EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 3/31/2010 1:00:00 AM

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Men News

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


Mavericks win ABA title! - by Gianni Pascucci
The Southeast Texas Mavericks defeated 85-76 the ABA Defending Champions Kentucky Bisons yesterday night, claiming the 2010 ABA title. But it was a very hard job. The third and deciding game of the 2010 ABA Championship Finals was a Classic as the two most dominating teams in the ABA squared off to decide the 2010 ABA Champion at the Parker Multipurpose Center in Port Arthur, TX. The Mavericks came out fast and furious in the first quarter led by Josh Pace (6'6''-G-83, college: Syracuse) and Jermaine Blackburn (6'7''-G/F-83, agency: Liman Sports, college: Boise St.). Pace and Blackburn scored often in the first half of the first period as the Mavs built a 14 point lead at 27-13. Mike Wells (6'3''-G-79, college: W.Kentucky) and LaMar Owen (6'5''-F-83, college: S.Illinois) then keyed a Bisons run to cut the lead to 27-21 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter belonged completely to the Bisons. Wells, Owen, Michael James (5'9''-G-85, college: Florida Intern.), and Chad Eichelberger (6'9''-F-82, college: St.Andrews) led the way for the Bisons as they took at 40-38 lead into the final seconds of the quarter. The Bisons stingy defense limited the Mavericks to only 14 total points in the period. The Mavericks did score the last 3 points of the quarter to take in a 41-40 lead at halftime. The Mavericks came out in the third quarter as they did to start the game led my Pace, Blackburn, Herman Favors (5'9''-G-84, college: Georgia St.), and Alex Sanders (6'7''-F/C-75, college: Louisville) to build another double figure lead 55-45 midway through the period. But again, the Bisons battled back with James, Owens, and Wells making big play after big play on both ends of the court for the Defending ABA Champions. The scored was knotted at 60 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bisons and Mavericks exchanged leads several times during the first five minutes of the last period. An Eichelberger 3 pointer put Kentucky up 67-64 at the eight minute mark of the fourth period. Then a run led by Owens and James put the Bisons up by six points with four minutes left. A Pace steal and basket turned things around for the Mavs. Another steal by Favors led to a 3D basket for Mavericks. Then a Blackburn steal led to another basket by Favors. With a little over 2 minutes to play the Mavericks turned a six point deficit into a 79-71 lead. After successive baskets by Wells the Bisons found themselves down 79-75 with 1:20 to play. A Mavericks timeout led to a Pace basket and after a miss by the Bisons and a Jon Rogers (6'9''-F/C-84, college: Valdosta St.) slam dunk the Mavericks found themselves in the clear. Favors closed out the game by making free-throws to seal the win and the SETX Mavericks took home their first ABA Championship 85-76. The Mavericks were led by ABA Finals MVP Josh Pace 's 20 points. Jermaine Blackburn followed up with 16 points. Jon Rogers posted his second double/double of the Championship Finals with 14 points/13 rebounds. Herman Favors also had a double/double with a 13 points/10 assist night for the Mavs. Mike Wells led the Bisons with 17 points. Chad Eichelberger and LaMar Owen both scored 14 points. TheAnthony Haymon (6'7''-F/C-78, college: Austin Peay St.) chipped in 10 points.

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


Standings - LigaA
LigaA Stage Two Standings
 1. Penarol 23-7 
 2. Atenas 22-8 
 3. Sionista 17-13 
 4. Libertad S. 17-13 
 5. Union S. 17-13 
 6. Boca Jrs 16-14 
 7. Regatas C. 16-14 
 8. La Union 16-14 
 9. Quimsa 15-15 
 10. Lanus 14-16 
 11. Olimpico LB 14-16 
 12. Estudiantes 13-17 
 13. Gimnasia CR 12-18 
 14. Obras 11-19 
 15. Quilmes MP 11-19 
 16. C.Entrerriano 6-24 
Stage One Standings


Stats Leaders - LigaA

Points Per Game
 David JACKSON
  La Union
  (196-G-82)
  Avg: 19
 1. Jackson, La Union19.0 
 2. Lamonte, Penarol18.2 
 3. Lo Grippo, Atenas17.4 
 4. Assie, Quilmes MP17.3 
 5. Moodie, Boca Jrs17.0 
 6. Funes, C.Entrer.16.9 
 7. Profit, Libertad S.16.8 
 8. Cutley, C.Entrer.16.7 
 9. Nelson, Quilmes MP16.3 
 10. Gonzalez, Quimsa15.4 
Rebounds Per Game
 Federico KAMMERICHS
  Regatas C.
  (203-F/C-80)
  Avg: 12
 1. Kammerichs, Regat.12.0 
 2. Williams, Union S.8.3 
 3. Rollins, Gimnasia.7.6 
 4. Griffin, Estudiantes7.5 
 5. Wolkowyski, Libertad.7.3 
 6. Assie, Quilmes MP7.3 
 7. Leiva, Penarol7.2 
 8. Gonzalez, Quimsa7.0 
 9. McFarlan, Union S.7.0 
 10. Nelson, Quilmes MP6.7 
Assists Per Game
 Fernando TITARELLI
  Quilmes MP
  (183-G-82)
  Avg: 6.8
 1. Titarelli, Quilm.6.8 
 2. Victoriano, Lanus4.4 
 3. Cequeira, Sionista4.4 
 4. Franco, Estudiantes4.0 
 5. Martinez, Sionista3.8 
 6. Labaque, Obras3.6 
 7. Ginobili, Libertad S.3.5 
 8. Williams, Olimpico.3.2 
 9. Figueroa, Atenas3.2 
 10. Cadillac, C.Entrer.3.1 
Steals Per Game
 Frank WILLIAMS
  Olimpico LB
  (191-G-80)
  Avg: 1.8
 1. Williams, Olimpico.1.8 
 2. Moldu, Libertad S.1.7 
 3. Pelussi, Libertad S.1.6 
 4. Marshall, C.Entrer.1.6 
 5. Funes, C.Entrer.1.6 
 6. Franco, Estudiantes1.5 
 7. Aguirre, Boca Jrs1.5 
 8. Victoriano, Lanus1.4 
 9. Pau, La Union1.4 
 10. Lamonte, Penarol1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 Derrick ALSTON
  Olimpico LB
  (208-C/F-72)
  Avg: 2
 1. Alston, Olimpico.2.0 
 2. Alston, Boca Jrs1.3 
 3. Kammerichs, Regat.1.3 
 4. Rollins, Gimnasia.1.2 
 5. Assie, Quilmes MP1.0 
 6. Williams, Union S.1.0 
 7. Gomez, Quimsa0.9 
 8. Griffin, Estudiantes0.8 
 9. Leiva, Penarol0.8 
 10. Marshall, C.Entrer.0.8 


Argentina clinch U18 South American Championship title - by Eurobasket News
Argentina U18 - Uruguay U18 60:46

Argentina celebrated victory at the U18 South American Championship in Medellin, Colombia. They held off Uruguay to claim the crown. Ezequiel Diaz came up with 15 points to lead the winners.
An ambitious Uruguayan team led 16:15 at the first team. But Argentina turned the tables in the second frame. They limited their opponents to just 6 points to earn a 28:22 lead at halftime. Argentina continued to stay in charge in the third stanza. They stretched the margin at 9-point mark with one quarter to go. Uruguay could not recover in the final stanza and had to surrender at the end. Patricio Garino (G-93) notched 14 points for the winners. Luciano Parodi (G-94) delivered 18 points for Uruguay. Alex Alvarez finished with 13 points in defeat. Chile won the Bronze medals as they edged Brazil 78:69 in the consolation final. Francisco Fox stepped up with 21 points for Chile. Felipe Andre responded with 21 points for Brazil. Venezuela finished in the fifth spot after defeating Colombia 74:61. Drexler Mejias (F-93) netted 19 points for Venezuela.



TNA Round: 3 (Quarter-Finals) - by Eurobasket News
Belgrano SN - Obera TC 84-74
Belgrano SN celebrated 84-74 victory last night taking 2-1 lead against Obera. Harold Arceneaux (198-F-77, college: Weber St.) exploded with 28 points, Sebastian Pardal (202-C-81) had 16 points and 8 boards, while Juan Gandy also helped with 16 pts. In Obera, Emilio Taboada delivered 17 pts.

A.Italiana - San Mart.MJ 78-67
Asociacion Italiana jumped to 2-1 mostly owing to Charles Kornegay (206-F/C-74, agency: Interperformances, college: Villanova), who scored 22 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Javier Caceres (201-F-85) and Francisco Rasio followed him with 15 and 13 points respectively. Rodrigo Alvarez answered with 17 points in defeat.

Firmat SF - Ciclista 76-63
Firmat SF managed to grab the first win against Ciclista coming to 1-2 in TNA Quarterfinals. Martin Ghirardi (187-G-82) scored 23 points to keep his team alive in this series. Alejandro Eiguren (185-G-86) followed with 13. On the other side, Ciclista got 21 points from Andres Rodriguez.


Liga A regular season recap - by Facundo Iatzky
These are the final standings of Liga A:

Penarol 65
atenas 63.5
sionista 58.5
libertad 57.5
boca jrs 57.5
quimsa 56.5
la union 56.5
union 56
regatas 55
lanus 53.5
estudiantes 52.5
obras 52
gimnasia 51.5
quilmes 51.5
olimpico 51
c. entrerriano 46.5

Now the league will continue in this way:
Penarol, atenas, Sionista and libertad advance directly to quarterfinals. They also qualified to play a new tournament called interligas where the best 4 teams of regular season in argentina face the 4 best teams of brasilian league.
Then the following 8 teams will play first round of playoffs. The series are to best of 5 games.

Boca - Obras
Quimsa- Estudiantes
La union- Lanus
Union- Regatas

The last 4 teams will play series to best of 5 games too to try to stay in Liga A another season.

Gimnasia- Entrerriano
Quilmes- Olimpico



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


Crocs re-sign Michael Cedar - by Eurobasket News
The Townsville McDonalds Crocodiles have announced that Townsville product Michael Cedar (195-G-86) has re-signed as their second player on the roster for the 2010/11 NBL season. The 23 year-old, 190 centimeter guard hit some good form during the Crocodiles 2010 Championship Play Offs campaign and will spend the off-season resting an ankle injury sustained early last season that put him on the sidelines for a month.

Cedar has been signed to a two-year deal and Crocodiles Head Coach Trevor Gleeson is happy to give him another opportunity to display his potential to play at the top level of basketball.

Were excited that Micks going to stay with us for another two years,' said Gleeson. 'Weve seen glimpses of Mick that he can play at the top level and play quite well so were excited these next two years will find Mick the opportunity to become an elite player in this league.

Cedar started with the Townsville McDonalds Crocodiles in 2005/06 after progressing through the McDonalds Sharp Start program and various other local and national basketball development programs. By signing Cedar to two years the club has shown faith in his potential and ability and he is also a good youth role model in Townsville.

Mick adds a lot in the community for us, he is a great worker at the school visits and certainly with the indigenous community he is a great role model. We see Mick as one of the great off guards of the future and in the next couple of years we will see him really start to grow, develop and show what we see him do everyday on the training court, said Crocs Chief Executive Officer Ian Smythe.

During the Crocs 2009/10 regular season despite spending some time out from injury Cdar still managed to achieve 8.8 points per game, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists over 22 games and shot 75 per cent from the free throw line.

If Cedar can stay healthy and injury free he has a good chance at becoming one of the leagues talented and most promising guards.

The biggest thing for Mick is staying healthy and getting on court. He had a great start to the season then injuries pulled him up and he had a really good last game in the play offs. We see the potential in Mick and now its up to Mick to bring that potential out on a regular basis and be one of the legitimate shooting guards in this league, said Gleeson.


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


Marty Clarke to coach Sixers - by Eurobasket News
The Hood Sweeney Adelaide 36ers have announced that Marty Clarke and Mark Radford (agency: Warren Sports International ) have joined the Hood Sweeney Adelaide 36ers family.

Clarke has taken up a three-year role with the team as head coach following his 12 years at the AIS in Canberra, with last seven years being the head coach of the men's basketball program. Clarke has had a hands-on role in coaching such Australian talent at international level as Andrew Bogut, Patrick Mills, Brad Newley and Joe Ingles.

This will be Clarkes first coaching role in the NBL and he is excited about the opportunity ahead.

I look forward to the opportunity to grow the sport in South Australia and am excited about being involved with a club with such history as the 36ers, said Clarke.

Assisting Clarke will be fellow Tasmanian Mark Radford (agency: Warren Sports International ). Radford will join the 36ers after assisting the Perth Wildcats to the championship last season.

Clarke said of working with Radford I am excited about being alongside a hard working and successful coach, the fact that he is prepared to leave a championship team to be part of the renewal of the Adelaide 36ers is testament to his love of a challenge.

Clarke and Radford will now set about speaking to existing 36ers and potential new players with a view to assembling an exciting team for the 2010/11 NBL season.


Courtesy of www.gaze.com.au


Kings name Robilliard as comeback coach - by Eurobasket News
The Sydney Kings have appointed Ian Robilliard as the coach to lead them back into the National Basketball League (NBL).

The 49-year-old is a former Kings player and Australian Boomer, who played more than 250 NBL games.

He has most recently been the managing director of the Central Coast Academy of Sport.

Former Kings coach Brian Goorjian will support him in an ambassador's role.

Kings general manager Bob Turner says Robilliard is the right man to lead the team.

'I know that a lot of people would say 'hey, he hasn't coached in the league', but a lot of coaches start their career somewhere and didn't coach in the league,' he said.

'The first thing we were looking for is a guy that's a leader, someone who's competitive and if you know Moose that's a key word in his vocabulary.


'He never backs down to any challenge.'

Courtesy of www.abc.net.au


*****************************************************
  AUSTRIA   


A Bundesliga Round: 7 (Second Stage) - by Eurobasket News
Group A
Klosterneub. - Gmunden 69-74
Gmunden closed Round 7 of the second stage with valuable 69-74 win against Klosterneuburg. Deteri Mayes (189-G-74, agency: Court Side, college: Murray St.) was a key player in victory with 25 points. Ian Boylan (197-G/F-83, agency: Pro Partner Sports Management, college: Cal.St. Northridge) followed him with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. In defeat, Matthew Rachar collected 13 points and 5 rebs. Gmunden 22-7, Klosterneuburg 21-8.

Furstenfeld - Arkadia 91-82
25-4 for the top ranked Furstenfeld and 15-14 for Arkadia after this game. Desmond Penigar (201-F-81, college: Utah St.) stepped up for the Panthers with 25 points and 5 rebounds. Nathaniel Linhart (201-F-86, college: Akron) secured a great help adding 22 pts. Kevin Houston answered with 18 points and 9 rebounds for Arkadia.

Wels - Kapfenberg 103-77
Wels destroyed Kapfenberg jumping to 21-8 score in Austrian top division. Trenton Meacham (188-G-85, agency: Warren Sports International, college: Illinois) and Rasheed Brokenborough (191-G-76, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Temple) were the leading players in this victory with 21 and 20 points respectively. Kevin Nelson replied with 21 points in defeat and his Kapfenberg dropped to 15-14.

Group B
Oberwart - Worthersee 107-102 OT
Overtime win for the Gunners, who got 24 points and 12 assists from Kelvin Parker (183-G-82, college: NW Missouri St.). Anthony Paez (198-F-84, agency: JEMsports, college: Stephen F. Austin) and Jonathan Levi added 22 and 21 points respectively. Rasid Mahlasic shined in loss with 21 pts, 14 boards and 6 assists. Oberwart 15-14, Worthersee 4-25.

St.Polten - UBSC Graz 83-70
St.Polten stays on top of Group B with 16-13 record. Thomas Schreiner (195-G-87) and Martin Speiser (202-F-83) led the winning squad in this round with 23 and 21 points respectively. Speiser pulled down 13 rebounds beside that. Mihajlo Pesic and Rainhard Lanegger combined 36 points and 16 boards in defeat.

Gussing - Vienna 71-61
10th victory of the season for Gussing, who got 19 points and 5 rebounds from Frank Richards (188-G-82, college: Kansas St.). Marcus Heard (201-F-84, college: DePaul) also was good with 14 points and 11 boards. In the loosing squad (7-22), Lorenzo O'Neal and Spencer Rhynes delivered 13 points apiece.


