EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 9/15/2011

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Men News

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  ALL-AFRICA GAMES   


Angola with three victories in All-Africa Games - by Eurobasket News
Angola's national men's basketball team scored their third win in the ongoing All-Africa Games of Maputo (Mozambique), after thrashing South Africa 79-58. By the half time Angola were winning 44-34. Angola will be playing Egypt in the next round on Tuesday. Before South Africa, Angola had beaten Cote d'Ivoire (60-43). They also outplayed Cape Verde (67-62).

Courtesy of www.allafrica.com


Monday's games review - by Eurobasket News
Mozambique retains hopes of a medal in the men's basketball tournament at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, after a one point victory over Nigeria on Monday evening.

Initially, the teams seemed balanced, and the first quarter of the game ended with each on 18 points. But in the second quarter the Nigerians pulled away, so that, by the end of the first half, they were defeating Mozambique by 33 to 25.

The Mozambican team recovered in the second half of the match, correcting its mistakes, and just 13 seconds before the end of the game took a one point lead, beating Nigeria 66-65.

In the other three basketball matches played on Monday, Algeria beat Rwanda (60-54), Angola beat South Africa (78-59), and Cape Verde beat Ivory Coast (72-41).

In the handball tournament, the Mozambican womens team lost to Senegal on Monday by 31-28. Mozambique goes on to meet Madagascar on Wednesday.

In the other womens handball match of Monday, Ghana beat Madagascar by 26-24.

In the mens handball, Gabon won a convincing 41-27 victory over Madagascar, and Kenya beat Ghana by 33-31. But none of these teams are in contention for any medals.

Mozambique, coming second in Group A of the mens tournament, has qualified for Tuesdays quarter-finals, and will meet Algeria, which came top in Group B. The other three quarter finals are Cameroon vs Senegal, Egypt vs Nigeria and Angola vs Congo.

Courtesy of www.thezimbabwean.co.uk


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  ANGOLA   


Angola with three victories in All-Africa Games - by Eurobasket News
Angola's national men's basketball team scored their third win in the ongoing All-Africa Games of Maputo (Mozambique), after thrashing South Africa 79-58. By the half time Angola were winning 44-34. Angola will be playing Egypt in the next round on Tuesday. Before South Africa, Angola had beaten Cote d'Ivoire (60-43). They also outplayed Cape Verde (67-62).

Courtesy of www.allafrica.com


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  ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS   


Standings
Standings
Group A
1. India0-0
2. S.Korea0-0
3. Lebanon0-0
4. Malaysia0-0
Group B
1. Iran0-0
2. Qatar0-0
3. Taiwan0-0
4. Uzbekistan0-0
Group C
1. Indonesia0-0
2. Jordan0-0
3. Japan0-0
4. Syria0-0
Group D
1. Bahrain0-0
2. China0-0
3. Philippines0-0
4. UAE0-0


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


Wildcats sign WA big man Luke Nevill - by Eurobasket News
The Perth Wildcats have signed West Australian big man and Boomers centre Luke Nevill (218-C-86, college: Utah) to its squad for the 2011/12 iiNet NBL Championship season.

The 25-year-old 7'2' (218cm) centre joins Damian Martin, Brad Robbins, Kevin Lisch, Drew Williamson, Cam Tovey, Greg Hire, Jesse Wagstaff, Shawn Redhage, Matt Knight and Jeremiah Trueman on the squad for the 2011/12 season.

Nevill grew up in WA before heading to the United States for a strong college career at the University of Utah. He entered the NBL for the first time last season to play 18 games with the Melbourne Tigers where he averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds.

He then finished the season playing in Russia with BC Triumph Lyubertsy before getting married and then returning to Perth.

He again represented the Australian Boomers as part of the lead-up campaign to last week's Olympic Games qualifiers with New Zealand, was invited down to train with the Wildcats, played impressively in two pre-season games against the Lakeside All Stars and has signed for the 2011/12 season.

Nevill himself had always had a desire to play with the Wildcats growing up locally and is excited to receive the chance.

'It's great to be back home and in Perth. I'm playing for a team that I barracked for growing up as a kid. There are all the great names like Ricky Grace, James Crawford, Vlahov and Fisher, and all those guys and it's great to represent WA while continuing to play basketball,' Nevill said.

'It's going to be a tough match-up for other teams against us now hopefully with us having some more size in the paint, but it will also help us guard teams with bigger guys like the Crocs with Luke Schenscher. It's going to help the 'Cats on the boards as well hopefully by clogging up the paint area. That's what I aim to try and help with anyway.'

Wildcats coach Rob Beveridge is excited by the signing of Nevill as well because of the size it gives his team, and believes it perhaps was meant to be given it all started when assistant coach Andy Stewart came across him training locally.

'It's probably a case of fate as well that he did land in our lap. It came about with Andy Stewart seeing him training down at Lakeside by himself and we have a pretty open policy here, so we invited him along,' Beveridge said.

'He showed total commitment just as a training player and I think he really enjoyed what we were doing. The players accepted him with open arms and it has just progressed from there. It was a case that he landed in our lap and when you've got a 7'2 local boy who wants to play for the Wildcats, it's pretty exciting.'

While Beveridge was happy with the initial squad of 10 players the Wildcats had for the 2011/12 season, having a seven-foot plus big man now is something he is glad to be able to add to it.

'I think from day dot it was probably an area that we looked at what we were missing, and it was a real big. I was very happy with the players we had signed, but with him coming in it just gives us a different dimension,' he said.

'By throwing him in against Lakeside in that series he showed that he wanted to play for us and there was no harm in him being thrown out there. He did fit in quite well and the boys enjoyed him being there.

'We are very big on team chemistry and it was important that if Luke was going to come play for us, that he did fit in. Speaking to all the players in the group, they were open to him coming in.'

While Nevill will help offensively by providing a big presence in the paint, Beveridge is especially excited by what he can do defensively, and has no doubt he can help his outstanding defenders on the perimeter even more.

'It gives us the ability to go really big and even more flexibility where before we were more of a mobile team, but Luke is actually a pretty good athlete and he does get up and down the floor quite well,' Beveridge said.

'From a defensive perspective it will make us better because we can have our guards with Damian Martin, Brad Robbins, Kevin Lisch and then even Cameron Tovey getting after their players a lot more because you know you have a genuine big in the middle who can change shots. That's going to be very good for us.'

Given that Nevill is just 25 years of age and stands at 7'2, Beveridge knows that he's still young for a big guy and while he's excited about how he can help the Wildcats, the coach is also confident that some stability by playing in Perth can help Nevill grow on his way to achieving his goals as well.

'He is only 25 years of age so that's very young for a big and what I liked about him is that he does have goals. He has ambitions to play in the NBA, but for him to do that he has to get physically stronger and find that consistency,' Beveridge said.

'There are sessions when he is the most dominant player on the floor but then the next he's not. That is going to take time for him to get used to the intensity he needs to play, but for him to be a great player in this league he needs that consistency.

'He needs stability. I think it will be good for him to say that he wants to stay put here, work on his body and get better as a player. I think this would be a great environment for him to do that.'

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


NBL launches 2011/12 season - by Eurobasket News
The National Basketball League formally launched the 2011/12 iiNet NBL Championship season in Melbourne today and also revealed its four-year business plan as well as making a major announcement.

Players and coaches from seven of the nine teams gathered at Melbourne's Docklands for a star-studded launch attended widely by media and stakeholders.

A highlight was the introduction of newly-signed Melbourne Tigers star Patty Mills in his Tigers number 20 singlet.

Below is a transcrpt of speeches from the event.



Larry Sengstock - Basketball Australia CEO

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you all here today to the official launch of the 2011/12 iiNet NBL Championship season.

When the season finally tips-off on October 7, it will undoubtedly be one of the most anticipated campaigns we have seen in many, many years.

The health of the NBL off the court is the best it has been in well over a decade and for that we have our corporate partners to thank. By signing on to support the league in multi-year deals, companies like iiNet, Centrebet, Network Ten and its digital channel ONE, Spalding, AND1, Virgin Australia and OAMPS have ensured that the NBL enjoys the soundest financial base it has seen in a very long time.

At this point I would like to pay special tribute to iiNet as our naming rights partner, who have made a long-term commitment to our sport which has been instrumental in our recent growth. I would like to call iiNets Mike DMonte to the stage to receive a small token of our gratitude for their continued support.

Our reinforced financial base is allowing us now to focus on making great inroads in areas which for too long have been simply beyond our capacity to address. As a result, we have seen two years of steady growth and there is a new found optimism in our sport.

People sometimes say to me that basketball doesnt beat its chest enough about its achievements. Well last season gave us plenty to be justifiably proud of.

Our game attendance last season grew for the second straight year and was up 12% across the league during the regular season on last season. Well over half a million people came to watch our games in Australia and New Zealand and seven of our nine Finals games sold-out, including all of the Grand Final matches.

What they saw at our venues was some fantastic entertainment.

Those that couldnt get to games last season found it even more accessible than ever to watch basketball on TV through our new TV partners ONE and Sky. As a result, our TV audience increased by 298%, with over 6 million people watching NBL programming last season.

Game Three of the Grand Final series between the Breakers and Taipans attracted 173,830 TV viewers in New Zealand alone, which was the highest TV viewership for a single game we have seen in over a decade. Game Three of the GF out rated both Super Rugby and NRL in NZ on that day and was the most watched sporting event in NZ.

Fans have also been flocking to our websites to follow our sport. Our online network traffic was up 55% last season and at record numbers for us. In-season traffic from September to April saw almost 1.4 million unique visitors generate over 10 million page impressions.

There is clearly a strong demand for basketball amongst the Australian and New Zealand sporting public.

This demand is in turn driving more and more corporate interest in the NBL and I am pleased to announce that today we can reveal that the league has signed a new Major Partner for the 2011/12 season.

The NBL is teaming with ThinkSmart, who are a leading international financial services company in a partnership which further strengthens our financial base.

ThinkSmart are renowned as an innovative international brand with proud Australian roots, which is a great match with us as an Australian-based challenger brand. This is the first time we have had a league partnership in the financial services sector which is exciting. It shows that the growth we have exhibited over the past few years is being recognised in the corporate world.

Sam McDonagh, ThinkSmarts Head of E-Commerce and Product, is here with us today so please join me in thanking him for his companys support of the NBL.

ThinkSmarts support of the NBL via its market-leading RentSmart product is a terrific vote of confidence in the NBLs strategic direction. That strategic direction is being driven by our new four-year business plan which will underpin our growth through 2015.

To take you through some of the key details of our business plan, I will shortly welcome the NBLs General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Aaron Flanagan.

In closing however, let me thank you for joining us today and for your on-going support.

Ron Reed of the Herald Sun, who is here with us today I think, recently wrote that basketball is back. It wouldnt be without the efforts of everyone in this room, so thank you and please enjoy the day.


Aaron Flanagan - GM of NBL Sales and Marketing

Ladies and gentlemen I am very pleased to share with you, our most valued stakeholders, the four year business plan for the NBL titled transition 2015.

The NBLs vision is:

To be the leaders in sports entertainment throughout the Asia-Pacific by delivering sustainable growth and the best quality customer experience.

The extensive research program undertaken by our consultancy IER, highlighted the unique entertainment attributes of our great game;

The spectacular athleticism and feats of our players
The closeness to the action
The indoor, family friendly environment of our stadiums that creates a natural energy and entertaining atmosphere unrivalled in sport.

Through the implementation of this plan, the league and its club will escalate and further enhance the NBL game experience for our fans.

Basketball is a global game played in 213 countries. As a nation, basketball is ranked 3rd in the world by the sports international body, FIBA and of course our boomers and opals have just qualified for the London Olympics which is fantastic for our sport.

Basketball is incredibly strong through the Asia-Pacific region and with a team already located in New Zealand and close relationships with strong basketball nations through the region, we see tremendous commercial scope to grow our footprint though the region through new product development and utilising the sport as a medium for governments and commercial entities to embrace the popularity of basketball through the region to strengthen ties and trade partnerships.

Underpinned by the governance reform process of the sport and the resolve of our clubs the 2010/11 NBL championship heralded a new era for basketball and the NBL.

Through our actions and our achievements the NBL has made significant progress to rebuild the trust of our clubs, the corporate world and most importantly our fans.

In fact our recent research study highlighted that 89% of fans are feeling more positive about the health of the league.

The purpose of this plan is to build on that foundation and to deliver a professional, sustainable and respected national sporting league that:

Governs a financially successful elite sporting competition
Ignites the passion for engaging and consuming basketball
Promotes a pathway for the elite participation in the game; and
Delivers value for our stakeholders

To grow the commercial value, the league must grow its footprint into all major metropolitan markets and has made its intentions clear that a Brisbane and second Melbourne club are the priorities in the immediate future. Other markets of focus include Canberra, Tasmania, Newcastle, and a second club from New Zealand to increase our footprint in that growing basketball market.

At the conclusion of the 2014/15 NBL championship this plan projects that the league will:

Be represented by a team in all major metropolitan markets
Record an uplift in crowds of 290,000 attendees
Grow broadcast audiences by 200%
Generate an additional $3.7m in league income
Double our existing club member/season ticket base
And achieve a net positive financial distribution to all NBL clubs.

To deliver this potential, the NBL must attract more fans and increase their per capita spend.

The league will achieve this through the continual improvement of the entertainment value at games and through driving the growth of our customer databases.

Tactically for the upcoming iiNet NBL championship:

The league and its clubs are highly focused on creating a culture that promotes the value of membership and together we expect to drive double digit growth in league membership through the execution of a centralised membership strategy.

Today, I am pleased to announce that the iiNet NBL championship season will also feature three NBL themed rounds:

In Round 7 the league will celebrate our rich 32 year history with the introduction of an NBL Heritage Round. Our league has a lot to celebrate and honour:

From legends of the game that have achieved success as NBL players but also as legends of the games on the international stage representing our country.
Acknowledging great rivalries of our history and our clubs lineage, like that of the Gold Coast Rollers and Townsville Suns, as well as recognising the considerable achievements of long-standing clubs like the Wollongong Hawks, Melbourne Tigers and Perth Wildcats.
We know we have a lot to celebrate and we also know that the parents of those families that we wish to engage with as we grow the fan base attended NBL games and experienced the past great days of the league. The introduction of the NBL Heritage Round provides an opportunity to reconnect.

Our other themed rounds will include a NBL Family Round during the summer school holidays in Round 16 as we highlight the attributes of our game that makes us uniquely engaging to families.

The season will also feature a NBL Community Round in round 21 as we promote our grass roots strength as the 3rd largest team based participation sport and the active role our clubs and particularly our players make in the communities in which they live.

This season we are also introducing a new inter-city competition between long standing rivals, the Sydney Kings and the Melbourne Tigers within our regular season schedule. In what will be known as the Capital City Clash, whichever club wins the four-game season series between the teams will take home the Capital City Clash trophy in what will become an annual feature of the NBL calendar. The winner each season will be determined on win-loss ratio, with the points differential used to split the sides should they each win two games apiece. All four matches between the fierce rivals will also feature a range of community outreach activities in the lead-up to each game, including basketball clinics and hospital visits.

Our fans told us they would like to see more entertainment particularly for the family and i am pleased to announce that each NBL venue this season will feature the NBL Fan Zone where the family can meet and interact with players, participate in competitions and games, (even shoot a hoop through the all new NBL Spalding backboard to hit retail this season) and check their height against the likes of the Crocs big man Luke Schenscher. This all forms part of our commitment to elevate the entertainment value.

This is a defining and exciting window for growth for the NBL.

The strengthening of our club framework, the long term partnerships in place with broadcast, sponsorship and licensing partners coupled with the upside of new and exciting playing talent with the unexpected bonus and opportunity to see the likes of NBA star Patty Mills show his wares around the country; I am sure you will agree the NBL is well and truly in transition to prosperous and exciting times.

The NBL business plan presented to you today contains seven strategic priorities and over 30 key actions that will guide the leagues activities over the next four years.

It is deliberately focused on outcomes that will drive sustainability and commercial success, it is in alignment with the strategic plan of Basketball Australia and its success will be in part measured by the support and unity of basketball.

On behalf of our Commission, our clubs and our players I thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to the game. I truly believe that together we can achieve great things and deliver a successful NBL competition to showcase basketball in a light equal to the other major commercial sports in this country.

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




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  AUSTRIA   


Update on Kapfenberg Bulls, WBC Wels, Gmunden and UBC Gussing Knights - by Eurobasket News
Kapfenberg Bulls overcame WBC Wels 102:67. The winners got 16 points from Demetrius Nelson (203-F/C-86, agency: Court Side, college: Citadel), while Thomas Schreiner netted 14.
Allianz Swans Gmunden was beaten by Wurzburg 67:70. The German team started with 23-17 and had 6-point advantage at the halftime. The Austrian squad won the third quarter and reduced to 3 points entering the last period. Both teams however nailed the same number of points in the last stanza for the final result on the board. For Allianz Swans Gmunden Sharaud Curry (178-G-87, college: Providence) scored 15 points, while Richard Poiger (201-F-87) and Schoninger added 12 each.
UBC Gussing Knights meanwhile finished the games with the Hungarian teams. Kis-Raba menti Takarek edged UBC Gussing Knights 83:76. The Austrian side won the opening tip 30:25, but failed in the second with 14-21. Moreover the winners added 22-16 in the third quarter and did not mind 15-16 in the last stanza. Lakatos top-scored for the winners with 18 points, while Kereszes delivered 16. Marcus Heard (201-F-84, college: De Paul) ended up with 17 points in defeat and Klepeisz added 15.



Lokomotiv Kuban edge Oberwart in pre-season clash - by Eurobasket News
Lokomotiv Kuban - Oberwart 86:82

Lokomotiv Kuban and Oberwart played a friendly game in Slovenia. The Russian team eked out a narrow victory at the end. Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79) stepped up with 19 points to lead Lokomotiv.
The teams exchanged baskets throughout intense first frame. Oberwart and Lokomotiv were knotted at 20 after ten minutes of action. The Gunners pulled in front in the second term. They established a 48:44 lead at the interval. But Lokomotiv bounced back in the third quarter. They fired 29 points and surged ahead for a 73:63 lead with ten minutes remaining. Oberwart went on a fierce comeback rally in the fourth term but came up just short of victory at the end. Lionel Chalmers (184-G-80, college: Xavier) posted 17 points, while Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.) accounted for 14 points in the victory. Joe Dean Shaw (199-F-87, college: Nevada) answered with 22 points for the Gunners. Nikola Gacesa (205-F-87, college: TCU) had 18 points in the loss.

Lokomotiv Kuban: Primoz Brezec 19, Lionel Chalmers 17, Jeremiah Massey 14
Oberwart: Joe Dean Shaw 22, Nikola Gacesa 18



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  BOSNIA   


Igor Bakovic returns to Austria - by Eurobasket News
Igor Bakovic (211-C-85, agency: Interperformances) is back to Austria. The Bosnian/Canadian center penned a one-year deal with St. Polten. He heads to St. Polten from the Bulgarian team Cherno More. Bakovic joined them in January averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds for 9 games in NBL. He also added 4.8 ppg and 3.4 rpg for 5 games in Balkan league. Ivan Bakovic started last season with the German team ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. He already played for St. Polten and it was in 2008/09. Bakovic had 7.3 ppg and 8.4 rpg for them that season. He is a product of the Ryerson College University. He graduated there three years ago.

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  BULGARIA   


Georgi Sirakov stays in Italy - by Eurobasket News
Georgi Sirakov (186-G-92, agency: Interperformances) will stay at least one more season in Italy. The Bulgarian guard penned a deal with Assi Basket Ostuni. The will compete in Lega Due. Sirakov played for Rimini juniors last two years. Last season he also appeared few times with B dilettanti team Peugeot Benevento. Sirakov had 6.7 ppg and 1.5 apg for them. Georgi Sirakov played for U18 Bulgaria last summer at the European Championships U18 in Vilnius. He had 3.5 ppg for 8 games at this event. In 2008, Sirakov helped Bulgaria to win the Bronze at the European Championships U16 Division B in Sarajevo. He exploded with 17.3 ppg and 2.1 rpg for 9 games.

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  CANADA   


Igor Bakovic returns to Austria - by Eurobasket News
Igor Bakovic (211-C-85, agency: Interperformances) is back to Austria. The Bosnian/Canadian center penned a one-year deal with St. Polten. He heads to St. Polten from the Bulgarian team Cherno More. Bakovic joined them in January averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds for 9 games in NBL. He also added 4.8 ppg and 3.4 rpg for 5 games in Balkan league. Ivan Bakovic started last season with the German team ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. He already played for St. Polten and it was in 2008/09. Bakovic had 7.3 ppg and 8.4 rpg for them that season. He is a product of the Ryerson College University. He graduated there three years ago.

Deep pockets ensure Lightning have time to thrive - by Eurobasket News
Once fans find out what the London Lightning is, their next question is usually 'Will they survive?'

Worry not about the Lightning. Worry about the other teams in the league.

London's is one of the seven franchises in the new National Basketball League of Canada, joining Oshawa, Quebec City, Moncton, Saint John, Halifax and Prince Edward Island.

Starting any sporting venture is at best a jittery proposition. But being the first strictly Canadian professional basketball league puts the jittery into an entirely different level.

Trying to sell any sporting venture in London, other than hockey, is like a game of go-broke roulette. One is just waiting for the ball to wind up on the go-broke slot.

So what is going to make this basketball franchise successful?

Successful is a relative word. Successful in this kind of environment means surviving while not losing too much money. That takes deep pockets.

If there is one thing the Lightning have, it's deep pockets.

Owner Vito Frijia is proprietor of Southside Construction Ltd., a large company that does millions of dollars in business.

Some owners go into this type of endeavour on a knife's edge. They don't have the funds that allows for significant losses.

That's not the case for Frijia. While losing money is no one's goal, the idea that a franchise will make money from the beginning is a dream. Somewhere down the line if the product is successful and the franchise caters to its fans, the bottom line may balance out.

Getting there is the tough part.

Frijia isn't going anywhere should he lose a few bucks. He's willing to pay money to pursue a sport he says is his 'passion.'

That said, Frijia's business puts him in a good situation when it comes to obtaining corporate sponsorship and selling season tickets.

Season tickets went on sale last week for the Lightning. They will play a couple of exhibition games and 18 home games at the John Labatt Centre.

Rumblings are about 2,000 season tickets have been sold.

