-G-85, college: Portland St.). Dominguez played most recently at Portland State University (NCAA). It will be his first year in professional basketball.
Dominguez led the Portland State University Vikings to two NCAA berths in his junior and senior seasons. Dominguez joins 7 2 Brad Kanis (described below) as the final players named to the Wave roster as they now prepares for their home opener this Friday vs the Snohomish Explosion.

Rest of the roster: besides Jeremiah Dominguez, the 2009 Oregon Wave roster will feature these 5 players, among others:
Brad Kanis (7'2''-C-84, college: Grand Canyon) a late developer who at 7 2 is strong, athletic, injury free and just coming into his own. It is the strong opinion of the IBL that Brad Kanis is a hidden superstar that wont be in the IBL very long after the first NBA scouts take a good look at him in an actual game. Kanis
David Lucas (6'8''-F-82, agency: Edge Sports, college: Oregon St.), the former Tigard High School star was a two-time All-PAC 10 performer for the Oregon State Beavers (2004/2005) before moving on to an international professional career. Lucas led the IBL in scoring in 07 and 08 (37 ppg).
David Jackson (6'5''-G-78, agency: Edge Sports, college: Oregon) finished his collegiate career at the University of Oregon. A veteran of NBA camps (Portland, Cleveland), and NBA summer league teams (Portland, San Antonio, Orlando, Seattle), Jackson also has extensive experience overseas in Italy, China, Spain and Turkey. The following is a link to highlights of a recent Korean basketball league championship game where Jackson scored 44 points (30 in the 2nd half)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tejH-5sydjc
Robert Day (6'6''-F-82, college: W.Oregon) was a star player at Western Oregon and has played professionally, internationally over the last 5 years.
Lamar Hurd (6'4''-G-83, college: Oregon St.) is well known for his play for the Oregon State Beaversa 4 year starter for Oregon State.
IBL Commissioner Mikal Duilio on a Beaverton team playing out of the Beaverton Hoop facility: Our product is so efficient that we do not need 3,000 fans per night behind it to survive; that being said, we would like a decent amount of fans at the games and we feel that the YMCA and their new buildingthe Hoop offers a great opportunity to build a fan base.
Vision for the Wave: the Wave would like to have a state identity as the top players from various Oregon universities.
About owner Terrance Dickensin 2005, Terrance Dickens started the Vancouver Volcanoes with IBL Commissioner Mikal Duilio in the IBLs first season; Dickens and Duilio sold the team after the two seasons (the Volcanoes are now heading into their fifth year of existence under owner Bryan Hunter). Terrance Dickens has a four-year history as a head coach of an IBL teamDickens coached the Portland Chinooks to the 2007 IBL Championship losing 113-109 to the Elkhart (Indiana) Express in front of 3,300 fans (video on IBL web site, main page, scroll to video called Elkhart wins).



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


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


Standings - Superleague

Superleague Standings
1. Petrochimi 20-3
2. Saba 20-3
3. BEEM 13-10
4. Mahram 18-5
5. Zob Ahan 18-5
6. a.s Pipe 11-12
7. Kordestan 10-13
8. Gorgan 10-13
9. Azad 9-14
10. Ararat 7-16
11. Shahrekord 7-16
12. Langeroud 6-17
13. Khorasan 0-23



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


BSL website moves to a new address - by Yarone Arbel
Israel's top basketball league, the BSL, has moved its site to a new address. The site, which offers also boxscores and stats in English after every game, is now available at the following URL: http://www.basket.co.il

In addition during the upcoming Final Four of the league, 19th and 21st of May, the website will feature full coverage of all the games and events in English as well, that will be available on the Israeli section of eurobasket.com too.


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


Benetton Treviso signs Giannis Kalambokis - by Antonello Varallo
After Jon Stefansson (195-G-82), Benetton Treviso signed another player: Giannis Kalambokis (195-G-78, agency: FCM). This Greek player is a strong defender and a good shooter. He played during the current season with Panionios ON Telecoms Athens (A1), averaging 10 points in 26 games (with a season high of 25 signed against AEK) and 42% 3fpg. Moreover, he played 9 games during the last Euroleague (7.8 ppg) with a high of 17 points scored against Efes Pilsen.

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


Rudupis claim NKL title - by Eurobasket News
Rudupis - Meresta 79:70

Rudupis became the NKL champions as they overcame Meresta in the decisive seventh game of the finals. Andrius Giedraitis (196-F-73) knocked down 20 points to lead the hosts to the triumph. Kestutis Sestokas (203-F-76) used all his experience to help Rudupis with 18 points and 9 rebounds.
The final series turned into a real drama with all the ingredients for the first-class basketball show. The seventh game also lived up to the highest expectations. Meresta struggled out of the blocks as could not put the first points on board for almost four minutes. Rudupis capitalized clearing off to an 8-point distance. Simonas Slivka (194-G-86) and Tomas Balciunas (186-G-79) stopped the bleeding for Meresta but Rudupis were in the game already. Kestutis Sestokas nailed quick six points and later Normantas capped the quarter with a three-pointer worth a 24:13 lead for Rudupis. Rytis Streikus (202-F-79) fired five points early in the second term to keep the teams close. Orelikas unleashed five points in a row late in the period as Meresta got as close as 3 points from the home team. Takusevicius crowned the half with a layup as Rudupis led by just one point 33:32.
Andrius Giedraitis and Kestutis Sestokas teamed up to tip off the second half optimistically for Rudupis. The hosts ballooned the margin to ten points pretty quickly and controlled the game at the moment. Jurgo, Kestutis Sestokas and Modestas Sidlauskas (182-G-85) scored the final 5 points in the third frame as Rudupis enjoyed a 60:44 advantage with ten minutes left. Valksnis and Modestas Sidlauskas opened the final term with four consecutive points as the home team stretched the lead to 20 points. But the game was not over just yet. Meresta responded with a 21:8 rally to narrow the margin to 7 points with just over 2 minutes to go. But Modestas Sidlauskas and Andrius Giedraitis were cool-headed in the dying seconds to bring Rudupis to the victory. Modestas Sidlauskas canned 16 points for Rudupis. Tomas Balciunas responded with 21 points and game-high 10 boards for Meresta. Simonas Slivka had 15 points in the loss.

Rudupis: Andrius Giedraitis 20, Kestutis Sestokas 18, Modestas Sidlauskas 16
Meresta: Tomas Balciunas 21+10 boards, Simonas Slivka 15


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


Last-gasp three-pointer puts Luxol in driving seat - by Eurobasket News
Compleet IS Athleta 70
BUPA Luxol 71
(23-14, 18-16, 10-15, 19-26)


Champions Luxol showed great character in Sunday's opening leg of the best-of-three Powerade League final series against rivals Compleet, coming from behind to win the opener 71-70 with the last shot of the match.

Luxol will be delighted with the result but not so can be said of Compleet who didn't deserve to lose.

For long stretches, Compleet had shown the better qualities but they lost composure in the most crucial stages of the match.

Michael Naudi (193-G/F-80) was in an unstoppable mood in the opening quarter. Three consecutive three-pointers by Michael Naudi paved the way for the dominant Compleet to build a good advantage. A three-pointer on the stroke of time helped Luxol to reduce the gap to 23-14.

The champions did improve in the second quarter but they were unable to further narrow the deficit as Compleet changed ends 41-30 ahead.

Luxol coach John Tabone tried to lift his team during the interval but hasty shots or, worse still, bad passing allowed Joe Galea's team to hang on to their lead and start the last 10 minutes 51-45 ahead.

Compleet scored seven consecutive points to move 58-50 in front with five minutes left. They seemed in control at that point but Julian Naudi was fouled out with three minutes left and Luxol sensed that a recovery was still possible.

They potted four successive free-throws to trim the gap to a single basket, 68-66. With less than a minute to go, Omar Said kept his cool to convert two free-throws and Robert Azzopardi did likewise at the other end.

Compleet, however, gave away possession and from the side line, the ball arrived to Steve Schembri who released Azzopardi. The latter chose the right option by returning the ball to the unmarked Schembri who sunk a three-pointer that secured a slim but potentially crucial victory for his team.

Compleet:Michael Naudi 27, J. Naudi 9, D. Camilleri 2, E. Bezzina 3, C. Sammut 1, J. Valdisere, O. Said 15, C. Calleja, A. Bonnici 3, K. Baldacchino 4, S. Cassar 6.

Luxol: R. Dalli, M. Mercieca 3, R. Azzopardi 10, M. Micallef, A. Borg 5, A. Portelli 3, N. Vasovic, T. Paris, D. Schembri 12, E. Caruana Montaldo, Marko Matijevic (200-F-78) 19, S. Schembri 19.
Courtesy of: http://www.timesofmalta.com


Mihailovic joins Loyola - by Eurobasket News
Serbian player Jovan Mihailovic, formerly of Mellieħa Bullets, has agreed to play for Loyola next season.

Ray Cuschieri, president of Loyola, hailed Mihailovic's signing as a boost for the club who have just secured promotion to the top division.

Cuschieri is confident that Mihailovic will strengthen Loyola's bid to retain their top-flight status next season.

'Jovan Mihailovic is very enthusiastic to play for Loyola,' Cuschieri said in a statement. 'His experience and dedication will surely have a positive effect on our young squad.'

Mihailovic, 25, said he's excited by the challenge of playing in the top echelon of Maltese basketball and promised to do his utmost to help Loyola reach their objectives.

Loyola have also confirmed coach Paul Sultana for next season as well as several players who guided the team to a well-earned promotion. These are Jonathan Zammit, Clint Cassar, Sean Pace, Stefan Vella, Billy Joel Zammit, Gianluca Cuschieri, Nigel Sultana and Mark Cilia.