Standings - A Bundesliga
A Standings
Group A
 1. Furstenfeld 25-4 
 2. Gmunden 22-7 
 3. Klosterneub. 21-8 
 4. Wels 21-8 
 5. Arkadia 15-14 
 6. Kapfenberg 15-14 
Group B
 1. St.Polten 16-13 
 2. Oberwart 15-14 
 3. Gussing 10-19 
 4. Vienna 7-22 
 5. Worthersee 4-25 
 6. UBSC Graz 3-26 


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Kevin HOUSTON
  Arkadia
  (193-G/F-76)
  Avg: 21.9
 1. Houston, Arkadia21.9 
 2. Mayes, Gmunden21.0 
 3. Francois, Gussing19.0 
 4. Penigar, Furstenf.18.8 
 5. Mahalbasic, Worth.18.7 
 6. Paez, Oberwart18.6 
 7. Roderick, Arkadia18.4 
 8. Nelson, Kapfenberg17.7 
 9. Nagler, Klostern.17.0 
 10. Dilys, Arkadia16.6 
Rebounds Per Game
 Jason JOHNSON
  Oberwart
  (202-F/C-77)
  Avg: 9
 1. Johnson, Oberwart9.0 
 2. Mahalbasic, Worth.8.6 
 3. Houston, Arkadia8.2 
 4. Conley, Wels7.8 
 5. Penigar, Furstenf.7.8 
 6. McCandies, Worth.7.8 
 7. Forrestal, UBSC G.7.6 
 8. Heard, Gussing7.4 
 9. Moric, Klostern.6.8 
 10. Anderson, Vienna6.4 
Assists Per Game
 Ian BOYLAN
  Gmunden
  (197-G/F-83)
  Avg: 5.3
 1. Boylan, Gmunden5.3 
 2. Schreiner, St.Po.5.0 
 3. Danek, Arkadia4.9 
 4. Woschank, Kapfe.4.4 
 5. Lanegger, UBSC G.4.4 
 6. Zeleznik, UBSC G.4.1 
 7. Creddle, Klostern.3.8 
 8. Richards, Gussing3.7 
 9. O''Neal, Vienna3.7 
 10. Conley, Wels3.2 
Steals Per Game
 Thomas SCHREINER
  St.Polten
  (195-G-87)
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Schreiner, St.Po.2.1 
 2. Payton, Vienna2.0 
 3. O''Neal, Vienna2.0 
 4. Roderick, Arkadia2.0 
 5. Boylan, Gmunden1.9 
 6. Penigar, Furstenf.1.8 
 7. Zeleznik, UBSC G.1.8 
 8. Richards, Gussing1.6 
 9. Jandl, St.Polten1.6 
 10. Anderson, Vienna1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Shelton COLWELL
  Furstenfeld
  (202-F-80)
  Avg: 1.4
 1. Colwell, Furstenfeld1.4 
 2. Heard, Gussing1.2 
 3. Anderson, Vienna1.0 
 4. Mahalbasic, Worth.0.8 
 5. Youngblood, Furstenf.0.7 
 6. Francois, Gussing0.6 
 7. Kohlmaier, St.Polten0.6 
 8. Bralovic, Arkadia0.6 
 9. Roderick, Arkadia0.6 
 10. Levy, Oberwart0.6 


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


Ahli and Manama begin league playoffs with wins - by Patrick Salomon
AL AHLI outlasted Al Hala 72-61 while Manama overcame Sitra 66-59 Monday night (March 29, 2010) as the Zain Bahrain Basketball League playoffs tipped off at Zain Arena in Um Al Hassam.
Defending champions Ahli used a 7-0 run beginning the fourth quarter to take command of a tightly contested game and march on to the victory. Reserve forward Ahmed Malallah sparked the rally. He scored on a conventional three-point play off a bullet pass from guard Maytham Jameel that broke a 43-all deadlock and gave Ahli the lead for good.
Malallah finished with 10 points, all scored in the final period, before fouling out late on. Jameel had a team-high 12 points, while American import Johnny Antonio Taylor chipped in with 10.
Six other players scored five points or more for Ahli in contributing to their balanced attack.
Yasser bu Naffour and Ahmed Hajji paced Hala with 16 points apiece. Big man ONeal Mims from the US was held to just six markers. He was saddled with foul trouble for much of the contest.
Hala began the game the aggressors and held a comfortable 23-16 lead early in the second period. Ayoob Hajji scored from downtown to make it 28-23, but Ahli closed the half strong and took the lead prior to the interval with a Jassim Mohammed triple that made it 29-28.
Both squads continued the see-saw affair in the third quarter as Taylor scored on a drive to make it 39-33. But Hala regained the lead at 41-40 on a basket from back-up guard Mahmood Khademi.
Ahli youngster Hesham Sarhan then connected from long range before Ahmed Hajji scored once more to tie the game at 43-apiece heading into the fourth, paving the way Malallahs heroics.
The wily veteran scored Ahlis first five points of the quarter to ignite their offensive assault. Jameel then hit a dagger from downtown that made it 57-47 with just under five minutes remaining, and Malallah later went the entire length of the court for a driving lay-up in traffic to extend their advantage to 62-50 and virtually put the game away.
Hala tried valiantly to pressure Ahlis ball-handlers in the games closing moments in the hopes of forcing some turnovers, but they themselves could not come up with the necessary baskets needed to narrow the gap.
Ahlis win was a welcome result for the club. They had lost four out of five games during Cup play prior to heading into the league playoffs.
Manama, meanwhile, needed to dig themselves out of a shallow 43-47 hole at the start of the fourth quarter to claim their win.
They were down for much of the opening half, with Sitra taking a 19-14 advantage after one before managing to tie the proceedings at 31-all at the break.
Lightning quick point guard Ahmed Abdulaziz scored 18 points to spearhead Manama, while American professional Calvin Warner added 16. Sharp-shooting wings Hassan Nairouz and Mahmood Ghuloom contributed 14 and 11, respectively.
Moroccan import Younes Idrissi had 22 to lead Sitra while Mohammed Quwayed added 12.
League action continues today (Tuesday, March 30, 2010) with Muharraq battling Isa Town in their first game of the playoffs. This stage will feature a single round-robin, with the top four clubs moving on to the Golden Square semi-finals.



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


Ethias League Transfer News - by Peter Buyse
Optima Gent has announced today that Monwell Randle stays with the team for another season and that Thomas Dreesen joins the team for next season.
At present Randle is the nr 2 rebounder in the league with 8rpg to go with his 8.7 ppg.
Dreesen plays for D2 Kangoeroes Boom and is teammates with future Optima Gent guard Olivier Foucart. For Boom he is averaging 19.2 ppg in 13 games.
He was a member of all types of Belgian national teams from the U18 to the senior NT.

Dexia Mons Hainaut has fired guard Jerel McNeal for disciplinary reasons following a 15 day suspension.
The team did not divulge what the reason for the dismissal was.



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


Bob Donewald in China - by Eurobasket
Donewald Bob Jr. is rapidly becoming one of the top international coaches on the market and is making a boom in the Chinese (CBA) League.
Donewald a former NBA assistant coach landed in China this season as the head coach for the Shanghai Dongfang Sharks and has been the talk of the CBA leading his team to a remarkable 25-7 record.
Last season the team ended with a 6-44 record but this year Bob Donewald implemented a motion offense and developed a team concept that has been the talk of the Chinese Basketball Association.
This turn around has been a unique story because most foreign coaches have failed in the CBA and Bob is the only remaining foreign coach in the league.
The concepts of Bobs offense is new to the Chinese league but is suitable for his team who are typically long and skilled but lack the NBA one on one skills.
As a result of his teams success his assistant coach was recruited and lured away by another team in the CBA.
Donewald Bob Jr. . comes from a coaching family as his father Bob Donewald Sr. was an outstanding NCAA Division 1 coach who won lot of accolades.
Bob Jr. has international coaching experience in the BBL in England and last season coached in the Ukrainian Super League where he was very successful.
According to various NBA international scouts Bobs success is catching the attention of a variety of top teams throughout Europe.
These teams have been eager to study films of his innovative offensive schemes.
Bob is a very talented young coach that has the skills and potential to make an immediate impact for any high level team in Europe or the NBA.



*****************************************************
  CUBA   


Standings - LSB
LSB Standings
 1. Ciego de Avila 22-6 
 2. Capitalinos 22-6 
 3. Camaguey 20-8 
 4. Guantanamo 17-11 
 5. Matanzas 12-16 
 6. Pinar 11-17 
 7. Holguin 5-23 
 8. Santiago 3-25 


LSB Semifinals to start tonight - by Gianni Pascucci
The Semifinals of Liga Superior de Baloncesto will start tonight, more than two weeks after the end of regular seasons, and, according with the main Cuban sources, will be the most balanced in league history. The games of today are #4 Guantanamo vs. #1 Capitalinos and #3 Camaguey vs. #2 Ciego de Avila. The series are best of five games, and the same fact that reigning champions of Ciego de Avila lost the first place in the playoff grid tells a lot. For sure, the absence of top players Michael Guerra (188-G-79) and Joan Luis Haiti (200-C-82) in the last part of the season explains this little disappoint. Also, it is not sure that the two stars of the Buffaloes will be able to recover in time for the Finals, and this put an important question mark on the result of the first games too. At the other side, Capitalinos seem in good shape, ready to win their series, but playoff games are the same all over the world, anything could happen...

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


Basketligaen, Semifinals: Rabbits and Bears grab 1-0 lead - by Eurobasket News
Svendborg - Horsholm 77-61
Svendborg grabbed 1-0 lead in Playoff Semifinals. The regular season champion celebrated comfortable 77-61 win against Horsholm thanks to wonderful last quarter. Visitors did a great job until the last period as they held 42-46 lead, but that was all from them last night. The Rabbits destroyed them in the last ten minutes 35-15 for the final 16-point vicotry. Niccolai Iversen (205-F-80, agency: Rasmussen Services, college: San Jose City JC) and Dameon Mason (196-G/F-85, college: LSU) shined for the hosts with 18 and 17 points respectively. Ivan Hoger (225-C-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza) followed them with 11 pts. In the loosing squad, Christian Nielsen (201-F-86, college: Wagner) collected 19 pts.

Bakken - Aabyhoj 94-66
Bakken Bears dominated against Aabyhoj during the entire game. Visitors managed not to loose just second quarter last night, while all others belonged to the winning squad. Darryl Proctor (193-F-86, college: UMBC) shined for the Bears with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Jakob Wang (190-F-90) added 12 pts. On the other side, Edward Morris (203-F-84, college: Pittsburg St.) replied with 23 points. Bakken Bears 1, Aabyhoj 0.


Second games are scheduled for April 1. Horsholm and Aabyhoj will be the hosts this time.


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  D-LEAGUE   


Julien Mills Signed by Fort Wayne - by Surujh Roopnarine
Former Ball State University guard Julien Mills (6'4''-G/F-85, college: Ball St.) has been signed by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League. Mills joined the Mad Ants for last nights 108-88 road victory over the Springfield Armor. Mills is a third year professional who played this season in Australia for Cairns Taipans of the NBL. In 28 games he averaged 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 45.5% from the field and 34.6% from three. Mills fills the roster spot vacated when former NBA guard Dan Dickau was released last week. In addition to Australia, Mills has also played in Hungary and Poland. In Hungary during the 2007-08 season he was named the Eurobasket.com All-Hungarian League Import Player of the Year after averaging 23.2 points.

Sacramento Waives Former D-League Assignee Joey Dorsey - by Surujh Roopnarine
The Sacramento Kings waived seldom-used second-year forward/center Joey Dorsey (6'9''-F-83, college: Memphis) on Tuesday, ending his brief career as a King. Traded to the Kings in February as part of a nine-player, three team deal that saw Kevin Martin, Carl Landry and Tracy McGrady change locations, Dorsey appeared in eight games for Sacramento, averaging 1.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 6.5 minutes. On the season he has appeared in 15 games total between Houston and Sacramento, totaling 106 minutes, 23 points and 43 rebounds. Dorsey, the all-time leading rebounder in University of Memphis and Conference USA history (1,209), has appeared in 23 career games in the D-League, all with Rio Grande Valley, the Rockets affiliate. This season he was dominant at times for the Western Conference leading Vipers, appearing in 16 games (all starts) and averaging 14.9 points, 13.3 rebounds (2nd in the league), 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks while shooting a ridiculous 64.7% from the field. Dorsey may end up heading back to RGV, if the Rockets feel they would like to keep working with and developing the raw but powerful big man.
The Kings also announced that second-year swingman Dominic McGuire (6'8''-F/G-85, college: Fresno St.) will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn right plantar fascia in his foot.
The Kings injury woes, rookie-phenom Tyreke Evans (6'6''-G-89, college: Memphis) is still out with post-concussion symptoms, may actually lead to the Kings signing a call-up from the D-League as they are extremely thin at the guard position. Unusually bad roster balance has left the Kings with a glutton of power forward / center types (thus the release of Dorsey), but very few ball handlers. Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside offers some suggestions as to just who the Kings might want (need) to sign (http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2010/3/29/1395298/sacramento-kings-play-beno-udrih#storyjump) to fill in behind Beno Udrih (6'5''-G-82).



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  EBA   


Brittingham named EBA Finals MVP - by Gianni Pascucci
Delaware Destroyers forward Sherman Brittingham (6'5''-F-83, college: California (PA)) led his team to the win in the EBA Final with with 28 points that included a perfect 12 for 12 from the foul line. Thanks to his impressive performing, he has been named the EBA Championship Series Most Valuable Player


Wizards ending season head up - by Gianni Pascucci
The New York Wizards were one of four teams left standing as they entered the EBA Final Four in Washington DC on Saturday March 27th.In the opening round of the semi-finals the Wizards were matched up against the Defending Champion Delaware Destroyers, who would go on to win their second consecutive championship when weekend play was through ! The Destroyers defeated the Wizards 135-121 in a very competitive and well-played game. When you get to this point in the season, all losses are really a reflection of the Coach stated Wizards Head Coach Greg Cerillo Sr We were at full strength, no real injuries, and I felt my players were prepared and ready to play, and truly I will stack this rosters talent up against anyone, that is why we were in the Final Four in the first place. Yet defensively we had some lapses. For the season we only gave up 107 points per game to our opponents and the Destroyers placed 135 points on the scoreboard. They are a well-coached club that gets the most out of their talent. They are back to back champions and a great example of what the EBA is about.
The Wizards are set to almost immediately begin their off-season Barnstorming Tour, with Tri-State Fundraising Games, Military Exhibitions, and Pro Summer League Play. In addition the Wizards are hosting two events this April/May including a Senior Showcase Game for local players finishing college attempting to get a start on their pro careers and a Pro Showcase for players looking to secure overseas contracts. Pro Agents and Coaches will be in attendance at both events.



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  EUROLEAGUE   


Quarterfinal Playoffs, Game 3 MVP: Juan Carlos Navarro, Regal FC Barcelona - by Eurobasket News
One of the brightest stars on the world basketball stage, veteran shooting ace Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80), led Regal FC Barcelona to its biggest victory of the Euroleague season on Tuesday while also earning the MVP honor for Playoffs Game 3. Navarro paced Barcelona to a solid 73-84 decision over archrival Real Madrid that was very much a comeback performance for both team and player. With the victory, Barcelona took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series and regained the homecourt advantage it had lost to Madrid the previous week. Navarro, who had averaged just 7.5 points and was 0-for-10 on three-pointers in the first two games, exploded in Game 3. Despite playing on the road, he scored 24 points while hitting 4-of-6 three-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws. He added 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 8 fouls drawn to amass a performance index rating of 29, the best among the four games played on Tuesday. Three other players - Ante Tomic of Real Madrid, Josh Childress (203-G/F-83, college: Stanford) of Olympiacos Piraeus and Lester McCalebb (183-G-85, college: New Orleans) of Partizan Belgrade - each registered index ratings of 23 in Game 3. McCalebb led Partizan to an 81-73 win against Maccabi Electra by posting 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals. Childress had 20 points on 8-of-10 two-pointers, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in the Reds' road loss against Asseco Prokom Gdynia. Meanwhile, Tomic scored 23 points on 11-of-13 two-point shooting to go with 3 rebounds and 4 fouls drawn against Barcelona. Aleks Maric (211-C-84) of Partizan, with a 22 index rating based on his 16 points and 7 rebounds against Maccabi, completed the top individual performances this week.

Individual highs: Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) of Olympiacos, 9 assists

Navarro was the Playoffs Game 3 top scorer with 24 points against Madrid. Linas Kleiza and Qyntel Woods tie atop the playoffs' scorers list at 20.3 points per game. Jan Jagla of Asseco Prokom pulled down 9 rebounds, the most in Game 3. His teammate Woods is also first in rebounds at 10 per night. Milos Teodosic of Olympiacos dished 9 assists to lead Game 3's standings. He is also the playoffs leader at 9 assists per game. Lester McCalebb collected 5 steals against Maccabi and also ranks first in the playoffs at 3 per night. D'or Fischer of Maccabi Electra and his teammate Stephane Lasme (203-F-82, college: Massachusetts) each had 3 blocks in Game 3. Fischer is the playoffs leader at 2.33 per game. Nobody registered a double-double in Game 3.


Courtesy of Euroleague


Quarterfinals: Round 3 review - by Eurobasket News
MMC Real M. - Regal Barca 73-84
Regal Barca made a big step forward to Paris. The Spanish champion handed 73-84 loss to Real Madrid for 1-2 lead in Euroleague Quarterfinals. Barca now needs one more to end this series, but even in case of defeat on Thursday evening Barca will have a chance at the Palau Blaugrana in Game 5. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) was a key player in this victory with 24 points. 'La Bomba' made 4 of 6 attempts from behind the arc. Pete Mickeal (199-F-78, college: Cincinnati) (5 rebs) and Jaka Lakovic helped with 13 points each. The Whites got 23 points from Ante Tomic (217-C-87), who had 11 of 13 from the field. Sergio Llull and Travis Hansen netted 11 pts apiece. Everything started good for Real Madrid, who grabbed opening 3-2 and later 5-2 lead. Soon after that, Barca took control on the hosts creating 7-11 turn. Two minutes later it already was 7-17 for the guests, who kept Real scoreless for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, Mickeal capped a 0-15 run with a six-meter jumper. In the finish of Q1, Vazguez scored and set the score to 14-25. Juan Carlos Navarro was on fire and together with Ndong and Jaka Lakovic helped Barca to reach impressive 19-39 at the halfway of Q2. They made 0-11 run. Barca was up by 22 soon after that, but Real Madrid closed the first half with 8-0 run for 31-46. Real threatened in this quarter as they came to 41-52, but Jaka Lakovic answered with a triple. Teams traded baskets and thanks to Sergio Llull and Ante Tomic, Real Madrid cut the margin to 50-61 at the end of Q3. When Barca reached 62-76 with four minutes left, it was clear that the game is over for Real. They are in bad position now as they will have to win on Thursday in order to stay alive in this series.