'No, nowhere near that yet,' Lightning general manager Taylor Brown said. 'But Vito is on the telephone making calls.'

Basketball fans are just getting the news season tickets are available now and the average cost per game will be about $15.

'We also expect to be making announcements next week about several major corporate sponsors,' Brown said.

The real money is not made at the gate, although that helps. It is made through corporate sponsorships.

The start of the season is less than two months away and the Lightning will ramp up publicity and begin to announce the roster.

Lightning coach Michael Ray Richardson arrives in town to stay on Wednesday.

Then Brown and Richardson will begin to finalize contracts and get ready for training camp.

'Michael Ray doesn't want a big camp,' Brown said. 'We'll have about 20, 25 guys.'

With the players that Richardson is familiar with and wants to sign along with the Lightning draft choices, there may be only three or four spots available on the roster.

Camp will begin in October.

'Right now, we're talking to the YMCA about holding our camp there,' Brown said. 'It's big enough and has what we need.'

When there is something substantial to see that is when the tickets sales will really begin to move.

But meanwhile, Frijia is working the telephones making sure his business associates know about his basketball venture.

Frijia's does a lot of business with a variety of companies. It makes economic sense for companies that do millions of dollars in business with Frijia to support his basketball team. It is a fact that some companies have already purchased a substantial number of tickets and corporate sponsorships.

It adds depth to the bank account that will keep the Lightning viable in this new league, limiting the worry about survival to the other guys.

Courtesy of www.lfpress.com


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  CHINA   


Zhejiang Guangsha land J.R. Smith - by Eurobasket News
J.R. Smith (198-G-85) is heading to China. The guard has agreed on terms of contract with Zhejiang Guangsha Lions. J.R. Smith has been playing in the NBA since 2004. Last season the guard spent in Denver. He tallied 12.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the Nuggets. Previously he had stints with the New Orleans Hornets and the Chicago Bulls. J.R. Smith participated at NBA All-Star Game Slam Dunk Contest in 2005.


Jermaine Taylor is set to move to China - by Eurobasket News
Jermaine Taylor (193-G-86, college: Cent.Florida) is another NBA player to start the next season in China. The guard has reportedly agreed on terms of contract with Liaoning. The deal is meant for one season. Last season Jermaine Taylor started with the Houston Rockets. He averaged 4.9 points and 1.1 boards per game. In December the guard was traded to the Sacramento Kings. Jermaine Taylor posted 7.1 points, 2.0 boards and 1.2 assists per appearance for the Kings. Jermaine Taylor graduated from Central Florida University back in 2009. He was named C-USA Player of the Year in 2009. He also made it into All-C-USA 2nd Team in 2008.


Shanxi signs Marcus Williams - by Alex Yam
The Shanxi Zhongyu Basketball club has signed the one of the top players in China for the past couple of seasons, Marcus Williams. Williams, nearly avg a triple double last season while leading Zheijiang Chouzhou to a 5th place finish and into the playoffs. Williams who seemed destined to be resigned to his club for a 3rd straight year was woo'd by Shanxi, and also wanted to play with the CBA leading scorer, Charles Gaines who signed earlier in the month.

Both players will make a devastating combination for Shanxi, as they look to improve upon last seasons 9th place finish. A playoff run could be in the future of Shanxi, as they upgraded at the point guard position as well.


China Lists Asian Championship Roster, With Age Discrepencies Abundant - by Arthur Volbert
China listed its official roster for the 2011 FIBA Asia tournament and it is the same roster used against Iceland. The problem is China's continuing slovenliness in listing the ages of its players. This is most important in junior tournaments but this ineptitude with ages causes us to suspect the true ages of all Chinese players.

Wang ZhiZhi (214-C-79) is listed as being born in 1979 when it is commonly known that he was born in 1977 and that he was made younger to make him eligible for a local junior tournament over a decade ago. Ding Jinhui is listed as born in 1989. He is listed as born in 1990 on his CBA roster. He was once before listed as born in 1989 at a sneaker camp several years ago. Is 1989 his true birth year? If 1990 is his real birth year he would be eligible for the 2012 NBA draft. If 1989, he should have been eligible last June. Zhang Bo is listed as born in 1990. In the CBA his birth year is 1988. Is Zhang eligible for the 2012 NBA draft or is this just a stupid mistake? Yi Li is listed as born in 1987. But the CBA now lists him as born in 1985 though he was listed as born in 1987 for several years when he was younger.

Is there any wonder that people suspect that Yi Jianlian's true birth year is not 1987? Can't China see that this slopiness with ages causes us to suspect the ages of young prospects such as Guo Ailun, Ju Mingxin, Li Muhao and Wang Zhelin? China really must work to get its players ages straight.

Official Roster:
4 Jinhui Ding 27/10/1989 204 PF/C
5 Wei Liu 15/01/1980 190 PG
6 Bo Zhang 30/09/1990 198 SG
7 Li Yi 07/11/1987 202 SG/SF
8 Fangyu Zhu 05/01/1983 201 SF
9 Yue Sun 06/11/1985 205 SG
10 Zhaoxu Zhang 18/11/1987 221 C
11 Jianlian Yi 27/10/1987 212 PF/C
12 Shulong Yu 19/02/1990 185 G
13 Wei Su 28/07/1989 212 C
14 Zhizhi Wang 08/07/1979 214 C
15 Mugedar Xirelijiang 04/01/1991 191 G



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  CZECH REPUBLIC   


BK Prostejov wins ASTRUM CUP 2011 - by Eurobasket News
BK Prostejov wins ASTRUM CUP 2011 with 4 teams participating. In Day 1 Astrum Levice lost to BK Prostejov 64:86 in their opener.
In Day 2 BK Prostejov edged Atomeromu Paks 78:71. The team from Czech Republic won the first half 43:34 and led the game to the second straight win. For the Hungarian team Giles posted 16 points and Akos Kovacs (184-G-88, agency: TSS Management) netted 15.
BK Prostejov triumphed at the tournament with the win over Zlatorog 72:67. Trailing 14-24 after the first period, the winners needed 22-11 in the second frame and then added 20-16 in the third quarter. Dusan Pandula (196-F-84) paced all the winners with 17 points and Svrdlik notched 13. Roberson's 12 points were not enough for Slovenian side.
All Star team: Akos Kovacs /Paks/, Jamar Smith (191-G-87, agency: KMG Sports Management, college: S.Indiana) /Prostejov/, Jure Skific (202-F/C-88) /Lasko/, Travis Peterson (208-C-85, agency: Edge Sports, college: Samford) /Prostejov/, Mike Bernardini (191-G/F) /Levice/



Levharti Comutov Bring In Eryk Watson for Test Period - by Surujh Roopnarine
Last season's 1.Liga champions Levharti Chomutov have signed American guard Eryk Watson (190-G, college: Maryville, TN) to a 14-day contract. Watson joins the club on a temporary basis while Marek Basis continues to deal with ongoing knee issues. If he makes a positive impression on Coach Eisner he could serve to bolster the guard or wing positions.
Eryk Watson is a native of Powder Springs, Georgia and completed his four-year collegiate career at Division III Maryville (TN). Last season he finished in the top-10 in the nation in scoring (24.1ppg) as well as three-point field goal percentage (.472). He appeared in 107 career games and finished as the second all-time leading scorer in school history. Watson joins Rob Lowery (188-G-87, college: Dayton) and Richard Anderson (199-F-77) as other foreign imports on Chomutov's roster.


CEZ Nymburk Fall 79-90 to Austrian Champs Oberwart in Pre-Season Action - by Surujh Roopnarine
CEZ Basketball Nymburk followed up their first preparation defeat on the road against Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions with a Sunday matchup against the Oberwart Gunners . The team had an even worse shooting performance, managing only 79 points. The game was good for Nymburk though as 13 players saw game action against their well-prepared Austrian counterparts. Joe Dean Shaw (199-F-87, college: Nevada) led all scorers for the Oberwart Gunners with 22 points while Lamayne Wilson (204-F-80, college: Troy) and Lukas Palyza (204-F-89) paced Nymburk with 14 points apiece.
OBERWART: Joe Dean Shaw (22pts+7reb), Hannes Ochsenhofer (186-G-85) (18pts), Drake Reed (196-F-87, college: Austin Peay St.) (18pts), Jason Johnson (202-F/C-77, college: Tennessee St.) (8pts+11reb)
NYMBURK: Lamayne Wilson (14pts+5reb), Lukas Palyza (14pts), Drew Naymick (211-C-85) (10pts+6reb), Michael Lenzly (189-G-81, college: Wofford) (9pts)



*****************************************************
  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC   


Los Leones Advance To The LNB Finals - by Herubey Grassals
Los leones de santo domingo advance this Tuesday to the 2011 lnb finals when they defeated los reales de la vega in a dramatic match, by score of 67-66.

Jesse pellot-rosa made a basket with 25 seconds left in the game, los reales d ela vega tried by different ways tied or win the game but los leones de santo domingo made a great defense effort to get this important triumph, now los leones de santo domingo are waiting for the winner of the semi-finals series between los cocolos de san pedro de macoris and los indios de san Francisco, los cocolos are 1 win away to get their pass to the finals, they will play tonight in san Francisco de macoris, and will try to finish that series today.

For los leones de santo domingo, jesse pellot-rosa and walter hodge finished with 17 points each one, for los reales de la vega kirk snider finished with 16 points and glen macgowan with 14 points, teams super star juan coronodo plays a poor game finishing only with 11 points.


Los Leones Advance To The LNB Finals - by Herubey Grassals
Los Leones de Santo Domingo advance this Tuesday to the 2011 LNB finals when they defeated los Reales de La Vega in a dramatic match, by score of 67-66.

Jesse Pellot-Rosa (193-G-84, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: VCU) made a basket with 25 seconds left in the game, los Reales de La Vega tried by different ways tied or win the game but los Leones de Santo Domingo made a great defense effort to get this important triumph, now los Leones de Santo Domingo are waiting for the winner of the semi-finals series between los Cocolos de San Pedro de Macoris and los Indios de San Francisco, los Cocolos de San Pedro de Macoris are 1 win away to get their pass to the finals, they will play tonight in san Francisco de macoris, and will try to finish that series today.

For los Leones de Santo Domingo, Jesse Pellot-Rosa (193-G-84, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: VCU) and Walter Hodge (183-PG-86, college: Florida) finished with 17 points each one, for los Reales de La Vega kirk snider finished with 16 points and glen macgowan with 14 points, teams super star Juan Coronado (196-G-83) plays a poor game finishing only with 11 points.



*****************************************************
  EBA   


Clash Of The Superstars! - by Justin Moore
CLASH OF SUPERSTARS
LEAGUE PLAYERS ONLY

SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 @ 3PM
DOORS OPEN @ 2PM
COOLIDGE HS 6315 5th ST NW WASH DC 20011
NO ADVANCE TICKETS
GENERAL ADMISSION $30 @ DOOR ONLY
KIDS 17&UNDER $20
VIP/FLOOR SEATS ADVANCE ONLY $100 (CONTACT MATT 513 240-2141)
BALCONY SEATS $50

DC vs THE LEAGUE

DON'T MISS THE CHANCE TO SEE
KEVIN DURANT
DEMARCUS COUSINS
JEFF GREEN
KEMBA WALKER
JARRETT JACK
JAMES HARDEN
COREY BREWER
GREG MONROE
ERIC MAYNOR
JOHN WALL and many more SPECIAL INVITED GUEST

ALL MEDIA & TECHNICAL INQUIRIES EMAIL: MATTHEW SMITH @ MSMITH@CAPITOLELITE.ORG

NO REFUNDS NO REFUNDS


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


ITEXSAL won XVI Central American Student Games - by Jaime Arevalo
ITEXSAL school is the undefeated champion of the Central American student games CODICADER XVI by defeating the team with a score of 70-66 Belize, and played an exciting game for both teams since the beginning won the strength and speed of players ending belize first half with a 19-12, achievement itexsal recover in the second half thanks to good work of Leonardo Hernandez leaving the score 33-30. Reacts in the third quarter winstong belize through achieving a 55-51 reynolds.
In the fourth and last period there was much disagreement with the claim and arbitration desicion coach of the Belize calvin tech but it was always a hard fought game where the figure appeared in several plays abid oses itexsal key.
When there were 39 seconds to finish 66-65 and win Belize missed two free throws
itexsal makes a fast break and scored 2 pts by Abid Oses. Belize in the attack steals the ball leo hernandez and receives an intentional foul. Itexsal and thus won the game in their favor.

Best scorers for El Salvador: Abid Oses 21, Leonardo Hernandez 15
Belize: reynolds winston 30 pts

Itexsal stood out so much this season winning the league collegiate league development now called third category and now the league CODICADER
Congratulations to ITEXSAL


Final Standings
EL SALVADOR 6 - 0
BELIZE 5-1
GUATEMALA 3-3
COSTA RICA 3-3
PANAMA 2-4
HONDURAS 1-5
NICARAGUA 1-5




*****************************************************
  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS   


FYR Macedonia and Spain reached the Semifinals! - by Eurobasket News
Spain - Slovenia 86-64
Spain became the first semifinalists of EuroBasket 2011. They eased past Slovenia in the first quarterfinal of the tournament tonight. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) scored 26 points to lead La Roja to the victory. Slovenia ensured the brave start to the game. They opened the game with four points in a row and maintained the lead throughout the opening quarter. Ozbolt capped the first term with a three-pointer to make it 23:16 for Slovenia at the first break. Spain used an 11:3 run midway through the second frame to post a 32:28 lead. They secured a 35:31 halftime advantage. Spain opened the second half on a stunning 19:2 run. Slovenia could not come back to life in the reminder of the period facing a massive 45:71 deficit at the final break. Goran Dragic (194-PG-86) knocked down 7 points in a row to ignite a 9:0 run from Slovenia at the start of the fourth quarter as they narrowed the gap at 17-point mark. However Spain quickly restored a safe distance and cruised to the victory at the end. Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) notched 19 points and 16 rebounds for Spain. Jose Manuel Calderon (190-PG-81) added 9 points, 6 boards and 3 assists in the win. Goran Dragic answered with 14 points for Slovenia. Mirza Begic (216-C-85) posted 10 points in defeat.

FYR Macedonia - Lithuania 67-65
FYR Macedonia eliminated the hosts in front of packed arena in Kaunas. Bo McCalebb (183-PG-85, college: New Orleans) and Co won 67:65 and created another loudest upset in Eurobasket 2011. Songaila and Samardziski exchanged the early baskets in the game, while Jasaitis nailed three for 5:2. Kalnietis and Kalnietis brought 11:7 and Robertas Javtokas (211-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) brought 4 in a row for 17:10. The guests however replied with 5-0 run and Bo McCalebb made it 17:15. The latter also closed the first period at 20:18 driving a lay-up for his 6th point. The second quarter was a defensive one especially the start of it. Bo McCalebb scored for 22:21, but then FYR Macedonia could not score for about 5 minutes. Pocius made it 29:21 and only Ilievski brought the points for the guests with 3 minutes in the half. Samardziski and again Ilievski reduced to 31:28, while Bo McCalebb sent the players to the lockers for 34:30, Lithuania. Robertas Javtokas gave the hosts plus 6, but Stojanovski tied it all at 38:38. Antic scored for 41:41 and Bo McCalebb tasted the first lead with his side at 42:41. Songaila gave Lithuania 47:45 and Jonas Valanciunas (210-C-92) scored for 50:47. Chekovski kept the guests alive after thirty minutes at 52:49. Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) scored for 56:52 and Kaukenas delivered two for 60:55.Bo McCalebb scored his 19th points for 60:57 with 3 minutes to go. Jasaitis and Bo McCalebb exchanged the shots for 62:61, but Jankunas made two with a foul for plus 4. Again Bo McCalebb cut it back to 2. Ilievski shocked the audience with a three for 66:65 with 11 seconds to go and Lithuania needed timeout. Jasaitis missed a shot and Ilievski needed just one for the final success. Bo McCalebb top-scored for the winners with 23 points and Stojanovski netted 15. Ilievski followed them with 12 points and the important shot from the arc. Robertas Javtokas ended up with 13 points in defeat and Ilievski scored 12.



Standings Div.A (Men)
Standings
Group E
1. Spain5-1
2. France4-1
3. Lithuania3-3
4. Serbia2-3
5. Turkey1-4
6. Germany1-4
Group F
1. Russia5-0
2. FYR Macedo.5-1
3. Greece3-2
4. Slovenia2-4
5. Finland1-4
6. Georgia0-5
Group Places 13-24
1. Belgium0-0
2. Bosnia0-0
3. Bulgaria0-0
4. Croatia0-0
5. U.Kingdom0-0
6. Israel0-0
7. Italy0-0
8. Latvia0-0
9. Montenegro.0-0
10. Poland0-0
11. Portugal0-0
12. Ukraine0-0


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Luol DENG
  ENG
  (201-F-85)
  Avg: 24.6
 1. Deng, ENG24.6 
 2. Bargnani, ITA22.8 
 3. Parker, FRA22.1 
 4. McCalebb, MKD20.9 
 5. Gasol, ESP20.3 
 6. Nowitzki, GER19.5 
 7. Rowland, BUL18.0 
 8. Tomic, CRO16.6 
 9. Eliyahu, ISR16.4 
 10. Kuksiks, LAT16.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Chris KAMAN
  USA
  (213-C-82)
  Avg: 10
 1. Kaman, GER10.0 
 2. Deng, ENG9.4 
 3. Antic, MKD8.8 
 4. Asik, TUR8.5 
 5. Sanikidze, GEO8.0 
 6. Noah, FRA8.0 
 7. Dasic, MNT7.6 
 8. Bargnani, ITA7.4 
 9. Clark, ENG7.2 
 10. Gasol, ESP7.1 
Assists Per Game
 Dontaye DRAPER
  USA
  (180-G-84)
  Avg: 7
 1. Draper, CRO7.0 
 2. Da Silva, POR6.5 
 3. Teodosic, SRB6.4 
 4. Vasiljevic, BIH5.4 
 5. Khryapa, RUS5.3 
 6. Bertt, UKR4.8 
 7. Jasikevicius, LTU4.8 
 8. Parker, FRA4.7 
 9. Koszarek, POL4.4 
 10. Cook, MNT4.2 
Steals Per Game
 Obie TROTTER
  USA
  (186-G-84)
  Avg: 2.8
 1. Trotter, HUN2.8 
 2. Kirilenko, RUS2.8 
 3. Batum, FRA2.4 
 4. Kotti, FIN2.1 
 5. Hanga, HUN2.0 
 6. McCalebb, MKD2.0 
 7. Kelati, POL2.0 
 8. Stojanovski, MKD1.9 
 9. Fernandez, ESP1.8 
 10. Andrade, POR1.8 
Blocks Per Game
 Pau GASOL
  ESP
  (214-F/C-80)
  Avg: 1.8
 1. Gasol, ESP1.8 
 2. Kaman, GER1.8 
 3. Kravtsov, UKR1.6 
 4. Bargnani, ITA1.6 
 5. Asik, TUR1.5 
 6. Mozgov, RUS1.4 
 7. Valanciunas, LTU1.3 
 8. Koufos, GRE1.3 
 9. Begic, SLO1.2 
 10. Mbenga, BEL1.2 


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


Yesterday's friendly games - by Eurobasket News
Chalon celebrated 79-73 win against ASVEL yesterday. Malcolm Delaney (190-G-89, college: Virginia Tech) shined in victory with 33 points. He reached valuation 31 and was the MVP of this meeting. Alade Aminu (208-F-87, college: Georgia Tech) had 16 points and Ilian Evtimov (201-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina St.) helped Chalon with 10 pts. On the other side, Leo Westermann (198-G-92, agency: Beo Basket) responded with 17 points. Fofana Bengaly scored 10, while Kim Tillie (211-F-88, agency: Priority Sports, college: Utah) and Dijon Thompson (201-G/F-83, college: UCLA) netter 10 points each. Quarters: 26-13, 13-26, 18-19, 22-15.
In other games, Saint-Etienne was better than Vichy 71-67. SOMB cruised past Lille 67-49, while Fos Ouest handed 83-76 loss to Boulazac. Aix-Maurienne outplayed Swiss Benetton Fribourg 91-80.


Papa Beye to join Chalons-Reims - by Eurobasket News
Papa Beye (203-F-89) will play next season for Chalons-Reims. The Senegalese forward heads to Chalon from Clermont, where he spent 2010/11. Beye appeared in 33 games, but with limited playing time. He averaged just 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds. Beye played for Chalons from 2007 until the last summer. He mostly played for their U21 Team. Papa Beye is a promising front court player. He stands 6-9 and has a 7-3 wingspan. Beye also has great athletic skills and a natural coordination. He has great timing for the rebounds at the both ends of the court, needs to add shooting range and perimetral skills.

*****************************************************
  FYR MACEDONIA   


EuroBasket 2011: FYR Macedonia eliminate the hosts in front of packed arena in Kaunas - by Eurobasket News
FYR Macedonia-Lithuania 67:65

FYR Macedonia eliminated the hosts in front of packed arena in Kaunas. Bo McCalebb (183-PG-85, college: New Orleans) and Co won 67:65 and created another loudest upset in Eurobasket 2011.
Darius Songaila (205-C/F-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) and Samardziski exchanged the early baskets in the game, while Jasaitis nailed three for 5:2. Kalnietis and Kalnietis brought 11:7 and Robertas Javtokas (211-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) brought 4 in a row for 17:10. The guests however replied with 5-0 run and Bo McCalebb made it 17:15. The latter also closed the first period at 20:18 driving a lay-up for his 6th point.
The second quarter was a defensive one especially the start of it. Bo McCalebb scored for 22:21, but then FYR Macedonia could not score for about 5 minutes. Pocius made it 29:21 and only Vlado Ilievski (189-PG-80, agency: World Sport Agency) brought the points for the guests with 3 minutes in the half. Samardziski and again Vlado Ilievski reduced to 31:28, while Bo McCalebb sent the players to the lockers for 34:30, Lithuania.
Robertas Javtokas gave the hosts plus 6, but Vojdan Stojanovski (193-G-87) tied it all at 38:38. Antic scored for 41:41 and Bo McCalebb tasted the first lead with his side at 42:41. Darius Songaila gave Lithuania 47:45 and Valanciunas scored for 50:47. Chekovski kept the guests alive after thirty minutes at 52:49.
Jasikevicius scored for 56:52 and Kaukenas delivered two for 60:55.Bo McCalebb scored his 19th points for 60:57 with 3 minutes to go. Jasaitis and Bo McCalebb exchanged the shots for 62:61, but Jankunas made two with a foul for plus 4. Again Bo McCalebb cut it back to 2. Vlado Ilievski shocked the audience with a three for 66:65 with 11 seconds to go and Lithuania needed timeout. Jasaitis missed a shot and Vlado Ilievski needed just one for the final success.
Bo McCalebb top-scored for the winners with 23 points and Vojdan Stojanovski netted 15. Vlado Ilievski followed them with 12 points and the important shot from the arc. Robertas Javtokas ended up with 13 points in defeat and Vlado Ilievski scored 12.