The statement also said that the Loyola committee are in talks with another player to join them for next season.
Courtesy of: http://www.timesofmalta.com


*****************************************************
  NAIA   


Great Falls Argos Sign Big Man From Local High School - by Stephan Ditgens

GREAT FALLS, Mont., April 30, 2009 University of Great Falls mens basketball coach Steve Silsby announced the signing of Dale Moore to anNAIA/Frontier Conference Letter of Intent for the upcoming 2009-2010 season.

Dale Moore is a 69 center from Great Falls High School in Great Falls, Montana where he averaged 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game for the Bison this past season. He will be graduating from Great Falls High this spring. He is the son of Dale Sr. and Rina Moore of Great Falls and plans on majoring in History while attending the University of Great Falls next fall.

We are very pleased to welcome Dale Moore to our Argonaut basketball family, said UGF mens basketball coach Steve Silsby. Dale is an excellent addition to our current roster. He brings much needed size to our frontcourt. I am confident Dale can become a good player in the Frontier Conference with some work on his individual skill development.

I am excited about signing with the University of Great Falls, said Moore. I was really impressed by the enthusiastic atmosphere surrounding the athletics department. After meeting with the faculty and staff I knew this opportunity was a perfect fit for me and my family. I am looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting back to work in the gym.

source:

www.ugf.edu


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


Rockets stun Lakers 100-92 to take 1-0 series lead - by Eurobasket News
For a few agonizing, heart-stopping moments, Ming Yao (7'5''-C-80) rocked back and forth on the floor, grimacing and holding his right knee.

The Rockets had taken the usual Lakers fourth-quarter hit and hit back harder. But then Yao was knocked hard to the floor, felled when Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78)'s (6'6''-G-78) left knee crashed into Yaos right. And all that the Rockets had built seemed to be crashing with him.

But Yao insisted he be brought back into the game and the Rockets were every bit as unstoppable, surging through the final six minutes that had tormented them this season to stun the Lakers with a 100-92 win Monday night at Staples Center in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Rockets led by eight when Yao went down, with Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80) dunking over him to cut the lead to six. Lamar Odom (6'10''-F-79, college: Rhode Island) put in a rebound to reduce the lead to four with 3 minutes left.

Then Yao nailed a jumper from 20 feet and he and the Rockets seemed healed. Ron Artest put in a jumper to finish with 21 points. Yao nailed four free throws.

The Rockets took their lead to 11 with 1:32 remaining on a pair of Shane Battier (6'8''-F-78, college: Duke) free throws. Still, as usual, the Rockets struggled to put the game away, with the Lakers within six with 33.4 seconds remaining.

With that, Yao added two more free throws to finish with 28 points, his post-season high, and the Lakers had run out of time.

Kobe Bryant, who had missed Saturday's practice and was called a game-time decision with a sore throat, led the Lakers with 32 points, but needed 31 shots to get it. Yet, as well as the Rockets had defended to stay in the game, they had to win it down the stretch.

With eight minutes left, the Rockets lead that had reached nine was gone, the Lakers led by one, and the Rockets were facing the demons left from their four regular season meetings.

The Lakers had led those four games by an average of one point, and outscored the Rockets by an average of 12 in those fourth quarters, sweeping the four regular-season games between the teams and making the key to the Rockets chances in their series clear.

The Lakers had outscored the Rockets, 8-2, which was not much of a run, but was more than enough to remind of all those dominant fourth quarters.

But the Rockets responded. Artest hit a tough jumper through a Sasha Vujacic foul. Yao put in a 19-footer. Aaron Brooks sank a jumper and finished a drive, and the Rockets led 85-77 with 5:19 remaining.

On the next possession, however, Yao crumbled to the floor and the Rockets held their breath, wondering if their chances had broken down, too.

Instead, when he rose, so did they.

But from the start, the Rockets had made it their sort of game.

Though they led by as much as eight and by 43-40 at halftime, the Rockets were far from sharp offensively through the first half. Yao got his shots, but made just four of nine.

Artest got off to a strong start, but then spent the half as if trying to run out the clock. Luis Scola (6'9''-F/C-80) never got going.

None of that really mattered. The Rockets would be thrilled to take every game and muck it up as Shane Battier put it, the way they did the first half of the series.

If the Rockets had a complaint with the first half it would have been that they did not get more out of it.

Even when the Rockets started the second half well, scoring on their first three possessions to take a 49-40 lead, they broke down in the same way they had with leads in the first half, dribbling their way through the shot clock and committing turnovers that led to a 7-0 Lakers run back to within one.

This time, however, after they got a time out, the Rockets began consistently and quickly attacking the Lakers defense. With the exception of a possession in which Trevor Ariza blocked a Scola shot and Brooks had to launch a 3 from the backcourt, the Rockets scored on nine consecutive possessions.

They did not leave the Lakers far behind, largely because Kobe Bryant began to heat up, scoring 13 points in the quarter.

Courtesy of www.chron.com


Magic grab win in Boston for 1-0 - by Eurobasket News
Dwight Howard (6'10''-F-85) returned from his one-game suspension to get 16 points and 22 rebounds Monday night and help the Orlando Magic hold off the late-charging Boston Celtics 95-90 in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Magic opened a 28-point lead early in the second half before Boston cut the deficit to 91-87 in the final 2 minutes. The Celtics had several chances to come within one possession -- the best Ray Allen's 3-pointer that rimmed out with 43 seconds left.

Paul Pierce (6'7''-F-77, college: Kansas) made a 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left to make it a three-point game, but J.J. Redick (6'4''-G-84, college: Duke) went 4-for-4 from the line in the last 14 seconds to ice it.

'We got complacent as a team, stopped doing what we did to get the lead and against a good Celtics team you can't do that,' Howard said. 'I'm not happy with the way we ended the game.'

Pierce scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Rajon Rondo (6'1''-G-86, college: Kentucky) had 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Boston.

Kendrick Perkins (6'10''-C-84) had 16 rebounds for Boston, but Rondo and Allen both went 2 of 12 from the field. The Magic had a cold spell of their own in the fourth quarter, going just 5 of 20 from the field to lose most of a once-dominating lead that had the Boston fans booing their team off the court at halftime.

Boston had just one day off since eliminating the Chicago Bulls in a best-of-seven series -- 7 3/4, actually -- one many consider the best first-round playoff series in NBA history. The teams played a record four overtime games and seven overtimes periods in all -- nearly three extra quarters of basketball.

Orlando finished off Philadelphia in six games on Thursday night, and Howard has been resting up even longer: He was suspended for the series finale for elbowing Sixers center Samuel Dalembert. 'It felt like I was out 10 games,' Howard said. 'I was a little rusty. We'll be ready for Game 2.'

Celtics backup point guard Stephon Marbury, who was little help in the Bulls series, made consecutive rainbow scoop shots and added two more baskets in a span of just over 2 minutes to help Boston erase an early five-point deficit and take a 30-28 lead with 8:43 left in the first half.

But the Magic scored 26 of the final 32 points in the first half and then scored 11 of the first 12 in the third quarter to open a 65-37 lead.

The Celtics used a 15-4 run to get the lead under 20 points and came as close as 74-60 near the end of the third quarter. Mickael Pietrus hit a 3-pointer to make it 81-64, then Boston scored seven straight points, getting a jumper from Pierce, a 3-pointer off a jump ball from Eddie House and then Rondo's steal and dunk to make it a 10-point game.

It was the first time the crowd got back into it since the opening quarter.

Courtesy of www.wftv.com


LeBron James named NBA Most Valuable Player - by Eurobasket News
He's long been a hometown hero, now he's a hometown MVP.

Ten years ago, LeBron James (6'8''-F-84) started getting roars at St. Vincent-St. Mary's gym on the edge of downtown Akron. Monday he got one more huge ovation in a moment that can only be described as unforgettably unique.

James accepted the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, which he won in a landslide, on the same floor where he first became a star.

With his Cavaliers teammates and coaches in the crowd -- which was stocked with family members, former teachers, former coaches, longtime friends and hundreds of current students -- James accepted the award with humility. Well, as much humility that can come with arriving at his old school in a Ferrari with a police escort.

But before he got there, he drove through his old neighborhood and took the same route he took to school as a teen. The trip seemed faster this time, almost as speedy as his rise from phenom to the highest individual honor in the sport.

At midseason, the MVP looked like a three-way race between James, Lakers' star Kobe Bryant (6'6''-G-78) and Heat star Dwyane Wade (6'4''-G-82, college: Marquette). As the Cavs surged to the finish behind James -- who won four Player of the Month Awards to tie a single-season record -- to 66 wins, it quickly became lopsided. James received 109 of the possible 121 first-place votes to record the sixth-largest victory margin in history.

Bryant finished second overall but had just two first-place votes. Wade was third but had seven first-place votes.

At a podium set up right below the state championship banner from his senior season in 2003, James thanked his current teammates and coaches, telling them 'this award is going to be like the both of ours but I'm going to keep it at my house.'

Then he thanked his longtime friends and former teammates and coaches, especially SVSM coach Dru Joyce. Talking about his team and swearing he wouldn't cry, James also spoke about his admiration for his mother.

'I'm 24 years old and I'm receiving this award, I never thought it would happen this fast,' James said. 'I never dreamed about being MVP, but if I said I didn't enjoy this award I'd be lying to you. Hard work pays off and dreams do come true.'

To show extra attention to his teammates, James gave each a pricey camera in part to signify their 'family portraits' that became a staple during the season. But he was quick to remind all of his bigger goals this season.