Partizan - Maccabi T-A 81-73
Partizan outplayed Maccabi in front of 20.783 auditory to take 2-1 lead in Euroleague Quarterfinals. Now, the Serbian powerhouse needs one more victory for the Final 4 in Paris, while on the other side Maccabi will have to win on Thursday evening in order to move this series to Tel Aviv for Game 5. Lester McCalebb (183-G-85, college: New Orleans) stepped up for the hosts tonight with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Aleks Maric (211-C-84) scored 16 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, while Jan Vesely added 14 pts and 6 rebs. In Maccabi, Alan Anderson (198-G/F-82, college: Michigan St.) delivered 13 points. Chuck Eidson (7 rebs, 5 as) and D'Or Fisher followed him with 11 points each. Partizan had amazing support from their fans and opened the game with quick 9-3 lead. Aleks Maric and Aleksandar Rasic were great and together with Jan Vesely lifted Partizan to first double-digit lead, 23-12. Lester McCalebb joined them, but Maccabi somehow managed to cut the margin to 26-17 after 10 minutes of play. Partizan took control on Maccabi at the beginning of Q2 and after basket by Aleks Maric they jumped to 31-20. Few moments later it was 40-24 as Partizan completed 14-5 run. Chuck Eidson and D'Or Fished finally replied for Maccabi and they reduced the gap to 42-30. Rasic came to Partizan's rescue then with a three-pointer from the corner before Maric's next layup made him Partizan's third double-figure scorer and left a 47-34 scoreboard at HT. Maccabi entered to the second half strongly and they made 0-6 run for 47-40. It looked like as a beginning of comeback, but Partizan was there to reply with 13-5 series. With one quarter left the hosts held 64-50 lead. Maccabi touched minus 10 few times in the last quarter, but that was all from them tonight. Partizan moved up to 76-61 and did not have any troubles to finish this game. Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Caja Laboral - CSKA 66-53
Caja Laboral is alive. The team from Vitoria managed to beat CSKA 66-53 coming to 1-2 in Euroleague Quarterfinals. Tiago Splitter (211-C/F-85, agency: Interperformances) was the one who led Caja Laboral with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Fernando San Emeterio (198-G/F-84) had 14 points and 6 boards, while Mirza Teletovic added 10 points and 6 boards. Walter Hermann also scored 10 pts for the hosts. CSKA did not have anyone with double-digits in scoring. Their best player was Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Caja Laboral had excellent beginning. English and Teletovic drained two triples and Fernando San Emeterio completed 8-0 run. CSKA managed to recover and for rest of the first period closed the gap to 16-12. Caja Laboral was 2-4 points up during the entire Q2, but thanks to Huertas and Engligh the hosts went to HT with 31-24. Visitors didn't give up. They came to 34-29 after the breather and in the finish of Q3 they managed to tie the score, 37-37. Holden and Vorontsevich shined at that time. Splitter and Siskauskas traded layups and a three-pointer by Herrmann restored a 42-39 Laboral edge. Vorontsevich was there to score the last basket for CSKA, thus after 30 minutes of play it was 42-41. Caja Laboral resolved question about the winner at the beginning of the last quarter as they made 9-0 run for 51-41 lead. CSKA came to minus 5 after that, but that was all from them tonight. Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday.

Assec.Prokom - Olympiakos 81-78
Asseco Prokom crushed Olympiacos tonight for the first win in Euroleague Quarterfinals. The Reds still need one victory for the Final 4 in Paris, but that will not be an easy job as Prokom is the host on Thursday night once again. Qyntel Woods (203-F/G-81, college: N.Mississippi JC) shined for the Polish powerhouse with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Daniel Ewing (191-G-83, college: Duke) also drained 18 and David Logan had 3 points less than him. Jan-Hendrick Jagla helped with 10 points and 9 boards. The Greek National Cup winner got 20 points and 5 rebounds from Josh Childress (203-G/F-83, college: Stanford). Nikola Vujcic and Milos Teodosic (9 assists) delivered 13 and 12 points respectively. Olympiakos grabbed opening 4-5 and later 15-16 lead mostly owing to Teodosic and Schortsanitis. Prokom replied with 5-0 run after that and later managed to finish Q1 with 22-18. The hosts had great second period and they even reached 38-23 at the halfway of it. Thanks to Nikola Vujcic and Linas Kleiza, Olympiackos closed the gap to 43-31 in finish of the first half. A technical foul called on Kleiza led to Daniel Ewing hittnig 2 free throws that Milos Teodosic matched to leave the hosts still in charge, 45-33 at halftime. Olympiacos was threatening in third quarter, but Prokom managed to stay up all the time. They had plus ten at the one point, but Penn led his team to minus 7 with one quarter left (64-57). Olympiacos cut the margin to five, when Daniel Ewing stepped up with his fifth triple. David Logan connected a basket for 76-66. Visitors didn't give up and they came to 78-76 with just 34 seconds to go. David Logan grabbed the ball and scored for Prokom making it 80-76. Childress tried on the other side, but he missed and Logan was sent to the line. He scored the second FT to seal this valuable victory. Game 5 is scheduled for on Thursday.


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  FINLAND   


KORISLIIGA: Pyrinto regular season winner - by Rauno Hurmalainen
Korisliiga, round 44: The regular season is over. Pyrinto (Tampere) is the regular season winner with 34-10 record. Kouvot (Kouvola) was second one game behind (33-11) and Torpan Pojat (Helsinki) third with 30-14 record. Also # 4 KTP (Kotka), # 5 YMCA Lappeenranta, # 6 Korihait (Uusikaupunki), # 7 Kataja (Joensuu) and # 8 Honka (Espoo) made the play-off-games starting on Wednesday, April 7. It will be Pyrinto vs Honka, Kouvot vs Kataja, ToPo vs Korihait and KTP vs YMCA Lappeenranta. The regular season leading scorer was Ricky Hickman (190-G-85, agency: Court Side, college: NC-Greensboro) (YMCA Lahti ) averaging 23,85 ppg. The leading rebounder was Kauhajoki's Jeremiah Wood (200-F-85, agency: Court Side) (14,0 rpg). Wood gave also more assists than anyone else (4,81 apg). The most effective player was who else than Wood (29,58). Wood joined Kauhajoki roster first on December 5 and played 26 games. He had 23 double-doubles and helped Kauhajoki to re-new the contract on top level.
Pyrinto - Honka 95-76 (37-29) (Kenny Lowe 23, Chris Hester 22, Damon Williams 21/13 - Tuukka Kotti 20, Sasu Salin 12, Jukka Matinen 12).
Torpan Pojat - Kouvot 89-80 (43-47) (Hanno Mottola 32, Obie Trotter 21, Tyray Pearson 11 - Kyle Shiloh 24, AJ Moye 20, Antti Kanervo 19).
Kauhajoki - Kataja 84-95 (48-55) (Aleksi Huuskonen 20, Jeremiah Wood 19/10/6a, Eldar Skamo 19 - Jeb Ivey 27 (treys 6/6), Petri Virtanen 16, Kristian Clarkson 13).
Korihait - YMCA Lappeenranta 105-78 (50-49) (AZ Reid 25, Josh Gonner 23, Heikki Saaristo 14 - Akeem Scott 22/6a, Adam Hall 20, Jouko Jarvinen 16).

KTP - FoKoPo 105-78 (62-34) (Pasi Heinonen 15, Sami Ikavalko 14, Isaac Spencer 14 - Markus Molenius 22, Mika Suokas 17, teemu Heiskanen 11).
Vilpas - YMCA Lahti 60-77 (30-35) (Jahmar Thorpe 25/12, Sakari Salminen 8 - Corey Rouse 25/13, Ricky Hickman 18).


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  FRANCE   


ProA : Victor Samnick sidelined by Villeurbanne - by Aurelien Hipp
*The team of VIlleurbanne announced today that Victor Samnick (203-F-79, college: Georgetown) won't be part of Villeurbanne's roster until April 7th. A meeting between the player and the directing staff is scheduled on that day, after which a decision will be taken about the future of the player with the team. Samnick joined Villeurbanne's roster after Curtis Borchardt's injury in november. Samnick is posting 9ppg and 2.9rpg in ProA this season.

I look around me now and shake my head because it is something i never imagined in my life - by Ben Dewar
I have been overseas playing professionally for 7 years. I may be more unique than most players in Europe though because of how i got here. My path is way different than anybody i know playing overseas. I look around me now and shake my head because it is something i never imagined in my life. I try not to complain about little off the court details these days because i realize that i just as easily could have ended up at a desk working 9-5. Or better yet, been laid off in the last couple years and late on my mortgage. I truly have been fortunate to get the opportunity to pursue a career in Europe, but it was not easy...

I started my career in Denmark getting paid just enough to pay my phone bills. And i had to cover my own flights so i was in debt to my parents after my first professional season. Basketball was fun and our team was very good, but as soon as i left the gym my depressing life started. I would hop on my 'mary poppin's style' bike and ride home from the gym (many times in the snow). I lived in a building that was worse than a college dorm back home. I shared a kitchen with 2 of my other teammates and a couple middle aged alcoholics who may not have smiled once over a five-month period. I had a small room with just enough room for my twin bed and a stand for the tv. If i stood in the middle of the room, my 6'8' wingspan allowed me to touch opposite walls at the same time. So, i spent most of my time in bed watching the 2 channels that came in clear on the tv. There was not much else to do considering it was dark for about 16 hours a day while i was there. And it was bitter cold much of the time. Which is why i was so excited when the team gave me a winter coat. It was 2 sizes too small, but at least i had a coat.
I endured a long winter and finished the season. It was a great experience that not many people i know would have been able to handle.

After that experience i actually decided to come back to Europe the next season. I signed in Pro B France with a small team and got paid peanuts again. It did cover my bills this time though so i was content. This situation was better than Denmark, but looking back it turns out that i just didn't have a clue what to expect. I had an apartment and a car this time so i thought i had hit the 'Big Time.' But, i had a mini fridge, no cable, no internet, and a crazy 90 year woman as a neighbor who liked to put glue in my door lock. We battled each other for months and i was ecstatic to get out of that apartment and back to some normalcy in Michigan.

Once again, even though i had so many bizarre stories and no money saved at all, i came back to France the next season. My 3rd season pro, in Entente Orleans, was the first time i experienced some drama on a team. We started 3-0 and my coach told me that if things don't change then someone had to go. He said it was me or him and gave some dumb excuses. I was angry and actually considered leaving the team. Then we lost the next game and the coach called out one of our players live on the radio. Three days later he was fired. I stayed, a new coach came in and the rest is history. We won the league, i got MVP of the finals, we moved up to Pro A and i signed a 2 year contract extension to stay in Orleans. Now i am in ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne. I won a Pro A title last year and a Semaine des As trophy this year. I am 6 years deep in France and have 3 trophies. I have worked hard and endured a lot and it has paid off for me.

I think my story is inspiring for the guys who are not well known and are trying to make a career of out nothing. I have been at the bottom barely able hold my head above water and now i am sitting on top of the mountain looking down at the water. I appreciate everything i have now more than ever because of what i didn't have before. I didn't attend a big university, i don't have an NBA team on my resume, i didn't sign with a huge agent. I came here without the feeling of entitlement and have never changed that.

Until next time, work hard and have fun!


The blog maintained by Benjamin Dewar (196-G/F-81, college: L.Superior)


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  GREECE   


Two victories for Greek juniors - by Eurobasket News
Greek U18 National Team posted two more victories over their New Zealand counterparts. Thus the Hellenes swept three-game friendly series. Greece claimed a 96:38 win in Game 2. Ioannis Molfetas (92) nailed 17 points to lead the effort. Anastasios Antonakis (204-C/F-92) provided 14 points for the hosts. Greece built a 49:22 lead at halftime and never looked back en route to the win.
The second game was a tougher challenge for Greece. They looked solid in the first half rolling to a comprehensive 45:19 lead. But the Junior Tall Blacks bounced back in the second part. They cut the margin and made the home team work hard for a 98:56 victory. Marios Dermitzakis (199-F-92) and Vasileios Kavvadas (203-F-91, agency: FCM) nailed 17 points apiece to lead the charge. Thomas Tsalkitzis (190-G-92) and Kambouris added 12 points each in the winning effort. Chris Duthie (188-G-92) responded with 18 points for the Junior Tall Blacks.
New Zealand team next travels to France. They are slated to take on French U18 NT on March 31 in Strasbourg.



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  ICELAND   


KR & Snaefell to Final Four - by Siggi Hjorleifsson
KR & Snaefell only needed two games to make it to Final Four of the Play-offs
KR beat IR 103-81. Pavel Ermolinskij 20 + 16 rebs for KR.Robert Jarvis 36 for IR
Snaefell beat Grindavik 110-93 With great outside shooting 59% from threes and 83% from foul line but Grindavik only 28% & 80% in same category. Snaefell made 19 threes.
Sean Burton 24 Hlynur Baeringsson 23 + 14 rebs. Jon Olafur Jonsson 20 for Snaefell. Pall Vilbergsson 28 Darrell Flake 24 for Grindavik
KR vs Snaefell in next round is likely.
Tindastoll beat Keflavik 94-91 and there will be third game to find out who makes it to Final Four.
That is the same case with Njardvik & Stjarnan after Stjarnan won away last night 91-95 Magnus Gunnarsson 19 for Njardvik. Justin Shouse (180-G-81, college: Mercyhurst) 27 + 12 assist Djorde Pantelic 21 for Stjarnan.


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  ISRAEL   


I love playing in Europe, its an opportunity to continue playing the game you love - by Larry OBannon
I love playing in Europe, its an opportunity to continue playing the game you love and make a living at the same time. You come to europe and meet guys that you play with or against and you form life long friendships. The game is a little different than the states because its a lot more team oriented and in the states you have more one on one action. The european big men are more versatile because they can shoot the outside 3pt shot and the big men in the states are more bangers in the low post. The European fans are great...the crowds here are smaller than in the states but they are more fanatic. You don't see fans with drum sets and hear them singing the entire game. Colleges have student sections that can be pretty rowdy but the passion the European fans display is unmatched.
One of the strange things that i had to deal with off the court when i first came to europe was learning to drive a stick shift car. I had never driven a stick before, so my teammates would take me out on the street at 1am, when there wasn't a lot of traffic, and teach me how to drive. I play for Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion in Israel and the team is having a sub-par season but the team is getting into pretty good shape as of late. We have had a lot of injuries, including myself in which I had to leave 3 games early due to injury, but we have overcome adversity and are fighting to finish up for the playoffs.


The blog maintained by Larry O'Bannon (191-F-83, agency: Beo Basket, college: Louisville) of Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion


Partizan grabs 2-1 lead against Maccabi Electra - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague Quarterfinals, Game 3: Partizan - Maccabi T-A 81-73

Partizan outplayed Maccabi in front of 20.783 auditory to take 2-1 lead in Euroleague Quarterfinals. Now, the Serbian powerhouse needs one more victory for the Final 4 in Paris, while on the other side Maccabi will have to win on Thursday evening in order to move this series to Tel Aviv for Game 5. Lester McCalebb (183-G-85, college: New Orleans) stepped up for the hosts tonight with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Aleks Maric (211-C-84) scored 16 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, while Jan Vesely (211-F-90) added 14 pts and 6 rebs. In Maccabi, Alan Anderson (198-G/F-82, college: Michigan St.) delivered 13 points. Chuck Eidson (201-F/G-80, agency: Court Side, college: S.Carolina) (7 rebs, 5 as) and D'or Fischer (211-C-81, college: W.Virginia) followed him with 11 points each.
Partizan had amazing support from their fans and opened the game with quick 9-3 lead. Aleks Maric and Aleksandar Rasic were great and together with Jan Vesely lifted Partizan to first double-digit lead, 23-12. Lester McCalebb joined them, but Maccabi somehow managed to cut the margin to 26-17 after 10 minutes of play. Partizan took control on Maccabi at the beginning of Q2 and after basket by Aleks Maric they jumped to 31-20. Few moments later it was 40-24 as Partizan completed 14-5 run. Chuck Eidson and DOr Fished finally replied for Maccabi and they reduced the gap to 42-30. Rasic came to Partizan's rescue then with a three-pointer from the corner before Maric's next layup made him Partizan's third double-figure scorer and left a 47-34 scoreboard at HT. Maccabi entered to the second half strongly and they made 0-6 run for 47-40. It looked like as a beginning of comeback, but Partizan was there to reply with 13-5 series. With one quarter left the hosts held 64-50 lead. Maccabi touched minus 10 few times in the last quarter, but that was all from them tonight. Partizan moved up to 76-61 and did not have any troubles to finish this game.
Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Partizan: Lester McCalebb 18+7 boards, Aleks Maric 16+7 boards, Jan Vesely 14+6 boards
Maccabi: Alan Anderson 13, Chuck Eidson 11+7 boards+5 as, D'or Fischer 11



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  ITALY   


Serie A - Top Players week 23 - by Stefano Pini
MVP
Petteri Koponen (193-G-88), Canadian Solar Bologna, 21 points (6/8 FG), 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists.
In 2007 he was drafted by Philadelphia 76ers at the end of the first round. In these seasons he's learning to play at high level in Europe. Yes, he has size and abilities to play overseas. And after his italian experience he'll be ready to become an intriguing NBA player. But we've no hurry... We love to watch players like Petteri in our league as long as possible

Import Player of the Week

Sharrod Ford (206-F-82, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Clemson) Carife Ferrara, 17 points, 13 rebounds, 7 blocks
He domninated the game phisically against Varese. In the last weeks he's having a great impact in the paint. The fight against relegations is definetely begun. We'll have 7 'no holds barred' weeks.