FYR Macedonia: Bo McCalebb 23, Vojdan Stojanovski 15, Vlado Ilievski 12
Lithuania: Robertas Javtokas 13, Darius Songaila 12


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


Patrick Carney Gets Contract With The ETB Wohnbau Baskets. - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber
After a long try-out phase, the ETB Wohnbau Baskets have announced that Patrick Carney (185-G, college: Chapman) is officially a member of the team as he he got a contract until the end of the season. Carney is a 26 year old 177cm guard from Lake Forest El Torro and can play the position one and two. He played at Chapman (NCAA3) before coming to Germany in 2009 where he played for the Velbert Baskets (Germany-2.Regionalliga) the last two seasons helping the team reach the Regionaliga in 2010. 'He fits as a persona nd with his game to us. We are happy that we have found such a good replacement for Thomas Schoeps', stressed ETB Wohnbau Baskets manager Markus Horn.


Source: ETB Wohnbau Baskets


Josh Slater (BG Goettingen) I Really Think That The Tough, Hard-Nosed Playing Style Of BG Goettingen Fits Me Very Well - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber
Josh Slater (190-G-89, college: Lipscomb) is a 22 year old 190cm guard from Nashville,Tennessee. He is starting his professional basketball career with BG Goettingen. He played at Lipscomb NCAA) from 2007 to 2011 and in his senior year played 30 games: 16.5ppg, 6.1rpg, 4.6apg, 3.1spg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 28.8%, FT: 72.1%. His teammate was new Walter Tiger Tuebingen forward Adnan Hodzic. In his junior year, he played 30 games: 17.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 5.2apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 69.8%. Awards/Achievements in his basketball career have been-Sun All-Freshman Team -08, A-Sun Tournament Semifinals -0, -Sun Regular Season Champion -10, All-A-Sun 1st Team -10, 11, and NABC Division I All-District 3 2nd Team -10, 11.He took some time to talk to eurobasket this past summer about his future with BG Goettingen.

Welcome to Germany Josh. When you were looking at teams this summer what was the most important thing that came into consideration for choosing BG Goettingen?

When my agent told me that BG Goettingen had offered me a contract I was excited because I had heard that Goettingen has a great tradition in the BBL. The playing style and mentality of the team suits me very well and it just felt like a natural fit going into my rookie season. I only wanted an opportunity to compete and prove myself when looking for a team and I believe I will get a chance to do that for Goettingen.

What were the main reasons for coming to Goettingen?

Goettingen has established themselves as a solid team in the BBL and I believe that playing for them is an opportunity that many rookies would be very excited to have. I really think that the tough, hard-nosed playing style of BG Goettingen fits me very well and I will be able to contribute to the organization this season.

What do you know about your new club BG Goettingen and the Beko BBL?

I have heard many good things about BG Goettingen, but especially that the fans are great. I cant wait to play for fans who are passionate about their team! As a player, you want to have solid support from the fans and I hear that the fans in Goettingen are crazy! As for the BBL, there are many great players who have signed thus far in the offseason. I know it is going to be great competition and I cant wait to go out there and compete.

This will be a type of rebuilding year for BG Goettingen. The team will be very young with 4 guys coming from the NCAA. Do you feel a lot of pressure in your first year as a professional.

I do not feel that much pressure going in because I have been preparing the whole offseason. I cant wait to get on the court in a few weeks. I am sure my teammates have been working hard also and are looking forward to the season. We are going to play hard every game and try to get better everyday. Even though we dont have much experience, we can still be a good team if we stay focused on the main goal of winning games and do what it takes to reach that goal.

What things have you been working on this summer to improve your game the most?

I have really been working on improving my three point shot over the offseason. I want to become a more consistent shooter and I think I have improved greatly over the summer.

What is a big strength in your game that isnt always noticed right away?

I think rebounding is an underrated aspect of my game. I rebound well for a guard and got 6 rebounds a game during my senior season.

You played 4 years at Lipscomb. What will you miss the most from your play together with Adnan Hodzic?

Adnan and I were roommates our freshman year and he is like a brother to me. I am going to miss playing with him, but I am ready to take him on this season! The thing I will miss most is playing with all my teammates and my coaches from Lipscomb. Those guys are my brothers.

Despite a 80-66 loss to North Carolina last season where you scored 21 points, grabbed 9 boards, dished out 4 assists, had 2 steals and a block what will you remember the most from playing in North Carolina Tar heel country?

That was such a great environment to play in. The crowd was amazing and it is one of those places that you dream of playing at as a kid. I will never forget how loud it got in the Dean Dome before tip-off. Crazy.

How was it battling Larry Drew this night? Did you have his number?

Larry Drew is a great player. I wanted to show that I could play with the best players in the country. Im not the type of player who is going to back down from anyone. I think I played well against Carolina but they were just too much for us in the end.

Who was the best basketball player that you played against in the NCAA that might be in the NBA now?

That would have to be Evan Turner. He hit us with a triple-double my junior year and I thought we were playing good defense on him! He plays for the Philadelphia 76ers now.

What was your most crazy shot that you ever took in a game or practice that went in?

I once hit a half-court buzzer beater in an exhibition series in the Dominican Republic. Dont think I could do it again.

What were the most number of free throws that you made in a row?

-I think I hit 15 in a row in a couple games this past season.

Your from Nashville, Tennessee. What food will you miss the most from home?

My pops is a grill master and I am going to miss his steaks on the grill big time!

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Shawshank Redemption. I could watch that movie over and over. Its a classic.

Thanks Josh for the chat.




Michael Hart Excells In Try-Out And Gets Contract With Herzoege Wolfenbuettel - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

The Herzoege Wolfenbuettel announced today that Michael Hart will stay with the club after convincing the team of his abilities in a try-out. Hart is a 26 year old 206cm power forward from Boilingbrook,Illinois. Hart had played at N.Illinois (NCAA) in 2007-2008 after transfering from Carthage College and in his his last year at N.Illinois played 28 games: 4.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.1apg.the last few years, Hart had been bouncing around leagues in the Chicago area and recently played for Team Warsaw (Eurobasket Summer League in Chicago): 3 games: 10.7ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.7spg. 'Michael is getting better and more sure in each game. One does notice that he hasnt played at a top level for a while,but I am sure that soon he will show his total potential.His spectacular way to play and friendliness has made him popular with the fans', stressed Herzoege Wolfenbuettel head coach Benjamin Travnizek

Source: Herzoege Wolfenbuettel


Marius Nolte Continues To Excell With Age Like Good Wine leading The Fraport Skyliners Past The Giessen 46ers 92-67 - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber

In the last few days the sporting world witnessed the loud ferocious home arena of Lithuania dashing the German basketball dreams of reaching the 2012 Olympics in London in a do or Dirk game, an unforgettable 2012 US open tennis final as Novak Djokovic finally was able to win in his third New York final against Spanish pitbull Rafael Nadal or Tom Brady showing once again how cool and dangerous he can be like Joe Montana was in Super bowls, Larry Bird making big plays and clutch shots or David Ortiz having a knack for the timely Big papi clutch hits as he passed for 517 yards in a 38-24 win against the Miami Dolphins, so the Fraport Skyliners didnt have it easy with that stiff competition of the last days sports perfomances in the world showing the 20-30 fans who had come to witness a special preseason Hessen Derby against the Giessen 46ers an outstanding performance dominating the game from the get go crushing them 92-67. I had seen the highlights from those games and something like that always puts you in the right mentality and motivation to want to step on the floor and stand out and create something memorable for the fans, stressed Fraport Skyliner point guard Michael Thompson (177-PG-89, college: Northwestern). The great performance of Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops) might have overshadowed the German debut of Michael Thompson (177-PG-89, college: Northwestern) who is known as the juice, but was christened with the famous kool-Aid name to the juice. Thompson wanted to do like the Kool-Aid man in the famous commercials and burst through the wall with his famous chant Oh yeah and impress the fans, but with his shot not falling so much, he had to do it in other ways. I didnt do a good job knocking down shots. My teammates found me well getting me good shots though. Instead I did a good job giving the ball to my teammates. I am a playmaker and that is why I am in Frankfurt. I didnt break through the wall with my shot, but with my passing. I drink Kool-Aid all the time and that is a great name for me, joked Michael Thompson (177-PG-89, college: Northwestern). Even though Skyliner three point specialist Justin Gray (188-G-84, college: Wake Forest) was ready to enter the music world playing with his headphones heading to the team bus, he was very alert as he heard the favorite American juice. They sell Kool-Aid In Germany?, asked Justin Gray (188-G-84, college: Wake Forest). Thompson is a quick point guard. I think he did a decent job, expressed Giessen 46er guard Wayne Bernard (190-G-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Davidson).

The Fraport Skyliners exited the Osthalle with extending their preseason record to 5-1, while the Giessen 46ers move to 2-2. It was evident after 40 minutes that the Fraport Skyliners were a lot farther as a team on offensive and defensive sets than were the Giessen 46ers. The Giessen 46ers used the game to concentrate 100% on their game and didnt concentrate at all on the Fraport Skyliners and in a way it showed on the court as the team from the main could do what they wanted on offense all night long. We didnt have any concentration on the court. We were unable to play against their zone and zone press and giving up 56 points at halftime isnt acceptable. We werent aggressive and had no intensity on the court. Mathias Perl (188-G-89) and our NBBL player Dominic Turudic played the hardest from our team, stressed Giessen 46er head coach Bjoern Harmsen . The Fraport Skyliner offense was working like a clock work and the team displayed astronomic shooting percentages all night long and their defense continues to improve in the last weeks. We came out and executed well on defense right from the start and held it through out the game. We also rebounded well and did a good job getting the ball out quickly in transition. But all in all, I was very impressed how well we played defense, added Michael Thompson (177-PG-89, college: Northwestern). But it was also the offense which was impressive as they ran up the score board for 92 points. We have many new players and are getting used to the new defensive principles. We werent aggressive and our help side and rotations werent good, added ex MBC guard Wayne Bernard (190-G-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Davidson)

The Fraport Skyliners got off to a quick 7-2 lead as they showed fast that there would be no one man show by Justin Gray (188-G-84, college: Wake Forest), but that the ball would be shared. Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops) started off the scoring with a lay in off a sweet Gray feed which was followed by a Jon Leuer (208-F-89, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wisconsin) lay in and a Gray three pointer. Once the Fraport Skyliners offense got started it kept surging as Jon Leuer (208-F-89, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wisconsin) hit two more mid distance jumpers as Frankfurt led 13-6. Leuer makes everything look so easy and it seems like he might have been in a 90 c sauna, but never sweat. The Giessen 46ers showed little agressiveness on defense and on offense werent getting good shots and forced a lot. Nolte continued to score easy baskets inside as he was being fed from Gray or Thompson as Frankfurt led 17-9. 26 year Serb old try-out player Vladimir Mijovic (207-F-84) did what he could to show head coach Bjoern Harmsen that he wants to stay in Giessen scoring inside sneaking past the Skyliners on the transition and scoring and dropping a three pointer. Quantez Robertson (190-G-84, college: Auburn) also got into the scoring action showing what he does best with athletic skill and defense. He scored twice inside as the Fraport Sklyiners had the comfortable 23-14 lead after one quarter. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting a crazy 67% from the field and 50% from outside and the Giessen 46ers were shooting a meager 33% from the field and 29% from outside. Frankfurt had the 9-6 rebound edge and two turnovers while the Giessen 46ers had three turnovers.

In the second quarter, The Fraport Skyliners seemed to shift up two more gears as they jumped on the Giessen 46ers with a 7-3 run as Jon Leuer (208-F-89, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wisconsin) who has some resemblance to Ferris Bueller who skipped school for a day to have fun as he went to work scoring a three pointer and showing his beautiful strut to the rim scoring inside as the Fraport Skyliners led 30-17. Robert Oehle (209-C-88) then made one free throw, but the Fraport Skyliners then exploded for a 17-0 run to put the game out of reach for the Giessen 46ers as they led 47-18. German Fabian Franke started the offensive burst with 5 consecutive points with a fade away jumper and a three pointer as the Fraport Skyliners led 35-18 and Bjoern Harmsen took a time out. As the teams went back on the court, it was the turn of Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops) to show that he does in deed seem to get better with age as he scored 8 of the next 10 Skyliner points as Frankfurt led 47-18. He scored inside four times and the blind understanding between Nolte/Gray is simply incredible at this juncture of the pre season. I guess I get better with age like good wine, joked Fraport Skyliner center Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops). The Fraport Skyliners were able to keep their comfortable lead down the stretch as Justin Gray (188-G-84, college: Wake Forest) nailed a three pointer and Quantez Robertson scored inside as it was MariusI can sub for point guard if you want Nolte who was credited with both assists. Young German Mathias Perl (188-G-89) ended the second quarter with a slick cross over by Justin gray and setting up 35 year Elvir Ovcina (211-F/C-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Syracuse) for the bucket. The Fraport Skyliners led 56-25 at halftime. Speed is important in our game and we showed that in our 17-0 run, stressed Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops). The Fraport Skyliners were shooting an amazing 71% from the field and 67% from the three point line while The Giessen 46ers were shooting a inferior 29% from the field and 18% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 20-11 rebound edge and four turnovers while The Giessen 46ers had seven turnovers.

The Giessen 46ers started off well in the third quarter with a 6-2 run to cut the Fraport Skyliner lead to 58-31 as Americans Wayne Bernard (190-G-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Davidson) and 2001 NBA Draft pick Maurice Jeffers (194-G/F-79, college: St.Louis) sunk two three pointers. Fraport Skyliner head coach Muli Katzurin (agency: Avi Zilberman ) inserted ex USC Heidelberg forward Danilo Barthel (206-F-91, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) who got valuable playing time even getting a bucket. Giessen continued to be inconsistent on offense and had problems in the offense without Ovcina on the floor. When he returned, he was able to help with two jumpers cutting the Sklyiner lead to 64-36. Giessen then had a positive stretch going on a 7-2 run cutting the Sklyiner lead down to 66-43. Bozo Djurasovic scored inside and Mathias Perl (188-G-89) drowned a three pointer, but missed free throws was a cramp in the come back. Ex Paderborn Basket Robert Oehle (209-C-88) who played together with Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops) some years back shone getting to the free throw line and scoring inside twice, but Giessen was still trailing 73-50 after three quarters. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 63% from the field and 63% from the parking lot while the Giessen 46ers were shooting 38% from the field and 29% from the parking lot. Frankfurt still were winning the rebounding duel 25-19. The Giessen 46ers had 10 turnovers and the Fraport Skyliners nine turnovers.

The Fraport Skyliners were able to get their lead back over 30 points as they started hot in the fourth quarter going on a 9-0 run to lead 82-50. Frankfurt started off the fourth quarter in spectacular fashion as Justin Gray (188-G-84, college: Wake Forest) produced a half court ally-op pass to Justin Leuer for the Minnesota dunk. Nolte then was fed nicely by Thompson with a bounce pass inside and two quick points and then for the second time a Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops) steal started a fast break which resulted in Gray making a tough bounce pass to Super Tez who was ahead of the pack for the basket. The Fraport Skyliners had done enough damage on this night and the Giessen 46ers finished the game solid ending the game with a 17-10 run. Frankfurt fans saw a sweet Quantez Robertson dunk and a Michael Thompson (177-PG-89, college: Northwestern) floater from the win who finally scored his first field goal of the game after showing his strength from the free throw line going 8/8. With two minutes remaining, the Fraport Skyliners had five Germans on the court and four PRO B players with Tim Oldenburg (202-C-92), Falko Theilig (180-PG-92), Jan Novak (199-G/F-92) Benedikt Nikolay and Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops). The Giessen 46ers got some more buckets from Maurice Jeffers and Robert Oehle (209-C-88) down the stretch, but the Fraport Skyliners were a few classes better on this day than the Giessen 46ers getting the well deserved 92-67 victory.

The Fraport Skyliners were led by Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops) with 20 points, four rebounds and five assists. Justin Gray (188-G-84, college: Wake Forest) contributed 19 points, four rebounds and seven assists. Jon Leuer (208-F-89, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wisconsin) produced 18 points and eight rebounds. Quantez Robertson added 16 points and eight rebounds. The Giessen 46ers were led by Robert Oehle (209-C-88) with 17 points. Elvir Ovcina (211-F/C-76, agency: Interperformances, college: Syracuse) produced 14 points and four assists. Maurice Jeffers added 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners finished the game shooting a whopping 61% from the field and 56% from downtown while the Giessen 46ers got their shooting up to a respectable 40% from the field and 26% from downtown. Frankfurt won the rebounding battle 31-24 and turnover race 15-12. The Fraport Skyliners showed a strong and determined effort despite not having German national players Joe Herber and Tim Ohlbrecht and Americans Jimmy McKinney (192-G-83, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Missouri) and ex NBA player Jermario Davidson. We did good things tonight. It is important that we showed that we can give a good effort despite not having everyone on board. Our intensity was very good, commented Marius Nolte (206-C-81, agency: Limelight Hoops). Giessen 46er Wayne Bernard (190-G-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Davidson) didnt have much to smile about after the game and was impressed by the Fraport Skyliners. Frankfurt looked great. I am sure that they will have a good season. They knew how to read our defense and played very good zone defense, added Wayne Bernard (190-G-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Davidson). The Fraport Skyliners next play two test games against French team SIG STrassburg.



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  GREECE   


Olympiakos cruises past Ikaros 91-72 in a friendly - by Eurobasket News
Olympiakos - Ikaros 91-72

Olympiakos celebrated in one of their first pre-season games. The Reds were too strong for Ikaros handing them 91-72 loss. Kyle Hines (198-F/C-86) and Georgios Printezis (206-F-85, agency: FCM) stepped up for Olympiakos with 14 points. Martynas Gecevicius (193-G-88) followed them with two points less, while Matt Howard (203-F, college: Butler) and Pelekanos added 11 points each. Kalin Lucas was the last one with double-digits in scoring. He had 10 points. Evangelos Mantzaris and Lazaros Papadopoulos also appeared for the Reds in this game. They posted 7 and 6 points respectively. In Ikaros, Ravern Johnson (200-G-88, college: Mississippi St.) shined with 22 points. Marko Ljubicic (195-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) stopped to 16 pts. Both teams will play more games this pre-season.

Olympiakos: Kyle Hines 14, Georgios Printezis 14, Martynas Gecevicius 12, Matt Howard 11, Pelekanos 11, Kalin Lucas 10, Evangelos Mantzaris 7, Lazaros Papadopoulos 6
Ikaros: Ravern Johnson 22, Marko Ljubicic 16


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  HUNGARY   


Kis-Raba menti Takarek SKC triumphs at Krasznai Kupa - by Eurobasket News
Kis-Raba menti Takarek SKC triumphs at Krasznai Kupa. In Day 1 Kis-Raba menti Takarek SKC overcame SMAFC-NYME 74:63. Andras Molnar (195-F/G-83, agency: TSS Management) stepped up with 19 points and Peter Lakatos (194-G-79, agency: TSS Management) added 13. Csaplar-Nagy delivered 16 points in the losing effort.
In Day 2 Kis-Raba menti Takarek SKC beat ZalakeramiaZTE KK 75:57. Andras Molnar poured in 25 points and Keresztes notched 17. David Gaspar (193-G/F-82) produced 19 points and 15 rebounds in defeat.
In Day 3 Kis-Raba menti Takarek edged UBC Gussing Knights 83:76. The Austrian side won the opening tip 30:25, but failed in the second with 14-21. Moreover the winners added 22-16 in the third quarter and did not mind 15-16 in the last stanza. Peter Lakatos top-scored for the winners with 18 points, while Kereszes delivered 16. Heard ended up with 17 points in defeat and Klepeisz added 15.

Atomeromu meanwhile finished last at the Astrum Cup. In Day 1 Zlatorog Lasko outscored Atomeromu SE PAKS 73:70. Skific top-scored for the winners with 14 points and Lapornik notched 13. For Atomeromu Kovacs posted 18 points, while Toth netted 11 and Wilson added 9.
BK Prostejov edged Atomeromu Paks 78:71. The team from Czech Republic won the first half 43:34 and led the game to the second straight win. For the Hungarian team Devonne Giles (203-F-83, college: Texas Tech) posted 16 points and Akos Kovacs (184-G-88, agency: TSS Management) netted 15.
In Day 3 Levice won over Atomeromu Paks 87:70.





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  ISRAEL   


Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv wins in its first pre-season game - by Eurobasket News
Maccabi Electra - Maccabi Haifa 88-63

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv celebrated in its first pre-season game. The Israeli giant handed 88-63 loss to Maccabi Haifa. The game was played in Nokia Arena. There was a lot to be impressed by, especially when it came to the three big men, Sofoklis Schortsanitis (206-C-85), Devin Smith (196-G/F-81, college: Virginia), and Richard Hendrix (203-F/C-86, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: Alabama), who displayed great ability under the baskets. Devin Smith and Yogev Ohayon (189-PG-87, agency: Lanshire Group), both of whom wore the yellow for the first time, demonstrated excellent shooting and game management. Hendrix, Smith and Schortsanitis scored 12 points each for the winners. They grabbed 20 rebounds together. Shawn James (208-C/F-83, agency: Z.A.G. - Law Offices, college: Northeastern) (8 rebs) and Guy Pnini (200-F/G-83) helped with 10 points apiece. Thodoros Papaloukas (200-PG-77, agency: FCM) delivered 6 points in his debut. Maccabi Electra made 10-2 run in the finish of the first half for 42-32 lead. They had no troubles to extend it for rest of the game.

