EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 3/24/2012

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Men News

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


St.Petersburg to be site of ABA Final Four and All Star Games - by Gianni Pascucci
The American Basketball Association announced that St. Petersburg, FL will be the site of this year's ABA Final Four Championship Playoffs and All Star Games. The site of the event will be Eckerd College. 'We are extremely pleased to be able to hold both the ABA Final Four and the All Star Games in St. Petersburg and at the great Eckerd College venue,' stated Dick Packer, ABA COO. 'We have received tremendous cooperation from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, the college and the Tampa Bay area media. Eckerd's state-of-the art venue is perfect for the ABA and we anticipate a sellout at every session.'
'The Final Four and All-Star Games are being hosted by the ABA and the Tampa Bay Rain, one of the many new expansion teams getting set for next season,' added Packer. 'Stephen Davis and the entire Rain organization has been a tremendous help in putting the program together.
Tickets will be available beginning on Friday, March 23rd on the ABA website www.abalive.com or www.tampabayrain.com .'
Additional details including hotels that are providing special rates will be forthcoming.


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


Stats Leaders - LigaA
Points Per Game
 Joe SMITH
  La Union
  (193-G-77)
  Avg: 17.5
 1. Smith, La Union17.5 
 2. Gutierrez, Obras17.0 
 3. Villegas, Sionista16.9 
 4. DeGroat, Olimpico.16.0 
 5. OBannon, Boca Jrs15.9 
 6. Pittman, Libertad.15.6 
 7. McHopson, Quilm.15.6 
 8. Meyinsse, Wuber-.15.4 
 9. Cowan, Club 915.2 
 10. Lo Grippo, Quimsa15.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Jack Michael MARTINEZ
  San M.
  (203-F/C-81)
  Avg: 12.5
 1. Martinez, San M.12.5 
 2. Battle, Libertad S.10.0 
 3. Garces, Atenas9.4 
 4. Sandes, Sionista9.3 
 5. Davis, GECR I.9.0 
 6. Lloreda, Olimpico.8.8 
 7. Gutierrez, Obras8.5 
 8. DeGroat, Olimpico.7.5 
 9. Williams, Quimsa7.5 
 10. Truscott, Quilm.7.3 
Assists Per Game
 Facundo CAMPAZZO
  Penarol
  (180-G-91)
  Avg: 6.4
 1. Campazzo, Penarol6.4 
 2. Sanchez, Wuber-.5.6 
 3. Stanic, Boca Jrs5.5 
 4. Martinez, Regat.4.9 
 5. Cequeira, Sionista4.9 
 6. Sucatzky, Atenas3.7 
 7. Laprovittola, Lanus3.7 
 8. Victoriano, San M.3.6 
 9. Osimani, Obras3.5 
 10. Labaque, Atenas3.4 
Steals Per Game
 Facundo CAMPAZZO
  Penarol
  (180-G-91)
  Avg: 2.3
 1. Campazzo, Penarol2.3 
 2. Lescano, Atenas2.3 
 3. Moldu, Olimpico LB1.9 
 4. Quinteros, Regat.1.7 
 5. McHopson, Quilm.1.7 
 6. Sanchez, Wuber-.1.6 
 7. Treise, Libertad S.1.4 
 8. Stanic, Boca Jrs1.4 
 9. Beitzel, San M.1.4 
 10. Ibarra, Olimpico.1.3 
Blocks Per Game
 Robert BATTLE
  Libertad S.
  (204-C-81)
  Avg: 1.5
 1. Battle, Libertad S.1.5 
 2. Clancy, Club 91.3 
 3. Rollins, Sionista1.2 
 4. Matthews, Quilm.1.1 
 5. Meyinsse, Wuber-.1.1 
 6. Roe, Regatas C.1.1 
 7. Gutierrez, Obras1.1 
 8. Jackson, Olimpico.1.0 
 9. Garces, Atenas0.9 
 10. Humphrey, Atenas0.9 