'I still I have a lot of things I want to do this season,' James said. 'I want to have another celebration in June.'

It was James' choice to have the ceremony at SVSM. Normally players accept the award at practice facilities or home arenas. He will have another celebration before Tuesday's Game 1 in the conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, where NBA Commissioner David Stern is expected to be on hand to give him the Maurice Podoloff Trophy in front of a sellout at The Q.

So the TV trucks lined up along West Market Street in Akron and police directed traffic and dignitaries, business partners and media members got themselves to James' turf, the only place he could imagine getting the award.

'This is where I learned my dreams could come true really, there's not a better place,' James said. 'This school, I just graduated six years ago, this school helped me become the man I am today standing up here receiving this award.'

With the trophy came an SUV from Kia, the NBA annual awards sponsor, which James immediately donated to the Akron Urban League.

'He's never forgotten where he came from,' said James' mother, Gloria. 'I'm very proud of him, it is long overdue and he's real deserving of it.'

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who spoke to the crowd along with General Manager Danny Ferry, surveyed the scene and then tried to re-name the award.

'The 'P' stands for person, it goes beyond player,' Gilbert said. 'To a lot of people, he's a most valuable person. He gives to his team, his friends, the City of Akron, St. Vincent-St. Mary; he has given in so many ways.'

Courtesy of www.cleveland.com


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


Top basketball recruit John Wall charged in break-in - by Eurobasket News
John Wall, the top basketball recruit in the nation, was charged last week with misdemeanor breaking and entering in Raleigh, N.C., according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

Wall has been recruited by schools like Baylor, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina State and Miami, but has not yet signed a national letter of intent. NCAA rules prevent colleges from commenting on prospective recruits.

Wall, a senior point guard at Raleigh Word of God Christian Academy, was detained April 27 by a Raleigh police officer. He was responding to a report of breaking and entering in progress at an unoccupied dwelling.

Wall and two other teenagers were each issued a citation on the misdemeanor charge of breaking and entering, said Wake County (N.C.) chief magistrate Gary Wills.

There was no indication of forced entry at the residence and no indication that anything was taken from it, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a statement reported by the News and Observer.

Courtesy of www.wacotrib.com


Champion Tar Heels to celebrate title at White House - by Eurobasket News
North Carolina made President Barack Obama's bracket a winner with its romp through the NCAA tournament. Now Obama will get the chance to thank the Tar Heels for making him look good.

The president will honor the national champions at the White House next Monday.

Obama -- who played a pickup game with the team last spring -- picked the Tar Heels to win the title before the tournament. North Carolina was the only one of his Final Four picks to make it to Detroit.

It was the fifth NCAA championship for the Tar Heels and the second in five seasons. They ended last one with 34-4.

Courtesy of www.chron.com


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


PSL(11): Ibdaa are one step away from winning the title, Sariyet Ramallah might snatch that - by Tamara Awartani
Sariyet Ramallah vs. Orthodoxi Ramallah 83 74
A beautiful game to watch with great skills on both ends, two good imports on both teams along with well-known locals. Sariyet Ramallah started off strong determined to win the game while Orthodoxi Ramallah were less focused at start but surely didnt make it easy for Sariyet leading two quarters.
Sariyet Ramallah players had several smooth 3pointers through Ibrahim Al Habash (194-F-75), Saleem Al Husari (184-G-85) , Ghassan Habash (175-G-85), Ahmad Yaser, Dante Hunter (191-G-83, agency: Low Country Sports Management, college: Calumet) scoring 26points hitting 4 3pointers. While Orthodoxi Ramalalh players also had great 3pointers along with great drives & shots through Ahmad Deeb, Justin, Mohammed Khalili, Hamzeh Gharableh and Mata Salameh.
1st 21 22, 2nd 19-12, 3rd 17 22, 4th 26 18


Ibdaa vs. Orthodoxi Beit Jala 103 77
An exciting game between two strong Bethlehem teams with over 700 fans in the Catholic Action court.
Ibdaa facing one of their challenges in getting to the title played hard with several defenses shutting off Beit Jala shooters to win the game while Beit Jala were also playing hard with determination to win the game. Jimmy Williams (196-G-86, college: Alders.-Broad.) was on fire, he stood out in the game by scoring 42points, 11 rebounds & 3 assists while the unstoppable Iyad Yousef Abdalla (205-C-80) unbeatable underbasket with 13rebounds, 3blocks and 22points, Yahia Al Khatib (190-G-77) scored 14pointss, 5assist along with Kamal AlAzraq and Nader AlGlasy. However, Beit Jala players played strong till the last second except for the third quarter when main players had foul trouble that cost them the game.Raed Abu Rumman (188-F-81) with his great moves, smooth 3pointers from Shane Nichols (183-G-84, college: Wofford) , Kamal Mkarker great 3pointers and assists, Khalil Harb leading the team and unstoppable shots from Charlie Qattan
1st 20 16, 2nd 24 -29, 3rd 30 8, 4th 29 24


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


San Jose upsets Sol - by Gianni Pascucci
In the last round of 'Top 4', Sol de America felt to Deportivo San Jose, 85-86, despite 24 points scored by Jose Fabio (198-F-77). The best in San Jose were Gustavo Torres (175-G-80) and newly added Delvin Thomas (201-F/C-78, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Bethune-Cookman), who scored 26 points apiece. In the other game of the night, Libertad prevailed over Felix Perez Cardozo, 78-65, with P.J. Mills (201-F) leading the way at 19 and Daniel Perez (190-G/F-84) adding 18. Sergio Lopez (189-G/F-85) was the top performer in FPC, with 16 pts.
The final standings are in consequence as follows:
1. Libertad 5-1
2. Sol de America 4-2
3. San Jose 3-3
4. FPC 1-5
Felix Perez Cardozo is eliminated, the first three teams go on in the rush to the Apertura title


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


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


Lion with new Import but same Result - by Luis Ramirez
The Ponce Lions were playing with a new import, Edward Nelson (203-F-82, college: Connecticut) and trying to start a winning streak after several back to back losses, but it was not meant to be. The Lions once again went down to the wire and came up short against the Humacao Grays as the Grays outlasted the Lions 89-88.

The Grays took the 1st qtr 20-18 and at the end of the 1st half it was the Grays still ahead by 1 point 44-41. The Lions did take a small advantage in the 3rd quarter 69-66. In the 4th qtr the Grays would just not give in and with good defense were able to hold off the Lions for the win.

For Humacao, James Life was pure poison for the Lions as he scored 29 points followed by Ansel Guzman with 22 points and 9 assists. For the Lions, Lee Nailon led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds followed by Bobby Joe Hatton with 16 points and 9 assists. The Lions had not had much luck winning in their home court, a place where in the past visiting teams would always find it difficult to win, but this year visiting teams apparently feel at home and have not been intimidated by the vocal Ponce Lion fans.


BSN Briefs - by Luis Ramirez

According to information provided by BSN, Omar Alvarado (180-G-83) from the San German Athletics has been traded to the Arecibo Captains for two players, Christopher Vega and Johwen Villegas, apparently the trade has been approved by League Director Fernando Olivero.

In other related news from BSN, the Guaynabo Conquistadors have signed point guard Ismael Caro and guard Christopher Hiraldo.


Courtesy of BSN



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


Standings - Superleague B
B Superleague Standings
 1. Avtodor 45-4 
 2. Magnitogorsk 35-12 
 3. Lok.Novos. 33-15 
 4. Revda 32-18 
 5. N.Novgorod 30-18 
 6. Chelabinsk 29-19 
 7. Saransk 26-22 
 8. Krasnodar 24-25 
 9. Rjazan 21-25 
 10. Naltchik 18-28 
 11. Irkutsk 18-29 
 12. Zaretchny 18-29 
 13. Severstal 12-36 
 14. Kursk 8-35 
 15. Ural Ekater. 7-41 


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


Partizan has a chance to reach the final today - by Dragan Jankovski
Partizan Igokea and Hemofarm STADA will meet today in Belgrade's hall Pionir. The Black-and-whites have 2-0 lead and today's game can be the decisive one. In the first match in Pionir the team of Dusko Vujosevic smashed Hemofarm, whose players were totally out of concentration. They scored just 37 points. In the second game the orange team improved having a chance to win. It was 71-71 with 2 minutes to go, but then Uros Tripkovic (196-G-86) stopped Hemofarm. Captain Petar Bozic (197-G-78) shined in third quarter leading his team to 14-0 run with 4 consecutive triples.
Third game starts today at 18h.

Today could be the crucial day also in the battle for the fifth place between Swisslion Takovo and Vojvodina Srbijagas. The team from Vrsac has 2-0 lead and needs just one more win. It is important t mention that Swisslion already qualified for Adriatic league next season, even if Vojvodina makes a turn. The reason is Vojvodina's last place in Adriatic league this year. For season 09/10 the Tulips will most probably compete in Balkan league, which becomes more and more attractive. So far Serbia had three teams there. Last season was the opening one and Serbian participants were Mega Hypo Leasing, Swisslion Takovo and Radnicki 034. According to some rumors the league will have way more participants that it was in the last one. There is a chance that some Bosnian and Montenegrin teams also step in.