Maccabi: Hendrix 12 points, 8 rebounds; Smith 12 points, 7 rebounds; Schortsanitis 12 points, 5 rebounds; James 10 points, 8 rebounds; Pnini 10 points; Blu 7 points, 8 rebounds; Ohayon 6 points, 6 assists; Farmar 6 points, 4 assists; Burstein 6 points, 6 rebounds; Papaloukas 6 points; Scheyer 1 points


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  ITALY   


Dinamo Sassari shines in pre-season - by Eurobasket News
Dinamo Sassari celebrated 72-58 win in a friendly game against Olin Edrine. The Italians exploded in third quarter to take this victory (21-7). Travis Diener (184-PG-82, college: Marquette) top-scored for Dinamo with 12 points. Brian Sacchetti (199-F-86) and Drake Diener (196-G-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: De Paul) added 11 points each. Ends of periods: 17-10, 40-30, 61-37, 72-58. This past weekend Dianmo Sassari won the Tournament in Varallo. They handed 84-73 loss to Milano in the Finals. Quinton Hosley (200-F/G-84, college: Fresno St.) and Keith Benson (210-C-88, college: Oakland) scored 18 points each in that meeting. Drake Diener helped with 11 pts. Sassari will play more friendly games this week.

Italian Serie A trades and transactions - by Edoardo Tamalio
Italian Serie A trades and transaction

SIENA
20-06-2011 - MC CALEBB Lester Bo - contract renewal
28-06-2011 - ANDERSEN David - from New Orleans (NBA)
03/07/2011 - SUMMERS FromJuan - from Detroit (NBA)
09/08/2011 - LAVRINOVIC Ksistof - contract renewal

CANTU'
25/03/2011 - MICOV Vladimir - contract renewal
18/04/2011 - TRINCHIERI Andrea (coach) - contract renewal
03/05/2011 - LEUNEN Maarty - contract renewal
17/05/2011 - MARKOISHVILI Manuchar - contract renewal
20/06/2011 - SCEKIC Marko - contract renewal
29/06/2011 - CINCIARINI Andrea - from Montegranaro (Lega A)
01/07/2011 - PARAKHOUSKI Artsiom - from VEF Riga (LET)
08/07/2011 - LIGHTY David - from Ohio State (NCAA)
25/07/2011 - BASILE Gianluca - from Barcellona (SPA)
02/08/2011 - BRADLEY Karon - from Lille Metropole Basket Clubs (FRA - Pro B)
03/08/2011 - BOLZONELLA Federico - from Piacenza (A Dilettanti)

MILANO
07/06/2011 - SCARIOLO Sergio (coach) - new
27/06/2011 - COOK Omar - from Valencia (SPA)
01/07/2011 - FOTSIS Antonio - from Panathinaikos Atene (GRE)
09/07/2011 - BOURUSIS Ioannis - from Olympiakos Atene (GRE)
16/07/2011 - NICHOLAS Drew - from Panathinaikos Atene (GRE)
17/07/2011 - RADOSEVIC Leon - from Cibona Zagabria
20/07/2011 - GIACHETTI Jacopo - from Roma (Lega A)
25/07/2011 - HAIRSTON Malik - from Siena (Lega A)

TREVISO
14/06/2011 - GENTILE ALESSANDRO - contract renewal
02/07/2011 - DJORDJEVIC Alexsander (coach) - new
05/07/2011 - MEKEL Gal - from Hapoel Gilboa Galil (ISR)
15/07/2011 - BULLERI Massimo - contract renewal
22/07/2011 - MOLDOVEANU Vlad - American University of Washington (NCAA)
28/07/2011 - MOORE E'Twaun - Purdue University (NCAA)
30/072011 - ADRIEN Jeff - from Golden State (NBA)
12/08/2011 - BECIROVIC Sani - from CSKA Mosca

BIELLA
18/05/2011 - COLEMAN Aubrey- contract renewal
07/07/2011 - MINESSI Nicola - contract renewal
12/07/2011 - PULLEN Jacob Everse - from Kansas City (NCAA)
13/07/2011 - CHRYSIKOPOULOS Linos-Spyridon - from Aris Salonicco (GRE)
25/07/2011 - MIRALLES Alberto - from Lagun Aro Gipuzkoa (SPA)
30/07/2011 - DRAGICEVIC Tadja - from Alba Berlino (GER)

VARESE
21/06/2011 - RANNIKKO Teemu - contract renewal
21/06/2011 - TALTS Janar - contract renewal
02/07/2011 - GARRI LUCA - from Caserta (Lega A)
12/07/2011 - REATI Davide - from Treviglio (LNP)
25/07/2011 - DIAWARA Yakhouba - from Brindisi (Legadue)
28/07/2011 - KANGUR Kristjan - confermato
02/08/2011 - GANETO Gabriele - from Milano (Lega A)
03/08/2011 - HURTT Justin - from Tulsa University (NCAA)

BOLOGNA
23/06/2011 - MC INTYRE Terrell - from Malaga (SPA)
22/07/2011 - GIGLI Angelo - from Roma (Lega A)
10/09/2011 - DOUGLAS ROBERTS Chris - from Milwaukee (NBA)

CREMONA
16/06/2011 - MAHORIC Tomo (coach)
24/07/2011 - PERKOVIC Jasmin (contract renewal)
28/07/2011 - D'ERCOLE Lorenzo (contract renewal)
11/07/2011 - THOMAS Brandon - from New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (GER)
20/07/2011 - TABU Jonathan - from Cantu' (Lega A)
04/08/2011 - WAFER 'VON' Quamar Vakeaton - from Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
13/08/2011 - BAVCIC Edin - from Aris Salonicco (GRE)
06/09/2011 - MAZIC Armin - from Treviso

CASERTA
27/06/2011 - CIORCIARI Diego Andres (SPA)
27/06/2011 - SACRIPANTI Stefano (coach) - contract renewal
29/06/2011 - MARESCA Giuliano - from Brindisi (Legadue)
01/07/2011 - STIPANOVIC Andrija - Basket Belgacom Liegi (BEL)
18/07/2011 - RIGHETTI Alex - from Varese (Lega A)
19/07/2011 - FLETCHER Kevin - from Teramo (Lega A)
20/07/2011 - COLLINS Andre - from Pesaro (Lega A)
30/07/2011 - SMITH Andre - from Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir (TUR)
08/07/2011 - EFEJUKU Gbubemi Oritseweyinmi - from BK Ventspils (LET)

PESARO
30/06/2011 - FromLMONTE Luca (coach) - contract renewal
02/07/2011 - HICKMAN Richard - from Casale Monferrato (Lega A)
20/07/2011 - CAVALIERO Fromniele - from Montegranaro (Lega A)
31/07/2011 - JONES Jumaine - from Caserta (Lega A)
05/08/2011 - WHITE James - from Sassari (Lega A)
20/08/2011 - ALIBEGOVIC Mirza

MONTEGRANARO
03/07/2011 - SOSA Edgar - from Biella (Lega A)
09/07/2011 - NICEVIC Sandro - from Treviso (Lega A)
12/07/2011 - MCNEAL Jerel - from Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League)
16/07/2011 - DI BELLA Fabio - from Caserta (Lega A)
18/07/2011 - BRUNNER Greg - from Treviso (Lega A)
19/08/2011 - KIRKSAY Tarik - from Siviglia (SPA)

TERAMO
06/07/2011 - RAMAGLI Alessandro (coach) - contract renewal
15/07/2011 - AMOROSO Valerio - from Virtus Bologna (Lega A)
23/07/2011 - BROWN Fromniel Harris -
23/07/2011 - FULTZ Robert - contract renewal
03/08/2011 - JOHNSON Trey - from Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
04/08/2011 - BROWN Brandon - from Zafromr (CRO)
06/08/2011 - CERELLA Bruno - from Lodi (Legadue)
10/08/2011 - LULLI Gianluca - contract renewal
13/08/2011 - BORISOV Milos - from Hemofarm Stafrom Vrsac (SER)
17/08/2011 - GREEN Yaniv - from Maccabi Tel Aviv (ISR)

CASALE MONFERRATO
06/07/2011 - TRAPANI Joe - from Boston College (NCAA)
14/07/2011 - JANNING Matt - from Rio Grande Valley (D-League)
14/07/2011 - PIERICH Simone - contract renewal
14/07/2011 - NNAMAKA Oluoma - contract renewal
20/07/2011 - DUNINGAN Michael - from BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn (EST)
27/07/2011 - TEMPLE Garrett - from Charlotte (NBA)

AVELLINO
14/07/2011 - SZEWCZYK Szymon - contract renewal
14/07/2011 - JOHNSON Linton - contract renewal
15/07/2011 - VITUCCI Francesco (coach) - contract renewal
16/07/2011 - TROUTMAN Chevon - contract renewal
28/07/2011 - DEAN Taquan - contract renewal
03/08/2011 - INFANTI Alessandro - contract renewal
08/08/2011 - LORBEK D0MEN - from Lagun Aro Gipuzkoa San Sebastian (ACB- SPA)
23/08/2011 - SOLOPERTO Mattia - from Latina (A Dilettanti)

ROMA
14/07/2011 - LARDO Lino (coach) - new
02/08/2011 - TUCKER Clay - from Real Madrid (SPA)
02/08/2011 - SLOKAR Uros - from Manresa (SPA)
09/08/2011 - TONOLLI Alessandro - contract renewal
13/09/2011 - MAESTRANZI Anthony - from Montegranaro (Lega A)

SASSARI
18/07/2011 - DIENER Travis - contract renewal
19/07/2011 - SACCHETTI Romeo (coach) - contract renewal
19/07/2011 - VANUZZO Manuel - contract renewal
19/07/2011 - DEVECCHI Giacomo - contract renewal
19/07/2011 - PINTON Mauro - contract renewal
19/07/2011 - SACCHETTI Brian - contract renewal
21/07/2011 - DIENER Drake - from Teramo (Lega A)
26/07/2011 - PLISNIC Vanja - contract renewal
30/07/2011 - HOSLEY Quinton - from Bafromlona (SPA)
03/08/2011 - METREVELI Nika - from Rimini (Legadue)
18/08/2011 - BENSON Keith - from Oakland University (NCAA)


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  JAMAICA   


Gandia brings in rookie Michael Rogers - by Eurobasket News
Michael Rogers (198-F-88) is set to start his professional basketball career. The Jamaican forward penned a one-year deal with Gandia. Rogers is a product of the Valparaiso University, where he graduated few months ago. He had 5 ppg and 3.1 rpg for 35 games as a senior. Rogers had almost the same numbers for Valparaiso as a junior. In his sophomore season he shined with 9.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg. Michael Rogers is active member of the Jamaican National Team. He helped them win the Bronze this year at CBC Championships in Nassau. He had 2.5 ppg and 2.3 rpg in four games at this event. Rogers plays for Team Jamaica since 2008.

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  LATVIA   


VEF Riga wins against Unics 70-64 in a friendly - by Eurobasket News
VEF Riga celebrated in one of their first pre-season games. It was a 70-64 win against Russian team Unics Kazan. The game was played last night. Sandis Valters (193-G-78) was a key player in VEF Riga with 18 points. Antanas Kavaliauskas (208-C-84, agency: Interperformances, college: Texas A&M) and Tyler Cain (203-F-88, college: S.Dakota) helped with 13 and 11 points respectively. VEF Riga did not have anyone else with double-digits in scoring. Edgars Perijs (196-F-81) stopped to 9 pts. VEF Riga opened this game better as they made 24-16 lead in the first ten minutes. Latvians were still dominating in Q2, which ended 24-17. It means that VEF Riga had plus 15 at the HT. Unics responded with 9-16 after the breather and 13-15 in the last ten minutes, but it was not enough.

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  LITHUANIA   


Zalgiris grabs 80-79 win against Triumph - by Eurobasket News
Zalgiris Kaunas - Triumph Lubertsy 80-79

Zalgiris Kaunas and Triumph Lubertsy met in a friendly game this past weekend. The Lithuanian champion grabbed 80-79 win at the end. The game was played in Klaipeda. Ty Lawson (180-PG-87, college: N.Carolina) was the leading player in Zalgiris with 21 points. Tadas Klimavicius (204-F-82, agency: Interperformances) and Arturas Milaknis (195-G-86) had 14 points each in this victory. Sonny Weems (198-G/F-86, college: Arkansas) was the last one with double-digits with 12 pts. On the other side, Davon Jefferson (203-F-86, college: USC) shined with 25 points. Kyle Landry (206-F-86, college: N.Arizona) and Tywain McKee (188-PG-86, college: Coppin St.) had 14 and 13 pts. It was a very exciting game and teams exchanged in lead many times. At the end, Zalgiris players were more focused and they also had a little bit more sports luck to take this win. Both teams will play more friendly games this pre-season.

Zalgiris: Ty Lawson 21, Tadas Klimavicius 14, Arturas Milaknis 14, Sonny Weems 12
Triumph: Davon Jefferson 25, Kyle Landry 14, Tywain McKee 13


EuroBasket 2011: FYR Macedonia eliminate the hosts in front of packed arena in Kaunas - by Eurobasket News
FYR Macedonia-Lithuania 67:65

FYR Macedonia eliminated the hosts in front of packed arena in Kaunas. Bo McCalebb (183-PG-85, college: New Orleans) and Co won 67:65 and created another loudest upset in Eurobasket 2011.
Darius Songaila (205-C/F-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) and Samardziski exchanged the early baskets in the game, while Jasaitis nailed three for 5:2. Kalnietis and Kalnietis brought 11:7 and Robertas Javtokas (211-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) brought 4 in a row for 17:10. The guests however replied with 5-0 run and Bo McCalebb made it 17:15. The latter also closed the first period at 20:18 driving a lay-up for his 6th point.
The second quarter was a defensive one especially the start of it. Bo McCalebb scored for 22:21, but then FYR Macedonia could not score for about 5 minutes. Pocius made it 29:21 and only Vlado Ilievski (189-PG-80, agency: World Sport Agency) brought the points for the guests with 3 minutes in the half. Samardziski and again Vlado Ilievski reduced to 31:28, while Bo McCalebb sent the players to the lockers for 34:30, Lithuania.
Robertas Javtokas gave the hosts plus 6, but Vojdan Stojanovski (193-G-87) tied it all at 38:38. Antic scored for 41:41 and Bo McCalebb tasted the first lead with his side at 42:41. Darius Songaila gave Lithuania 47:45 and Valanciunas scored for 50:47. Chekovski kept the guests alive after thirty minutes at 52:49.
Jasikevicius scored for 56:52 and Kaukenas delivered two for 60:55.Bo McCalebb scored his 19th points for 60:57 with 3 minutes to go. Jasaitis and Bo McCalebb exchanged the shots for 62:61, but Jankunas made two with a foul for plus 4. Again Bo McCalebb cut it back to 2. Vlado Ilievski shocked the audience with a three for 66:65 with 11 seconds to go and Lithuania needed timeout. Jasaitis missed a shot and Vlado Ilievski needed just one for the final success.
Bo McCalebb top-scored for the winners with 23 points and Vojdan Stojanovski netted 15. Vlado Ilievski followed them with 12 points and the important shot from the arc. Robertas Javtokas ended up with 13 points in defeat and Vlado Ilievski scored 12.

FYR Macedonia: Bo McCalebb 23, Vojdan Stojanovski 15, Vlado Ilievski 12
Lithuania: Robertas Javtokas 13, Darius Songaila 12


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  MOZAMBIQUE   


Mozambique beats Nigeria on Monday - by Eurobasket News
Mozambique retains hopes of a medal in the men's basketball tournament at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, after a one point victory over Nigeria on Monday evening.

Initially, the teams seemed balanced, and the first quarter of the game ended with each on 18 points. But in the second quarter the Nigerians pulled away, so that, by the end of the first half, they were defeating Mozambique by 33 to 25.

The Mozambican team recovered in the second half of the match, correcting its mistakes, and just 13 seconds before the end of the game took a one point lead, beating Nigeria 66-65.

In the other three basketball matches played on Monday, Algeria beat Rwanda (60-54), Angola beat South Africa (78-59), and Cape Verde beat Ivory Coast (72-41).

In the handball tournament, the Mozambican womens team lost to Senegal on Monday by 31-28. Mozambique goes on to meet Madagascar on Wednesday.

In the other womens handball match of Monday, Ghana beat Madagascar by 26-24.

In the mens handball, Gabon won a convincing 41-27 victory over Madagascar, and Kenya beat Ghana by 33-31. But none of these teams are in contention for any medals.

Mozambique, coming second in Group A of the mens tournament, has qualified for Tuesdays quarter-finals, and will meet Algeria, which came top in Group B. The other three quarter finals are Cameroon vs Senegal, Egypt vs Nigeria and Angola vs Congo.

Courtesy of www.thezimbabwean.co.uk


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  NBA   


Sources: Agents want union to decertify - by Eurobasket News
Five of the most powerful agents in the NBA spoke via conference call Monday about how they can help the players union in its stalemate with the league's owners. Their answer: blow the union up.

Arn Tellem, Bill Duffy, Mark Bartelstein, Jeff Schwartz and Dan Fegan -- who collectively represent nearly one-third of the league's players -- spoke Monday about the process of decertifying the union, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The agents' view is that the owners currently have most, if not all, of the leverage in these talks and that something needs to be done to turn the tide. They believe decertification will do the trick, creating uncertainty and wresting control away from the owners.

'The union has been negotiating with the league for a year and a half and the owners haven't changed their stance, so the conversation the agents had was about how to work with the union to enhance its strategy,' a person close to the situation said on condition of anonymity. 'The feeling is that decertification is the weapon that has to be pulled out of the arsenal, that it's the most effective way to change the dynamics of the negotiations.'

The agents have spoken with Billy Hunter, the executive director of the players association, about the need for decertification, but he has thus far resisted their plan. He said Tuesday that the players are not yet considering decertifying.

'We've never really had any discussion about decertification,' Hunter said after meeting with the owners. 'As you're aware, we've obviously been experiencing some pressure in the media from some of the agents about decertification. That's not a message that has crossed our lips.'

Hunter believes he has his own weapon to change the tenor of the talks in the lawsuit the union filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

The suit claims that the NBA is not negotiating in good faith. Hunter said he hopes there will be a ruling within the next few weeks.

If the union wins its suit, the NLRB could declare the lockout illegal and end it, though the number of cases in which the NLRB has done that in the past decade is miniscule. Nevertheless, Hunter is not likely to consider decertification until getting the results of the suit.

The agents could push for an involuntary decertification by getting 30 percent of the league's players to sign a petition saying it supports decertification. And that's almost exactly the percentage of NBA players the five agents represent. While the agents have talked to their players about decertifying, sources say they have not started asking for signatures.

If they were to get 30 percent of the union's membership to sign a petition, the matter would go to a vote before all the league's players. A simple majority would be enough to decertify.

Not all agents believe decertification is the way, though. Happy Walters, Jeff Austin and Rob Pelinka, who represents Kobe Bryant and union president Derek Fisher, are among the agents who are not pushing for decertification.

Fisher emerged from Tuesday's labor meetings with a pessimistic view after the two sides made little to no progress during a full committee meeting.

'I think coming out of today, obviously because of the calendar, we can't come out of here feeling as though training camps and the season is going to start on time at this point,' Fisher said.

That notion was shared by NBA commissioner David Stern.

'Well, we did not have a great day, I think it's fair to say that,' Stern said. 'On the other hand, we did say that it is our collective task to decide what we want on the one hand on each side, and two, what each side needs if we choose to work ourselves in such a way as to have the season start on time. That's still our goal.'

Training camps have been expected to open Oct. 3 and the regular season's opening night is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Courtesy of ESPN


Confirmed, no progress made after latest NBA labour talks - by Eurobasket News
The long looks on players' faces and the anger in Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver's voice made it obvious: There was no progress today in talks to end the NBA lockout.

And with less than three weeks until training camps, the latest setback may be a tough one.

'I think coming out of today, obviously because of the calendar, we can't come out of here feeling as though training camps and the season is going to start on time at this point,' players' association president Derek Fisher (6'1''-PG-74, agency: Priority Sports, college: UALR) of the Lakers said.

Still divided over the salary cap structure, owners and players decided to pass on talking again Wednesday, and no further meetings are scheduled at this point.

'Well, we did not have a great day, I think it's fair to say that,' Commissioner David Stern said. 'On the other hand, we did say that it is our collective task to decide what we want on the one hand on each side, and two, what each side needs if we choose to work ourselves in such a way as to have the season start on time. That's still our goal.'

Training camps have been expected to open Oct. 3 and the regular season's opening night is scheduled for Nov. 1.

'We're a bit pessimistic and discouraged at one, the ability to start on time, and we're not so sure that there may not be further damages or delay trying to get the season started,' union executive director Billy Hunter said. 'The owners are not inclined at this stage to move off the position where they've anchored themselves.'

Stern and Silver countered that the union insisted the current soft cap system remain exactly as it is before they would agree to discuss anything else.

'Frankly, we're having trouble understanding why the label of a hard cap is what's breaking apart these negotiations right now, and that's what we discussed for a long time as a committee and then discussed together with the players,' said Silver, his voice rising as he spoke.

After three meetings among small groups in the last two weeks, full bargaining committees returned to the table today. They could also have met Thursday (NZ time), but Stern said it was best the two sides step away and meet with their own membership groups on Friday (NZ time).

Though owners are seeking an overhaul of the league's financial system after saying they lost $300 million last season and hundreds of millions more in each year of the previous collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap appears to have emerged as the biggest obstacle to a new deal.

The current system allows teams to exceed the ceiling through the use of various exceptions if they are willing to pay a luxury tax, giving big-market teams such as the Lakers - who can take on added payroll - an advantage over the little guys.

But Hunter said a hard cap is 'highly untenable,' referring to it as a 'blood issue' to the players. He added the players were prepared to make a 'significant' financial move, but they would only agree to give on dollars if they got a win on the system.

'For us, if we give on one, we have to have the other. It can't be just a total capitulation,' he said.

The league said players wanted owners to guarantee they would concede on the cap as a condition of talking about anything further, but Stern said 'all of the owners were completely unified in the view that we needed a system that at the end of the day allowed 30 teams to compete.'

Added Silver: 'That should be the goal of both the owners and the players in this negotiation, not to come in and say that that's off the table, and we won't discuss it and it's a precondition of us making an economic move.'

The recent meetings had been cordial, sparking hopes that progress was being made. Instead, Fisher and Hunter sat in the middle of a row of players who looked dejected, and now may have to wonder if they need to look harder at finding a job overseas.