Italian Player of the week
Nicolas Mazzarino (181-G-75, agency: Players Group) NGC Cantu, 18 points (4/4 by 3p) 5 rebounds, 4 assists.
Last season Cantu ended the season 14-16. Now is 14-9. They play very well together, defending hard, try to develop fastbreak as first, otherwise they continue to work in their offensive sets. Against Roma, without Markosvhili, NGC played an amazing game with 5 players in double digit.

Honorable Mentions
David Hawkins (193-G-82, agency: Buck Andre, college: Temple), Montepaschi Siena, 22 points, 4 steals, 3 assists
Jesse Young (207-C-80, college: George Mason) Banca Tercas Teramo, 20 points, 7 rebounds
Dejan Ivanov (205-F/C-86) Sigma Coatings Montegranaro, 13 points (5/6 FG) 4 rebounds, 3 steals
Marques Green (170-G-82, college: St.Bonaventure) Scavolini Spar Pesaro, 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 5 assists
Andrea Michelori (202-F/C-78) Pepsi Caserta, 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals


Benetton returns PG Bobby Dixon - by Eurobasket News
Benetton announced addition of point guard Bobby Dixon (178-G-83, agency: Beo Basket, college: Troy). The 26-year old American was close to Lottomatica Roma recently, but at the end he joined Benetton for the second time in his career. Dixon was a member of Benetton last season (from October to February) and he averaged 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists for 17 games in Serie A. In EuroCup, Dixon had 7.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg and 3 apg for 9 appearances. In February last year Dixon joined Le Mans and later they celebrated in French National Cup. This season, Bobby Dixon started with ASVEL averaging 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists for 10 Euroleague games. In Pro A, he had 10.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 2.4 apg for 18 games. Dixon replaces Gary Neal (193-G-84, college: Towson), who, according with an official release from the team, has been suspended from active roster due to disciplinary reasons.

Standings - SerieA
SerieA Standings
 1. Montepaschi 22-1 
 2. Sigma Coat. 16-7 
 3. CS Bologna 15-8 
 4. Pepsi Caserta 15-8 
 5. Armani MI 14-9 
 6. NGC Cantu 14-9 
 7. Lottomatica 12-11 
 8. Air AV 12-11 
 9. Benetton TV 11-12 
 10. Cimberio VA 10-13 
 11. Banca Tercas 10-13 
 12. Angelico BI 9-14 
 13. Vanoli CR 8-15 
 14. Scavolini PS 8-15 
 15. Carife FE 8-15 
 16. NSB Napoli 0-23 


Stats Leaders - SerieA
Points Per Game
 Gary NEAL
  Benetton TV
  (193-G-84)
  Avg: 19.4
 1. Neal, Benetton TV19.4 
 2. Grundy, Carife FE17.9 
 3. Aradori, Angelico.16.9 
 4. Jackson, Carife FE16.7 
 5. Ere, Pepsi Caserta16.6 
 6. Lavrinovic, Montepas.15.6 
 7. Hicks, Scavolini PS15.1 
 8. Brown, Air AV15.0 
 9. Bell, Vanoli CR14.7 
 10. Jaaber, Lottomat.14.1 
Rebounds Per Game
 Greg BRUNNER
  Sigma Coat.
  (201-F-83)
  Avg: 10
 1. Brunner, Sigma C.10.0 
 2. Ford, Carife FE9.2 
 3. Wallace, Benetton.8.5 
 4. Troutman, Air AV8.3 
 5. Williams, Scavolin.7.8 
 6. Jones, Pepsi C.7.8 
 7. Pasco, Angelico BI7.2 
 8. Hall, Armani MI7.0 
 9. Ivanov, Sigma C.6.5 
 10. Szewczyk, Air AV6.1 
Assists Per Game
 Marques GREEN
  Scavolini PS
  (170-G-82)
  Avg: 5.2
 1. Green, Scavolini PS5.2 
 2. Brown, Air AV5.1 
 3. Smith, Angelico BI4.3 
 4. Poeta, Banca Tercas4.3 
 5. Finley, Armani MI4.1 
 6. McIntyre, Montepas.4.1 
 7. Childress, Cimberio.4.0 
 8. Becirovic, Armani M.3.9 
 9. Rowland, Vanoli CR3.6 
 10. Bowers, Pepsi C.3.0 
Steals Per Game
 Marques GREEN
  Scavolini PS
  (170-G-82)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Green, Scavolini PS3.3 
 2. Jaaber, Lottomat.3.1 
 3. Rowland, Vanoli CR2.9 
 4. Troutman, Air AV2.8 
 5. Hawkins, Montepas.2.5 
 6. Minard, Lottomat.2.4 
 7. Jones, Pepsi C.2.3 
 8. Grundy, Carife FE2.3 
 9. Ere, Pepsi Caserta2.3 
 10. Farabello, Carife F.2.3 
Blocks Per Game
 Sharrod FORD
  Carife FE
  (206-F-82)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Ford, Carife FE3.3 
 2. Eze, Montepaschi1.4 
 3. Crosariol, Lottomat.1.2 
 4. Szewczyk, Air AV1.0 
 5. Pasco, Angelico BI1.0 
 6. Traylor, NSB Napoli0.9 
 7. Nicevic, Benetton.0.9 
 8. Maggioli, CS Bo.0.9 
 9. Lavrinovic, Montepas.0.9 
 10. Gigli, Lottomatica0.8 


*****************************************************
  IVORY COAST   


Afrobasket 2011 will be the show of African Basketball - Mose - by Olusegun Ikuesan
As Cte dIvoire is named to host the Afrobasket Men 2011, President of the Ivorian Basketball Federation (FIBB), Kor Moise held a press conference Monday 22nd March 2010 at FIBA Africas Secretariat in Abidjan, Cte dIvoire.

Speaking during the press briefing, the boss of Ivorian basketball talked about the motivations and the goals aimed by Cte dIvoire by hosting the event in Abidjan.

FIBA Africa named Cte dIvoire as the host of the FIBA Africa Nations Championship for men 2011. It is the result of a path that begun in Madagascar where Cte dIvoire, Nigeria and Madagascar introduced their bidding files respectively. We introduced our file moreover in technical plan as in communication plan.

We are happy to announce that following its last meeting, the Executive Committee decided to appoint Cte dIvoire as the host of the Afrobasket 2011.

It is good news for us because we hosted the event 25 years ago in 1985, declared the President, Kor Mose who expressed his satisfaction to welcome all the best teams of the continent in Cte dIvoire as well as our brothers and friends from all of these countries.

The boss of FIBB assured that Cte dIvoire will make all to respect the deadlines imposed by FIBA Africas guidelines. He promised that the FIBA Africa Championship will be both a Ivorian Basketball show and Africa Basketball show.

According to him, it is important for the development of African Basketball that Africans aim to host such as competitions in good conditions. All of these will contribute to allow FIBA and all the basketball stakeholders to say that Africa comes out from the amateurism.

These challenges alongside the will for equipping Cte dIvoire with standard sports infrastructures which justify the reason of Moise to host the Afrobasket 2011.

Moise aimed to win the competition. Nobody goes to a competition without a goal to win. Thus Cte dIvoire goes into the competition as all other participating countries to try to win.

'If the reality of the playing courts shows us the contrary, we will take note of this but it does not mean that we are not ready. We will keep on working, but if we train well, there is no doubt that we can fight with equal arms against other African teams and try to win the Championship.

The president of Ivorian Basketball who declared that his goal for his term office is to raise the standard of the Ivorian Basketball to its initial level, he therefore called on other Africa basketball federations to emulate the model of Angola who rules the African Basketball due to the work and dedication put into the development of the game in their country.
FIBA Africa



*****************************************************
  JUCO   


Top 10 (DI)


Top 10 (DII)
JUCO DII Top 10 Ranking
1 Erie CC
2 Monroe CC
3 Mott CC
4 Guilford Tech CC
5 Henry Ford CC
6 S.Suburban JC
7 Louisburg JC
8 Cecil CC
9 Glen Oaks CC
10 Lewis & Clark JC



Top 10 (DIII)
JUCO DIII Top 10 Ranking
1 Bergen CC
2 Sullivan CC
3 Herkimer County
4 Roxbury CC
5 Minneapolis Tech
6 Davidson County
7 Joliet CC
8 Central Lakes CC
9 Allegheny CC
10 Eastfield Coll.



*****************************************************
  KENYA   


Nairobi, Mombasa won Inter cities tourney - by Olusegun Ikuesan
Nairobi women and Mombasa men's teams retained the 12th edition of the Sprite East and Central Africa Inter Cities titles in style as the nine team tournament comes to a close in the Kenyan coastal town over the weekend.

In the final matches played before packed hall, Nairobi proved too smart for Mombasa with a 59-40 points victory in the women's finals that was close only in the first half.

Hilda Indasi was named the MVP and she provided 16 points. Grace Wanjiru was named best defensive player.

In the men's category, Mombasa did well to beat Dar-Es-Salaam 52-41 points in a low scoring but hard fought game. Both teams battled it out in Arusha finals last year with Mombasa squeezing out a close 63-61 advantage.

The men's title belonged to the young Mombasa lads who posed all sorts of problems for the Tanzanian who hit the game opener on a three pointer by Francis Malewa but Dan Okwirri gave the coastal lads a 8-7 lead.

Zadock Osogo, was voted the finals Most Valuable Player had provided 12 points while the stylish Okwirri added 14. Dar's Mulewa got the best defensive player award and veteran center George Tarimo was named the events top scorer.

Mombasa Select beat Mwanza to end up in third position. Kelvin Ominde scored 19 points but it was Mwanza's Adam Jagame who led with 28 points

In other matches, Nairobi rolled over Dar es Salaam 69-42 pulling up the strings in the first half to win with consumate ease. The game saw four sisters share the courts with Janet and Angela Okoth for Nairobi while the Tanzanians girls, Sajda, a student in a Nairobi university playing against her sibling Amina who led the losers in scoring.

A last gasp three pointer at the buzzer by Francis Malewa saw Dar come from behind to stun Mombasa City 50-48 in a cracking game. It seemed the host would carry the day until a stunner by Malewa deflated the home fans. Dar topped the mens pool and while Mombasa were second.

Kampala City had to use every trick in the book before prevailing 53-52 against Mombasa Select girls. The losers Purity Adhiambo nailed tournament high 30 points; she was the events top scorer, while the winners had 14 points a piece from Mariam Hamalla, Annete Nakiwa and Sorigi Martha.
Dann Owere
FIBA Africa



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


Jomantas sidelined for another two-to-three weeks - by Simas Baranauskas
A return that maybe was too soon may have cost Arturas Jomantas (200-G/F-85) another couple of weeks out of rotation. The 24-year-old Lietuvos Rytas forward got injured in his side's win in a Lithuanian League (LKL) game over Juventus when he knocked into Paulius Morkeliunas (201-F-85, college: LIU Brooklyn).

As it is reported, the tendon sprain will leave Jomantas sidelined for yet another two-to-three weeks.

The player collected 6 points and dished out 3 assists in the seven minutes that he spent on court against Juventus.


LithuaniaBasketball.com



LKL Round: 30 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Alytus Alita - Zalgiris 62-103
Zalgiris overcame Alytus as Martynas Pocius (196-G-86, agency: Interperformances, college: Duke) scored 18 points. Aleksandar Capin added 14 points, while Dainius Salenga and Travis Watson had 13 points each for Zalgiris. Andrius Aleksandrovas answered with 24 points for Alytus in defeat.

Sakalai - Neptunas 96-54
Virginijus Sirvydis (196-G/F-73) tallied 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists to lead Sakalai past Neptunas. Tomas Pranciliauskas fired 19 points in the winning effort. Simas Galdikas answered with 11 points and 7 rebounds for Neptunas.

Perlas - Juventus 80-58
Perlas recorded the eleventh win in the season as they edged Juventus at home court. Eimantas Bendzius (203-F-90) scored 19 points and grabbed 6 boards to lead the Vilnius team. Evaldas Kairys added 17 points and 7 rebounds for the winners. Darius Pakamanis answered with 16 points and 6 boards for Juventus.

Rudupis - Lietuvos Rytas 77-100
Lietuvos Rytas prevailed against Rudupis on the road. Martynas Gecevicius (193-G-88) scored 23 points to lead the charge. Vidas Ginevicius added 17 points for the winning side. Rudupis responded with 20 points from Valdus Dabkus.



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


Scoring Leaders - DBBL
Points Per Game
 Marcus KENNEDY
  Residence
  (193-F-84)
  Avg: 29.7
 1. Kennedy, Residence29.7 
 2. Crawford, Soleuvre27.8 
 3. Largent, Racing27.7 
 4. Walters, Musel Pikes23.3 
 5. Muller, T7122.3 
 6. Schumacher, T7122.1 
 7. McDaniel, BBC N.21.9 
 8. Scott, Etzella21.1 
 9. Smith, Sparta21.1 
 10. Delgado, Etzella19.5 
Rebounds Per Game
 Brandon GARY
  Contern
  (202-F-83)
  Avg: 14.8
 1. Gary, Contern14.8 
 2. McDaniel, BBC N.14.0 
 3. Scott, Etzella12.1 
 4. Walters, Musel Pikes11.5 
 5. Kennedy, Residence11.3 
 6. DePree, Amicale10.2 
 7. Crawford, Soleuvre10.1 
 8. Grant, Sparta9.3 
 9. Stephens, T718.8 
 10. Smith, Sparta8.6 
Assists Per Game
 Christian SCHARTZ
  Amicale
  (185-G-86)
  Avg: 4
 1. Schartz, Amicale4.0 
 2. Schumacher, T713.9 
 3. DePree, Amicale3.4 
 4. Largent, Racing3.2 
 5. Rajniak, T712.8 
 6. Ruffato, T712.8 
 7. Schwartz, Musel P.2.7 
 8. Delgado, Etzella2.7 
 9. Schmit, Musel Pikes2.7 
 10. Mangen, Residence2.6 
Steals Per Game
 Travis DEPREE
  Amicale
  (199-F/C-83)
  Avg: 3.2
 1. DePree, Amicale3.2 
 2. Scott, Etzella2.7 
 3. Jones, Amicale2.5 
 4. Delgado, Etzella2.2 
 5. Schartz, Amicale2.1 
 6. Delgado, Etzella2.0 
 7. Stephens, T711.8 
 8. Schumacher, T711.7 
 9. Jeitz, Contern1.7 
 10. Gary, Contern1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Pit HOFFMANN
  Etzella
  (200-F/C-85)
  Avg: 0.9
 1. Hoffmann, Etzella0.9 
 2. Delgado, Etzella0.9 
 3. Jones, Amicale0.8 
 4. Scott, Etzella0.7 
 5. Largent, Racing0.6 
 6. Bintz, BBC Nitia0.6 
 7. Engel, Sparta0.6 
 8. Leschek, Residence0.5 
 9. Albaladejo, Etzella0.5 
 10. Kuhlmann, BBC N.0.5 


*****************************************************
  MONTENEGRO   


MNT1A Super League 1 Round : win for Buducnost,Lovcen and Mornar - by Dragan Scepanovic
Lovcen Teodo 100:85 (28:20, 27:16, 24:29, 21:20)
Cetinje. SRC Lovcen. Spect 300. Reff: Vojinovic, Janjusevic (Niksic), Lakicevic (Budva).
LOVCEN: Stojanovic 5, Lalic 2, Marko Kuveljic (197-G/F-88) 20, Marko Milosevic (202-F-84) 11 (2-2), Ivanovic 10, Pelkic 6, Boricic 9 (5-5), Kandic 7, Lopicic 9 (1-1),Nikola Pavlicevic (192-G-88) 5, Dubljevic 7 (4-3),Aleksa Popovic (201-G/F-87) 9 (2-1).
TEODO: Vukotic 15, Dabanovic 1 (2-1), Dzudovic, Vujacic 7 (2-2), Lazic, Stefan Djordjevic 26 (9-6), Jeknic, Vucic 14 (1-1), Subotic 16 (4-3), Bozovic, Osmajic 3 (3-1), Radonjic 3 (1-1).