Coach Dragan Raca awarded in Cyprus - by Dragan Jankovski
Serbian coach Dragan Raca once again got 'Eurobasket.com Coach of the Year' award on Cyprus. It is the fourth time that Raca takes this award. For the first time he got it in 2003 and later continued in 2004 and 2005. He was a head coach of AEL Limassol at that time and he also led the same team this season. AEL was the regular season champion with 13 wins in 16 games. Later, AEL didn't succeed to win the title, but Raca was not on the bench as the team released him after two games of the final series. Before that AEL qualified for FIBA EuroChallenge Final 4 and also won Cypriot National Cup. From 2002 to 2005 Raca won three championship titles and one National Cup with AEL.

In 2005 Raca took over Iraklis Thessaloniki and in December moved to Lebanon (Sagesse Beirut). In 2004 and 2005 he also was a head coach of Cypriot National Team. In 2006 Raca agreed with APOEL Nicosia, but the middle of the season joined Greek AEP Olimpias Patron. Last summer AEL hired him again.

Except of Raca, Eurobasket also awarded ex player of Crvena Zvezda Vujadin Subotic (198-G-81, agency: Beo Basket). He got the 'Defensive Player of the Year' award. Milan Dozet (203-G/F-79, agency: Beo Basket) and Vladimir Zujovic (201-F/G-80, agency: Beo Basket, college: Lock Haven) were named to 'All Bosmans Team'. Dozet and Subotic played for Raca's AEL this season.


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  SYRIA   


Al Jalaa is allmost there ! - by Emile Aaji
The defending champions are now closer than ever to keep their title for another year , Al Jalaa Aleppo managed to beat Al Jeish Army Damascus again in Damascus to lead the series 2-0 .
Chris Charles (213-F/C-81, agency: Rice and Rice, college: Villanova) and Chad Hendrick (197-G/F-79, college: Houston) both scored 20 points for each sides , The final score was 74-68 .
Al Jalaa Aleppo will be the champions for the 3rd straight time if they win 1 of the remaining 3 games , They will play 2 of the 3 games at home .
Al Jalaa Aleppo won their last 26 league games and they will be looking to win the league without any defeats .
The next game will be played in Aleppo on wednesday 6th of May at 8:00 pm .
Al Ittihad Aleppo got position 3 after beating Al Wehda Damascus twice .


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


Standings - TB2L
TB2L Standings
Final Four
 1. Trabzonspor 2-2 
 2. ITU 2-2 
 3. Tofas 2-2 
 4. Bornova 2-2 
Group A - Others
 1. Genc Telekom 16-6 
 2. Vestel 13-9 
 3. Edirne Genclik 13-9 
 4. Pamukkale 11-11 
 5. Akcakoca P. 10-12 
 6. TED Istanbul 9-13 
 7. FMV Isik 9-13 
 8. Orman 7-15 
 9. Eyup 4-18 
 10. Bursa B-bol 4-18 
Group B - Others
 1. Gelisim 16-6 
 2. Beykoz 12-10 
 3. Pertevniyal 12-10 
 4. Canakkale 12-10 
 5. Duzce Genclik 11-11 
 6. Genc Banvit. 10-12 
 7. Yesilyurt 7-15 
 8. Usak 7-15 
 9. Ankara Basket 5-17 
 10. Mulkiye 0-22 


*****************************************************
  UBL   


Standings
UBL Standings
Central Division
1. Springfield T. 4-1
2. Oklahoma I. 3-1
3. Arkansas W. 2-2
4. Texas W. 1-3
5. Tulsa T. 0-3
D-League
1. Texas O. 2-0
2. Arkansas S. 1-0
3. NM Power 0-0
4. CV Titans 0-0
5. I-20 Pros 0-0
6. Wranglers DL 0-0


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


Superleague Round: 2 (Semi-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
BC Kyiv - BC Donetsk 68-58
BC Kyiv showed strong character as they overcame all roster woes to level things up in the series against Donetsk. Manuchar Markoishvili (195-G-86) scored 23 points and issued 6 assists to lead BC Kyiv to a vital home victory. Vyacheslav Kravtsov added 15 points and 8 rebounds in the win. Haywood Owens responded with 19 points and 9 boards for Donetsk. Milutin Aleksic had 14 points in the loss.

Azovmash - Khimik 75-64
Azovmash gained a 2-0 lead over Khimik in the Superleague semifinal. Rolandas Jarutis (183-G-76) came off the bench to nail 19 points and fueled a comfortable home win for the defending champions. Serhiy Lishchuk added 15 points and 9 rebounds in the winning effort. John Thomas responded with 22 points for Khimik in defeat.


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


BBL All Star Game - by George Manousidis
Great Britain 117 (33,55,89) (Chris Sanders (202-F-82, college: Master's) 30, Williams 24, Martin 19)
Rest of the World 124 (33,60,100) (Lasker 22, Patton 19, Jame/McKnight 14)

Before the BBL Championship Final, the cream of British basketball took to the court for the BBL All Star Game, won by the Rest of the World Team, who defeat the Great Britain All Star Team 124-117.

The players were out to enjoy themselves in this high scoring affair, but Chris Sanders was the stand-out player, despite finishing up on the losing side. He scored a game-high 30 points for the GB All Stars.

The game was close during the first quarter, with the Rest of the World enjoying the biggest lead at 20-27, before GB battled back to tie the game at 33-33 by the end of the quarter.

Chris Sanders put GB ahead at the start of the second stanza, but the Rest of the World quickly re-established a slender advantage. The two team traded baskets for the rest of the half, but neither team could take any significant inroads and GB trailed by five points at half-time at 55-60.

Into the second half and again the score remained close. It wasn't until the Rest of the World All Stars could muster a 12-2 run midway through the third quarter that a double-digit margin was established. They led 86-69 with 3.48 to go. Vidmantas Uzkuraitis scored two late three pointers for the Rest of the World as they finished the quarter 100-89 to the good.

Six straight points for Chris Sanders in the fourth period reduced the deficit back to single figures at 101-110, before GB's momentum was stopped. The closest the Brits got was 115-120 with 1.57 to go, but in the end it was the Rest of the World who were victorious.


BBL Championship Play-off Final:Newcastle Eagles 87 - Everton Tigers 84 - by George Manousidis
Newcastle Eagles 87 (36,51,70) (Moore 22, Jackson 19, Defoe 18)
Everton Tigers 84 (17,40,52) (Richard Midgley (191-G-83, college: California) 36, Babalola 25, Bailey 8)

Newcastle Eagles won their fourth BBL Championship Play-off title in five years on Sunday by beating Everton Tigers 87-84 in a thrilling game at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in British basketball's showpiece event.

Trey Moore was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his 22-point, 5-rebound haul for the victorious Eagles.

Eagles' Head Coach Fab Flournoy commented after the game, 'I'm proud of my team. It's been another successful season for the Newcastle Eagles and we are happy to end on such a high, giving our fantastic fans the win they deserved for their great support.'

The teams traded baskets in the opening minute, before Eagles went on a 7-0 run to take an early 10-4 lead. Player of the Year Trey Moore was marking himself out as an early contender for the MVP award, with ten first quarter points, despite an unlikely miss from the free throw line. Another 7-0 burst put Eagles 17-6 to the good, with Moore once again dominant.

A string of four three-pointers followed, as the teams wowed the crowds. Reginald Jackson bagged four long-range baskets on his own as it was Eagles' fans who had the most to cheer about as they went into the second quarter 36-17 ahead.

Everton Tigers rallied early in the second period, scoring 11 of the first 13 points to reduced the deficit to 10 points at 38-28 to Newcastle. The Tigers' defence was much improved as they kept Eagles to just 15 points in the quarter. Richard Richard Midgley stepped up and scored 10 personal points, but it was not enough to cut the gap down to single figures, as Newcastle led 51-40 at half-time.

Early in the third quarter Tigers cut the gap to single figures at 54-46, but Newcastle replied with six without reply to re-establish their double digit advantage. They led 60-46 and though the teams traded baskets for a few minutes, Eagles edged the final minutes to lead 70-52 by the end of the quarter.

Led by Richard Richard Midgley, Tigers hit back strongly in final quarter. Richard Midgley hit two three pointers in quick succession to cut the gap back down to 13 points at 77-64. Another Richard Midgley long range basket - three of seven points in the run - helped Tigers on a 13-2 tear, which put them just four point adrift at 81-77.

What followed was the most exciting basketball of the weekend, as Tigers battled frantically to produce an incredibly comeback. With 16 seconds left Flournoy fouled out for Eagles. Richard Midgley for Tigers and Moore for Eagles then netted twice each from the foul line, as Eagles led 86-82 with 15 seconds left. Richard Midgley scored again with nine seconds left to bring the game back to within two points at 86-84. However, Everton were in the penalty and forced to foul to re-gain possession. Jackson netted one of his two foul shots to take the score to 87-84 and though Richard Midgley attempted to level the scores with a long range shot, his attempt found empty space and the Eagles were victors.

It was a valiant attempt by Everton, led in no small part by Richard Richard Midgley who scored a record-breaking 36 personal points. Olu Babalola added 25 for Everton, to no avail. As with the regular season, Eagles had snatched the silverware from Tigers, but Everton finish the season with their heads held high.


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


Standings
URBL Standings
D Division
 1. Houston S. 4-0 
 2. Austin F. 4-1 
 3. S. Antonio 1-2 
 4. Univ.City S. 1-3 
 5. Dallas 0-5 
National Division
 1. Converse F. 7-1 
 2. DFW 7-2 
 3. Irving A. 5-0 
 4. Houston G. 4-4 
 5. Texas M. 0-5 
 6. Katy S. 0-8 


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


WBA Exposure League Big Man Camp! - by Bobby Rouse
The WBA Exposure League Big Man Camp!