A sign of how the day went: Owners spent the majority of about five hours behind closed doors caucusing among themselves.

'We can't find a place with the league and our owners where we can reach a deal sooner rather than later,' Fisher said.

Besides the cap, the other main issue remains the division of revenues. Players were guaranteed 57 percent under the old deal and had offered to lower that to 54.3 percent before owners locked them out on July 1. They say the league's proposal would have them a percentage in the 40s, and Hunter said if the owners are serious about a hard cap, he'll give it to them if players get 65 percent.

Owners are scheduled to meet Friday (NZ time) in Dallas, and Stern again said there won't be any decisions to cancel training camps at that session. But that would have to come sometime later this month without a deal. The opening of camps was postponed on Sept. 24 during the 1998 lockout, which reduced the season to 50 games.

The union will update players Friday (NZ time) in Las Vegas, and Fisher said he will tell them that 'the way it looks right now we may not start on time.' He stressed that players are still committed to the process and 'not walking away from the table,' but Hunter repeated that they 'have instructed us that they're prepared to sit out' rather than accept owners' current proposals.

Progress should come eventually over finances. Settling the cap issue could take longer.

'We know how to negotiate over dollars when the time comes, but they so conditioned any discussion on our acceptance of the status quo, which sees a team like the Lakers with well over $100 million in payroll and Sacramento at 45,' Stern said. 'That's not an acceptable alternative for us. That can't be the outcome that we agree to.'

Courtesy of www.stuff.co.nz


Charges dropped against Bobcat Dante Cunningham - by Eurobasket News
Drug- and pellet gun-possession charges against Charlotte Bobcats forward Dante Cunningham (6'8''-F-87, college: Villanova) were dropped Tuesday, regarding an April traffic stop in a Philadelphia suburb.

After those charges were withdrawn, Cunningham paid a $225 fine to resolve additional charges of unsafe equipment on his car and a noise violation.

In a brief statement to the Observer on Tuesday, Cunningham's attorney, Theodore Simon, emphasized the drug and gun charges were 'unequivocally withdrawn' and the equipment and noise violations 'are not criminal offenses.'

Mike Mattson, a spokesman for the Delaware County district attorney's office, said the arresting officer and presiding judge signed off on withdrawing the three charges against Cunningham.

No prosecutor was in attendance at Tuesday's preliminary hearing, which Mattson said is common for cases of this level. Mattson noted that none of the charges rose above a misdemeanor.

The legal aspect of this incident is behind Cunningham, but it's unclear how the NBA might respond. Marijuana is covered under the NBA Anti-Drug Agreement with the players association. While a collective bargaining agreement is not currently in force, there figures to be a comparable drug policy in the next deal between the league and its players.

The previous drug policy did not require a legal conviction for a player to be placed in that program. For instance, Cunningham's arrest, for a small amount of marijuana the night of April 29, could mean additional random drug tests in the future.

Bobcats officials are barred from publicly commenting on players during the lockout.

Cunningham, a former Villanova star, was pulled over in a silver pickup truck in Radnor Township. Police noted a 'strong odor of marijuana,' and found a ceramic pipe in the vehicle, along with a loaded pellet gun.

Cunningham came to the Bobcats in a midseason trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, as part of the package for star Gerald Wallace. Making the transition from power forward to small forward, Cunningham played well late in the season, picking up minutes after Stephen Jackson suffered a hamstring injury.

In late June, just before the deadline, the Bobcats tendered a qualifying offer of about $1.06 million next season to restrict Cunningham's free-agency. Assuming he signs with the Bobcats after the lockout, he would likely back up Corey Maggette at small forward.

Courtesy of www.charlotteobserver.com


Nets coach Avery Johnson confirms loss of assistant John Loyer to Detroit - by Eurobasket News
Assistant coach John Loyer has left the Nets to join Lawrence Frank's coaching staff in Detroit and Sam Mitchell is still on the Nets' staff, for now, Nets coach Avery Johnson said today in an informal sit-down session with reporters at the team's East Rutherford practice facility.

'John Loyer is going to Detroit,'' Johnson said. 'Well have Popeye Jones taking Johns spot. Well figure out where we go from there with the rest of the bench.''

Jones was on the Nets' staff last season, but he will now be moved up to the front row of the bench, sitting in Loyer's spot.

Mitchell, who was the lead assistant last season, was a candidate for the head coaching job of the Minnesota Timberwolves until the T-Wolves settled on Rick Adelman to take over for the fired Kurt Rambis. Asked whether Mitchell would return to the Nets, Johnson said yes. Asked if he will be with the team when training camp begins (after the lockout ends), Johnson said, 'As of right now, yes. That's what we anticipate.

'We'll see what happens.''

Johnson's answer did nothing to quell speculation that Mitchell is out in New Jersey and that former Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo will be coming aboard to replace him. Asked about Carlesimo, Johnson was very complimentary and did not rule out the possibility Carlesimo could be joining the Nets' staff.

'P.J. is a guy I have a great relationship with,'' Johnson said. 'Its pretty well documented that he and I go back a ways. Hes a terrific assistant coach. Very knowledgeable. Obviously he has a pretty solid track record in this part of the world. He has a lot of friends and people in this area that hes still close to. We just have to wait and see what happens.''

Johnson confirmed that assistants Tom Barrise and Doug Overton will return this season. He said the team could have the same number of assistants (six) as last year, or perhaps fewer. Larry Krystkowiak left the team before the end of last season to take over as the head coach at the University of Utah, and since he was not replaced, the Nets would appear to have at least two openings on the staff.

Courtesy of www.nj.com


J.R. Smith moves to China for the next season - by Eurobasket News
J.R. Smith (6'6''-G-85) will play in China next season. He signed a deal with Zhejiang Guangsha. Chinese Basketball Federation banned temporary contracts for the NBA players, so Smith doesnt have an NBA out clause. He will play for Zhejiang Guangsha the entire season. J.R. Smith had 12.1 ppg, 4 rpg and 2.2 apg in 84 games last season. He played for the Denver Nuggets. Smith joined Denver in 2006. In 2008/09 and 2009/10 he had about 15.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 2.5 apg. J.R. Smith played for the New Orleans Hornets from 2004 to 2006. They selected him as 18th overall pick in 2004 NBA Draft.

*****************************************************
  NBLCANADA   


Deep pockets ensure Lightning have time to thrive - by Eurobasket News
Once fans find out what the London Lightning is, their next question is usually 'Will they survive?'

Worry not about the Lightning. Worry about the other teams in the league.

London's is one of the seven franchises in the new National Basketball League of Canada, joining Oshawa, Quebec City, Moncton, Saint John, Halifax and Prince Edward Island.

Starting any sporting venture is at best a jittery proposition. But being the first strictly Canadian professional basketball league puts the jittery into an entirely different level.

Trying to sell any sporting venture in London, other than hockey, is like a game of go-broke roulette. One is just waiting for the ball to wind up on the go-broke slot.

So what is going to make this basketball franchise successful?

Successful is a relative word. Successful in this kind of environment means surviving while not losing too much money. That takes deep pockets.

If there is one thing the Lightning have, it's deep pockets.

Owner Vito Frijia is proprietor of Southside Construction Ltd., a large company that does millions of dollars in business.

Some owners go into this type of endeavour on a knife's edge. They don't have the funds that allows for significant losses.

That's not the case for Frijia. While losing money is no one's goal, the idea that a franchise will make money from the beginning is a dream. Somewhere down the line if the product is successful and the franchise caters to its fans, the bottom line may balance out.

Getting there is the tough part.

Frijia isn't going anywhere should he lose a few bucks. He's willing to pay money to pursue a sport he says is his 'passion.'

That said, Frijia's business puts him in a good situation when it comes to obtaining corporate sponsorship and selling season tickets.

Season tickets went on sale last week for the Lightning. They will play a couple of exhibition games and 18 home games at the John Labatt Centre.

Rumblings are about 2,000 season tickets have been sold.

'No, nowhere near that yet,' Lightning general manager Taylor Brown said. 'But Vito is on the telephone making calls.'

Basketball fans are just getting the news season tickets are available now and the average cost per game will be about $15.

'We also expect to be making announcements next week about several major corporate sponsors,' Brown said.

The real money is not made at the gate, although that helps. It is made through corporate sponsorships.

The start of the season is less than two months away and the Lightning will ramp up publicity and begin to announce the roster.

Lightning coach Michael Ray Richardson arrives in town to stay on Wednesday.

Then Brown and Richardson will begin to finalize contracts and get ready for training camp.

'Michael Ray doesn't want a big camp,' Brown said. 'We'll have about 20, 25 guys.'

With the players that Richardson is familiar with and wants to sign along with the Lightning draft choices, there may be only three or four spots available on the roster.

Camp will begin in October.

'Right now, we're talking to the YMCA about holding our camp there,' Brown said. 'It's big enough and has what we need.'

When there is something substantial to see that is when the tickets sales will really begin to move.

But meanwhile, Frijia is working the telephones making sure his business associates know about his basketball venture.

Frijia's does a lot of business with a variety of companies. It makes economic sense for companies that do millions of dollars in business with Frijia to support his basketball team. It is a fact that some companies have already purchased a substantial number of tickets and corporate sponsorships.

It adds depth to the bank account that will keep the Lightning viable in this new league, limiting the worry about survival to the other guys.

Courtesy of www.lfpress.com


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  NEPAL   


Historic participation of Nepal in 1st 3x3 Youth World Championship - by Dinesh Thapa
Nepal National youth 3x3 team (boys) participated in the 1st 3x3 youth world championship in in Rimini Italy from 9 - 11 September 2011. This was the historic participation of Nepal in the world level. Nepal is drawn in Group C along with 8 other nations. Nepal Played total of 8 league matches and 2 play off matches (classification round).

Below are the results. (League Matches)

Match No 1: Canada 21:9 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Manish Tamang 1, Norbu Tshering Lama 1, Bijay Burja 6, Sujan Pun 1)

Match No 2: England 21:10 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Manish Tamang 3, Norbu Tshering Lama 1, Bijay Burja 2, Sujan Pun 4)

Match No 3: Latvia 21:2 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Bijay Burja 1, Sujan Pun 1)

Match No 4: Turkey 21:14 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Norbu Tshering Lama 3, Bijay Burja 9, Sujan Pun 2)

Match No 5: Romania 20:8 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Norbu Tshering Lama 5, Bijay Burja 2, Sujan Pun 1)

Match No 6: Japan 21:13 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Manish Tamang 2, Norbu Tshering Lama 4, Bijay Burja 2, Sujan Pun 5)

Match No 7: Germany 21:12 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Manish Tamang 4, Norbu Tshering Lama 2, Sujan Pun 6)

Match No 8: New Zealand 21:5 Nepal (Scorers for Nepal: Bijay Burja 4, Sujan Pun 1)

Play offs Matches results

Nepal Lost to Guam by 7:19. (Scorer for Nepal: Manish -2, Bijy 3, Sujan -2)
Nepal beat Qatar by 21:10. (The scorers for Nepal are Manish Tamang 1 Pts., Norbu Tshering Lama 9 pts., Bijay Burja 4 pts., Sujan Pun 7 pts. )

The win against Qatar is the play off match in the 1st 3x3 youth world cup is the historic win for Nepal


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


Mozambique beats Nigeria on Monday - by Eurobasket News
Mozambique retains hopes of a medal in the men's basketball tournament at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, after a one point victory over Nigeria on Monday evening.

Initially, the teams seemed balanced, and the first quarter of the game ended with each on 18 points. But in the second quarter the Nigerians pulled away, so that, by the end of the first half, they were defeating Mozambique by 33 to 25.

The Mozambican team recovered in the second half of the match, correcting its mistakes, and just 13 seconds before the end of the game took a one point lead, beating Nigeria 66-65.

In the other three basketball matches played on Monday, Algeria beat Rwanda (60-54), Angola beat South Africa (78-59), and Cape Verde beat Ivory Coast (72-41).

In the handball tournament, the Mozambican womens team lost to Senegal on Monday by 31-28. Mozambique goes on to meet Madagascar on Wednesday.

In the other womens handball match of Monday, Ghana beat Madagascar by 26-24.

In the mens handball, Gabon won a convincing 41-27 victory over Madagascar, and Kenya beat Ghana by 33-31. But none of these teams are in contention for any medals.

Mozambique, coming second in Group A of the mens tournament, has qualified for Tuesdays quarter-finals, and will meet Algeria, which came top in Group B. The other three quarter finals are Cameroon vs Senegal, Egypt vs Nigeria and Angola vs Congo.

Courtesy of www.thezimbabwean.co.uk


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  PHILIPPINES   


2011 FIBA-Asia Men's Championships Preview - by Enzo Flojo
GROUP A

SOUTH KOREA
Roster:
Player Focus: Cameron Stevenson
- Korean-American Cameron Stevenson (Moon Tae-Jong) proved to be a reliable shooter for Korea in the 2011 Jones Cup. He can also put the ball on the floor and drive strong to the hole. He's past his prime, though, and that might hamper him. If Hur Jae over-relies on him, then it'll be to the detriment of the Koreans.
Point of Interest: Will frontline hold?
- With (in my opinion) top center Lee Seung-Jun and effective PF Lee Dong-Jun (a.k.a. the Sandrin brothers, Eric & Daniel respectively), left at home in favor of Stevenson (the Koreans opted to use just one Kor-Am), Hur Jae's frontline might not hold when they reach the deep waters of the tourney. Against the likes of Hamed Haddadi, Arsalan Kazemi, Wang Zhizhi, Yi Jianlian, and Zaid Abbas, guys like the undersized Oh Se-Keun, the aging KIm Joo-Sung or the lumbering Ha Seung-Jin might prove to be too brittle to offer much resistance.
Outlook: Top 4
- Korea has a good chance to sweep Group A, but might be troubled by Iran, Qatar and even the Taiwanese come the second round. Given their balanced lineup, however, they should go deep and make a run for the gold.

LEBANON
Roster:
Player Focus: Rodrigue Akl
- I won't even try to pronounce his name, but that's not really the thing we should focus on here. At 22, he's one of the youngest on the squad, and yet he's been given the responsibilities of team captain. That alone should indicate his importance in the team. He should be Lebanon's top PG as he led them in assists in the recent Champions Cup.
Point of Interest: No Tiger = No Chance?
- With Fadi El-Khatib opting to sit out the competition, Lebanon's chances nosedive. They still have a competent and potent crew that can mix it up with the big boys, but when push comes to shove in the latter rounds, they'll find that nobody can replace the presence and scoring of the Lebanese Tiger.
Outlook: Top 8
- Lebanon should finish #2 in Group A and fight for a quarterfinals slot in the second round. They're good enough to edge out the Taiwanese, but might be the underdogs against Iran, Korea and Qatar.

INDIA
Roster:
Player Focus: Vishesh Bhriguvanshi
- The versatile guard-forward is expected to be India's most potent weapon in Wuhan. Though he won't score in the 20s or 30s against the top teams, he should serve to impress. He'll be the big difference when India advances at the expense of Malaysia, but he'll be hard-pressed to do well against the likes of Korea and Lebanon.
Point of Interest: India on the rise?
- India topped their sub-group in fascinating fashion, but expectations should be tempered when the Wuhan joust starts. They have a couple of players who can compete at this level, but by-and-large they'll be whipped by the stronger teams.
Outlook: Top 12
- Barring an upset at the hands of the Malaysians, India should get into the 2nd round, but against Iran, Qatar, and Taiwan, they won't go further than that.

MALAYSIA
Roster:
Player Focus: Chee Li Wei
- The 6'6' center-forward will have his work cut out for him against the taller trees in Group A, but he should still be Malaysia's main man. He was consistently good in the 2011 Jones Cup and should score in the teens here.
Point of Interest: Can they crack the 2nd round?
- Malaysia surprised many by beating UAE in the 2011 Jones Cup, so upsetting a team like India and making the second round isn't an impossibility. Having said that, they will still sail through rough seas and might be better-served to use this as preparation for the 2011 SEA Games.
Outlook: Bottom 4
- On paper, the Malaysians are the weakest team in Groups A & B, and they will probably get their first win only when they play for the lower placings.

GROUP B

IRAN
Roster:
Player Focus: Samad Nikkhah Bahrami
- The fiery forward who missed the 2011 Jones Cup seems to be well-rested and has regained competitive form. He probably won't dominate like he usually does, what with the improvement of Hamed Haddadi and the inclusion of Arsalan Kazemi, but he will still be a vital cog in coach Vaselin Matic's plans to take the lone London Olympics slot for Asia.
Point of Interest: 3-peat?
- With a roster that is almost at 100% (reserve wingman Saman Veisi will miss the games because of an ACL injury), the tourney is Iran's to lose. They have the size, the speed, the shooting, the coaching, and the experience to carry them through. We might be looking at the first FIBA-Asia West Asian 3-peat.
Outlook: London-bound
- Anything short of the gold will be a significant measure of disappointment for Iran. They have a solid core of players and, unless they play listlessly or injuries begin to hit, no team (not even China) will be favored to stop them.

QATAR
Roster:
Player Focus: Tanguy Ngombo
- The 2011 NBA draftee had to wrestle with controversy surrounding his age (not to mention his nationality), but he has since pulled through to help Qatar try to repeat its Top 3 finish from 2005. The Congolese-Qatari should wield his magic and create some highlight reels on the way to a respectable finish.
Point of Interest: Nexus of Naturalization?
- Many have questioned Qatar's liberal policies in terms of naturalizing players, but with a Qatari at the helm of FIBA-Asia, nobody can really do anything about it. Their shrewd tactic has resulted in their emergence as a West Asian powerhouse, and they should continue to do well in Wuhan. It seems strange, however, that they didn't include their latest naturalized recruit, American Chauncey Leslie, in the 2011 NT. Has Qatar's conscience caught up, or are they hoping for some good karma to swing their way?
Outlook: Top 4
- I believe the Qataris will benefit the most from the absence of Fadi El-Khatib. They won't beat Iran in Group B, and they might falter against Korea in the second round, but they should advance deep when the knockout stages begin. Outside of the Chinese, a full-strength Qatar will be favored against the likes of Jordan, Japan and even the Philippines when the quarters begin.

TAIWAN
Roster:
Player Focus: Chen Hsin-An
- Though Chen has seen better days, he's still one of the most important players in the Taiwanese roster. He'll probably come off the bench more often than he'll start, but he'll also probably stay in the game during crunch time. His touch from deep is still one of the best in the continent, and if he waxes hot at the most opportune times, then Taiwan's odds shoot up considerably.
Point of Interest: Outside looking in?
- Being bracketed with the likes of Iran, Lebanon, Korea and Qatar leaves Taiwan as the odd man out. A complete Taiwan roster would already be considered the underdog here, but now that Tien Lei won't be around and attempts to recruit NBA player Jeremy Lin have fallen through, their chances wane even further.
Outlook: Top 12
- They probably won't repeat their 5th place finish in 2009, and will probably even finish out of the Top 8 for the third time in 10 years (2003 & 2005).

UZBEKISTAN
Roster:
Player Focus: Aleksandr Kozlov
- The 6'7' forward led Uzbekistan to a 14th place finish in 2009 and should continue to be their top gun in Wuhan. He has been known to put the ball on the floor and be reliable from range, so he'll be a match-up headache for anyone on the opposing team.
Point of Interest: Early exit?
- The Uzbeks advanced under the a cloud of controversy, but they should not be underestimated by any team here. They're a little stronger than maybe 5 teams in the whole competition, but being grouped in the toughest bracket in the first round means they'll probably miss the second round ticket.
Outlook: Bottom 4
- The Uzbeks will probably go winless in the first round, but should dominate the 13-16th placing games. That's not much consolation, but anything beyond that is just unrealistic.

GROUP C

JORDAN
Roster:
Player Focus: Ali Jamal Zaghab
- With the absence of veteran Ayman Idais, and old reliables (emphasis on old) Sam Dahglas, Enver Soobzokov, Islam Abbaas and Zaid Al-Khas all hitting their 30s, the onus will be on AJ Zaghab to pick up the cudgels and man the interior. He should see his minutes rise if the injury he sustained during the 2011 Jones Cup doesn't hamper him. Duplicating his double-double outing in their Jones Cup match versus the Pinoys will increase Jordan's chances of cracking the top tier.
Point of Interest: Twilight of Success?
- After a record 3rd place finish in 2009, it seems the best of the Jordanians is behind them. With an aging core seeing what could be their last solid tour of duty together, coach Tab Baldwin will have to rely more heavily on the likes of Zaghab, Wesam Al-Sous and Zaid Abbas. If naturalized American Rasheim Wright can be consistent with his top-level play, then Jordan will have a fair shot at the Top 4.
Outlook: Top 8
- Jordan has a good chance to sweep Group C, though Japan shouldn't be taken lightly. Jordan's chances are also good against an injury-plagued Chinese five and the darkhorse Pinoys in the next round, but they need to place high to avoid the powerhouses awaiting them in the quarterfinals.

JAPAN
Roster:
Player Focus: KJ Matsui
- The 6'2' wingman lit up the scoreboards at the 2011 Jones Cup, leading Japan to an upset of then undefeated Jordan and putting a scare in many of the other teams. This kid is as streaky as they come and, this early, looks to be a worthy successor to the fabled hands of legendary sniper Takehiko Orimo. Don't be surprised if he makes about 3-5 treys per game in Wuhan.
Point of Interest: Redeem Team?
- In 2009, Japan finished outside of the Top 8 for the first time in the history of the tournament, which didn't exactly make the NT the darlings of the Nippon populace. With a roster made up of veterans (the Takeuchi twins, Ryota Sakurai, Tomoo Amino et al), and promising newbies (Matsui, Takeki Shonaka, Atsuya Ota), and with only 3 of the 12 players bordering 30 years of age, Japan looks to have built for redemption, and for the long haul.
Outlook: Top 8
- It'll be tough to beat the Jordanians, but Syria and the Indons shouldn't be problems. They should also make the quarters this time around, where their speed and shooting can make anything possible.

SYRIA
Roster:
Player Focus: Ioanis Deeb
- With perennial top-scorer Michael Madanly left out by new coach Goran Milijevic, other guys like Greek-Syrian Ioanis Deeb will have to step up big time. The 24-year old showed good skills in the 2011 Champions Cup and should be given more time to shine in Wuhan.
Point of Interest: No 'I' in team
- With Madanly seemingly bitten by the superstar bug, coach Milijevic chose to make a point instead of increasing their chances of making a dent in the competition. Already harboring weak odds if Madanly had played, Syria might now have to fight for the scraps. Aside from Deeb, old timer Eder Georges will take the brunt of the scoring load.
Outlook: Top 12
- Though Madanly's absence severely weakens Syria, they should still be better than the Indonesians, if barely. They should expect to get plastered by Jordan and Japan in the first round, and then by China and the Philippines in the next phase.