Ulcinj - Buducnost 80:86 (21:15, 21:22, 20:24, 16:17, 2:8)
Ulcin j.School Center. Spect 700. Reff: Sutulovic (Podgorica), Lepetic (Herceg Novi), Kicovic (Bar).
ULCINj: Latkovic 11, Tomasevic, Tepavcevic 16, Jovanovic, R.Ivanovic, Martinic 15, DurkoviC 10, Rajovic A.Ivanovic, Micetic, Boris Lalovic (206-C-81) 25, Djukanovic.
BUDUCNOST: Sehovic 5, Arnautovic, Popovic 1, Ljubicic, Gordic 20, Filip Barovic (206-F-90) 2, Otasevic 15, Dragicevic 10, Simonovic 17, Maras 5, Vitkovac, Savovic 11.
Gorstak - Mornar Bar 70:79 (18:21, 20:24, 18:16, 14:18)



MNT1A Play Out 1 Round : win for Danilovgrad,ABS and Sutjeska - by Dragan Scepanovic
Sutjeska - Primorje 81:74 (19:17, 15:16, 18:26, 29:15).
Niksic .City Sport center. Spect 150. Reff: Sundic (Podgorica) Raicevic and Kajevic (Bijelo Polje).
SUTJESKA: Miranovicc Pavlovic 14 (6-4), Kovac, Andrija Pejovic (205-C-83) 9 (12-5), Lazar Calasan (188-G/F-90), Gogic, Erakovic, Ademovic 17 (2-2),Zarko Krivokapic (184-G-91) 23 (11-7),Miljan Vukotic (203-F/C-77) 18 (2-1), Tomic, Vlahovic.
PRIMORJE: S.Arapovic 3, Petar Jovanovic (192-G-80) 25 (8-8), Krivokapic, Jakov Samardzic (188-G-90), Milos Kuveljic (196-G/F-91), D.Arapovic, Marko Calic (197-F-86) 7 (4-3), Bacovic 16 (1-0), B.Jovanovic 5 (3-1), Oldrih, Kovacevic 7, Igor Lutersek (203-C-89) 11.

JEDINSTVO - DANILOVGRAD 64:70 (9:19, 23:14, 13:18, 19:19)
ABS PRIMORJE - MOGREN 86:73 (17:17, 13:16, 25:22, 31:18)



*****************************************************
  NABL   


Tualatin announces first player signed - by Gianni Pascucci
The NABL Tualatin Rainmakers made the first announcement in team history as they bring on Jordan Whittenburg (6'3''-G-85, college: NW Christian), the shooting sensation from Walnut Creek California. Oregon Duck fans will remember him as he put in 20 points against them while playing for small school NAIA Northwest Christian College a few years back. Jordan Whittenburg scored a team-high 20 points against University of Oregon Ducks and his career average against NCAA Division One opponents is 16 ppg, along with 5.5 rpg. His professional career has had him play for the ABA's Oakland Showtime. For Oakland he averaged 15 ppg, 4 assists per game, and shot 49% from three with a season high 21 points against Chico Force. 'Basketball has been a huge part of my life since I was twelve years old, so I'm very excited and thankful for the opportunity to play at this level. I'm looking forward to helping the Rainmakers live up to their name.'

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


D2 Top 10 ranking
NAIA D2 Top 10 Ranking
1 Walsh (OH)
2 Oregon Tech
3 Ind.Wesleyan
4 Okla.Wesleyan
5 Indiana SE
6 Bellevue
7 Dakota Wesleyan
8 Embry Riddle
9 Cardinal Stritch
10 Bethel (IN)



D1 Top 10 ranking


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


Yao Ming may enter 2010 free agent circus - by Eurobasket News
LeBron James. Dwyane Wade. Chris Bosh. Ming Yao (7'5''-C-80)?

Maybe. Just our luck, we could have one major free agent to follow this summer.

Yao can opt out of his $17.7 million deal after the season, even though he has not set foot on a court this year due to foot problems. He told the Houston Chronicle he might opt out, but he has given it no thought. Whatsoever.

Yao, 29, said he has not considered his options, but was noncommittal about whether he might opt out of his contract.

'I'm sure I'm not sure until after we discuss (it),' Yao said. 'We have not started (to) discuss it yet, so I'm not sure, either way. I have to talk to my agent first before we start to decide where I need to go. If you ask my agent, he will say, 'I have to ask Yao and we will start discussing it.''

Yao's agent, John Huizinga, had no comment.

Once again, this is what the Collective Bargaining Agreement talks have brought us.

A healthy Yao is a max player -- he's 7'6', strong, has shooting touch out to 15 feet, can block shots and intimidate on defense. He dominates Dwight Howard when they face off. And he can get the second-best player on your team voted into the All-Star game by his legions of fans in China.

If he opts out now, Yao can get what will likely be a larger and longer max contract from somebody. If he waits until next summer, who knows what the max deal will be under the new CBA? If the owners get their way the max salary may be a $100 Target gift card.

Yao is an injury risk -- he has played 57 games or fewer four of the last five years and is coming off major surgery that has kept him off the court an entire season. In today's risk-averse NBA nobody is offering him a deal unless he can prove he is all the way back. But it's got to be tempting, because when healthy he is one of a handful of players genuinely deserving of a max deal. And when GMs start missing out on the Big Three there will be pressure to do something.


Courtesy of www.nbcsports.com


Sacramento Kings waived Joey Dorsey, Milicic to stay with T-Wolves instead of going back to Europe? - by Eurobasket News
The Sacramento Kings today waived forward Joey Dorsey (6'9''-F-83, college: Memphis). Dorsey was acquired from the Houston Rockets as part of a three-team trade on February 18, 2010, and averaged 1.5 ppg (.444 FGs, .400 FTs) and 2.3 rpg in eight contests off the bench with Sacramento. The 24-50 Kings are currently 13th in the Western conference standings. The Kings roster now stands at 13 players.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves' low-key sales pitch to Darko Milicic (7'0''-C-85) might be working.

The Serbian center said Sunday he is willing to play for the Wolves next season, rather than return to Europe, if the team promises him a starter's role and a consistent 30 to 35 minutes of playing time.

'Yeah, I'd come back. That's what I'm looking for,' the 7-footer said only a month after being rescued from exile on the Knicks' bench. 'Minnesota came up and they kind of trust me. They gave me a chance, and I like it.'

It's the first time that Milicic, who had to be talked into even reporting to Minnesota after the Feb. 18 trade for Brian Cardinal, has softened his stated intention to sign with a European team this summer. And it's the first sign that the Wolves' nothing-to-lose strategy of trading for the unused former No. 2 draft pick, giving him ample playing time and letting him warm up to the franchise might pay off.

'I think he likes doing all the things he's doing out there,' Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said. 'I just wanted him to be in an environment where he sees the potential of how he can fit in to how I envision our team playing.'

The Timberwolves are only 14-56 heading into Monday night's home game against the Raptors, but they are a noticeably better defensive team with Milicic in the lineup -- which is why Rambis has force-fed his only true center almost 23 minutes per game even though he is out of shape. Milicic had hoped to have a breakout season in New York, but played only two games before being benched for three months.

That's why the Serbian had already made public -- and reiterated once he arrived in Minnesota -- his plan to seek a new team in Europe once his NBA contract runs out in July. Now?

'I want to talk to these guys, for sure,' Milicic said. 'It's not about money, it's about seeing how they see me on this team next year. I don't want to guess, am I going to be a starter? I don't want to guess nothing.'

Would the Wolves give him such a commitment?

Too early to say, team President David Kahn said from Milwaukee, where he and Rambis scouted NCAA tournament games Sunday. 'We don't have a policy, one way or the other. I'm just pleased to hear he's enjoying it here.'

Milicic said he always wanted to see how good a player he could become in the NBA, but being drafted as an 18-year-old by Detroit with the second pick in 2003 -- ahead of Carmelo Antony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade -- effectively wrecked his career. Though he was only an 18-year-old European playing 5,000 miles from home, he was quickly labeled a bust. He played only sparingly, never developed, and except for a season in Orlando and a season in Memphis, was never happy.

But his desire to play in the NBA is still alive, said Milicic, who scored 16 points with 12 rebounds, both season highs, against the Lakers on Friday.

'I just want to play next year. I'm not trying to show people I deserve to be second pick. I just want to be the best I can be,' he said. 'This is the best league in the world. I want to get a real chance.'

That will only come in Minnesota, he said; it's either the Wolves or Europe. And he wants to be assured that the team, only 1-13 since he arrived, is headed in the right direction. 'I'm looking for minutes, playing time, my position on the team. How the team will play next year,' he said. 'It's important to be happy. This waiting to go home, it's not happy.'


Courtesy of www.startribune.com


Kings' McGuire done for season with foot injury - by Eurobasket News
The Sacramento Kings say swingman Dominic McGuire (6'8''-F/G-85, agency: Priority Sports, college: Fresno St.) will miss the rest of the season with an injured right foot.

The team says tests conducted Monday in Indianapolis confirmed that McGuire has a torn right plantar fascia. He hurt himself in the first quarter of Sunday's 97-90 loss in Cleveland.

McGuire played in 10 games this season for the Kings after being acquired from Washington on Feb. 18. He scored eight points and grabbed 18 rebounds in that time.

The Kings also waived forward Joey Dorsey. Dorsey had played eight games since being acquired last month from Houston.


Courtesy of www.sportsillustrated.cnn.com


Knicks Eddy Curry out for remainder of season - by Eurobasket News
Eddy Curry (6'11''-C/F-82) saw a few teammates stifle their laughter as he explained his latest injury and couldnt help but chuckle, too.

'I swear,' he insisted, 'Im not making this up.'

But it does seem comical at this point, where Currys season is officially over because of a torn myofascial band in his right calf. An MRI taken last week revealed the cause of the pain that became the most recent of a litany of physical setbacks that have limited the once-promising 7-foot center to just 10 games and a total of 73 minutes over the past two seasons. After Monday nights game against the Jazz, there are nine games left in this season for the Knicks, who were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday.

'It was freak, man,' Curry said of the injury, which he started to feel just days before he was expected to be back in the lineup March 10 against the Spurs. 'Stuff that happens to me, I dont really understand.'

That stuff includes a separate obscure injury to the left calf torn plantaris muscle which happened on the first day of training camp. Then there was the surgery on his left knee on Jan. 18, which came a month after the last game he appeared in this season. Curry sulked after Mike DAntoni removed him from the rotation after a Dec. 17 loss in Chicago, where Currys presence for the second straight game disrupted the teams offensive flow.

To be fair to Curry, DAntoni and the Knicks didnt put enough time into finding a way to use his low post skills, but at the time the desperate Knicks were climbing back from a 1-9 hole to start the season, and there was no time for experimenting on the fly. Despite the obvious issues on the court (not to mention that Curry wasnt in condition to play effective minutes), Curry felt DAntoni gave up on him too quickly and sulked. That led to a prevailing belief from within the organization, as well as from observers outside the team, that Curry had lost all interest in playing for DAntoni and the Knicks.

Donnie Walsh even made the trip to San Antonio to see Curry play only to find out before the game that he wouldnt be in the lineup. At this point, he might never. At least not in a Knicks uniform. Curry said he will exercise the $11.2 million exception in his contract for next season, so the Knicks could try to use him as an expiring contract in a trade. Another possible avenue is for the sides to negotiate a buyout, but that number would still remain against the teams salary cap in 2010-11. Currys motivation to accept a buyout would be to go to another team that plays a more traditional half-court system that fits his skill set. One possibility could be that Curry is reunited with Larry Brown who loves bigs who can score in the post with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Curry, however, said he doesnt think his Knicks career could be over.

'No, not at all,' he said. 'I still have got to work hard this summer and prove myself next year.'


Courtesy of www.bostonherald.com


Monday's games (5) review - by Eurobasket News
Toronto R. - Charlotte B. 103-101
Chris Bosh (6'11''-F-84, college: Georgia Tech) had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu (6'9''-F-79) hit the go-ahead 3-pointer a day after getting benched, and the Raptors beat the Bobcats 103-101 on Monday night in a matchup of two of the five clubs jockeying for the final four playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Andrea Bargnani helped with 16 points and 9 boards, while Antoine Wright added 15 pts in this win. The Bobcats got 18 points, 5 rebs and 7 assists from Raymond Felton.

San Antonio S. - New Jersey N. 84-90
Brook Lopez (7'0''-F/C-88, college: Stanford) had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who grabbed control with a 15-4 run late in the fourth quarter to improve to 10-64. The 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who went 9-73, will remain in the books as the league's worst team. Devin Harris (6'3''-G-83, college: Wisconsin) scored 17 pts and handed out 9 assists in this game. George Hill collected 19 points in defeat.

LA Lakers - N.Orleans H. 100-108
Chris Paul (6'0''-G-85, college: Wake Forest) registered his first double-double since rejoining his team with 15 points and 13 assists, and New Orleans led most of the way in a surprising 108-100 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. Marcus Thornton nailed 18 pts. In the loosing squad, Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80) had monster double-double of 26 points and 22 rebounds.

Denver N. - Dallas M. 93-109
Dirk Nowitzki (6'11''-F-78) had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double, and the Mavericks maintained the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a 109-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. Shawn Marion (6'7''-F-78, college: UNLV) delivered 21 points yesterday. J.R. Smith replied with 27 points in defeat.

New York K. - Utah Jazz 98-103
Carlos Boozer (6'10''-F/C-80, college: Duke) scored 26 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Deron Williams (6'3''-G-84, college: Illinois) added 23 points and 14 assists and Paul Millsap finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. For the Knicks, Al Harrington collected 26 points and 17 rebs.


Spurs to sign Alonzo Gee for the season - by Eurobasket News
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Alonzo Gee (6'6''-G-87, agency: Buck Andre, college: Alabama) from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The 6-6, 220 lbs. Gee had previously been playing with the Washington Wizards where he signed his first of two 10-day contracts on 3/7. In 11 games -including two starts- with Washington he averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes. He scored a career-high 19 points in his first career start on 3/26 at Charlotte. Prior to joining the Wizards, Gee had appeared in 36 games for the Austin Toros where he averaged 21.0 points and 6.6 rebounds in 38.2 minutes. Gee has recorded four double-doubles for the Toros this season and notched a season-high 34 points vs. Sioux Falls on 1/6.

In his four years at Alabama, Gee averaged 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 128 career games. Gee started 96 consecutive games with the Crimson Tide and finished his collegiate career 11th in school history in scoring (1,630) and 18th in rebounds (730). An All-SEC selection in both his junior and senior seasons, he is only the 11th player in Alabama history to score at least 1,500 points and grab 700 rebounds.


Gee will wear #23.

Courtesy of www.insidehoops.com


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


Top 25 - Men
NCAA D1 Top 25 Ranking
1 Kansas
2 Kentucky
3 Duke
4 Syracuse
5 Ohio St.
6 W.Virginia
7 Kansas St.
8 N.Mexico
9 Villanova
10 Purdue
11 Butler
12 Temple
13 Michigan St.
14 Georgetown
15 Tennessee
16 Wisconsin
17 BYU
18 Pittsburgh
19 Baylor
20 Maryland
21 Vanderbilt
22 Gonzaga
23 Texas A&M
24 Richmond
25 Xavier



UCF hires Marshall's Donnie Jones as coach - by Eurobasket News
Donnie Jones is heading back to Florida.

Central Florida, that is.

UCF hired the former Marshall coach and Florida assistant Monday, charged with leading a stagnant program back to the NCAA tournament and beyond. The school planned to officially introduce him as coach at a news conference Tuesday.

'Donnie Jones is an excellent coach, a phenomenal recruiter and a great person,' UCF athletic director Keith Tribble said in a statement. 'We are thrilled to welcome Donnie and his family to Orlando and the UCF Athletics community. Donnie has a vision for this program that includes attracting top-notch student-athletes and competing for championships. He is the right coach to lead UCF men's basketball to the next level.'

Jones went 55-41 in three seasons at Marshall, including a 24-10 mark this season. The Thundering Herd played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament this postseason.

'I want to thank Coach Jones for his service and we appreciate what he has accomplished in his time here at Marshall,' Thundering Herd athletic director Mike Hamrick said in a statement. Hamrick said the search for Jones' replacement would begin immediately.

Jones was an assistant coach at Marshall before following Billy Donovan to Florida in 1996. He returned to Marshall as head coach in 2007 after the Gators won back-to-back national titles.

He replaces Kirk Speraw, who was fired after 17 years at UCF. The Knights are coming off a disappointing 15-17 season and haven't made the NCAA tournament since 2005.


Courtesy of www.greenwichtime.com


Duke outlasts Baylor for 1st Final Four since 04 - by Eurobasket News
Mike Krzyzewski insisted all along the drought didn't bother him.

Sure, he hadn't been to a Final Four since 2004. But there was no need to put extra pressure on this Duke team just because the last five fell short.

Hey, Coach K, look whos chasing another national championship.

Duke restored some order to a topsy-turvy NCAA tournament on Sunday, getting a career-high 29 points from Nolan Smith (6'2''-G-88) in a 78-71 victory over Baylor that put Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils back in college basketballs biggest event.

Its not about the moments that Ive been in, its the moments that your players put you in right now, Krzyzewski said. Im really happy for this group. ... Its as close a team as Ive had. You want great things to happen for people who are great with us.

Jon Scheyer (6'5''-G-87) added five 3-pointers and scored 20 for Duke, ending Baylors run to redemption in the South Regional final. The Blue Devils became the only No. 1 seed to advance to Indianapolis and earned their 11th Final Four berth under Krzyzewski.

I dont know if its a relief, but its nice that no one can say anymore that we havent been to a Final Four in so many years, Kyle Singler (6'8''-F-88) said.

Now, Singler and his teammates get the chance at a championship that every player who goes through the program expects to have.

I dont know that its fully hit me, said Scheyer, one of the three Duke seniors. Im sure after the year Ill have a better appreciation. But right now, Im just ecstatic.

Smith hit the tiebreaking 3 with 3:33 remaining immediately after missing a free throw. Senior forward Lance Thomas (6'8''-F-88) grabbed the rebound one of Dukes 17 offensive boards after halftime.