WHO:
Calling all BIG MEN!! (6'8'' +)
Do you want to be paid up to 25K per month for your bball skills?
Are you interested in playing in the Korean Basketball League?
Do you meet the qualifications?
If the answers to all of the above questions are YES, then fill out an application and attend the camp!

WHAT:
The WBA Exposure League & Top Notch Sports & Entertainment, an authorized agency for the (KBL) Korean Basketball League, want to see you at the BIG MAN TRYOUT CAMP!!
This is an amazing opportunity to play international professional basketball. All players who attend the BIG MAN Tryout will be exposed to the Top Notch Sports & Entertainment Agency.
With all things being possible, some players may be invited to attend the Korean Basketball League (KBL) Pre-Draft Tryout Camp for Foreign Players which will be held from July 22, 2009 - July 24, 2009 at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, NV. USA
The KBL season will begin towards the middle of October, 2009 and will run to the end of April, 2010.
The Registration fee for the WBA Exposure League Big Man Camp is only $250. The first 30 players to register fee will be $200. Please go to www.wbaball.net And register !
The WBA Exposure League Big Man Camp is where 'The Sky Is the Limit'!

WHEN & WHERE:
The WBA Exposure League Big Man Camp will take place on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at the Decatur Gymnasium in Decatur, GA from 1-7pm.
231 Sycamore Street
Decatur, GA 30030 USA

Camp Director
Lionel Garrett
Lionel@wbaball.net


WBA 2008 Champs-Decatur Court Kings Are Ready to Reign Again! - by Bobby Rouse
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WBA 2008 Champs-Decatur Court Kings Are Ready to Reign Again!

ATLANTA, May 4, 2009The WBA Exposure League announces Decaturs champion professional basketball team, the Decatur Court Kings 2009 schedule. On May 23rd, the Court Kings will play its first 2009 game on the road in Tupelo Mississippi. Decaturs finest hoop stars open at home on June 4th at 7:00pm at Agnes Scott College in Decatur against 2008 WBA Championship runner-up, the Buford Majic. The Court Kings, led last year by WBA Player of the Year and former Atlanta Hawk, Anthony Pig Miller, are ready to reign again!

Every home game will be preceded by a local featured youth male or female basketball team. Tickets are as follows: $6 general admission, children 6 and under are free, VIP $10, Family (4) Pack $16 per game, Season ticket $50 and special group rates are available by contacting the Decatur Court King or WBA Office at 770.904.5081.

The mission of the WBA Exposure League is to teach, develop, and expose basketball players to NBA, D-League, CBA, and International Scouts, while providing each community with an exciting brand of basketball and entertainment. The WBA serves as a training ground to develop players and coaches on and off the court. Emphasis is placed on fundamental development, community involvement, and most importantly exposure. Over 400 WBA Players have gone on to play professionally overseas, in the CBA, D-League, and the NBA.

WBA teams are comprised of talented athletes with a maximum of five years professional experience. WBA exposure teams have produced and worked with top coaches, such as former Rome Gladiators coach Harold Ellis, who recently signed to the NBAs Detroit Pistons coaching staff and standout players who made it to the next level, including Kenyon Gamble, who played with the WBAs the former Magic City Court Kings and now plays with the Manchester Millrats of the PBL. Other star athletes include Josh Powell who signed to the L.A. Clippers; former Hawks Anthony Grundy, and Kyle Davis of the New Jersey Nets.

To support and/or learn more about the dynamic Decatur Court Kings, visit the official website at www.wbacourtkings.com and www.wbaball.net or call the WBA Office directly at 770.904.5081. Media Inquiries contact Trea Davenport, WBA Director of Public Relations at 678.523.3088 or treadaypr@gmail.com.

Official 2009 Decatur Court Kings Game Schedule

Sat, May 23 07:00 pm @ Tupelo Rock-n-Rollers
Tupelo, MS

Thu, June 04 07:00 pm vs. Buford Majic
Decatur, GA

Fri, June 05 07:00 pm @ Buford Majic
Buford, GA

Sun, June 07 03:00 pm vs. Cartersville Baseline Warriors
Decatur, GA

Fri, June 12 07:00 pm vs. Cartersville Baseline Warriors
Decatur, GA

Sat, June 13 07:00 pm @ Rome Rage
Rome, Ga

Fri, June 19 07:00 pm vs. Tupelo Rock-n-Rollers
Decatur, GA

Sat, June 20 07:00 pm vs. Memphis Blues
Decatur, GA

Fri, June 26 07:00 pm @ Memphis Blues
Memphis, TN

Sun, June 28 07:00 pm vs. Rome Rage
Decatur, GA

* Decatur Court Kings games are played at Agnes Scott College and City of Decatur Gym, visit www.wbacourtkings.com and www.wbaball.net for more information!
-end-
Anthony Miller (6'9''-C-71, college: Michigan St.)


*****************************************************
  WCBL   


Beijing team leaves WCBL - by Gianni Pascucci
The Swine Flu made the first 'casualty' in WCBL. In fact, the Beijing Aoshen Olympians decided to return home to China thus ending their WCBL season abruptly. Winston Li, owner of the Olympians made the decision after hearing reports on CNN World News about the Swine Flu Epidemic. He cited the closing of games for fans at all Mexican Pro Soccer games, school closings in NY, all high school athletic games suspended in Texas and the similarities he is correlating to the SARS epidemic that struck home in China years ago. His General Manager, Hsu Michael , thanked the WCBL for the short participation and stated that the team will return next fall to play both in the ABA and WCBL in the 2009-10 campaign. The Olympians were 4-3 during their inaugural season playing in the WCBL.



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

Women News

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


National junior squad revealed - by Eurobasket News
Basketball Australia has selected 50 athletes to attend an Australian Development Camp for the National Under-17 Men's and Women's squads.

At the camp held on 15-18 June at the Australian Institute of Sport, 25 men and 25 women will be vying for the chance to represent Australia at the first FIBA Under-17 World Championships for Men and Women, to be held in 2010.

The squads were selected following the 2008 Under-16 National Junior Championships held in July and the 2009 Under-18 National Junior Championships in April.

Following the camp, two teams of 12 athletes will be selected to contest the FIBA Oceania Championships in Brisbane from 20-22 August, 2009, in an attempt to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

The Under-17 men's team will be mentored by former Cairns Taipans coach Guy Molloy (Head Coach), Paul Jones (Asst. Coach) and David Rehn (Manager) while the U17 women's team is headed by Peter Lonergan (Head Coach) and Sandy Tomley (Asst. Coach).


Under-17 Women's Squad

Tess LAVEY (VIC COUNTRY)
Laura NICHOLSON (NSW METRO)
Tayla EVANS (QLD NORTH)
Nadeen PAYNE (QLD NORTH)
Tayla ROBERTS (TAS)
Mikhaela DONNELLY (QLD SOUTH)
Hannah KASER (VIC COUNTRY)
Olivia THOMPSON (SA COUNTRY)
Rebekah O'DONNELL (VIC METRO)
Maddison ALLEN (NSW COUNTRY)
Anika SMITH (SA COUNTRY)
Olivia BONTEMPELLI (VIC METRO)
Sara BLICKAVS (VIC METRO)
Rosemary FADLJEVIC (VIC METRO)
Tayla CORRIGAN (SA COUNTRY)
Jaylene BONSON (NT)
Bree PARSONS (NSW COUNTRY)
Katelyn BROOKS (TAS)
Carley MIJOVIC (VIC METRO)
Jacinta VANDENBERG (VIC METRO)
Adrienne JONES (WA)
Kelsey SARTORI (VIC COUNTRY)
Kathryn RENDELL (ACT U16)
Amy SHAW (SA METRO)
Stephanie TALBOT (SA COUNTRY)

Courtesy of the NBL (www.nbl.com.au)


Storm re-signs two-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson - by Eurobasket News
The Seattle Storm today re-signed two-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson (6'5''-F/C-81) for the 2009 season, Storm Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Brian Agler announced. Per team policy, terms of Jackson's new contract were not disclosed.

'Lauren is a key to our team's success and we're thrilled she has decided to continue her career in Seattle,' said Agler. 'She's an MVP, an All-Star and one of the best women's basketball players in the world. Her renewed commitment to this organization is a big asset as we continue to work toward bringing another WNBA championship to the city of Seattle.'

Jackson has received numerous accolades during her storied eight-season WNBA career. Most recently, Jackson was named to the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2008 - the second time Jackson received the nod. Her first nomination to the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team came at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Jackson compiled 147 total rebounds (7.0 rpg), 108 total defensive rebounds (5.1drpg) and 33 total blocks (1.57 bpg) in 21 games for the Storm during the 2008 season. Should she have qualified by playing the league minimum games, she would have ranked 11th (rpg) and 6th (bpg) respectively. Jackson missed five games prior to the WNBA's Olympic break to practice with the Australian National Team, and eight games following the break due to ankle surgery.

'I'm honored to return to the city of Seattle and the Storm organization as I take this next step in my WNBA career,' said Jackson. 'To have the opportunity to continue to play under Coach Agler and alongside Sue and the rest of my teammates in front of the most loyal and passionate fans in the WNBA means the world to me. I appreciate the patience and continued support of our fans, and I look forward to celebrating the Storm's 10th anniversary with them at KeyArena this summer. I can't wait to return to Seattle and begin working toward another championship.'

'We are thrilled to welcome back Lauren Jackson, who has been a cornerstone of the Storm franchise for the past eight seasons,' said Karen Bryant, President and CEO, Seattle Storm. 'It is only fitting that Lauren's return coincides with our 10th anniversary season, and we look forward to her continued contributions to our team and our community on behalf of the Storm organization, the city of Seattle and our fans.'