INDONESIA
Roster:
Player Focus: Andi Poedjakesuma
- The 6'1' Indon NT veteran will return for a third tour of duty in Wuhan. He was 2nd in scoring in 2009 (7.6ppg) and 2nd in rebounding (5.2rpg) for the Indons, and they will undoubtedly look for him to continue putting up the numbers here. Don't expect him to explode, though, as he isn't exactly all-star material.
Point of Interest: Bound for the bottom?
- Though Indonesia finished 2nd behind the Philippines in the 2011 SEABA tourney and they blasted Malaysia for the silver medal, this Indonesian side might be bound for the very bottom of the standings. Unlike the Malaysians, the Indons haven't participated in any high profile league of late, and they might find themselves groping for form yet again.
Outlook: Bottom 4
- They have an outside chance of upsetting a less-than-promising Syrian squad, but even then their chances aren't favorable. The Indons will probably be relegated to the battle for, at best, 13th place.

GROUP D

CHINA
Roster:
Player Focus: Wang Zhizhi
- At 32 years old, 'Old Man' Wang is the senior citizen of the bunch, but he is still certainly one of the most reliable. He placed 2nd in scoring (16.7ppg) and rebounding (7.9rpg) for the Chinese in 2009 and should continue to be their main man in the middle this time around. The former NBA journeyman is still good enough to rack up the points on a variety of moves, though he'll have some trouble facing up to Hamed Haddadi if they do meet up. He is still a top-level Asian big, but no longer THE best.
Point of Interest: Crippled crew?
- With the injury to Wang Shipeng and a host of other ailments plaguing his squad, coach Bob Donewald, Jr. will have to work with a Chinese team significantly weaker than previous iterations. Their main core of Wang, Yi Jianlian, Zh Fangyu, Sun Yue and Liu Wei will still be solid, but with a bench largely made up of call-ups from their B Team, don't expect China to romp away to London with no difficulties.
Outlook: Top 4
- The only thing really going for China is the fact they're playing at home. They're no longer the biggest nor fastest team around. They're certainly not the most athletic or even the healthiest. But for all their flaws, the Chinese still have the best chance to derail Iran's Olympic dreams.

PHILIPPINES
Roster:
Player Focus: Jimmy Alapag
- The last time Jimmy Alapag suited for the Philippine NT was back in the 2007 Tokushima games, when the Pinoys were bracketed in the 'Group of Death' with China, Jordan and eventual champions Iran. He probably has something to prove -- that he can hack it in the international level -- and he won't waste anytime to do it. With coach Rajko Toroman's resident starting PG JV Casio nursing a knee injury, Alapag might see the lion's share of minutes and three-point attempts.
Point of Interest: Diamond in the rough?
- Now that naturalized center Marcus Douthit is suiting up, the Pinoys seemingly have the missing piece in their Asian puzzle. What might jam it all up, however, is chemistry, since PBA players Alapag, Kelly Williams and Ranidel de Ocampo were injected just recently. They certainly add talent and heft, but will it directly translate to a better team? Nevertheless, if Douthit and the pros gel well with the core of Smart-Gilas, then nobody should take the Pinoys for granted.
Outlook: Top 8
- The core of this team placed 3rd in last year's Stankovic Cup, 4th in the Champions Cup, and 3rd in the 2011 Jones Cup. With the pros in tow, can they improve and make the miracle run their countrymen are praying for? The realistic answer might not be promising, but once they get into the knockout stages, then anything can happen.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Roster:
Player Focus: Rashed Al-Zaabi
- The 6'1' 23 year-old led the Emirates in scoring and rebounding back in 2009 (13.3ppg & 5.0rpg), and should continue being the focal point of their offense in Wuhan. He gave a good, if inconsistent account of himself in the 2011 Jones Cup, though they did finish winless. He's quick, athletic and has good length, so he'll be a tough match-up for most players on the wings.
Point of Interest: The Young and The Restless
- With half the team aged 26 or younger, this Emirates squad is one of the younger ones in the tournament. Despite that, many of the players have had considerable experience for the NT, and it should aid them in Wuhan. They had some moments of brilliance in the Jones Cup, particularly against the Philippines, but, ultimately, they'll need a lot more firepower if they want to advance deep in the competition.
Outlook: Top 12
- China and the Philippines will probably coast past UAE, but the Emirates should edge out their Bahraini neighbors for the last ticket to the second round. A key piece absent from their roster, however, is scorer Talal Al-Nuaimi. If indeed he won't play, then perhaps cracking the Top 12 might be even more difficult than it already is.

BAHRAIN
Roster:
Player Focus: Bader Malabes
- The Fil-Bahraini from De La Salle University will make for an interesting subplot in Bahrain's encounter with the Filipinos. How will he fare against former teammate JV Casio and collegiate rivals Chris Tiu and Mark Barroca? Malabes will be charged to fill the role he tried to fill as a Green Archer, which is to be the designated shooter for coach Eric Rashad. Will he make the Pinoys pay, or will he sputter?
Point of Interest: Where to without Go-to Guy?
- Ahmed Al-Mutawa has been the designated top-scorer for the NT in recent years, but he'll be missing the Wuhan joust. That means there is a sizable void to be filled, but who'll step up? Veterans Ebrahim Al-Darazi and Ahmed Malallah are still in tow, but both are 38 years-old and counting, so their tanks aren't exactly full.
Outlook: Bottom 4
- Without an apparent go-to guy to bail them out of tough situations, and there will be plenty, it seems the Bahrainis will be in for a rough tournament. They are heavily-favored to lose to both China and the Philippines, and might not be good enough to get past the Emirates, too. 13th to 16th is where they'll probably end up.

Source: HoopNut.blogspot.com


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  POLAND   


Start Gdynia with Maciej Zielinski Cup - by Maciej Paszyn
1Liga team KS Start Gdynia got first edition of Maciej Zielinski Cup last weekend. Leading by Mateusz Kostrzewski (201-G/F-89) ( MVP of all competition ), seaside club was undefeated in tournament winning all three games against KS Open Florentyna Pleszew, WKS Slask Wroclaw and Sudety Jelenia Gora.
Already after first day of playing, when Start had knocked-out Pleszew by 30 points, everybody knew who would be a favorite of this cup. Local fans was counting for WKS who had won first game against Sudety 78 68, but Gdynia was over the range on this cup. Despite of 19 points scored by Adrian Mroczek-Truskowski (195-G-85) ( who was top scorer of all tournament ) WKS Slask had lost with KS Start Gdynia 63 73. In the second game of the day Sudety won against Open 73 59. Last day was only formality for favorites. Start defeated Sudety by 20 points and WKS Slask won against Open Pleszew 70 63.

Final Standings
1.KS Start Gdynia 3-0
2.WKS Slask II Wroclaw 2-1
3.Sudety Jelenia Gora 1-2
4.KS Open Florentyna Pleszew 0-3

Full schedule and results:
Start Gdynia - Open Florentyna Pleszew 99 - 69
WSK Slask Wroclaw - Sudety Jelenia Gora 78 - 68
WKS Slask Wroclaw - Start Gdynia 63 - 73
Open Florentyna Pleszew - Sudety Jelenia Gora 59 - 73
Start Gdynia - Sudety Jelenia Gora 72 - 52
WKS Slask Wroclaw
- Open Florentyna Pleszew 70 - 63

MVP award: Mateusz Kostrzewski (Start Gdynia)
Top Scorer: Adrian Mroczek-Truskowski (WKS Slask Wroclaw) - 19.6ppg


Ivan Koljevic joins Polpharma - by Eurobasket News
Ivan Koljevic (185-G-84, agency: BeoExcell) will continue his career in Polpharma. The 27-year-old guard has agreed on terms of contract with the Starograd team. Last season the Montenegrin guard spent with PGE Turow. He tallied 7.0 points, 2.2 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game. Previously Ivan Koljevic had stints in Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Spain and Montenegro. Ivan Koljevic was on Montenegrin National Team roster in 2008/10 seasons.


PBG Basket signs Zarko Comagic - by Eurobasket News
Zarko Comagic (201-F-85, college: N.Arizona) is a new member of PBG Basket Poznan. The Serbian forward penned a deal for the next season. Comagic is not a new face in Poland as he spent last season there. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22 games with Zastal Zielona Gora. It was his first year as a pro. Zarko Comagic graduated at the Northern Arizona University in 2010. He had 9.4 ppg and 4.9 rpg for his school as a senior. A year before that, Comagic registered 6.5 ppg and 3.3 rpg. He transferred to Northern Arizona from the Central Arizona CC in 2007. With Northern Arizona he reached Big Sky Conference Finals in 2008.

Kotwica Kolobrzeg win Energa Cup - by Eurobasket News
Kotwica Kolobrzeg celebrated victory in the pre-season Energa Cup tournament in Koszalin. They stormed past hosting AZS Koszalin 102:76 on the final day of the competition to improve at 3-0 record. Jessie Sapp (191-G-86, college: Georgetown) provided 22 points to lead the effort. Reginald Holmes (193-G-87, college: Morgan St.) added 21 points, while Lukasz Diduszko (197-F-86) netted 17 points in the victory. Kotwica built a comfortable 57:33 lead at halftime and never looked back en route to the win. J.J. Montgomery (196-G-82, college: Arkansas St.) answered with 19 points for AZS Koszalin. George Reese (201-F-77, agency: Alti Sport, college: Ohio St.) netted 18 points in the loss.
Spojnia finished the tournament on a high note. They overcame AZS Radex 92:76 for 1-2 record. Tomasz Ochonko (186-G-86) notched 20 points for the winning team. Spojnia used a 29:15 run in the second quarter to establish a 16-point halftime lead and never looked back en route to the win. Wiktor Grudzinski (208-C-78) accounted for 14 points for Spojnia. Lukasz Pacocha (182-G-82, agency: Promotex) responded with 20 points for AZS Radex. Krzysztof Mielczarek (198-G/F-81) and Mateusz Nitsche (190-G-86) netted 15 points each in defeat.



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  RUSSIA   


Spartak SP and Enisey win, Triumph lose in pre-season action - by Eurobasket News
Spartak Saint Petersburg claimed a 92:51 win over Lugano Tigers in Bormio, Italy. Valery Likhodey (204-F-86) stepped up with 14 points to lead the winners. Spartak SP gave little chance for the Swiss team. The Russian powerhouse built a 49:24 halftime lead and cruised to the victory at the end. Loukas Mavrokefalides (207-C-84) notched 12 points, while Aleksey Kotishevskiy (196-F/G-85) contributed 11 points for Spartak SP.
In the meantime Enisey shot down Ruskon-Mordovia 100:71 in pre-season clash in Croatia. Elmedin Kikanovic (210-C-88, agency: Beo Basket) scored 17 points to lead the winners. Enisey led by a single point after the opening quarter but stepped on the gas and opened a 14-point advantage at the interval. Enisey unloaded 33 points in the fourth quarter to enjoy a comfortable win at the end. Lonny Baxter (204-C-79, agency: Priority Sports, college: Maryland) posted 13 points, while Jasmin Hukic (204-G/F-79, agency: Beo Basket) and Andrey Trushkin (206-C/F-81) chipped in 12 points apiece for the winners.
Triumph got narrowly defeated by Zalgiris Kaunas 79:80. Davon Jefferson (203-F-86, college: USC) erupted for 25 points but it was not enough for Triumph to post victory. Kyle Landry (206-F-86, college: N.Arizona) added 14 points in the loss.



Zalgiris grabs 80-79 win against Triumph - by Eurobasket News
Zalgiris Kaunas - Triumph Lubertsy 80-79

Zalgiris Kaunas and Triumph Lubertsy met in a friendly game this past weekend. The Lithuanian champion grabbed 80-79 win at the end. The game was played in Klaipeda. Ty Lawson (180-PG-87, college: N.Carolina) was the leading player in Zalgiris with 21 points. Tadas Klimavicius (204-F-82, agency: Interperformances) and Arturas Milaknis (195-G-86) had 14 points each in this victory. Sonny Weems (198-G/F-86, college: Arkansas) was the last one with double-digits with 12 pts. On the other side, Davon Jefferson (203-F-86, college: USC) shined with 25 points. Kyle Landry (206-F-86, college: N.Arizona) and Tywain McKee (188-PG-86, college: Coppin St.) had 14 and 13 pts. It was a very exciting game and teams exchanged in lead many times. At the end, Zalgiris players were more focused and they also had a little bit more sports luck to take this win. Both teams will play more friendly games this pre-season.

Zalgiris: Ty Lawson 21, Tadas Klimavicius 14, Arturas Milaknis 14, Sonny Weems 12
Triumph: Davon Jefferson 25, Kyle Landry 14, Tywain McKee 13


Lokomotiv Kuban edge Oberwart in pre-season clash - by Eurobasket News
Lokomotiv Kuban - Oberwart 86:82

Lokomotiv Kuban and Oberwart played a friendly game in Slovenia. The Russian team eked out a narrow victory at the end. Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79) stepped up with 19 points to lead Lokomotiv.
The teams exchanged baskets throughout intense first frame. Oberwart and Lokomotiv were knotted at 20 after ten minutes of action. The Gunners pulled in front in the second term. They established a 48:44 lead at the interval. But Lokomotiv bounced back in the third quarter. They fired 29 points and surged ahead for a 73:63 lead with ten minutes remaining. Oberwart went on a fierce comeback rally in the fourth term but came up just short of victory at the end. Lionel Chalmers (184-G-80, college: Xavier) posted 17 points, while Jeremiah Massey (202-F-82, college: Kansas St.) accounted for 14 points in the victory. Joe Dean Shaw (199-F-87, college: Nevada) answered with 22 points for the Gunners. Nikola Gacesa (205-F-87, college: TCU) had 18 points in the loss.

Lokomotiv Kuban: Primoz Brezec 19, Lionel Chalmers 17, Jeremiah Massey 14
Oberwart: Joe Dean Shaw 22, Nikola Gacesa 18



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  SENEGAL   


Papa Beye to join Chalons-Reims - by Eurobasket News
Papa Beye (203-F-89) will play next season for Chalons-Reims. The Senegalese forward heads to Chalon from Clermont, where he spent 2010/11. Beye appeared in 33 games, but with limited playing time. He averaged just 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds. Beye played for Chalons from 2007 until the last summer. He mostly played for their U21 Team. Papa Beye is a promising front court player. He stands 6-9 and has a 7-3 wingspan. Beye also has great athletic skills and a natural coordination. He has great timing for the rebounds at the both ends of the court, needs to add shooting range and perimetral skills.

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  SERBIA   


PBG Basket signs Zarko Comagic - by Eurobasket News
Zarko Comagic (201-F-85, college: N.Arizona) is a new member of PBG Basket Poznan. The Serbian forward penned a deal for the next season. Comagic is not a new face in Poland as he spent last season there. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22 games with Zastal Zielona Gora. It was his first year as a pro. Zarko Comagic graduated at the Northern Arizona University in 2010. He had 9.4 ppg and 4.9 rpg for his school as a senior. A year before that, Comagic registered 6.5 ppg and 3.3 rpg. He transferred to Northern Arizona from the Central Arizona CC in 2007. With Northern Arizona he reached Big Sky Conference Finals in 2008.

Crvena Zvezda advances to 'Mega Vizura Cup' Finals - by Eurobasket News
Crvena Zvezda will compete in the Finals of 'Mega Vizura Cup'. The Serbian team outplayed Umana Venezia in the Semis 102-87. Also in Day One, Nizhny Novgorod grabbed 64-62 win against Mega Vizura. Branko Milisavljevic (193-G-76, agency: Beo Basket) drained 27 points for the hosts. So today in the Finals Crvena Zvezda will meet Nizhny Novgorod, while Mega Vizura will take on Umana Venezia for this place. Andreja Milutinovic (199-G-90) paced Crvena Zvezda to victory yesterday with 23 points. Mile Ilic (215-C-84, agency: Beo Basket) and Bojan Radetic (203-F-88) helped with 14 points each. Nemanja Nedovic (192-PG-91, agency: Beo Basket) followed them with 12 points. In the loosing squad, Guido Rosselli (196-G-83) delivered 18 points. Kiki Clark (173-PG-84, college: St.Peter's) had one point less. Quarters - 19:24, 22:16, 26:25, 35:22.

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  SLOVAKIA   


Prievidza signed experienced Phillips - by Martin Bosko
BC Prievidza signed over weekend experienced wing Sullivan Phillips (198-G/F-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Wash.Adventist). Phillips is an American with a British passport and played before in England, Hungary, Czech and Cyprus. HE is 32-years old and will bring European experience to Prievidza. He won championships in England and Cyprus. He has been twice defensive player of the year in both Hungary and Cyprus. He recently played in the CBC Championship in the Bahamas and was assist leader of the tournament.

Astrum Levice held an International Tournament - by Eurobasket News
Astrum Levice held an International Tournament with 4 teams.
In Day 1 Zlatorog Lasko outscored Atomeromu SE PAKS 73:70. Jure Skific (202-F/C-88) top-scored for the winners with 14 points and Lapornik notched 13. For Atomeromu Kovacs posted 18 points, while Toth netted 11 and Wilson added 9.
Astrum Levice lost to BK Prostejov 64:86 in their opener.
In Day 2 Zlatorog Lasko rolled over Astrum Levice 83:76.The Slovakian team started with 26:16 and had 9-point deficit at the halftime. Both sides were tied at 58:58 after thirty minutes, while Zlatorog Lasko had a successful end to win the game. Alen Omic (213-C-92) and Danijel Vujasinovic (180-G-89) paced all the winners with 17 points each, while Roberson netted 13. Henderson replied with 20 points for the home side and Tadej Kostomaj (186-G-87) scored 16.
BK Prostejov edged Atomeromu Paks 78:71. The team from Czech Republic won the first half 43:34 and led the game to the second straight win. For the Hungarian team Devonne Giles (203-F-83, college: Texas Tech) posted 16 points and Kovacs Akos netted 15.
In Day 3 Levice won over Atomeromu Paks 87:70.
BK Prostejov triumphed at the tournament with the win over Zlatorog 72:67. Trailing 14-24 after the first period, the winners needed 22-11 in the second frame and then added 20-16 in the third quarter. Robersons 12 points were not enough for Slovenia side.

BSC Raiffeisen Furstenfeld Panthers meanwhile lost to MBK Rieker Komarno 72:75. The Slovakian team started with 20-16, but trailed 7 points at the halftime. In the third quarter Komarno had a 8-point victory and grabbed 52:51 advantage. They managed to add another two for the total success. Charles Polk (200-F/C-84, college: Butler) top-scored for the winners with 17 points and Jan Kratochvil (200-F-82)netted 14.










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  SLOVENIA   


Zlatorog Lasko, SP Portoroz and Elektra Sostanj play friendlies - by Eurobasket News
Zlatorog Lasko, SP Portoroz and Elektra Sostanj play friendlies. Zlatorog Lasko recently finished the Astrum tournament in Slovakia.
In Day 1 Zlatorog Lasko outscored Atomeromu SE PAKS 73:70. Jure Skific (202-F/C-88) top-scored for the winners with 14 points and Lapornik notched 13. For Atomeromu Kovacs posted 18 points, while Toth netted 11 and Wilson added 9.
In Day 2 Zlatorog Lasko rolled over Astrum Levice 83:76.The Slovakian team started with 26:16 and had 9-point deficit at the halftime. Both sides were tied at 58:58 after thirty minutes, while Zlatorog Lasko had a successful end to win the game. Omic and Danijel Vujasinovic (180-G-89) paced all the winners with 17 points each, while John Roberson (180-G-88, college: Texas Tech) netted 13. Henderson replied with 20 points for the home side and Kostomaj scored 16.
BK Prostejov triumphed at the tournament with the win over Zlatorog 72:67. Trailing 14-24 after the first period, the winners needed 22-11 in the second frame and then added 20-16 in the third quarter. John Robersons 12 points were not enough for Slovenia side.
SP Portoroz meanwhile lost to Elektra Sostanj 64:65. Salih Nuhanovic (209-C-82) top-scored for the winners with 15 points and Mensud Julevic (200-C-85) nailed 13. Moro answered with 23 points in the losing effort.












EuroBasket 2011: Spain cruise past Slovenia into semifinals - by Eurobasket News
Spain - Slovenia 86:64

Spain became the first semifinalists of EuroBasket 2011. They eased past Slovenia in the first quarterfinal of the tournament tonight. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) scored 26 points to lead La Roja to the victory.
Slovenia ensured the brave start to the game. They opened the game with four points in a row and maintained the lead throughout the opening quarter. Ozbolt capped the first term with a three-pointer to make it 23:16 for Slovenia at the first break. Spain used an 11:3 run midway through the second frame to post a 32:28 lead. They secured a 35:31 halftime advantage. Spain opened the second half on a stunning 19:2 run. Slovenia could not come back to life in the reminder of the period facing a massive 45:71 deficit at the final break. Goran Dragic (194-PG-86) knocked down 7 points in a row to ignite a 9:0 run from Slovenia at the start of the fourth quarter as they narrowed the gap at 17-point mark. However Spain quickly restored a safe distance and cruised to the victory at the end. Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) notched 19 points and 16 rebounds for Spain. Jose Manuel Calderon (190-PG-81) added 9 points, 6 boards and 3 assists in the win. Goran Dragic answered with 14 points for Slovenia. Mirza Begic (216-C-85) posted 10 points in defeat.