I cant put it into words, Thomas said. It took us four years to get here and were not done yet.

The Blue Devils will play East Regional champion West Virginia in the national semifinals Saturday night. They have won 11 of their last 12 regional finals under Krzyzewski, but havent won a national title since 2001.

Coach K made his first Final Four with Duke in 1986 and hadnt had a gap this long between trips.

To end the drought, Duke had to win at Reliant Stadium only 3 hours from Baylors campus. Most of the crowd of 47,492 was dressed in the green and gold of the Bears.

We played against a great team, Krzyzewski said. It was such a well-played game, and we were fortunate to win.

Smith and Scheyer helped the Blue Devils (33-5) offset a poor game from Singler, who was 0 for 10 from the field and made only five free throws. It was the first time in his college career the junior forward failed to hit a field goal.

LaceDarius Dunn had 22 points and Ekpe Udoh scored 18 for the third-seeded Bears (28-8), whose program was in shambles when coach Scott Drew took over in the wake of murder and scandal less than seven years ago.

Drew took the Bears from tatters to the cusp of their first Final Four appearance in 60 years. After three consecutive 20-win seasons and an inspiring postseason run, maybe Baylor can be recognized more for its success now than the tragic summer of 2003 that is finally starting to feel like a long time ago.

I really hope so and I really feel it has, Drew said, his voice quivering. I do really want to thank all the fans in the state of Texas.

After tying the game for the 12th time on a free throw with 3:36 left, Smith missed his second attempt. But Thomas grabbed one of his nine rebounds and quickly passed the ball right back to Smith, who hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to put Duke up 64-61.

Scheyer then extended the lead to six with his fifth 3-pointer.

Those two 3s in a row, by Nolan and then Jon, those were big-time plays, Krzyzewski said. The big guys kicked it out and those are the best 3s to take.

And the long-range shots were the best for Duke against Baylors tenacious zone defense featuring a combination of a 7-footer and a pair of 6-10 players.

The Blue Devils made 11 of 23 3-pointers (48 percent) and shot only 11 of 38 from inside the arc.

But they didnt need a miracle shot on the 18th anniversary of Christian Laettners game-winner against Kentucky in the 1992 tournament.

With Baylor desperately trying to get the ball back after a turnover by Tweety Carter, there was a scuffle by the sideline following a whistle and Quincy Acy was called for a technical foul. Scheyer hit both free throws, pushing the lead to 10 with 1:19 left.

The fairy-tale ending wasnt meant to be for the Bears at least this year.

Its not over for this program. It was a great season, said Dunn, the junior guard who had obviously shed tears before the postgame interview. Teammates should hold their head up high and be proud of the things we accomplished this year.

Carter and Acy had 12 points each for Baylor. Udoh had 10 rebounds, six assists and five blocks.

Drew was 32 when he was hired and had been a head coach only one season, winning 20 games at Valparaiso after nine years there as his fathers assistant. He had to rebuild in the powerful Big 12 with reduced scholarships and a roster decimated by the transfers of the top three scorers after that tragic summer in 2003 when Patrick Dennehy was shot to death by a teammate.

Baylor made it to the NCAA tournament two years ago, when it lost in the first round to Purdue, and to the NIT championship game last April.

The Bears were picked 10th in the preseason poll by the Big 12 coaches at the beginning of this season after losing three 1,000-point scorers to graduation. But they were the last Big 12 team still playing.

After Dunn darted through traffic for a layup and then made two free throws, the Bears were up 57-54 with just under 6 minutes left. Their lead didnt last long.

Scheyer missed a 3-pointer, but Mason Plumlee got the rebound and threw the ball right back to the senior guard who hit from about 25 feet to tie it.


Courtesy of http://nbcsports.msnbc.com


Michigan State advances to Final Four with 70-69 win over Tennessee - by Eurobasket News
In order to return to the national semifinals, Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo duct-taped his defense, rotated 11 players onto the court and overcame rocky relationships with point guard Korie Lucious (5'11''-G-89) and shooting guard Durrell Summers (6'4''-G-89). Izzo called the loss of point guard Kalin Lucas (6'0''-G-89) to a ruptured Achilles tendon last weekend traumatizing, but he kept it all together to exceed expectations again.

Those tensions turned to tears Sunday afternoon in the Edward Jones Dome as Izzo, the self-described tough guy from Iron Mountain, Mich., took his sixth team to the Final Four in 15 seasons as head coach.

Raymar Morgan (6'8''-F-88) connected on a free throw in the final seconds to help the fifth-seeded Spartans seal a 70-69 win over sixth-seeded Tennessee. Michigan State will play Butler, another No. 5 seed, on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Spartans lost to North Carolina in last years title game.

This is the best part that comes with the job, Izzo said.

Lucious, a sophomore, hit the winning shot at the buzzer last week against Maryland in the game in which Lucas was injured, but there were times Sunday when he looked overwhelmed. As electric as he was in the open floor, stripping a penetrating Volunteer on one end and finishing at the other with a layup, he was equally lackadaisical on entry passes in the halfcourt. Tennessee guard Melvin Goins seemed to smell blood when Lucious dribbled upcourt, believing he had gained a toehold in Lucious head.

Korie was getting dogged all day out there, Izzo said. He stayed with it.

Lucious, who finished with 8 points, eventually shook off Goins and doubts in his own ability in the second half. Wide open with 12 minutes 16 seconds left, Lucious hit a 3-pointer during a 7-0 run that gave the Spartans a 59-51 lead. But he missed the front end of a one-and-one in the last minute with Michigan State leading, 69-68, leaving open the door for the Volunteers. But Tennessee missed 1 of 2 free throws with 12 seconds left, allowing the Spartans to win on a free throw of their own.

We never felt the game was over, said the sophomore reserve Draymond Green, who scored 13 points and played a crucial role in the lane with two blocked shots.

Afterward, Spartans fans chanted Kalin Lucas! in acknowledgment of the guard who had brought them most of the way. Teammates lifted Lucas on their shoulders and allowed him to snip the final strand when the net was cut down.

So many thoughts were coming then, Lucas said.

Michigan State was a team on the mend. The sophomore forward Delvon Roe (3 points), who listed himself at 40 percent healthy, continued to play with a torn meniscus in his right knee. The junior guard Chris Allen (6'3''-G-88) (8 points) endured the discomfort of an arch injury. Each said he would do anything for Izzo and the team to win.

Summers can be as unpredictable as the weather, but he was hot against Tennessee. Shooting 8 of 10 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, he scored 21 points and was named the regionals most outstanding player.

We didnt forget who we are this whole time, Summers said.

Tennessee started even hotter from behind the arc. The Volunteers made their first six shots, four of which were 3-pointers. The swingman Scotty Hopson (6'7''-G-89) (10 points) hit one, center Wayne Chism (6'9''-F-87) (13 points) connected on two and then J. P. Prince (12 points) slipped behind the defense for an alley-oop. But the fast start only got Tennessee a 16-14 lead, and its momentum tapered off as the Volunteers failed to convert easy opportunities.

We just werent finishing, Prince said.

Princes left arm, covered from wrist to biceps with orange padding, was the most active limb in the regional. On Friday night, he blocked Ohio State point guard Evan Turners last-second shot to seal the Volunteers victory. He did not let down against Michigan State, extending his arm in a salute to acknowledge the Tennessee fans and celebrate two first-half alley-oop dunks. He made an open-floor dunk to give Tennessee a 45-40 lead early in the second half to lift the crowd.

There was a lot of rough playing and bodies falling out there, Prince said.

It was a foul called on Prince that put Morgan on the free-throw line with 1.8 seconds left. Morgan hit one free throw for the final lead.

Prince was given the opportunity to hit a final shot, but his halfcourt heave at the buzzer did not go in, and Michigan State is marching back to the Final Four.

As Roe made his way off the court, he started yelling toward the former Spartans star Magic Johnson, who was celebrating with players and coaches.

I want what you got, Roe said, referring to the national championship that Johnson won in 1979.

Keep fighting, Johnson told him. Together you can win it.


Courtesy of www.nytimes.com


Virginia Commonwealth wins CBI championship opener - by Eurobasket News
Joey Rodriguez (5'10''-G-88) scored 14 straight points during a decisive second-half surge to lead Virginia Commonwealth past Saint Louis 68-56 on Monday night in the first game of the championship series of the College Basketball Invitational.

'Joey can get it going,' said Ram coach Shaka Smart. 'The thing that makes him dangerous _ he led the CAA in assists. He's a rhythm shooter and came off ball screens into the lane.'

Saint Louis rallied to cut the deficit to 3 points with 14:30 left, but Rodriguez took over during a 14-4 run that gave the Rams a 55-42 lead with 11:55 to go. Rodriguez hit three 3-pointers during the burst, including one that turned into a four-point play.

'They got the game to three (points),' said Rodriguez, 'and I tried to make plays for my team.'

Rodriguez finished with a game-high 22 points and six assists, and Larry Sanders (6'11''-F-88) added 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for the Rams (26-9), who led by as many as 20.

'We didn't match their intensity level,' Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus said. 'We got stretched out (on defense). We're not used to rotational changing.'

Willie Reed (6'9''-F) scored 11 points, and Kwamain Mitchell (5'10''-G) and Cody Ellis added 10 apiece for the Billikins (23-12).

The teams will play Game 2 of the best-of-three series in St. Louis on Wednesday.

Sanders and Brandon Rozzell each had four points during a 13-4 run over the final 4:02 of the first half to give the Rams a 36-25 lead at halftime.

'The coaches told me to go out and be aggressive,' said Sanders. 'I think (my play) has a huge effect on the game and my teammates. I've never finished the season with a win.'

Smart was happy with his team's play.

'Most of the game, we were able to get the tempo at our pace,' he said. 'We got our hands on a lot of basketballs tonight.'

Sanders scored 14 points in the first half.

'Larry was really good tonight,' Smart said. 'He set the tone for the game.'

The Billikins were ahead 13-12 with 7:55 left in the half before the Rams hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions for a 21-15 lead.


Courtesy of www.wtop.com


Kansas' Cole Aldrich leaving early for NBA - by Eurobasket News
Cole Aldrich (6'11''-C-88), fighting back tears, said Monday he'll skip his senior year at Kansas and head for the NBA.

The 6-11 center, who averaged almost a double-double for the Big 12 champions, is projected by most experts as a high first-round pick.

'The last three years have been pretty special,' he said.

Blessed with a wingspan greater than most men his height, Aldrich averaged 11.3 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who were the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before they were upset by Northern Iowa. He also set a team record with 125 blocks.

The Jayhawks are still waiting for a decision by freshman swing man Xavier Henry, their second-leading scorer.

It would have been a surprise if Aldrich had elected to remain in school. His father, Walter Aldrich, is a construction worker who's been put out of a job by the recession.

'We've known this was going to happen since last year,' said coach Bill Self. 'To be real candid with everybody, and I think Cole would agree with this, I would strongly discourage him from coming back.

'I think he paid his dues here and I do think it is time for him to move forward into another chapter. He has made a lot of sacrifices - his family has - to come back in a time when he didn't have to. We're all very proud of him.'

Aldrich, a native of the Minneapolis area, said he planned to hire an agent soon.

'First of all, I want to thank everybody just for the opportunity I've had here,' said Aldrich. 'It's been a fun one.'

Aldrich referred to his paternal grandmother, who died during this past season after a long illness.

'I don't want to get choked up or anything, but the last three years have been pretty special. It's been a lot of highs, a few lows with my grandma...'

He paused and looked down.

'It's been a special time for me and my family. I've talked with them extensively. We went through somewhat of the same process last year in figuring out what I wanted to do. I think my time has come in my life to change the chapter and go from one great chapter to hopefully start another great chapter in life.'

Aldrich and senior guard Sherron Collins, who are close friends, made a joint decision last spring to return this season and pursue an NCAA championship. But that was thwarted when Northern Iowa upset them in just the second round.

He was a reserve on the 2008 national championship team.

'We were all upset that it had to end so short,' he said. 'Being a part of a team that went and played all six games and then playing three games last year, we had high goals. But those goals are going to be there again. And I hope the team next year is going to be there again. I'm really going to support those guys.'

Aldrich, an academic All-American, was named to The Associated Press third-team All-America squad on Monday.

'He's represented himself and this school in a way that has been nothing but first class,' said Self. 'He's going to go ahead and finish up school and get his degree. He promised us that.'

Self said Aldrich's projected draft position was 'almost irrlevant right now with Cole.'

'I think we all know that he's going to go pretty high,' Self said. 'Whether he goes five or 14, I don't really know. I think so much of it, and Cole will agree with this, will be dependent on what other bigs are in the draft and when certain teams draft in need of a big.'


Courtesy of www.ktvz.com


AP NCAA All-America Teams 2009-10 - by Eurobasket
#s#
Evan Turner
Turner
John Wall
Wall
Wesley Johnson
Johnson
Scottie Reynolds
Reynolds
Demarcus Cousins
Cousins
#e#6
1st Team
Evan Turner (6'7''-G/F-88) of Ohio State
John Wall (6'4''-G-90) of Kentucky
Wesley Johnson (6'7''-F-87) of Syracuse
Scottie Reynolds (6'2''-G-87) of Villanova
Demarcus Cousins (6'11''-F-90) of Kentucky


2nd Team
James Anderson (6'6''-G-89) of Oklahoma State
Sherron Collins (5'11''-G-87) of Kansas
Greivis Vasquez (6'6''-G-87) of Maryland
Jon Scheyer (6'5''-G-87) of Duke
Da'Sean Butler (6'7''-F-88) of West Virginia


3rd Team
Greg Monroe (6'11''-C-90) of Georgetown
Cole Aldrich (6'11''-C-88) of Kansas
Damion James (6'7''-G/F-87) of Texas
Luke Harangody (6'8''-F-88) of Notre Dame
Darington Hobson (6'7''-G/F-87) of New Mexico


Honorable Mention
Al-Farouq Aminu (6'9''-F-90) of Wake Forest
Kevin Anderson (6'0''-G-88) of Richmond
Luke Babbitt (6'9''-F-89) of Nevada
Keith Benson (6'11''-C-88) of Oakland
Matt Bouldin (6'5''-G-88) of Gonzaga
Randy Culpepper (6'0''-G-89) of UTEP
Noah Dahlman (6'6''-F-89) of Wofford
Malcolm Delaney (6'3''-G-89) of Virginia Tech
Devan Downey (5'9''-G-87) of South Carolina
Muhammad El-Amin (6'5''-G) of Stony Brook
Kenneth Faried (6'8''-F/C-89) of Morehead State
Alex Franklin (6'5''-F-88) of Siena
Jimmer Fredette (6'2''-G) of BYU
Marquez Haynes (6'3''-G-86) of Texas-Arlington
Gordon Hayward (6'9''-G/F-90) of Butler
Lazar Hayward (6'6''-F-86) of Marquette
Adnan Hodzic (6'9''-C-88) of Lipscomb
Reggie Holmes (6'4''-G) of Morgan State
Robbie Hummel (6'8''-F-89) of Purdue
Charles Jenkins (6'3''-G-89) of Hofstra
Garrison Johnson (6'5''-G-88) of Jackson State
Orlando Johnson (6'5''-G-89) of UC Santa Barbara
Tyren Johnson (6'8''-F-88) of Louisiana-Lafayette
Dominique Jones (6'4''-G-88) of South Florida
Adam Koch (6'8''-F-88) of Northern Iowa
David Kool (6'3''-G-87) of Western Michigan
Damian Lillard (6'2''-G-90) of Weber State
Kalin Lucas (6'0''-G-89) of Michigan State
C.J. McCollum (6'3''-G) of Lehigh
E'Twaun Moore (6'4''-G-89) of Purdue
Artsiom Parakhouski (6'11''-C-87) of Radford
Patrick Patterson (6'9''-F-89) of Kentucky
Quincy Pondexter (6'6''-F-88) of Washington
Jacob Pullen (6'0''-G-89) of Kansas State
Jerome Randle (5'10''-G-87) of California
Andy Rautins (6'4''-G-86) of Syracuse
Justin Rutty (6'7''-F) of Quinnipiac
Omar Samhan (6'11''-C-88) of Saint Mary's
Kyle Singler (6'8''-F-88) of Duke
Ekpe Udoh (6'10''-F/C-87) of Baylor
Jarvis Varnado (6'9''-F-88) of Mississippi State
Hassan Whiteside (7'0''-F-89) of Marshall
Ryan Wittman (6'6''-F) of Cornell



Louisiana-Lafayette hires Marlin as new coach - by Eurobasket News
Louisiana-Lafayette has hired former Sam Houston State coach Bob Marlin as the new head coach of the Ragin' Cajuns.

Louisiana-Lafayette officials say Marlin has agreed to a 5-year contract.

Marlin has been head coach at Sam Houston State since 1998 and this past season led the Bearkats to a Southland Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Sam Houston State lost in the first round to Baylor.

Marlin was 225-131 in 12 seasons with the Bearkats.

At Louisiana-Lafayette, Marlin replaces Robert Lee, whose contract was not renewed after the Ragin Cajuns went 13-16 this season, losing to Louisiana-Monroe in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.


Courtesy of www.kwes.com


LSU suspends Spencer for academic reasons - by Eurobasket News
LSU coach Trent Johnson suspended starting guard Bo Spencer (6'2''-G-89) on Monday, citing his failure to fulfill academic responsibilities.