Jackson was named the 2007 WNBA Most Valuable Player, receiving a total of 473 points, including 42 first-place votes. For Jackson, the MVP award was her sixth honor of the 2007 season; she was also named the 2007 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and WNBA Peak Performer for both scoring and rebounding. Additionally in 2007, Jackson was a first-team selection to both the WNBA All-Defensive Team and the All-WNBA Team.

Jackson was also named the WNBA's Most Valuable Player in 2003. She is the first professional athlete in Seattle to earn the prestigious award twice. The Seahawks' Shaun Alexander was the NFL's MVP in 2005, while Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) have been honored by the American League as MVPs.

Already recognized as an elite player in the league entering the season, Jackson added to her rapidly-growing legacy with a career year in 2007. She led the league in scoring for the third time in her illustrious tenure with the WNBA, while her 23.8 points per game was a career-best. Her scoring average was more than five points-per-game higher than her career mark (18.6 ppg) entering the season.

An eight-year WNBA veteran, Jackson holds career averages of 19.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.0 blocks. Jackson has been named to the WNBA All-Star Team each year the mid-season classic has been played during her time in the league (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007). She has also received All-WNBA First Team honors five times (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and was a member of the WNBA's All-Decade Team in 2006.

Jackson, a native of Albury, Australia, won gold medals with the Australian National Team at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Brazil and 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. She has also won silver medals with the Australian National Team at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the 2002 FIBA World Championships in China, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

The Seattle Storm will open its 2009 WNBA schedule on Saturday, June 6 in a 1 p.m. matchup vs. the Monarchs at ARCO Arena in Sacramento. The Storm returns to Seattle on Sunday, June 7 for its first KeyArena home game at 6 p.m., also against the Monarchs. The team's June 7, 2009 home opener falls on the 10th anniversary of the city of Seattle being selected as one of four cities to receive a WNBA expansion team in 2000.

To see Lauren Jackson play against the WNBA's greatest opponents, fans can purchase a six-game 'All-Star Package' that features marquee matchups against the 2008 WNBA Champion Detroit Shock, the Los Angeles Sparks (with 2008 WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year Candace Parker) and the 2008 Western Conference Champion San Antonio Silver Stars.

Single-game tickets for all preseason and regular season games at KeyArena will go on sale Monday, May 4 beginning at 10 a.m. Six-game All-Star packages and single-game tickets for the 2009 season, starting as low as $14, can be purchased by visiting stormbasketball.com.

Courtesy of The Seattle Storm


*****************************************************
  CANADA - Women  


Jacqueline Lavallee wins 2008 National Aboriginal Coaching Award - by Eurobasket News
Canada Basketballs new Cadette Women's National Team assistant coach Jacqueline Lavallee has been selected as the female recipient of the 2008 National Aboriginal Coaching Award.

The award, to be presented by the Aboriginal Sports Circle in Winnipeg on May 7, honours the accomplishments of coaches of aboriginal ancestry. Winners demonstrate excellence in sport through their coaching achievements and their commitment to community development through leadership and mentorship.

Im very honoured to be able to accept this award, Lavallee says. To me its such a natural thing to give back and to get aboriginal women involved in sport. When you see the rewards, its so worthwhile. I dont see it as work.

Lavallee has been involved in coaching basketball for 13 years at the community, provincial, varsity and national levels. Shes the current assistant coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Womens Basketball team - a position she has held for the past six years. She was an assistant coach with the 2008 Development Womens National Team. Her resume includes top awards such as Canada West All-Star, CIS All-Canadian and her 2008 induction into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame.

This summer, Lavallee will join head coach Christine Stapleton as they lead the inaugural Cadette Womens National Team to compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championships in Mexico, Aug. 5-9.

Lavallee is firmly committed to improving her community and the lives of her students at Oskayak High School in Saskatoon where she teaches. Shes the head coach for the Aboriginal Girls Basketball team through the Hoops and Dreams program at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge and has developed a health and wellness program at Oskayak.

The Aboriginal Coaches and Officials Program, run by the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan, has congratulated Lavallee on her outstanding achievements.

About the Aboriginal Coaches and Officials Program:
Saskatchewan has a thriving community of Aboriginal athletes who compete across the country and around the globe. These athletes are an inspiration to all young people to get involved in sport. At every level of participation, opportunities would not be possible without volunteer coaches and officials.

The Aboriginal Coaches and Officials Program is organizing training and developmental opportunities across the province for Aboriginal peoples to become involved in sport as a coach or an official.

The program consists of: Introduction to Coaching Workshop, Aboriginal Coaching Modules, Introduction to Competition: Part A, NCCP Sport Specific Clinics, Officials Clinics and the ACOACH Program. Participation is free.

Becoming a coach or an official is a rewarding experience and helps young people grow not only as athletes, but as tomorrow's leaders.

Courtesy of www.basketball.ca


OUA All-Star Game on Saturday - by Eurobasket News
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) women's basketball season will have a star-studded conclusion on Saturday, May 9 in the inaugural OUA All-Star Game.

It'll take place at RIM Park in Waterloo, Ont., at 7 p.m. as part of the 2009 Ontario Basketball Association (OBA) Ontario Cup. Admission to the game is free.

Twenty players who were named OUA all-stars or members of the all-rookie teams this past season will showcase their skills in a battle of East versus West. The East is led by its player of the year Alaine Hutton (Hamilton, Ont.) of the Toronto Varsity Blues, top rookie Abby Edmison (Carleton Place, Ont.) of the Royal Military College Paladins and defensive player of the year Tanya Perry (Barrie, Ont.) of the Carleton Ravens.

Hutton will be joined by U of T teammate Nicki Schutz (Toronto) as together they formed the most potent scoring duo in the OUA this past regular season with a combined 754 points, or 34.3 points per game. The team is led by East Division coach of the year Andy Sparks of the OUA finalist Ottawa Gee-Gees.

The West also boasts a strong squad, including Dranadia Roc (Montreal) and Alisa Wulff (Pickering, Ont.), both members of the OUA champion Windsor Lancers. They will have a familiar bench boss in Chantal Vallee , who was named West Division coach of the year after leading the Lancers to the best regular season record (21-1) in OUA. Vallee also led Windsor to its first appearance at the CIS national tournament.

They will be joined by Western Mustangs guard Amanda Anderson (Dover Centre, Ont.) who led all West Division players averaging 16.1 points per game during the regular season.

The all-star showcase also marks a final opportunity for a trio of players to wear the uniforms of their respective teams. Sharlene Harding (Brampton, Ont.) of the Paladins, Laura MacCallum (Paris, Ont.) of the York Lions and Kathryn Verboom (Thunder Bay, Ont.) of the Lakehead Thunderwolves have completed their final year of CIS eligibility, and have one final opportunity to play alongside their peers.

All three individuals have made their mark on their respective programs with Harding, a former Queen's Gael, leading the Paladins in points and rebounds in 2008-09, MacCallum finishing her career as York's all-time leading scorer and Verboom placing ninth on the all-time Lakehead points list.

The OUA All-Star Game is being played in conjunction with the Under 17 and Under 19 Girls Ontario Basketball Provincial Championships. Ninety-seven teams from across the province will be competing in the two age categories.

About Ontario Basketball: Ontario Basketball is a not-for-profit association that governs the sport of basketball in the province of Ontario. Incorporated in 1977, Ontario Basketball represents Ontario's amateur basketball interests, and its membership consists of athletes, coaches, officials, clubs, camps, local basketball organizations, groups, leagues and basketball supporters. As part of its mandate, Ontario Basketball is committed to working with Canada Basketball, the Toronto Raptors and NBA Canada to promote and develop amateur basketball in the province. For more information on Ontario Basketball and its programs please visit www.basketball.on.ca.


OUA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-STAR GAME ROSTERS

EAST DIVISION
Darrah Bumstead F New Hamburg, Ont. Laurentian
Abby Edmison G St. Andrew, Ont. RMC
Sharlene Harding F Brampton, Ont. RMC
Jenny Hobbs G Burlington, Ont. Ryerson
Alaine Hutton G Hamilton, Ont. Toronto
Ines Jelic F London, Ont. Carleton
Laura MacCallum G Paris, Ont. York
Emilie Morasse G Quebec City, Que. Ottawa
Tanya Perry G Barrie, Ont. Carleton
Nicki Schutz F Toronto, Ont. Toronto

Head Coach: Andy Sparks (Ottawa)


WEST DIVISION
Renata Adamczyk F Dundas, Ont. Laurier
Amanda Anderson G Dover Centre, Ont. Western
Kim Lee G Ajax, Ont. Waterloo
Tasia McKenna G Timberlea, N.S. Lakehead
Kelly Moulden G Dundas, Ont. Western
Dranadia Roc G Montreal, Que. Windsor
Taylor Smith G Hamilton, Ont. McMaster
Alisa Wulff F Pickering, Ont. Windsor
Kathryn Verboom F Thunder Bay, Ont. Lakehead
Kris Yallin G Port Colborne, Ont. Guelph

Head Coach: Chantal Vallee (Windsor)

Courtesy of OUA


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  GERMANY - Women  


Isabelle Comtesse - Unbreakable! - by Cornelius Damm
It is the story behind this years 1.DBBL Finals between TV Saarlouis Royals and TSV 1880 Wasserburg. On April 11th the Royals advanced to the Finals with their second win against Oberhausen but paid a high price for this effort loosing their most experienced player and true floor general PG Isabelle Comtesse (180-G-82) with a fractured bone in her right hand. Two days later Comtesse had a surgery but returned to the action on court in the crucial third game of the Final Series only eleven days later on April 24th in Saarlouis! The series was tied and if Wasserburg would have won this pivotal game they could have crowned themselves for another German Championship in the upcoming game four in Wasserburg.