Spain: Juan Carlos Navarro 26, Pau Gasol 19, Jose Manuel Calderon 9
Slovenia: Goran Dragic 14, Mirza Begic 10



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  SPAIN   


EuroBasket 2011: Spain cruise past Slovenia into semifinals - by Eurobasket News
Spain - Slovenia 86:64

Spain became the first semifinalists of EuroBasket 2011. They eased past Slovenia in the first quarterfinal of the tournament tonight. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) scored 26 points to lead La Roja to the victory.
Slovenia ensured the brave start to the game. They opened the game with four points in a row and maintained the lead throughout the opening quarter. Ozbolt capped the first term with a three-pointer to make it 23:16 for Slovenia at the first break. Spain used an 11:3 run midway through the second frame to post a 32:28 lead. They secured a 35:31 halftime advantage. Spain opened the second half on a stunning 19:2 run. Slovenia could not come back to life in the reminder of the period facing a massive 45:71 deficit at the final break. Goran Dragic (194-PG-86) knocked down 7 points in a row to ignite a 9:0 run from Slovenia at the start of the fourth quarter as they narrowed the gap at 17-point mark. However Spain quickly restored a safe distance and cruised to the victory at the end. Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) notched 19 points and 16 rebounds for Spain. Jose Manuel Calderon (190-PG-81) added 9 points, 6 boards and 3 assists in the win. Goran Dragic answered with 14 points for Slovenia. Mirza Begic (216-C-85) posted 10 points in defeat.

Spain: Juan Carlos Navarro 26, Pau Gasol 19, Jose Manuel Calderon 9
Slovenia: Goran Dragic 14, Mirza Begic 10



Oviedo signs David Ortega and Howard Brown - by Eurobasket News
Oviedo announced signing of David Ortega (199-F/C-84) and Howard Brown (198-G/F-77, agency: Interperformances, college: Villanova) for the next season.
David Ortega heads to Oviedo from Promobys, where he spent last season. He appeared 36 times in LEB Silver averaging 7.3 points and 5.4 rebounds. Before Promobys, Ortega spent one year with Valladolid. He also has experience from Gijon, Merida and Hartizza Almendralejo. Ortega helped Promobys to reach LEB Silver Semifinals this year.
Howard Brown arrives to Oviedo from Huesca. He had 7.5 ppg and 2.4 rpg them in 21 LEB Gold games. He played for Palencia in 2009/10. Brown also has experience from Zaragoza and Murcia. With Zaragoza he won the LEB Gold title in 2008.


Gandia brings in rookie Michael Rogers - by Eurobasket News
Michael Rogers (198-F-88) is set to start his professional basketball career. The Jamaican forward penned a one-year deal with Gandia. Rogers is a product of the Valparaiso University, where he graduated few months ago. He had 5 ppg and 3.1 rpg for 35 games as a senior. Rogers had almost the same numbers for Valparaiso as a junior. In his sophomore season he shined with 9.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg. Michael Rogers is active member of the Jamaican National Team. He helped them win the Bronze this year at CBC Championships in Nassau. He had 2.5 ppg and 2.3 rpg in four games at this event. Rogers plays for Team Jamaica since 2008.

Uniaja's Tremmell Darden ten days out with injury - by Eurobasket News
Tremmell Darden (194-G/F-81, college: Niagara) will miss next ten days due to injury. The American guard/small forward got injured during the game against Alicante (right thigh adductor). Darden joined Unicaja this summer from Nancy. He paced Nancy to ProA title last season. Darden had 17 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.2 apg and 1.9 spg for 37 games in France. Darden also shined in EuroChallenge. He averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists for 8 games. Before Nancy, Tremmel Darden was a member of Strasbourg. From 2006 to 2008, he played for Charleroi. Darden also has experience from Turkish Erdemir, what was his first season as a pro.

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  SWITZERLAND   


Lugano Tigers play Olin and Spartak - by Eurobasket News
Lugano Tigers play Olin and Spartak over the last two days in Italy. Lugano Tigers beat Olin 68:64. The Swiss side managed to grab the victory at the very end and continue their tour in Bormio. Mohammed Abukar (208-F-85, agency: Interperformances, college: San Diego St.) stepped up with 17 points for the winners and Richard added 12. Mladjan and Efevbera followed them with 10 points apiece.
Spartak Saint Petersburg claimed a 92:51 win over Lugano Tigers in Bormio, Italy. Valery Likhodey (204-F-86) stepped up with 14 points to lead the winners. Spartak SP gave little chance for the Swiss team. The Russian powerhouse built a 49:24 halftime lead and cruised to the victory at the end. Loukas Mavrokefalides (207-C-84) notched 12 points, while Aleksey Kotishevskiy (196-F/G-85) contributed 11 points for Spartak SP.



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  TURKEY   


Anadolu Efes beats Mersin 85-80 - by Eurobasket News
Anadolu Efes - Mersin 85-80

Anadolu Efes celebrated another win during the pre-season. This time Efes was better than Mersin 85-80. Andrej Stimac (204-F/C-79) top-scored for the former Turkish champions with 22 points. Sasha Vujacic (200-G-84) and Stanko Barac (217-C-86) followed him with 17 points each. Dogus Balbay (185-G-89, college: Texas) helped Efes with 10 points. On the other side, Mersin got 19 points from Demetri McCamey (190-G-89, college: Illinois) and Can Mutaf (193-G-91). They were only two players with double-digits in scoring. Efes opened the game with 21-12 lead, but had to work very hard until the end. Both teams will play more friendies in the coming days. Recently, Anadolu Efes was better than Montepachi Siena and Azovmash.

Anadolu Efes: Andrej Stimac 22, Sasha Vujacic 17, Stanko Barac 17, Dogus Balbay 10, Ermal Kurtoglu 6, Soykan Yikilmaz 5, Gorkem Sonmez 7, Tayfun Erulku 2
Mersin: Vincent Grier 6, Asm Pars 4, James Mays 7, Demetri McCamey 19, Mutlu Demir 5, Can Mutaf 19, Yalcin Azizmahmut 7, Kadir Cipa 6, Anthony Grundy 7


Galatasaray too much for CEZ Nymburk, 87-61 - by Eurobasket News
Galatasaray was better than CEZ Nymburk in a friendly game 87-61. Luksa Andric (210-C-85, agency: Beo Basket) stepped up for the winners with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Furkan Aldemir (207-F-91) and Preston Shumpert (198-G/F-79, college: Syracuse) helped with 10 points each. Galata did not have anyone else with double-digits in scoring.
Olin Edrine also played another friendly. This time they faced with 64-68 loss against the Swiss team Lugano Tigers. Ivan Lilov (196-F/G-88) top-scored in Olin Edrine with 20 points. Wes Wilkinson (207-F-84, college: Nebraska) and Vladimir Stimac (209-C-87, agency: Interperformances) netted 13 and 10 points respectively. Wilkinson grabbed 7 rebounds. More friendly games are scheduled for this week.


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  UKRAINE   


Avdalovic and Nelson lead Donetsk to 90-65 win against Artland Dragons - by Eurobasket News
Donetsk played a friendly game in Germany. Their rival was Artland Dragons and Donetsk smashed them 90-65. The Ukrainian runner-up had impressive second half of this meeting. Vule Avdalovic (189-G-81, agency: Beo Basket) and DeMarcus Nelson (193-G-85, agency: Z.A.G. - Law Offices, college: Duke) shined for Donetsk. Avdalovic had 21 points and 5 assists, while Nelson added 19 points and 6 assists. Viacheslav Kravtsov (212-C-87, agency: Beo Basket) and Ivan Radenovic (208-F-84, college: Arizona) helped with 10 points each. They also grabbed 9 and 7 rebounds respectively. Vitaly Kovalenko (201-F-84) scored 8 points for his team. Quarters - 23:24, 11:14, 29:7, 27:20. Donetsk will play more friendly games in their German tour. They prepare for the Euroleague qualifications, which start in two weeks.

Kryvbasbasket land Sergei Charikov and Alvin Snow - by Eurobasket News
Kryvbasbasket strengthened their roster with addition of two players. They agreed on terms of contract with Sergei Charikov (185-PG-82) and Alvin Snow (188-G-81, college: E.Washington).
Sergei Charikov spent the last season in Belarus. He averaged 12.9 points, 7.8 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game for OZAA Osipovichi. Eurobasket.com named Sergei Charikov into All-Belarusian League 2nd Team. The guard is the member of Belarusian National Team.
Alvin Snow spent the last season in Turkey. The guard played for Trabzonspor. His stats read 10.5 points, 3.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game in TBL. Previously Alvin Snow had stints in Slovenia, Dominican Republic, Poland, Germany, Israel, Cyprus, Iceland, USBL and ABA.



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  UNITED KINGDOM   


LatvianTrialist Wins Contract With Rocks - by Paul Nilsen
The Glasgow Rocks open trials was bigger than ever this year with many High Level athletes making their presence felt during the gruelling training session. One of the standout athletes during this year's open trials was 6'4' Latvian Martins Malnieks (190-F-89) and the Rocks were quick to snap him up and sign him for the coming BBL Season.



Martins has accumulated some valuable experience throughout the years playing for Latvian side RNS-D Livani and he is definitely looking forward to the new challenge of playing in Britain's number one league.



'I am very happy to be included in the Rocks roster for the 2011/12 season. I have a great feeling about the team. They are all hard workers and are all on the same page when it comes to what we want to achieve this season.'



Coach Davis spotted Malnieks immediately during the Open Trails and spoke very highly of him.



'Martins displayed his skills as a versatile player with good size during the Open Trials. He has some professional experience in Latvia so hopefully he will come in with the experience to give us some depth.'


Seventh Season For Heat Captain - by Paul Nilsen
6ft 7 power forward, Michael Martin (200-F-74) will be returning to the Heat for his seventh season as Captain. Having been on the winning Heat teams for the Championship, Cup, Trophy and Play-Offs, Mike is aiming for continued success in the forthcoming season.



As the longest serving member of the Guildford Heat team, Mike has scored more points, played more games and pulled down more rebounds than any other player for the team. In total, he has scored 2978 points in 188 games for the Heat (averaging 15.84 points per game). Last season, Mike led the team in assists, with 106 in total. With 440 assists since joining the Heat, Mike has exceeded Brian Dux's previous club record of 348 assists.


Mike MartinGuildford Heat coach, Creon Raftopoulos commented, 'Getting a British power forward with Mike's ability and experience is nearly impossible -so it's great news that we have been able to hold on to him.



'Mike has been a favourite with the fans for many years and played a huge role last season in helping our young Americans adjust to the BBL and perform strongly in the team. I feel that Mike still has a lot to offer to the club and I'm excited to have him back for another season.'



Mike Martin added, 'I'm very happy to be playing another season with the Heat. It's been a summer of reflection and growth and I hope this season will bring us the silverware and respect in the league which we deserve as players and as an organisation.

'I am looking forward to building even stronger relationships, friendship and chemistry with Coach Creon and my team mates such as Julius and Martelle and am also eager to welcome our new team mates for the 2011/12 season.'


Derby Trailblazers 88 - USA Select (White) 80 - by George Manousidis
Derby Trailblazers 88 (19, 44, 68)} Friendly
USA Select (White) 80 (18, 37, 56) }

There was plenty of cause for optimism as a large crowd witnessed Derby Trailblazers concluded their pre-season preparations with an 88-80 home win over one of USA Selects touring teams of American college graduates.
New signing Rishi Kakad (188-G, college: Hawaii-Pacific) led all scorers with 31 points, bettering his season-high haul of 27 achieved against Derby when playing for Leicester Warriors last season. The British born 24 year old, who learned his trade while living in Phoenix Arizona, converted 5 three-pointers and 8 of 11 at the free-throw line in an impressive debut.
Returning shooting guard Martyn Gayle who was all too often Derbys sole three-point threat last season also converted three long range shots on his way to 19 points and 610 Mark Woodhouse demonstrated the benefits of a full pre-season by powering his way to 17 points after a fairly quiet start to the game.
With Derby still keen to add extra height to their roster, Dave Attewell offered his services to help the cause and came of the bench to add valuable rebounding power whenever Woodhouse needed a break. 67 forward Josh Guddemi was also in good form following his promotion from the division three roster, adding 7 points a fist full of rebounds, while 67 triallist Eric Milambo who has spent the last couple of seasons with Tees Valley, also looked impressive.
Rema Lascelles ran the point with confidence, meaning there was little court time for Captain Matt Shaw and Stedroy Baker. With Jamie McGaffin, Matt Ward-Hibbert and Aaran Maher also contributing well from the guard positions, the Trailblazers were able to deploy a fast breaking offence throughout the game, prompting hopes of an exciting season ahead.
Defensively, there were times when Derby looked very good, but there were other occasions when the Americans benefitted from being afforded too much space. In addition, despite having lost their most athletic player in Joel Madourie and the strong physical presence of Sam OShea, the Trailblazers didnt seem to be out-muscled or out jumped by the touring side.
Guard Victor Pappas top scored with 17 for the Americans, with forward Jerrah Seedybah their most impressive inside player, contributing 14 points. All in all, it was an impressive performance from the new-look Derby side, who had lost a similar match against the tourists by 10 points at the start of last season.
The Trailblazers begin the season proper with a trip to newly promoted division three side Shropshire Warriors in the first round of the National Cup next Saturday (tip 6pm at Sport TCAT).

Derby:Kakad 31, Gayle 19, Woodhouse 17, Guddemi 7, Milambo 4, Attewell 2, Baker 2, Maher 2, McGaffin 2, Ward-Hibbert 2, Lascelles 0, Shaw 0.
USA Select:Pappas 17, Seedybah 14, Dundas 12, Shepherd 9, Hilaire 8, Smith 7, Bipialka 4, King 4, Snead 3, Crowder 2, Fraser 0, Simms 0, Sodelman 0.





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Women News

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  AUSTRALIA - Women  


Flanagan ready to take the Fire to the finals - by Eurobasket News
Townsville Fire captain Rachael Flanagan (170-G-82) has just completed a successful FIBA Oceania Championships in helping the Jayco Opals to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.

Now the 29-year-old point guard turns her attention to leading her new-look Townsville Fire squad to the finals in season 2011/12.

It has been a difficult couple of months for the two-time WNBL Robyn Maher Defensive Player of the Year, having suffered a knee injury while playing in the Jayco Opals Friendly Series in July, an injury that saw her miss the opportunity to represent her country in her adopted home-town on opening night of the new Townsville RSL Stadium.

Flanagan told Andrew Aloia of the The Townsville Bulletin that despite some setbacks she is still focused on making her first Olympic Games.

'I helped the team make the Olympics, and now the next step to make is the Olympic team,' she said.

'It's good confidence knowing that I'm up there in the mix for the next Olympics, there are few people to come back from injury still so I have to stake my claim this season.'

Flanagan will be doing everything she can when season 2011/12 kicks off on October 7 to ensure she forces her way to London.

'The next focus for me is the WNBL season, this (Olympic qualification) is all done with and I can focus on playing for Townsville and making the finals,' she told The Townsville Bulletin.

'I'm still a little slower than I want to be but I have three or four weeks to get that back.'

Townsvilles first game is against the Bendigo Spirit at Townsville RSL Stadium on Friday, 7 October.

Courtesy of WNBL (www.wnbl.com.au)


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  BULGARIA - Women  


Standings - Women
NBL Standings
 1. Beroe 07 0-0 
 2. Dunav 8806 0-0 
 3. Levski 0-0 
 4. Montana 2003 0-0 
 5. Neftochimic 0-0 
 6. Rilski Sportist 0-0 
 7. Slavia 0-0 


*****************************************************
  EL SALVADOR - Women  


ITEXSAL won XVI Central American Student Games - by Jaime Arevalo
ITEXSAL school is the undefeated champion of the XVI Central American student games in the women CODICADER. The young defeated in their last game with a score of 63-48 Guatemala. The tournament's leading scorer with 21 pts was Aida Funes (168-G-84) by Maria del cid Guatemala with 18 pts and ensured its supremacy in college in Central America
with respective defeats by over 100 pts.
CONGRATULATIONS ITEXSAL FEMALE

Final Standings
EL SALVADOR 6-0
GUATEMALA 5-1
PANAMA 4-2
COSTARICA 3-3
NICARAGUA 2-4
HONDURAS 1-5
BELIZE 0-5


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  FRANCE - Women  


Carine Paul joins Saint Amand Hainaut - by Eurobasket News
Carine Paul (177-F/G-88) is a new member of Saint Amand Hainaut. She signed a one-year deal with her new club. Paul spent last two seasons with Villeneuve. In the latest one she had 3 ppg for 23 games in LFB. Paul also added 7 ppg and 4 rpg for 10 EuroCup games. In 2009/10 season, Villenueve competed in Eurolegaue. Paul had 5.3 ppg and 2 rpg for 10 games in this competition. Carine Paul won the LFB title with Bourg in 2008 and 2009. They also were Cup winners in both years. In the past, Paul played for CFBB. He also was a member of the French U20 and U18 NT.

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  ISRAEL - Women  


Standings (W)
D1 Standings
 1. B.C. Habikaa 0-0 
 2. Elitzur Holon 0-0 
 3. Elitzur Netanya 0-0 
 4. Elitzur Ramla 0-0 
 5. H.R. Le-Zion 0-0 
 6. Hapoel T-A 0-0 
 7. Maccabi Ashdod 0-0 
 8. Petah Tikva 0-0 
 9. Raanana Her. 0-0 
 10. Ramat Hasharon 0-0 
 11. Ramat Hen 0-0 


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  PUERTO RICO - Women  


BSNF Round 8 of Regular Season - by Eurobasket News
Ponce L. (#7) forced the game against Guaynabo M. (#5) into an overtime, but lost by three points 87-90 on Saturday night. Americans were the main players on the court. Worth to mention a great performance of Monique Martin who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 23 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists. Guaynabo M.'s coach used an eleven-player rotation in such tough game. Guaynabo M. (3-3) moved-up to fourth place. Ponce L. lost third consecutive game. They dropped to the sixth position with four games lost. Guaynabo M. will have a break next round. Ponce L. will play against Aguas B.T. (#8) and it may be a tough game between close rivals.

The most impressive stats of the last round was 28 points and 9 rebounds by Renee Taylor of Juncos V..



Carolina G. - Morovis M. 62-73

Rather expected game when 4th ranked Carolina G. (2-2) was defeated at home by top-ranked Morovis M. (7-0) 73-62 on Saturday. Carolina G. was trailing by 4 points at halftime but managed to get 1-point lead after three quarters before a 24-12 charge of Morovis M., which allowed them to win the game. Morovis M. outrebounded Carolina G. 49-34 including a 23-10 advantage in offensive rebounds. Americans were the main players on the court. Worth to mention a great performance of forward Angelina Williams (183-83, college: Illinois) who helped to win the game recording 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists and guard Brittainey Raven (183-88, college: Texas) who added 25 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists during the contest. Power forward Monique Blake (187-85, college: Seton Hall, agency: Merit Sports) responded with a double-double by scoring 16 points and 12 rebounds and forward Lindsay Laur (182, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee) scored 19 points and 5 rebounds. Morovis M. have an impressive seven-game winning streak. They maintain first position with 7-0 record. Defending champion Carolina G. dropped to the fifth place with two games lost. Morovis M. will face league's second-placed San German in the next round and it will be for sure the game of the week. Carolina G. will play against San Juan W. and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Morovis M.: B.Raven 25+5reb+6ast, A.Williams 25+8reb+5ast, N.Figueroa 9+5reb+4ast, G.Rosigi 6+12reb+1ast, S.Pineiro 4+13reb, L.Colon 2+6reb+1ast
Carolina G.: L.Laur 19+5reb+3ast, M.Blake 16+12reb+1ast, A.Rockwell 16+5reb, E.Flores 6+3reb+2ast, R.Rodriguez 5+6reb+6ast, E.Mangum 0
gschID: 133152


Guaynabo M. - Ponce L. 90-87 OT

Ponce L. (#7) forced the game against Guaynabo M. (#5) into an overtime, but lost by three points 87-90 on Saturday night. Ponce L. was trailing by 6 points at halftime but managed to get 1-point lead after three quarters before a 19-18 charge of Guaynabo M., which allowed them to tie the game at the end of regular time. They were better in overtime eventually winning that period 10-7. Guaynabo M. made 18-of-22 free shots (81.8 percent) during the game. Americans were the main players on the court. Worth to mention a great performance of guard Monique Martin (180-83, college: Brewton Parker) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 23 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists and guard Chelsie Wiley (170, college: Cent.Florida) who added 29 points during the contest. Four Guaynabo M. players scored in double figures. Guaynabo M.'s coach used an eleven-player rotation in such tough game. Guard Amber Bland (180-86, college: N.Carolina A&T) responded with a double-double by scoring 26 points and 13 rebounds and guard Nikki Teasley (183-79, college: N.Carolina) produced a double-double by scoring 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. Guaynabo M. (3-3) moved-up to fourth place. Ponce L. lost third consecutive game. They dropped to the sixth position with four games lost. Guaynabo M. will have a break next round. Ponce L. will play against Aguas B.T. (#8) and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Guaynabo M.: C.Wiley 29+4reb, M.Martin 23+16reb+4ast, Z.Sanchez 17+6reb+1ast, S.Roman 10+1reb, D.Seals 6+11reb+3ast, M.Figueroa 5+3reb+1ast
Ponce L.: A.Bland 26+13reb+1ast, N.Teasley 19+10reb+4ast, J.Batiz 18+4reb+1ast, M.Rosche 8+12reb+10ast, C.Valentin 7+2reb+1ast, C.Vega 5+1reb
gschID: 133153


Juncos V. - Aguas B.T. 91-60

Very predictable result when third ranked Juncos V. (4-3) smashed at home bottom-ranked Aguas B.T. (0-8) 91-60 on Sunday. The game without a history. Juncos V. led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 48 of its points in the paint compared to Aguas B.T.'s 22. Juncos V. forced 20 Aguas B.T. turnovers. Worth to mention a great performance of American guard Renee Taylor (158-85, college: Miami, FL, agency: Merit Sports) who helped to win the game recording 28 points and 9 rebounds. Juncos V. maintains third position with 4-3 record having just two points less than leader Morovis M. Aguas B.T. at the other side still closes the standings with eight games lost. Juncos V. will face Carolina G. (#5) in the next round. Aguas B.T. will play against Ponce L. and hopes to get finally their first victory.
Top scorers:
Juncos V.: R.Taylor 28+9reb+2ast, K.Willoughy 15+5reb+2ast, M.McClean 12+5reb, J.Carrasquillo 11+1reb+2ast, J.Ortega 8+4reb+1ast, T.Lanza 7+4reb
Aguas B.T.: T.Jones 14+11reb+1ast, M.Villegas 11+5reb, J.Young 11+5reb+5ast, L.Blanco 6, M.Ramirez 5+4reb, A.Nieves 4+1reb
gschID: 133154


Ponce L. - San Juan W. 83-74

We cannot really consider it an upset in the game between close teams when 6th ranked San Juan W. (2-5) was defeated on the road by seventh ranked Ponce L. (2-4) 83-74 on Sunday. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But San Juan W. won third quarter 27-16. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Ponce L. made 18-of-22 free shots (81.8 percent) during the game. Americans were the main players on the court also this time. Worth to mention a great performance of guard Amber Bland (180-86, college: N.Carolina A&T) who helped to win the game recording 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists and guard Nikki Teasley (183-79, college: N.Carolina) who added 21 points and 9 rebounds during the contest. Tocara Ross responded with 24 points and 9 rebounds and forward Holly Mahan (183-86, college: Towson) scored 17 points and 6 rebounds. Five Ponce L. and four San Juan W. players scored in double figures. San Juan W.'s coach rotated ten players in this game, but that didn't help. Ponce L. moved-up to sixth place. San Juan W. at the other side dropped to the seventh position with five games lost. Ponce L. will face bottom-ranked Aguas B.T. (#8) in the next round. San Juan W. will play against Carolina G. and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Ponce L.: A.Bland 21+8reb+4ast, N.Teasley 21+9reb+3ast, J.Batiz 17+2reb+6ast, C.Vega 12+2reb+4ast, M.Rosche 11+12reb+1ast, C.Valentin 1+1ast
San Juan W.: T.Ross 24+9reb, H.Mahan 17+6reb+1ast, Y.Cabrera 12+6reb, M.Flagg 10+1reb+11ast, L.Vazquez 6+3reb+1ast, T.Tapia 2+6reb+1ast
gschID: 133155




Martin number one in for week 8 - by Eurobasket News
American guard Monique Martin (180-G-83) put on an extraordinary performance in the last week for Guaynabo M., receiving a Latinbasket.com Player of the Week award for week 8.
The 28-year old player had a double-double of 23 points and 16 rebounds, while her team edged out Ponce L. (#6, 2-4) in overtime 90-87. Guaynabo M. is placed at 4th position in Puerto Rican BSNF. Guaynabo M. is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 3-3 record. Martin turned to be Guaynabo M.'s top player in her first season with the team. Former Brewton-Parker College star has very solid stats this year. Martin is in league's top in points (2nd best: 23.2ppg), rebounds (6th best: 10.3rpg) and averages impressive 2.5spg.