'He is suspended from all basketball activity with the team,' Johnson said. 'It's all about his academic responsibility. It's pretty cut and dry. He just has to get it done.'

Spencer, who'll be a senior next season, averaged 14.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 32 minutes per game.

He was an 84 percent free throw shooter this past season and led the Tigers in made 3-pointers with 61.

Johnson declined to go into detail about what Spencer's violation was or what he'll have to do in order to gain reinstatement to the team next season.

'I don't want to elaborate on that because academics are what they are,' Johnson said. 'He hasn't met his academic responsibilities, plain and simple.'


Courtesy of www.nola.com


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  NCAA2   


NCAA D2 National Top 25 Ranking
NCAA D2 Top 25 Ranking
1 Arkansas Tech
2 Indiana (PA)
3 Midwestern St.
4 Augusta St..
5 Ky Wesleyan
6 Valdosta St.
7 N.Central Mo.CC.
8 Minnesota St.
9 S.Indiana.
10 W.Liberty St.
11 Rollins
12 W.Virginia St.
13 Florida Southern
14 Ft.Hays State
15 W.Washington
16 St.Cloud St..
17 Georgia Coll.
18 Seattle Pacific
19 Bellarmine
20 Stonehill
21 Metro St.
22 Clark Atlanta
23 St.Augustine
24 Mount Olive
25 Augustana (SD)


*****************************************************
  NCAA3   


Top 25 Ranking
NCAA D3 Top 25 Ranking
1 Wash.-St.Louis
2 Williams
3 Guilford
4 Whitworth
5 Wisc.-Stevens Point
6 St.Thomas
7 William Pater.
8 WiscKing.-Whitew.
9 Middlebury
10 E.Mennonite
11 Va.Wesleyan
12 Chapman
13 St.Mary's (MD)
14 Carthage
15 St.Norbert
16 Randolph-Macon
17 Wooster
18 Franklin & Marshall
19 Texas Dallas
20 Cabrini
21 MIT
22 Central
23 Merchant Marine
24 Anderson
25 St.John Fisher



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


Two victories for Greek juniors - by Eurobasket News
Greek U18 National Team posted two more victories over their New Zealand counterparts. Thus the Hellenes swept three-game friendly series. Greece claimed a 96:38 win in Game 2. Ioannis Molfetas (92) nailed 17 points to lead the effort. Anastasios Antonakis (204-C/F-92) provided 14 points for the hosts. Greece built a 49:22 lead at halftime and never looked back en route to the win.
The second game was a tougher challenge for Greece. They looked solid in the first half rolling to a comprehensive 45:19 lead. But the Junior Tall Blacks bounced back in the second part. They cut the margin and made the home team work hard for a 98:56 victory. Marios Dermitzakis (199-F-92) and Vasileios Kavvadas (203-F-91, agency: FCM) nailed 17 points apiece to lead the charge. Thomas Tsalkitzis (190-G-92) and Kambouris added 12 points each in the winning effort. Chris Duthie (188-G-92) responded with 18 points for the Junior Tall Blacks.
New Zealand team next travels to France. They are slated to take on French U18 NT on March 31 in Strasbourg.



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


Nigeria federation Inaugurate Advisory Council - by Olusegun Ikuesan
The leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, has inaugurated a 12-man Advisory Council to help in giving direction to the affairs of the sport in the country.

Speaking shortly before the inauguration ceremony commenced president of NBBF, Tijani Umar said the council is made up of credible Nigerians who have vast knowledge of the sport and have contributed enormously to the development of basketball in Nigeria.

According to him, the advisory council will be chaired by a former NBBF president, Senator U.K Umar, who handed over the leadership of the sport federation to the immediate past president, Chief Buba Gyang.

Other members of the council include, Kogi State Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajana, Chairman Akwanga LGA, Architect Stanley Buba, General Usara Bala of Nigeria Defence College, Coach Oliver Babatunde Johnson of ABU Zaria, Abu Hassan and former international Batti Aminu.

Others are veteran sports writer Muyiwa Daniel, former international Mrs. Zainab Baba (Marlele), and Danladi Yaro, an ardent basketball supporter based in Lagos.

Umar disclosed that the advisory council will be meeting every quarter to deliberate and guide the federation on its programmes and polices for the development of the game.

He said: 'The idea is for the advisory council to meet in each quarter of the year to take a look at our policies and provide the necessary guide. They are expected to bring their wealth of experience to bear on our activities. We expect them to tell us when we are going wrong and to tell us when we are on track'.

Apart from the inauguration of the council, Umar also commission the renovated home ground of Bauchi State Basketball teams.



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


San Miguel Beermen sign Lorenzo Wade - by Eurobasket
San Miguel Beermen strengthened their roster with addition of 24-year old American forward Lorenzo Wade (198-F-86, college: San Diego St., agency: Interperformances). Wade played most recently at Kavala/Panorama (Greece). While playing 3 games for Kavala/Panorama this season he averaged 10.7ppg, 2.7rpg and 0.7bpg.
By Eurobasket Data Center


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


Standings - DBE
PLK Standings
 1. Assec.Prokom 22-2 
 2. Anwil 21-3 
 3. Polpharma 18-7 
 4. Trefl Sopot 16-9 
 5. PGE Turow 15-10 
 6. AZS Koszalin 14-11 
 7. Energa Czarni 11-14 
 8. Sokol Znicz 11-14 
 9. Polonia 11-14 
 10. PBG Basket 11-14 
 11. Stal SW 8-17 
 12. SKK Kotwica 7-18 
 13. Polonia 2011 6-19 
 14. ISS Sportino 3-22 


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


Lions maul the Mets - by Luis Ramirez
The Ponce Lions had a new import player in their lineup, Lee Nailon, who last year played for the Lions but who had started this season with the Quebradillas Pirates. Nailon was released by the Pirates and immediately signed with the Lions.

It was precisely Nailon who scored the first two points for the Lions as they defeated the Guaynabo Mets, 91-77.

The Lions used their speed to quickly take command of the game in the 1st quarter , 21-13. In the 2nd quarter Ricky Melendez made consecutive baskets to keep the Lions in a comfortable lead as the first half came to an end 39-31.
In the 3rd quarter the Mets behind Angel Figueroas shooting closed the gap to 3 points with 7 minutes to play in the quarter. The Mets tied the score at 45 with 4 minutes left, and then for the 1st time in the game they took the lead 47-45 with a basket from Antoine Walker with 3:48 to go. It was Ricky Melendez once again with a 3 pointer to put the Lions ahead for good.

In the 4th quarter the Met once again made an offensive efforts and were able to cut the lead to 7 points, 82-75 with 2:47 left in the game, but the Lions were able to withstand this push and with Lee Nailon making consecutive baskets pulled away to seal the game.

For Ponce, Leon Rodgers (199-F-80, college: N.Illinois) who had been silenced in the 1st half of the game broke loose in the second half to score 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He was followed by Manuel Narvaez who scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in one of the most productive outings this season for him.

For Guaynabo, Angel Figueroa had 18 points while Samuel Villegas scored 13 points.

In other BSN action, the Mayaguez Indians almost made it out of the Quebradillas Pirates arena with a victory, but fate got in the way and with 1 second left in the game with the score tied at 85, Jonathan Garcia made a 3 pointer to leave the Indians breathless and of course winless for the season.

The Indians had taken the lead with a field goal from Alejandro Carmona, 85-83 with just 40 seconds left in the game, David Huertas of the Pirates tied the game with a couple of free throws to set up the dramatic finish.

For Quebradillas, David Huertas scored 20 points while Joel Jones scored 15 points.

For Mayaguez, Alejandro Carmona scored 22 points followed by James Maye with 20 points and 10 rebounds.



Quebradillas Pirates sign Shawn Redhage - by Eurobasket
Quebradillas Pirates agreed terms with 29-year old American forward Shawn Redhage (203-F-81, college: Arizona St., agency: Warren Sports International). Redhage played most recently at Perth Wildcats (Australia). Redhage is a very experienced player. He played also pro basketball in Australia, China and New Zealand.
last year in Quebradillas Redhage played 46 games and averaged 18.4ppg, 6.5rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 44.7% (3rd best in the league), FT: 82.2%, and was awarded:
Puerto Rican BSN Regular Season Runner-Up -09
Puerto Rican BSN Finalist -09
Latinbasket.com All-Puerto Rican BSN 2nd team -09
Latinbasket.com All-Puerto Rican BSN All-Imports Team -09
and in his first game this year, Shawn played 38 minutes and scored 13 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assistts and 2 steals
By Eurobasket Data Center


Cowboys on a roll as they beat the Athletics - by Luis Ramirez
Trying to break their two game slide, the San German Athletics hosted the Bayamon Cowboys. The Athletics put up a valiant fight, but would not avoid losing their 3rd game in a row, as the Cowboys beat them 77-70.
The Cowboys took the lead early in the quarter and the Athletics played catch up all thru the quarter, a 3 pointer from Donald Copeland cut the lead to just 1 point for the Cowboys as the quarter came to an end 19-18.

In the 2nd quarter Marcus Melvin gave the Athletics a brief lead as he made a field goal with 8:40 to go in the half, 22-21, but the Cowboys would not relent and captured the lead once again, midway thru the quarter the Athletics tied the game at 26-26 with 5:19 to go in the half. Franklin Western had consecutive baskets to give the Cowboys the lead for good as the half came to an end 33-28.

In the 3rd quarter the Cowboys would take a 10 point lead 52-42 with 1:25 to play in the quarter.

In the 4th quarter the Cowboys were leading by 11 points midway thru the quarter but consecutive 3 pointers from Marcus Melvin cut the lead to just 5 points with 4:23 to go in the game. The Athletics would get as close as 2 points with a couple of free throws from Donald Copeland but the Cowboys would regain control of the game and seal the win with a field goal from Carmelo Lee with 15 seconds to go in the game.
For Bayamon, Robert Traylor (204-F/C-77, college: Michigan) would score 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Terrence Shannon scored 16 points.

For San German, Donald Copeland scored 19 points while Marcus Melvin scored 16 points.



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


Stats Leaders - Superleague A
Points Per Game
 Aleksandar CAPIN
  Zalgiris
  (186-G-82)
  Avg: 20.4
 1. Capin, Lokomoti.20.4 
 2. Bykov, Dynamo M.20.3 
 3. Rush, Triumph17.7 
 4. Chalmers, Enisey17.0 
 5. Popovic, Unics15.6 
 6. Rakovic, Spartak SP15.5 
 7. Lyday, Unics15.2 
 8. Monya, Dynamo M.14.9 
 9. Lampe, Unics14.7 
 10. Green, Lokomoti.14.6 
Rebounds Per Game
 Sergey MONYA
  Dynamo M.
  (204-F-83)
  Avg: 8.6
 1. Monya, Dynamo M.8.6 
 2. Khryapa, CSKA7.7 
 3. Trushkin, Krasni.7.6 
 4. Rakovic, Spartak SP7.2 
 5. Lampe, Unics6.3 
 6. McCarty, Khimky5.9 
 7. Javtokas, Khimky5.7 
 8. Kaun, CSKA5.6 
 9. Antic, Lokomoti.5.5 
 10. Kambala, Enisey5.5 
Assists Per Game
 Ernest BREMER
  Krasnie Krilya
  (196-G-80)
  Avg: 5.7
 1. Bremer, Krasnie .5.7 
 2. Capin, Lokomoti.4.4 
 3. Khryapa, CSKA4.3 
 4. Bykov, Dynamo M.4.1 
 5. Fields, Spartak SP4.1 
 6. Rush, Triumph4.0 
 7. Planinic, CSKA3.8 
 8. Pashutin, Spart.3.4 
 9. Cabezas, Khimky3.4 
 10. Vyaltsev, Triumph3.1 
Steals Per Game
 Sergey BYKOV
  Dynamo M.
  (190-G-83)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Bykov, Dynamo M.2.5 
 2. Rush, Triumph2.2 
 3. Bremer, Krasnie .1.9 
 4. Khryapa, CSKA1.9 
 5. Lyday, Unics1.7 
 6. Surovtsev, Lokomoti.1.7 
 7. Chalmers, Enisey1.7 
 8. Pashutin, Spart.1.5 
 9. Sergeev, Triumph1.5 
 10. McCarty, Khimky1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 James GIST
  Lokomotiv K.
  (203-F-86)
  Avg: 1.4
 1. Gist, Lokomotiv K.1.4 
 2. Mozgov, Khimky1.4 
 3. Monya, Dynamo M.1.4 
 4. Douthit, Krasnie .1.3 
 5. Savenkov, Lokomoti.1.1 
 6. Khryapa, CSKA0.9 
 7. Vasilyev, Dynamo M.0.9 
 8. Kaun, CSKA0.8 
 9. Sokolov, CSKA0.8 
 10. Trushkin, Krasni.0.8 


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


Latest transactions in Serbia - by Eurobasket News
Borac announced signing of Filip Vukosavljevic (206-C-83) and Aleksej Nesovic (189-G-85) for rest of the season. Vukosavljevic is coming to Borac from Proleter. He appeared 26 times in A League averaging 16.4 points and 5.7 rebounds. Nesovic started the season with Turkish outfit Aliaga Petkim, but he parted ways with the team in October. Nesovic played one game in TBL this season scoring 4 points. Last season, he won the double with Union Olimpija (Slovenian National Cup and championship title).
Dragan Kruscic (198-F-86) signed contract with Radnicki Kragujevac for rest of the season. Kruscic heads to Radnicki Kragujevac from Beograd, where he played 26 games this season in A League. With 14.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists, Kruscic was one of the team's leading players. Beograd also participated in BIBL, where Kruscic added 16.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Few days ago, Crvena Zvezda signed contract with Stefan Stojacic (195-F-89, agency: Beo Basket) and Dusan Katnic (195-G-89, agency: Beo Basket) from Mega Vizura. Nemanja Arnautovic (194-G-90, agency: Beo Basket) moved from Mega Vizura as well, but to Montenegrin powerhouse Buducnost. There is another transfer from Mega Vizura and it is Danilo Andjusic (197-G-91, agency: Beo Basket), who returned to Hemofarm.
Tamis landed Vuk Ivanovic (208-F/C-83, agency: 011 Sports, college: BYU) for rest of the season.
Filip Videnov (196-F/G-80, agency: Interperformances, college: W.Kentucky) parted ways with Crvena Zvezda.


By Eurobasket Data Center

Standings - A Liga
A League Stage Two Standings
 1. Metalac 0-0 
 2. Borac 0-0 
 3. Tamis 0-0 
 4. FMP 0-0 
 5. Radnicki K. 0-0 
 6. Hemofarm 0-0 
 7. Crvena Zvez. 0-0 
Will join on later stage:
 1. Partizan
 2. Beograd
 3. Sloga
 4. Novi Sad
 5. Masinac
 6. Vojvodina
 7. KG 06
 8. Napredak
 9. Proleter Naft.
 10. Ergonom
 11. Mega Vizura
 12. Radnicki Basket
Stage One Standings


Partizan grabs 2-1 lead against Maccabi Electra - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague Quarterfinals, Game 3: Partizan - Maccabi T-A 81-73

Partizan outplayed Maccabi in front of 20.783 auditory to take 2-1 lead in Euroleague Quarterfinals. Now, the Serbian powerhouse needs one more victory for the Final 4 in Paris, while on the other side Maccabi will have to win on Thursday evening in order to move this series to Tel Aviv for Game 5. Lester McCalebb (183-G-85, college: New Orleans) stepped up for the hosts tonight with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Aleks Maric (211-C-84) scored 16 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, while Jan Vesely (211-F-90) added 14 pts and 6 rebs. In Maccabi, Alan Anderson (198-G/F-82, college: Michigan St.) delivered 13 points. Chuck Eidson (201-F/G-80, agency: Court Side, college: S.Carolina) (7 rebs, 5 as) and D'or Fischer (211-C-81, college: W.Virginia) followed him with 11 points each.
Partizan had amazing support from their fans and opened the game with quick 9-3 lead. Aleks Maric and Aleksandar Rasic were great and together with Jan Vesely lifted Partizan to first double-digit lead, 23-12. Lester McCalebb joined them, but Maccabi somehow managed to cut the margin to 26-17 after 10 minutes of play. Partizan took control on Maccabi at the beginning of Q2 and after basket by Aleks Maric they jumped to 31-20. Few moments later it was 40-24 as Partizan completed 14-5 run. Chuck Eidson and DOr Fished finally replied for Maccabi and they reduced the gap to 42-30. Rasic came to Partizan's rescue then with a three-pointer from the corner before Maric's next layup made him Partizan's third double-figure scorer and left a 47-34 scoreboard at HT. Maccabi entered to the second half strongly and they made 0-6 run for 47-40. It looked like as a beginning of comeback, but Partizan was there to reply with 13-5 series. With one quarter left the hosts held 64-50 lead. Maccabi touched minus 10 few times in the last quarter, but that was all from them tonight. Partizan moved up to 76-61 and did not have any troubles to finish this game.
Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Partizan: Lester McCalebb 18+7 boards, Aleks Maric 16+7 boards, Jan Vesely 14+6 boards
Maccabi: Alan Anderson 13, Chuck Eidson 11+7 boards+5 as, D'or Fischer 11



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


JC Navarro leads Regal Barca to victory in Madrid (Game 3) - by Eurobasket News
Euroleague Quarterfinals, Game 3: MMC Real Madrid - Regal Barca 73-84

Regal Barca made a big step forward to Paris. The Spanish champion handed 73-84 loss to Real Madrid for 1-2 lead in Euroleague Quarterfinals. Barca now needs one more to end this series, but even in case of defeat on Thursday evening Barca will have a chance at the Palau Blaugrana in Game 5. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) was a key player in this victory with 24 points. La Bomba made 4 of 6 attempts from behind the arc. Pete Mickeal (199-F-78, college: Cincinnati) (5 rebs) and Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) helped with 13 points each. The Whites got 23 points from Ante Tomic (217-C-87), who had 11 of 13 from the field. Sergio Llull (190-G-87) and Travis Hansen (198-G/F-78, college: BYU) netted 11 pts apiece.
Everything started good for Real Madrid, who grabbed opening 3-2 and later 5-2 lead. Soon after that, Barca took control on the hosts creating 7-11 turn. Two minutes later it already was 7-17 for the guests, who kept Real scoreless for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, Mickeal capped a 0-15 run with a six-meter jumper. In the finish of Q1, Vazguez scored and set the score to 14-25. Juan Carlos Navarro was on fire and together with Ndong and Jaka Lakovic helped Barca to reach impressive 19-39 at the halfway of Q2. They made 0-11 run. Barca was up by 22 soon after that, but Real Madrid closed the first half with 8-0 run for 31-46. Real threatened in this quarter as they came to 41-52, but Jaka Lakovic answered with a triple. Teams traded baskets and thanks to Sergio Llull and Ante Tomic, Real Madrid cut the margin to 50-61 at the end of Q3. When Barca reached 62-76 with four minutes left, it was clear that the game is over for Real. They are in bad position now as they will have to win on Thursday in order to stay alive in this series.