Two years ago BG Dorsten entered the 2007 Finals as the top seeded team as well. Having lost only three games during Regular Season and Wasserburg struggling, long time rival Dorsten seemed to be finally able to dethrone the Champion back than. Dorsten won the opener of the Finals but lost their PG and head of the team Dorothea Richter (176-G-83) with a fracture in her hand as well. Dorsten could not compensate this loss and Wasserburg went on to celebrate their fourth Championship in a row after winning all three following games.

Despite these many similarities history did not repeat this year. With a special hand brace Comtesse returned like she had never left. In 20 minutes on the court she lead her team and dished out six assists but even more gave her team a remarkable psychological boost that climaxed in a 89-71 important win in game three. As Wasserburg bounced back in game four the series shifted back to Saarlouis for the ultimate challenge of game five. As the second PG of the team Stina Barnert (176-G-89) had to sit out because of muscle problems in her thigh even more heroics where asked from Superwomen in Saarlouis uniform. Comtesse went on to play nearly 40 minutes where she scored 6 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, handed out 8 assists and impressed with a relentless defense on Wasserburg topscorer Carlene Hightower (180-F-86, college: La Salle) to guide her club to its first ever German Championship.

Beside Basketball Comtesse has a daytime job at the local police and a fulltime job as a mother of two little children.


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  IRELAND - Women  


Senior National Team European Championship Schedule Released - by Jolie Niland
The National Basketball Arena will play host to some crucial European senior Qualifiers later this summer. If you are interested in watching top European action in Dublin, Ireland please contact Basketball Ireland PRO Shane Whelan by email on swhelan@basketballireland.ie or you can purchase tickets at http://basketballireland.ticketsxchange.com/index.asp

Ireland's Senior Men & Womens European Schedule
Men Division B
Group C
Game Day 1, Aug 15th 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Sweden (H)
Aug 19
Georgia (A)
Game Day 2 , Aug 22nd 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Luxembourg (H)
Aug 29
Slovak Rep (A)
Women Division B
Group A
Game Day 1, Aug 15th 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Montenegro (H)
Aug 19
Slovenia (A)
Game Day 2, Aug 22nd 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Switzerland (H)
Aug 26
Iceland (A)
Game Day 3, Aug 29th 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Netherlands (H)


Senior National Team European Championship Schedule Released - by Jolie Niland
The National Basketball Arena will play host to some crucial European senior Qualifiers later this summer. If you are interested in watching top European action in Dublin, Ireland please contact Basketball Ireland PRO Shane Whelan by email on swhelan@basketballireland.ie or you can purchase tickets at http://basketballireland.ticketsxchange.com/index.asp

Ireland's Senior Men & Womens European Schedule
Men Division B
Group C
Game Day 1, Aug 15th 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Sweden (H)
Aug 19
Georgia (A)
Game Day 2 , Aug 22nd 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Luxembourg (H)
Aug 29
Slovak Rep (A)
Women Division B
Group A
Game Day 1, Aug 15th 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Montenegro (H)
Aug 19
Slovenia (A)
Game Day 2, Aug 22nd 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Switzerland (H)
Aug 26
Iceland (A)
Game Day 3, Aug 29th 2009, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Netherlands (H)


*****************************************************
  ITALY - Women  


Fever signs three-time All-Star Tamecka Dixon - by Eurobasket News
Three-time WNBA All-Star and one of the league's all-time leading scorers, Tamecka Dixon (5'9''-G-75, agency: Merit Sports, college: Kansas) has signed a free agent contract with the Indiana Fever. Dixon, who has played in the WNBA since its inception in 1997, is 21st on the league's career scoring list with 3,368 points. She has played the last three seasons with the Houston Comets. Per team policy, terms of the contract are not disclosed.

Dixon spent her first nine years in the WNBA with the Los Angeles Sparks, winning championships with that team in 2001 and 2002. She was on the Western Conference All-Star team in 2001, 2002 and 2003. She was selected to start for the West in 2003, replacing the injured Cynthia Cooper. Dixon is among the WNBA's career top 10 in assists (eighth) with 924 and is 20th in league history in steals with 342.

The Indiana Fever celebrates its 10th anniversary season in 2009, opening the summer season at Atlanta on Saturday, June 6 (7:00 p.m.), and hosting the Minnesota Lynx on June 7 (7:00 p.m.) - exactly 10 years after the franchise was founded (June 7, 1999). Led by Griffith, two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings, Olympic silver medalist Tully Bevilaqua, 2008 WNBA Most Improved Player Ebony Hoffman and two-time WNBA All-Stars Katie Douglas and Tammy Sutton-Brown, the Fever bids for its fifth consecutive playoff appearance in 2009. Season tickets are available at FeverBasketball.com, or by calling (317) 917-2500.

Courtesy of The Indiana Fever


*****************************************************
  LEBANON - Women  


Antranik leads 1-0 in a Final game without FANS - by Maarouf Mawloud

By Maarouf Mawloud

Antranik Beirut 75 - 55 Homentmen Antelias (Game 1 - Women's Championship Final)
A Final Game without fans..not a normal game in the regular league,
but a final game void of any cheer or spirit.
Shada Nasr (173-G-83) was the BEST on court scoring 21 points and from other side Sandra Najem was the best in her team with 15 points
Up until half time it was a close game...but the third quarter was
really a bad one for the Homentmen Antelias girls and of course everyone
remembers what happened this year in the cup Final between Homentmen Antelias
and Antranik Beirut. the same senario seemed to repeat itself, close game
until the third quarter...Turnovers from Homentmen Antelias Girls when Antranik Beirut
had all their concentration on the game.
Game 2 will take place on Tuesday 5 at 20.00 in Mezher.
Congrats Antranik Beirut & hardluck Homentmen Antelias.



*****************************************************
  MALTA - Women  


Medsea off to winning start - by Eurobasket News
Hibs Medsea 66
Depiro Mcdonald's 59
(14-10, 14-15, 19-10, 19-24)


Hibs halted a negative sequence against women's league final rivals Depiro to chalk up the first point in the best-of-three final series.

The champions opened a comfortable lead but thereafter struggled to cope with Depiro's press tactics and almost finished empty-handed.

With Alexis Darmanin and Caroline Fenech (185-C-80) in fine form, Hibs potted the first 10 points but Depiro hit back strongly to close the gap to four points by the end of the first quarter, 14-10.

Again, Hibs had the better start to the session but Depiro levelled matters at 23-23. The champions, however, went in for the break 28-25 in front thanks to a Kirsten Micallef three-pointer.

Hibs regained the initiative after the interval to open a 47-32 lead but Depiro, with Kaila Agius (183-C-80) leading their charge in attack, again produced a prompt reply to move within a basket, 61-59, of their opponents with a minute left.

At this stage, Alexis Darmanin came to Hibs' rescue after converting three free-throws to put her team on way to retaining the title.

Hibs: C. Fenech 13, E. Cassar, D. Cassar, L. Bezzina 3, M. Desrira 1, D. Micallef 14, Alexis Darmanin 20, N. Mifsud 2, K. Micallef 13, E. Micallef.

Depiro: S. Pace 19, C. Riolo, S. Tabone, K. Busuttil 2, R. Camilleri 9, J. Busuttil Gaerty, A. Borg 4, A. Demanuele, G. Zarb 3, S. Micallef 2, Kaila Agius 20.
Courtesy of: http://www.timesofmalta.com


*****************************************************
  MONTENEGRO - Women  


Jedinstvo completes the double by wining Montenegrin Championship - by Eurobasket News
Jedinstvo Bijelo Polje continued to rewrite its recent history by winning the Montenegrin Championship. They have beaten Buducnost Podgorica in three straight games. After winning game three 76-70, Jedinstvo managed to stop long Buducnost dominance in Montenegrin League. Even though they won series 3-0 it was not easy. In their third game they opened the first quarter good taking 4-0 lead. Buducnost quickly responded with its own 8-0 series and from there the lead changed until the end of the quarter which Jedinstvo won 20-18. In the second quarter Buducnost made another 11-0 run behind good play by Maja Milutinovic (176-G-87) and Jelena Culafic (174-G-89) gaining its biggest lead at 24-32. Until the end of halftime Buducnost managed to keep 4 point lead as the score was 34-38. However, Jedinostvo came out strong after the half time, and steadily started building it lead which at one point was 69-59. In the fourth quarter Buducnost tried to come close, but cutting deficit to 3 points (72-69) was the best they could do.
This was the most successful season for Jedinstvo who also won the Montenegrin Cup and made it to the finals of Adriatic League. Now Jedinstvo has established itself as a genuine competition for BC Buducnost, something they could not do in previous years. In previous season Jedinstvo always came close as they were Montenegrin League regular season champions in 2007. They made it to the finals that year but ended up short. They also play two cup finals in 2007 and 2008, before finally winning it in 2009.



JEDINSTVO B.Polje - BUDUCNOST Podgorica 76:70 (20:18, 14:20, 25:18, 17:14) - 3-0 in Final series

Bijelo Polje - SC. Nikoljac. Spect : 1.500. Reff: Vojinovic (Niksic), Dragojevic, Savovic (Podgorica).