The second best player in last week's games was 25-year old American Amber Bland (180-G-86) of Ponce L.. Bland had a very good evening with a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds. Bad luck as Ponce L. was edged in overtime by slightly higher-ranked Guaynabo M. (#4, 3-3) 90-87. Despite lost game Ponce L. moved up to 6th position in the standings. Her team is not often considered as one of the league's best with a mere 2-4 record. Bland is a newcomer at Ponce L., but is already one of team's top players.

Third on the list of top players last week was American guard Renee Taylor (158-G-85, agency: Merit Sports) of Juncos V. (#3). Taylor scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She was a key player of Juncos V., leading her team to a 91-60 easy win against Aguas B.T. (#8, 0-8). Juncos V. needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 4 victories and 3 lost games. Taylor has a great season in Puerto Rico. After only 3 games, she made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 28.7ppg (best scorer).

Other top performing players last week:
4. Nikki Teasley (183-G-79) of Ponce L. - 19 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists
5. Angelina Williams (183-F-83) of Morovis M. - 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists
6. Amber Bland (180-G-86) of Ponce L. - 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists
7. Marie Rosche (188-F-87) of Ponce L. - 8 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists
8. Chelsie Wiley (170-G) of Guaynabo M. - 29 points and 4 rebounds
9. Nikki Teasley (183-G-79) of Ponce L. - 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists

The Player of the week is choosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc.
The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy.
The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3*(REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4*(2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3*(2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3*(3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)


Standings - Women
BSNF Standings
 1. Morovis M. 7-0 
 2. San German 6-1 
 3. Juncos V. 4-3 
 4. Carolina G. 3-2 
 5. Guaynabo M. 3-3 
 6. Ponce L. 2-5 
 7. San Juan W. 2-5 
 8. Aguas B.T. 0-8 


Stats Leaders - Superleague 25
Points Per Game
 Renee TAYLOR
  Juncos V.
  (158-G-85)
  Avg: 28.7
 1. Taylor, Juncos V.28.7 
 2. Martin, Guaynabo.23.2 
 3. Wiley, Guaynabo M.21.0 
 4. Williams, Morovis21.0 
 5. Bingham, San G.21.0 
 6. Ross, San Juan W.19.4 
 7. Raven, Morovis M.19.0 
 8. Bland, Ponce L.17.0 
 9. Batiz, Ponce L.16.9 
 10. Teasley, Ponce L.16.7 
Rebounds Per Game
 Candyce BINGHAM
  San G.
  (183-F-86)
  Avg: 12.9
 1. Bingham, San G.12.9 
 2. Rosigi, Morovis M.12.0 
 3. Pineiro, Morovis M.12.0 
 4. Seals, Guaynabo M.11.7 
 5. Blake, Carolina G.11.5 
 6. Williams, Morovis10.7 
 7. Martin, Guaynabo.10.3 
 8. Ross, San Juan W.10.0 
 9. Rosche, Ponce L.9.9 
 10. Cabrera, Juncos V.9.1 
Assists Per Game
 Yahimily CABRERA
  Juncos V.
  (--82)
  Avg: 6.4
 1. Cabrera, Juncos V.6.4 
 2. Teasley, Ponce L.5.5 
 3. Flagg, San Juan W.5.4 
 4. Raven, Morovis M.5.2 
 5. Bingham, San G.4.7 
 6. Young, Aguas B.T.4.5 
 7. Montalvo, San J.4.4 
 8. Flores, Carolina G.4.0 
 9. Williams, Morovis3.8 
 10. Figueroa, Morov.3.5 
Steals Per Game
 Nikki TEASLEY
  Ponce L.
  (183-G-79)
  Avg: 3.5
 1. Teasley, Ponce L.3.5 
 2. Williams, Morovis3.5 
 3. Flores, Carolina G.3.3 
 4. Mahan, San Juan W.3.1 
 5. Cabrera, Juncos V.3.0 
 6. Figueroa, Morov.3.0 
 7. Taylor, Juncos V.3.0 
 8. Roman, Guaynabo M.3.0 
 9. Raven, Morovis M.3.0 
 10. Montalvo, San J.2.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Kim WILLOUGHY
  Juncos V.
  (--)
  Avg: 2
 1. Willoughy, Juncos2.0 
 2. Ramirez, Aguas B.1.8 
 3. Seals, Guaynabo M.1.3 
 4. Bingham, San G.1.3 
 5. Williams, Morovis1.2 
 6. Williams, Aguas B.1.0 
 7. Martin, Guaynabo.1.0 
 8. Jones, Juncos V.1.0 
 9. Jones, Aguas B.T.1.0 
 10. Rosche, Ponce L.0.9 


Taisha Jones joins Aguas BT - by Eurobasket News
Taisha Jones (182-F-89, college: Kent St.) left Juncos and joined Aguast BT for rest of the BSNF season. The American forward had 12.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg in four games with Juncos. She already made debut with Aguas BT. Taisha Jones is product of the Kent State University. She graduated there few months ago. Jones averaged 16.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals for 30 games last season. In 2009/10, Jones had 14.3 ppg and 6 rpg for 31 games. She was named All-MAC 3rd Team -10. Kent State reached MAC Tournament Semifinals that year. Taisha Jones transferred to Kent State in 2009 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

*****************************************************
  USBA - Women  


"If at first you don't succeed, try and try again" ; WUSBA will open in spring 2012 - by USBA Media

Atlanta, Ga. (September 14, 2011) ----The Women's United States Basketball Association (WUSBA) announced today it will move its inaugural basketball season to the spring of 2012. The season will begin on April 11, 2012 and end on June 30, 2012. According to league sources, the initial preparation for the new time frame has already begun. 'Last year we could only muster 48 players to fill 12 teams, this year I wanted to play in the summer, then we found out that seven gymnasiums did not have central air conditioning, so we switched to the fall, only to find that this is the wrong time of year to try to rent gymnasiums from any school', said league president Duane Allen Jenkins. 'We have been given preliminary approval to use the same colleges and high schools we have been in agreement with over the past several years'. 'We will have a final roster of teams by November 30, 2011. As it sits right now we are targeting twenty communities, we plan to visit each site over the next 45 days, and then we will know how many teams we will start with in the spring. Whatever number of teams we sign at that time is what we go with for the spring, no exceptions'.

The following is the list of teams targeted for the WUSBA 2012 basketball season:

The Piedmont Division consists of the Raleigh Roadrunners, the Charlotte Blue Wave, the Columbia Breeze, Winston Salem Cardinals and the Augusta Raging River

The Appalachian Division houses Nashville Thunder, the Chattanooga Royal, the Knoxville Reign, the Kentucky Plateau, and the West Virginia Capitals.

The Atlantic Division has the Hampton Roads Blaze, the Virginia Colonials, the Jacksonville Surf, the Savannah Seahawks and the Charleston Cadets.

The Southern Division fields the Atlanta Platinum, the Macon Storm, the Mobile Spirit, the Tallahassee Cypress and the Birmingham Starz.

Teams that are under consideration are Memphis, Louisville, Norfolk, Pensacola, Huntsville, Asheville and Montgomery.

'We will set out to deliver twenty basketball teams; however, since we do not own these facilities, we must visit each school to confirm our agreement. We know we have twelve colleges and three high schools already committed to rent to us and with Raleigh recovering from being hit hard by the tornados last spring, we believe we have overcome all the obstacles in our way', said WUSBA vice president Kenneth Green.

'We had originally planned to begin in the summer of 2010, however when we discovered that we only had 48 players signed, and we discovered we had serious issues with some of our coaches and our staff'. 'This year we wanted to launch in the summer and follow right along with the WNBA, we then found out that seven of the schools did not have central air conditioning, we had no choice'. 'Everyone knows how hot its been in the south, this became a health issue and everyone associated with the Women's United States Basketball Association has the basketball players safety first and foremost on their minds. We will accomplish all that is necessary to maintain the safe environment for our teams'. 'We are truly grateful to be accepted in these great cities and towns', said Duane Allen Jenkins WUSBA president and C.E.O. ' We will honor all coaches and player agreements for the new season'.

'In the beginning, I stated that the WUSBA would assist female basketball players to continue their careers. We have created a system that will bring our league right underneath the WNBA. We plan to utilize former NCAA players as coaches and league staff. We hope to begin our inaugural season with 20 teams that are united in their dedication to bring top quality basketball to our team cities. We require the teams, coaches and players to share a common objective and a commitment to our fans' satisfaction; we will work together as community partners with our team cities.'

'We do not own any of these venues, such as we are at the mercy of the school or university, when I discovered that most of our gymnasiums had previous engagements committed for the gym, we had to make a decision, start with five teams or wait until the spring when the gymnasiums are free'. 'Playing in the spring eliminates this issue. We are now arranging venue agreements to complete everything it takes to run a basketball league in the pursuit of our original goals'. 'Basketball is a winter and spring sport'.

'As I stand before you today, it is my pleasure to announce our march to the opening day of our 2012 basketball season; it is our goal to conduct proper preparation for the season'.

'Accordingly, I am pleased to announce the actual beginning of the 2012 Women's United States Basketball Association basketball season. We will conduct ourselves in a manner consistent with major professional women's basketball.'

'We will present a great competitive product that will be entertaining to our fans, our team cities and the profession of basketball as a whole. We are extremely excited about future of our league. We now have the time to do it right and I stand here today to assure that everything will be ready for the 2012 basketball season.'

'We'll see you, your family and your friends courtside in April 2012.'

'The Women's United States Basketball Association was formed in late March 2010, but the WUSBA concept was originally founded in July 2007. Through the months and years, we have faced a variety of challenges -- some of which seemed insurmountable at the time. The WUSBA will persevere through the tough economic adversities our country has faced and the WUSBA will persevere through this one, as well -- to emerge with a framework for the future, one that everyone will be proud to be associated with -- where our players and coaches have an opportunity to achieve their goals.'



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


Robinson becomes major contributor for Storm - by Eurobasket News
When the Seattle Storm open defense of their WNBA title on Thursday night, center Ashley Robinson (6'4''-C-82, college: Tennessee) will be playing for more than just herself, her teammates and the team's vociferous fans.

She'll also be playing for Pat Summit, the heralded women's basketball coach at national power Tennessee who helped make it possible for Robinson to have a life as a professional player - and who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.

Summit won't be inside KeyArena - she's busy getting Tennessee ready for the upcoming season. But she definitely will be in Robinson's mind and heart as the Storm take the court against the Phoenix Mercury in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

'You always want to play for Pat,' Robinson said of Summit, who made her diagnosis public in late August. 'Every time you step on the court, you're always playing for Tennessee. So whether you're thinking about it or not, you're always playing for her.'

A 2004 Tennessee graduate, Robinson has done plenty to make her mentor proud this season. With reigning league MVP Lauren Jackson out for hip surgery from late June through mid-August, the 6-foot-4 Robinson filled in as a starter for a 12-game stretch from July 19 through Aug. 16.

While some might have thought the Storm would falter during yet another injury-related absence for Jackson, Robinson helped them go 6-6 during those 12 games by averaging 5 points, 5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. That included her first career double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 78-69 loss at Chicago in her first start of those 12 games.

'I'm no Lauren, so I just do what I do,' Robinson said. 'I'm tall and I'm athletic, so I rebound, run the floor, play good 'D' and try to finish my easy shots. It was simple, just go do my job.'

Added Storm coach Brian Agler, 'She has upped her game. We've counted on her, and her teammates have great confidence in her. And now that we have Lauren and Ashley, we have good size at the rim.'

Robinson got one more start in an 81-70 homecourt victory against Chicago in the regular-season finale last Sunday, as Agler chose to give Jackson the night off.

But even before tip-off that night, Seattle had clinched second place in the West and homecourt advantage for the first playoff round thanks in part to those midseason games when Robinson not only ably filled in for Jackson, but made herself a prime candidate for this year's Most Improved Player award.

'She did things we see her do at practice every day, but I don't think fans would have seen,' Jackson said, 'the way she's so athletic and can finish and play defense, and the way she impacts the game.'

For Robinson, awards are fine things. So are starting spots, playoff berths, and championships.

But as she was reminded with Summit's startling announcement last month, those things aren't everything.

'We definitely want to play hard,' Robinson said, 'because she always would play hard. And she wouldn't expect anything less.'

Courtesy of www.seattlepi.com


Lauren Jackson isn't 100 percent, but she'll be on the floor when Storm opens playoffs - by Eurobasket News
When asked if she has recovered from the hip surgery that stole most of her season, Lauren Jackson (6'5''-F/C-81) chuckled.

'Definitely I'm not 100 percent yet,' she said. 'But I'm getting there. That's the main thing.'

When the Storm begins the playoffs Thursday against Phoenix, it will have its three-time MVP and seven-time All-Star on the court after a one-game layoff.

Admittedly, Jackson isn't playing at the level she did last year, when she led Seattle to a WNBA championship and was named 2010 Finals MVP.

'It's probably a little bit of everything,' she said. 'Just coming off surgery. Normal stuff. I feel the last eight games have helped me get involved with the team.

'I feel like I'm getting better each game. It's more a mental thing and getting through that.'

Jackson had surgery June 30 and missed 20 games of the 34-game season. She returned Aug. 20 and averaged 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in the first seven contests.

Recently she took a hard hit on her surgically-repaired hip, which adversely affected her in Friday's four-point, three-rebound performance against Phoenix.

Jackson's hip suffered swelling and the minor setback was a factor in coach Brian Agler's decision to sit her out in Sunday's regular-season finale.

'She's going to be rested and ready to go Thursday night,' Agler said. 'Obviously, she missed 20 games this year so she doesn't have that baggage. It could be good, it could be bad.

'She's going to be fresh. We'll see. There's no question we're a better basketball team when Lauren is on the floor.'

Keeping Jackson on the court is critical for the Storm. She missed the 2008 and '09 playoffs with injuries, and Seattle lost in the first round both times.

The Storm posted an 11-10 record this year including Sunday's 81-70 win over Chicago without their 6-foot-5 star center. Seattle has won seven of eight games with Jackson since she has returned.

'When she's out on the court it just gives everybody a different feel and a different confidence,' All-Star guard Sue Bird said. 'She just brings so much. Of course you see the scoring, but it goes beyond that. It's really her presence.

'She's been here 11 years. She's definitely the franchise player and the person that people associate with the Seattle Storm. When she's not there, not just us, but everybody else notices it as well.'

In a recent ESPN interview, Jackson, 30, said, 'I can give it everything I have for five more years. After that, we will see.'

She's signed with the Storm through the 2014 season.

With the end of her brilliant career coming into view, perhaps that's why Jackson pushed so hard to return this season.

She's limited during practices, but after Tuesday's workout Jackson remained on the court and shot three-pointers long after teammates had left.

'She won't tell you how much she's hurting or everything she's doing to be out there, but she wants to play more than anybody,' Bird said. 'I've seen her play through a ton of injuries.

'What she's doing now, she doing it because she wants to help us win. It's inspiring.'

Courtesy of http://seattletimes.nwsource.com


Owner proud of Lynx's players, having fun at games - by Eurobasket News
'It is really fun,' team owner Glen Taylor said after one of 14 Lynx home victories this season. 'You know the coaches, you know the players and you have success -- it's fun to see these young people do well.

' And I am really proud of them and it makes me feel good. I come to all the games either way, but it is sure more fun to go home when we win.'

Taylor and his wife have front row seats near the Lynx bench.

The past six seasons, the Lynx have missed the playoffs every year, in 2009 and 2010 by one victory. Now it looks like second-year coach Cheryl Reeve has a strong nucleus of players and the Lynx can be a WNBA title contender for years to come.

One key addition has been rookie Maya Moore (6'0''-F-89, college: Connecticut), whom the Lynx took with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft. She was a superstar at the University of Connecticut.

'I had the opportunity to meet Maya when they were practicing before the season,' Taylor said. ' First of all, you find out she is really a nice young lady and just very enjoyable to be around.

'Of course, I watched her in college -- but to watch her on the [Target Center] floor with her athletic ability and just common sense knowledge that she has been taught at Connecticut on how to play --' Taylor said. 'It's just wonderful to see a young lady come in as a rookie like that and score under pressure.

'She has been a pleasure and one would hope with her skill set that she can improve as time goes on. She will be an awesome lady in this league.'

Moore is probably a cinch for the Rookie of the Year award.



MOORE ALWAYS LEARNING

Maya Moore, a 6-foot forward, was recently asked about her progress her first season in the WNBA.

'I have moments of feeling really good,' Moore said, 'and then I make a silly turnover or a bad decision and it will remind me that I have to continue to be focused and working and learn. I never want to stop learning. That is always my goal every day, to learn something and continue to improve every game.

'So it is a constant challenge and I am still with the mindset of having to work hard and not easing up at all.'

* Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi on Moore: 'You see the players that come out of Connecticut. They seem to adapt pretty easily to whatever situation they are thrown in. She is no different. It started with Nykesha [Sales]. Go back to Sue [Bird], Swin [Cash], Asjha [Jones] and Tamika [Raymond]. We have a pretty good track record.'

Those five players all played at UConn as has Taurasi and Moore.

'[Moore] does a little bit of everything,' Taurasi said, 'and that's what you need to leave your legacy and, more short-term, to put a stamp on the game.'



FOES ELEVATED THEIR GAME

Taj McWilliams-Franklin, the Lynx's veteran center, said opponents usually have played their best against Minnesota this season.

'When teams come into Target Center or we got there, we are the top team,' McWilliams-Franklin said. 'And the X on your back means people consider you a target. They are desperate to get a win on the Minnesota Lynx.'

That desperation has not translated into many wins by visitors. At 27-7, the Lynx had by far the league's best record. They were 14-3 at home and 13-4 on the road. Not much difference there.

Courtesy of www.startribune.com




Sun will have hands full with Dream's Angel McCoughtry - by Eurobasket News
Angel McCoughtry (6'1''-F-86, college: Louisville) is one of the WNBA's most impulsive players. But she's so good, coaches usually look the other way when she breaks rank.

'Coach [Geno] Auriemma went crazy about it a couple times, but even he eventually realized that you just have to laugh about it,' Connecticut Sun guard Renee Montgomery said of Auriemma's reaction to her USA Basketball teammate. 'Angel will just do things at times that just make you go, 'what?'

Sun forward Asjha Jones, who played with McCoughtry on the 2010 World Championship team, concurred with Montgomery.

'Yeah, Coach [Auriemma] just let her go, let her do whatever she wanted to do, while at the same time everyone else had to follow the rules on the court,' Jones laughed. 'She's one of those players you just have to let go.'

In her three seasons with the Atlanta Dream, throughout her college career at Louisville, and now with USA Basketball, her production has been as predictable as her unpredictability.

'Any coach will adapt to any player's strength,' McCoughtry said. 'Coach Auriemma always let us play to our strengths and do what we do best. My compliments to him and all of the other coaches who feel that way, too.'

And when the Sun and Dream play Game 1 of the best-of-three Eastern Conference semifinals at Mohegan Sun Arena, Connecticut will know to expect anything at any time from the irrepressible McCoughtry.

'Angel is always going to be Angel,' Montgomery said. 'For instance, she might just randomly try and go to trap someone on defense, and she'll probably get a steal because of it, even though it may not be the correct defensive scheme or what the coach wants you to do. But that's Angel.'

Since Atlanta made her the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, a few days after she led Louisville to the NCAA Division I national championship game against UConn, McCoughtry has been a force on both ends.

This season, she finished second to Diana Taurasi (21.6) in scoring in the closest race in league history. She roared down the stretch with three 30-point games in the final five of the regular season. McCoughtry's average was 21.5.

'It's bittersweet to me watching how she's been able to take over some games against us, like the last one [Sept. 6 in Atlanta when she scored 35 to help beat the Sun],' said Tina Charles. 'When she's playing with you [on USA Basketball] you come to understand that she can dominate that way.'

McCoughtry averaged 29.8 points in four games against the Sun, also scoring 36 points against them in a loss at the casino on July 31.

'She has a relentless will about her, and she's a very aggressive defender, too,' Sun coach Mike Thibault said. 'A lot of her points each game are from steals and offensive rebounds. She is an opportunistic player. And whether it's fair or not, she leads the league in free throw attempts (223 of 287).

Courtesy of www.courant.com