Real Madrid: Ante Tomic 23, Sergio Llull 11, Travis Hansen 11
Regal Barca: Juan Carlos Navarro 24, Pete Mickeal 13+5 boards, Jaka Lakovic 13


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


Basketligan: Plannja eliminates Gothia in the Quarterfinals - by Eurobasket News
Plannja Basket - Gothia Basket 102 - 84 (27 - 19, 14 - 15, 35 - 27, 26 - 23)
Plannja blasted Gothia with perfect 3-0 in Playoff Quarterfinals. They met in Game 3 last night and Plannja registered easy 102-84 victory. John Williamson (198-C-86, college: Cincinnati) stepped up for the hosts with 27 points. Brandon McKnight (188-G-83, agency: Promotex, college: Purdue) also was good scoring 20, while John Rosendahl added 17 pts in this victory. Christoffer Ryan and Hakan Larsson were the last one with double-digits in scoring: 10 pts each. In the loosing squad, Rhys Carer and Emil Selon had 24 and 22 points respectively. Plannja will meet Sundsvall or Upsala in the Semis.

Solna Vikings - Sodertalje Kings 78 - 73 (24 - 24, 21 - 20, 23 - 8, 10 - 21)
Solna Vikings made a step forward to Playoff Semifinals as the grabbed 2-1 lead against the Kings. Andrew Mitchell (181-G-79, college: Kent St.) was a key player for the Vikings last night with 27 points. Rickard Eriksson (189-G-82, agency: Promotex) replied with 15 pts in defeat.

Sundsvall Dragons - Uppsala Basket 67 - 75 (18 - 17, 17 - 13, 14 - 23, 18 - 22)
Uppsala did a great job last night beating Sundsvall Dragons on the road for 1-2 lead in the Quarterfinals. Fredrik Jonzen (207-C/F-78, college: Oklahoma St.) was shined for the winners with 21 points. Jakob Sigurdarson (192-G-82, college: Birmingham Souther) delivered 20 points for the hosts.


Norrkoping and Boras will meet tonight.


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


Week 10 MVP: Jon Sanders - by Chris Wang
Pure Youth forward Jon Sanders won the SBL weekly MVP for the third time this season Tuesday.

The 6-6 import averaged 23.5 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists during the week and helped PY secure a pair of important wins over Taiwan Beer and Taiwan Mobile.

He is averaging 18.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the season.

Sanders received 37 points in the media poll. Dacin's Byron Allen was second with 18 points while Sanders' teammate James Mao was third with 14 points.

2010 SBL Weekly MVPs
Week 1: Jonathan Sanders, PY
Week 9: Chen Shun-hsiang, BOT
Week 8: Chen Chih-chung, Yulon
Week 7: Derek Stribling, TB
Week 6: Jonathan Sanders, PY
Week 5: Alexus Foyle, TM
Week 4: Shawn Hawkins, KKL
Week 3: Chang Chih-feng, Dacin
Week 2: Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon
Week 1: Jonathan Sanders, PY


*****************************************************
  TANZANIA   


Nairobi, Mombasa won Inter cities tourney - by Olusegun Ikuesan
Nairobi women and Mombasa men's teams retained the 12th edition of the Sprite East and Central Africa Inter Cities titles in style as the nine team tournament comes to a close in the Kenyan coastal town over the weekend.

In the final matches played before packed hall, Nairobi proved too smart for Mombasa with a 59-40 points victory in the women's finals that was close only in the first half.

Hilda Indasi was named the MVP and she provided 16 points. Grace Wanjiru was named best defensive player.

In the men's category, Mombasa did well to beat Dar-Es-Salaam 52-41 points in a low scoring but hard fought game. Both teams battled it out in Arusha finals last year with Mombasa squeezing out a close 63-61 advantage.

The men's title belonged to the young Mombasa lads who posed all sorts of problems for the Tanzanian who hit the game opener on a three pointer by Francis Malewa but Dan Okwirri gave the coastal lads a 8-7 lead.

Zadock Osogo, was voted the finals Most Valuable Player had provided 12 points while the stylish Okwirri added 14. Dar's Mulewa got the best defensive player award and veteran center George Tarimo was named the events top scorer.

Mombasa Select beat Mwanza to end up in third position. Kelvin Ominde scored 19 points but it was Mwanza's Adam Jagame who led with 28 points

In other matches, Nairobi rolled over Dar es Salaam 69-42 pulling up the strings in the first half to win with consumate ease. The game saw four sisters share the courts with Janet and Angela Okoth for Nairobi while the Tanzanians girls, Sajda, a student in a Nairobi university playing against her sibling Amina who led the losers in scoring.

A last gasp three pointer at the buzzer by Francis Malewa saw Dar come from behind to stun Mombasa City 50-48 in a cracking game. It seemed the host would carry the day until a stunner by Malewa deflated the home fans. Dar topped the mens pool and while Mombasa were second.

Kampala City had to use every trick in the book before prevailing 53-52 against Mombasa Select girls. The losers Purity Adhiambo nailed tournament high 30 points; she was the events top scorer, while the winners had 14 points a piece from Mariam Hamalla, Annete Nakiwa and Sorigi Martha.
Dann Owere
FIBA Africa



*****************************************************
  TUNISIA   


An opportunity of a lifetime awaits Tunisia - by Olusegun Ikuesan
If the saying everyone loves an underdog is true, then Tunisia will have plenty of support in the stands when they travel to Istanbul for the 2010 FIBA World Championship. They alongside Jordan are probably going to face the longest odds of winning a game, never mind advancing to the second phase of the competition.

The underdog label was just fine for Adel Tlatli, the coach of Tunisia, at last years Afrobasket in Libya.

No one expected his team to do much, yet the Tunisians shocked the continent by claiming a bronze medal, an achievement that sealed a place for them in the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

For a coach who cares deeply about basketball in his homeland, one who broke into the national team at age 16 and played until he was 24, stepping onto the podium in Tripoli was one of the biggest thrills of his life.

It was really a big moment and a phenomenal result, Tlatli said to FIBA.com.

But I did not allow myself to dream about this before the end of the game.

The third-place game was against Cameroon, a side loaded with talented players and one that everyone expected to advance to the FIBA World Championship.

The final score read, however, Tunisia 83 Cameroon 68.

We surpassed expectations, Tlatli said.

Reliving a golden moment

Last years bronze-medal game against Cameroon was indeed the pivotal event for Tunisia.

Tlatli remembers it like it was yesterday.

He remembers his thoughts on the way to the gym, and what he said to his players before tip-off.


I told them that it was our chance to go to the World Championship and to be in Tunisian Basketball history, he said.

The players were more concentrated then during the other games, and overall, they did not panic.

As is usually the case during a big Tunisia game, captain Amine Rzig came up big.

The 6ft 6in Rzig poured in 20 points on eight-of-17 shooting from the floor.

When he wasnt scoring, Rzig was setting up his teammates.

He finished with five assists.

Marouan Kechrid is the playmaker.

Both he and Rzig, according to the coach, are the fan favorites.

Kechrid didnt have any assists in that game against Cameroon, but he did score 14 points on three-of-five shooting from the floor and a six-of-seven effort at the charity stripe.

He drilled a couple of three-pointers.

Basketball fans also caught a glimpse of another player, Salah Mejeri, the 7ft 1in center that Tlatli calls the rising star of Tunisia.

Mejeri scored eight points and swatted a couple of shots in 14 minutes.

All three players figure to be prominent at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

Team USA, Slovenia, Brazil, Croatia and Iran are also in Group B with Tlatlis team.

Which side is the coach looking forward to taking on more than any other?

Of course the USA, he said.

For the record, most members of the bronze-medal winning side, Tlatli says, will be in Turkey.

What to expect?

To drive home the fact that Tunisia are the underdogs in Group B, one needs only to look at the roster.

While all of the other squads have players in the NBA or at the leading clubs in Europe, Tunisia is a different story.

Four players are completely professional, the coach said.

One in Morocco, one in Spain and two in Egypt in different teams. All the others in Tunisia are semi-professional.

From a physical standpoint, there will be a difference.

At last years Afrobasket, the Tunisians did not have the biggest or strongest team on the floor.

We have neither size nor physical strength compared to the other teams, Tlatli admitted, but we are speedier than them and our biggest strength is tactical.

Our weakness is playing inside and we don't have a strong player. We need to play rapidly and to choose the best defense.

To play at a FIBA World Championship is to reach the pinnacle of the sport which is why Tlatli expects many of the countrys fans to show up for the games.

Oh yes, he said.

And what, realistically, is the aim of Tunisia?


To win at least one game, Tlatli said.

Tlatli, who comes from Nabeul and played there, has come a long way as a coach.

He began walking the sidelines a quarter of a century ago with Nabeul's team.

Tlatli became the Tunisian national coach in 2001.

He was at the draw for the FIBA World Championship back in December, when it was held in Istanbul.

This entire experience means so much to him.

It is an opportunity that many players and coaches will never have.

It is a dream which is still to be realized, he said.
Its bringing international visibility for Tunisian basketball.



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


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


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


Superleague Round: 28 (Regular Season) - by Eurobasket News
Halychyna - BC Kyiv 79-81
BC Kyiv grabbed 81:79 over Halychyna on March 30th. Maksym Pustozvonov (200-F-87, agency: Promotex) and Kravtsov Viacheslav delivered 23 points each for the winners, while Lukashov Denys added 20 points 12 boards. Williams Nick produced 21 points for the home side.

Ferro-ZNTU - DniproAzot 92-69
Ferro-ZNTU rolled over DniproAzot 92:69 at the Regular Season Round 28. Vincent Hunter (208-F-84, college: Arkansas) top-scored 20 points for the winners, while Tiggs Kevin and Burtt Steve added 18 each. Karim Lamar ended up with 26 points in the losing effort.

BC Odessa - Budivelnyk 68-71
BC Odessa lost to Budivelnyk 68:71 as the latter got 19 points from Gerrod Henderson (192-G-78, college: Louisiana Tech) and El-Amin Khalid apiece. Anisimovas Michailis collected 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Zimmerman Derrick posted 10. Balashov Stanislav posted 14 points in the losingcase.



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  UNITED KINGDOM   


BBL Team of the Week #26 - by Andy Webb
Leading the BBL Team of the Week this time is BBL veteran, Robert Youngblood (200-F-69, college: Southern), who earned his place with a 30 point, 17 rebound performance, against BBL newcomers, Essex Pirates last week. He shot an impressive 8/11 from the floor, 75% three point shooting and 5/8 from the free throw line, as well as dishing out 3 assists.

Joining him at the other Forward spot is Scottish-born Gareth Murray, of Glasgow Rocks, who impressed with 27 points and 8 rebounds in the Rocks win over Airwaves Plymouth Raiders last weekend. On 6/9 field goal shooting and an outstanding 5/8 three point shooting, he also added a blocked shot, assist and steal to his name in 38:27 of playing time.

This week's final big man is Harry Disy, thanks to his performance in the Wolves 90-85 win over Worthing Thunder. The Frenchman had 21 points, on 10/12 field goal shooting, he shot 100% from the free throw line, and also grabbed 12 rebounds, handed out 2 assists and had 3 steals.

This week's highest performing guard is the in-form Mike Cook, of the Sheffield Sharks, who currently leads the league in scoring, as he notched 29 points, hit 75% of his free throw attempts, and dished out an unbelievable 11 assists, as Sheffield overcame Marshall MK Lions. He is joined by last season's league-wide MVP, Trey Moore, who helped Everton Tigers comfortably beat PAWS London Capital, by posting numbers of 24 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. He shot a perfect 4/4 from open play, 4/5 from the charity stripe, and 4/8 from three point land.




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Women News

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  WNBA - Women  


Donovan leaving Liberty after season to coach Seton Hall women - by Eurobasket News
Anne Donovan is leaving the Liberty after the upcoming WNBA season to become the women's basketball coach at Seton Hall.

The Big East university confirmed the hiring on Monday, noting that Donovan will coach the Liberty this season and take over full-time when the season ends in August. Seton Hall also announced it had hired Kevin Willard as mens coach, replacing the fired Bobby Gonzalez.

Donovan replaces Phyllis Mangina, who resigned after posting a 9-21 record in her 25th season as Seton Hall coach, including a 1-15 mark in the league.

This is a historic moment for Seton Hall University, Patrick Hobbs, the law school dean who has been overseeing the Athletics Department since July, said in a statement. Kevin Willard was our first choice and he is the right man to lead our mens program. On the same day to welcome Hall of Fame legend Anne Donovan to lead our women makes this one of the great days in Seton Hall athletics history.

Donovan did not return telephone messages left by The Associated Press on Sunday and Monday seeking comment.

The hiring of Donovan was first reported by The Record of Hackensack.

With Donovan joining the school after the season, the job of recruiting will fall mostly to her assistants.

Michael Cooper did the same thing last season, coaching the Los Angeles Sparks before becoming the coach at Southern California.

Donovan was announced as head coach of the Liberty on Dec. 3 after guiding the team to a 7-10 record as interim coach. She joined the team as an assistant in April 2009.

Donovans hiring came hours after a source told The Associated Press that Willard would replace Gonzalez, who was fired after a 19-win season beset by problems off the court.

The school plans a news conference on Wednesday to introduce both coaches.

Born in Ridgewood, Donovan began her WNBA career as the interim head coach of the expansion Indiana Fever in 2000. She also coached the Charlotte Sting (2001-2002) and the Seattle Storm (2003-2007), winning the 2004 WNBA title.

She coached the United States to a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics and was an assistant coach on the gold medal-winning teams in 1998 and 2004.

Donovan won gold medals with the 1984 and 1988 Olympics teams. She was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and was one of the 26 inductees in the inaugural class of the Womens Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

After helping Old Dominion win consecutive AIAW national titles, Donovan started her coaching career as an assistant at her alma mater (1989-1995) before taking the job at East Carolina (1995-1998). She also was the head coach of the Philadelphia Rage in the former American Basketball League (ABL) in 1998.


Courtesy of www.nypost.com


Pondexter heads to NY in big WNBA deal - by Eurobasket News
WNBA star Cappie Pondexter (5'9''-G-83, college: Rutgers) is headed to the New York Liberty as part of a major three-team trade.

The league champion Mercury have a deal in place to send All-Star guard to New York for Shameka Christon (6'1''-G/F-82, college: Arkansas) and Cathrine Kraayveld (6'4''-F-81, agency: LBM Management, college: Oregon), according to a person familiar with the trade. Christon and Kraayeveld will be shipped to Chicago for All-Star Candice Dupree.

The person told The Associated Press on Monday night on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn't been announced.

The Liberty, who didn't make the playoffs last season, a year after advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, also will get Kelly Mazzante from Phoenix as part of the deal.

Pondexter averaged 19.1 points last season for the Mercury, who won their second title in three years. The 27-year-old guard, who was the second pick in the 2006 WNBA draft by Phoenix, will be reunited with 2008 Olympic basketball coach Anne Donovan and former Rutgers teammates Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn.

Pondexter, who was playing overseas this winter for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia, helped the U.S. win its fourth straight gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. She was one of the first eight players announced as part of the U.S. national team pool for the World Championships this fall.

The 25-year-old Dupree averaged 15.7 points last season for the Sky, who just missed out on making the playoffs.

Christon led New York in scoring last season, averaging 16.1 points and was recently added to the USA basketball national team pool. Kraayeveld averaged 9.0 points last year and was one of the team's best 3-point shooters. Both had spent their entire careers with the Liberty as Christon was drafted in 2004 out of Arkansas and Kraayeveld from Oregon in 2005.

New York opens the regular season against Chicago on May 16. The Liberty are at Phoenix on July 3, and host the Mercury on August 14.


Courtesy of The Associated Press (taken from www.eastvalleytribune.com)