JEDINSTVO : Sanja Kneevic 4, Jasmina Bigovic (174-G-79),Melisa Burdovic, Natasa Popovic (190-C-82) 12 (6-4), Pavicevic 9 (2-1), Cvijovic, Radivojevic, Jeknic 6, Zivana Jankovic (174-G-83) 4 (6-4), Tamara Ruzic (181-G-79, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Charleston So.) (181-G-79, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Charleston So.) 21, Brankica Hadzovic (175-G-81) 20 (5-3).
BUDUCNOST : Grnovic, Maja Milutinovic (176-G-87) 9 (2-0), Jelena Culafic (174-G-89) 9 (2-2), Bojana Vucinic (180-G-82) 9 (2-2), Milosev, Snezana Aleksic (171-G-89) 11, Ljubica Mihailovic, Nikolina Popovic (184-G/F-84) 14, Vujadinovic, Milica Jovanovic (187-F/C-89) 18 (3-2), Perunovic.


JEDINSTVO new champion - Jedinstvo-Buducnost 76-70 ( 3-0 ) - by Dragan Scepanovic
JEDINSTVO B.Polje - BUDUCNOST Podgorica 76:70 (20:18, 14:20, 25:18, 17:14) - 3-0 in Final series

Bijelo Polje - SC. Nikoljac. Spect : 1.500. Reff: Vojinovic (Niksic), Dragojevic, Savovic (Podgorica).
JEDINSTVO : Sanja Kneevic 4, Jasmina Bigovic (174-G-79),Melisa Burdovic, Natasa Popovic (190-C-82) 12 (6-4), Pavicevic 9 (2-1), Cvijovic, Radivojevic, Jeknic 6, Zivana Jankovic (174-G-83) 4 (6-4), Tamara Ruzic (181-G-79, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Charleston So.) 21, Brankica Hadzovic (175-G-81) 20 (5-3).
BUDUCNOST : Grnovic, Maja Milutinovic (176-G-87) 9 (2-0), Jelena Culafic (174-G-89) 9 (2-2), Bojana Vucinic (180-G-82) 9 (2-2), Milosev, Snezana Aleksic (171-G-89) 11, Ljubica Mihailovic, Nikolina Popovic (184-G/F-84) 14, Vujadinovic, Milica Jovanovic (187-F/C-89) 18 (3-2), Perunovic.


*****************************************************
  TURKEY - Women  


Fenerbahce step closer to title - by Eurobasket News
Fenerbahce - Mersin 102:62

Fenerbahce have taken a big bite out of Mersins title hopes beating them in Istanbul today. It was the second straight win for Fenerbahce as they stepped closer to defending TBBL crown. Birsel Vardarli (173-G-84) scored 18 points, dished out 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds to lead the hosts to the cruising win.
Mersin looked solid and ready to challenge the Turkish powerhouse in the starting period. The teams traded baskets throughout the frame but Fenerbahce still turned a bit more accurate. They ensured a 21:15 lead after ten minutes. Fenerbahce shifted the gear in the second period as they fired from all guns tearing up Mersin defense. The hosts accounted for 30 points in the second stanza which was worth a 25-point lead at halftime.
Mersin had their backs against the wall entering the third stanza and showed some character. They slowed the home team down and won the quarter by one. It was not enough however to threaten the deficit. Fenerbahce stayed calm and eased to the victory in the fourth frame. Katie Smith (180-G-74, college: Ohio St.) knocked down 17 points for Fenerbahce. Tammy Sutton-Brown (193-C-78, college: Rutgers) added 12 points and 6 boards for the winners. Mistie Williams (191-C-83, college: Duke) responded with 19 points for Mersin. Lindsey Harding (173-G-84, college: Duke) had 16 points in defeat.
The teams will meet again on May 8.

Fenerbahce: Birsel Vardarli 18, Katie Smith 17, Tammy Sutton-Brown 12
Mersin: Mistie Williams 19, Lindsey Harding 16


*****************************************************
  WNBA - Women  


Storm re-signs two-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson - by Eurobasket News
The Seattle Storm today re-signed two-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson (6'5''-F/C-81) for the 2009 season, Storm Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Brian Agler announced. Per team policy, terms of Jackson's new contract were not disclosed.

'Lauren is a key to our team's success and we're thrilled she has decided to continue her career in Seattle,' said Agler. 'She's an MVP, an All-Star and one of the best women's basketball players in the world. Her renewed commitment to this organization is a big asset as we continue to work toward bringing another WNBA championship to the city of Seattle.'

Jackson has received numerous accolades during her storied eight-season WNBA career. Most recently, Jackson was named to the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2008 - the second time Jackson received the nod. Her first nomination to the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team came at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Jackson compiled 147 total rebounds (7.0 rpg), 108 total defensive rebounds (5.1drpg) and 33 total blocks (1.57 bpg) in 21 games for the Storm during the 2008 season. Should she have qualified by playing the league minimum games, she would have ranked 11th (rpg) and 6th (bpg) respectively. Jackson missed five games prior to the WNBA's Olympic break to practice with the Australian National Team, and eight games following the break due to ankle surgery.

'I'm honored to return to the city of Seattle and the Storm organization as I take this next step in my WNBA career,' said Jackson. 'To have the opportunity to continue to play under Coach Agler and alongside Sue and the rest of my teammates in front of the most loyal and passionate fans in the WNBA means the world to me. I appreciate the patience and continued support of our fans, and I look forward to celebrating the Storm's 10th anniversary with them at KeyArena this summer. I can't wait to return to Seattle and begin working toward another championship.'

'We are thrilled to welcome back Lauren Jackson, who has been a cornerstone of the Storm franchise for the past eight seasons,' said Karen Bryant, President and CEO, Seattle Storm. 'It is only fitting that Lauren's return coincides with our 10th anniversary season, and we look forward to her continued contributions to our team and our community on behalf of the Storm organization, the city of Seattle and our fans.'

Jackson was named the 2007 WNBA Most Valuable Player, receiving a total of 473 points, including 42 first-place votes. For Jackson, the MVP award was her sixth honor of the 2007 season; she was also named the 2007 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and WNBA Peak Performer for both scoring and rebounding. Additionally in 2007, Jackson was a first-team selection to both the WNBA All-Defensive Team and the All-WNBA Team.

Jackson was also named the WNBA's Most Valuable Player in 2003. She is the first professional athlete in Seattle to earn the prestigious award twice. The Seahawks' Shaun Alexander was the NFL's MVP in 2005, while Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) have been honored by the American League as MVPs.

Already recognized as an elite player in the league entering the season, Jackson added to her rapidly-growing legacy with a career year in 2007. She led the league in scoring for the third time in her illustrious tenure with the WNBA, while her 23.8 points per game was a career-best. Her scoring average was more than five points-per-game higher than her career mark (18.6 ppg) entering the season.

An eight-year WNBA veteran, Jackson holds career averages of 19.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.0 blocks. Jackson has been named to the WNBA All-Star Team each year the mid-season classic has been played during her time in the league (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007). She has also received All-WNBA First Team honors five times (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and was a member of the WNBA's All-Decade Team in 2006.

Jackson, a native of Albury, Australia, won gold medals with the Australian National Team at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Brazil and 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. She has also won silver medals with the Australian National Team at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the 2002 FIBA World Championships in China, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

The Seattle Storm will open its 2009 WNBA schedule on Saturday, June 6 in a 1 p.m. matchup vs. the Monarchs at ARCO Arena in Sacramento. The Storm returns to Seattle on Sunday, June 7 for its first KeyArena home game at 6 p.m., also against the Monarchs. The team's June 7, 2009 home opener falls on the 10th anniversary of the city of Seattle being selected as one of four cities to receive a WNBA expansion team in 2000.

To see Lauren Jackson play against the WNBA's greatest opponents, fans can purchase a six-game 'All-Star Package' that features marquee matchups against the 2008 WNBA Champion Detroit Shock, the Los Angeles Sparks (with 2008 WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year Candace Parker) and the 2008 Western Conference Champion San Antonio Silver Stars.

Single-game tickets for all preseason and regular season games at KeyArena will go on sale Monday, May 4 beginning at 10 a.m. Six-game All-Star packages and single-game tickets for the 2009 season, starting as low as $14, can be purchased by visiting stormbasketball.com.

Courtesy of The Seattle Storm


Fever signs three-time All-Star Tamecka Dixon - by Eurobasket News
Three-time WNBA All-Star and one of the league's all-time leading scorers, Tamecka Dixon (5'9''-G-75, agency: Merit Sports, college: Kansas) has signed a free agent contract with the Indiana Fever. Dixon, who has played in the WNBA since its inception in 1997, is 21st on the league's career scoring list with 3,368 points. She has played the last three seasons with the Houston Comets. Per team policy, terms of the contract are not disclosed.

Dixon spent her first nine years in the WNBA with the Los Angeles Sparks, winning championships with that team in 2001 and 2002. She was on the Western Conference All-Star team in 2001, 2002 and 2003. She was selected to start for the West in 2003, replacing the injured Cynthia Cooper. Dixon is among the WNBA's career top 10 in assists (eighth) with 924 and is 20th in league history in steals with 342.

The Indiana Fever celebrates its 10th anniversary season in 2009, opening the summer season at Atlanta on Saturday, June 6 (7:00 p.m.), and hosting the Minnesota Lynx on June 7 (7:00 p.m.) - exactly 10 years after the franchise was founded (June 7, 1999). Led by Griffith, two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings, Olympic silver medalist Tully Bevilaqua, 2008 WNBA Most Improved Player Ebony Hoffman and two-time WNBA All-Stars Katie Douglas and Tammy Sutton-Brown, the Fever bids for its fifth consecutive playoff appearance in 2009. Season tickets are available at FeverBasketball.com, or by calling (317) 917-2500.

Courtesy of The Indiana Fever