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


Stats Leaders - NBL
Points Per Game
 Kevin LISCH
  Wildcats
  (188-G-86)
  Avg: 17.6
 1. Lisch, Wildcats17.6 
 2. Wilson, Taipans17.3 
 3. Johnson, 36ers16.6 
 4. Wilkinson, Breakers16.4 
 5. Khazzouh, Kings16.3 
 6. Deleon, Blaze16.3 
 7. Tragardh, Tigers16.3 
 8. Abercrombie, Break.15.4 
 9. Bose, Kings15.3 
 10. Worthington, Blaze14.9 
Rebounds Per Game
 Julian KHAZZOUH
  Kings
  (209-C-86)
  Avg: 11
 1. Khazzouh, Kings11.0 
 2. Holmes, Crocodiles9.0 
 3. Simpsons, 36ers8.7 
 4. Grant, Kings8.1 
 5. Johnson, 36ers7.7 
 6. Crosswhite, Taipa.7.7 
 7. Bose, Kings6.5 
 8. Vukona, Breakers6.3 
 9. Worthington, Blaze6.3 
 10. Hudson, Blaze6.1 
Assists Per Game
 Cedric JACKSON
  Breakers
  (191-G-86)
  Avg: 6.4
 1. Jackson, Breakers6.4 
 2. Gibson, Blaze4.6 
 3. Bruce, Kings4.4 
 4. Gill, Crocodiles3.8 
 5. Martin, Wildcats3.6 
 6. Martin, Hawks3.5 
 7. Dillon, Tigers3.4 
 8. Ubaka, Tigers3.3 
 9. Warren, 36ers3.2 
 10. Crosswhite, Taipa.3.1 
Steals Per Game
 Cedric JACKSON
  Breakers
  (191-G-86)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Jackson, Breakers2.5 
 2. Martin, Wildcats2.2 
 3. Robbins, Wildcats1.6 
 4. Deleon, Blaze1.5 
 5. Gill, Crocodiles1.4 
 6. Tovey, Wildcats1.3 
 7. Mims, Crocodiles1.3 
 8. Gibson, Blaze1.2 
 9. Crawford, Croco.1.1 
 10. Lisch, Wildcats1.1 
Blocks Per Game
 Julian KHAZZOUH
  Kings
  (209-C-86)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Khazzouh, Kings2.2 
 2. Simpsons, 36ers1.5 
 3. Grant, Kings1.5 
 4. Nevill, Wildcats1.2 
 5. Johnson, 36ers1.0 
 6. Abercrombie, Break.0.9 
 7. Crosswhite, Taipa.0.9 
 8. Martin, Wildcats0.9 
 9. Forman, Hawks0.7 
 10. Worthington, Blaze0.7 


Standings - NBL
NBL Standings
 1. Breakers 21-6 
 2. Wildcats 19-9 
 3. Blaze 16-11 
 4. Crocodiles 15-13 
 5. Taipans 15-13 
 6. Kings 11-16 
 7. Tigers 11-17 
 8. 36ers 8-19 
 9. Hawks 7-19 


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


A Bundesliga Round 8: UBSC Graz is upset by St.Polten - by Eurobasket News
There are only two more rounds left in the Second Stage in A Bundesliga.

The most important game in the last round took place in St.Polten between third ranked UBSC Graz (8-18) and fifth ranked St.Polten (2-25) on Friday night. UBSC Graz was crushed by St.Polten on the road 92-71. The hosts trailed by 4 points after first quarter, but they stormed back to get the 21-point lead at the halftime and eventually won the game 92-71. St.Polten dominated on the defensive end, holding UBSC Graz to just 2 points in second quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 62 of its points in the paint compared to UBSC Graz's 28. They outrebounded UBSC Graz 42-31 including 34 on the defensive glass. The best player for the winners was swingman Florian Trmal (193-89) who scored 9 points and 14 rebounds. The former international forward Martin Speiser (202-83) chipped in 14 points and 7 rebounds. St.Polten's coach Hubert Schreiner felt very confident that he used entire bench which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Croatian power forward Milan Stegnjaic (204-81) produced a double-double by scoring 21 points and 13 rebounds for the guests. St.Polten maintains fifth position in Bundesliga with 2-25 record. UBSC Graz at the other side keeps the third place with 18 games lost. St.Polten will have a break next round, and it should allow them to practice more before next game. UBSC Graz will play at home against Arkadia Lions in Traiskirchen and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
An exciting game between Top Four teams was played in Kapfenberg. First ranked Gmunden Swans faced second-ranked Kapfenberg Bulls. Guests from Gmunden (22-6) defeated host Kapfenberg Bulls (20-8) 79-74. American forward Robert Arnold (198-88, college: Boise St.) orchestrated the victory by scoring 25 points and 7 rebounds (on 9-of-11 shooting from the field). Morris Curry contributed with 24 points and 5 assists for the winners. American forward Larry Gordon (196-87, college: Cal Poly Pomona, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) replied with 21 points and 8 rebounds for Kapfenberg Bulls. Gmunden Swans maintains first position in Bundesliga with 22-6 record. Kapfenberg Bulls at the other side keep the second place with eight games lost. Gmunden Swans will play against Raiffeisen Wels (#4) at home in the next round. Kapfenberg Bulls will play against Xion Dukes in Klosterneuburg and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
An exciting game between Top Four teams was played in Traiskirchen. First ranked Furstenfeld Panthers faced 4th ranked Arkadia Lions. Guests from Furstenfeld (14-13) defeated host Arkadia Lions (7-19) 87-82. Worth to mention a great performance of Jeff Robinson who helped to win the game recording 28 points and 7 rebounds. Djordje Drenovac responded with a double-double by scoring 28 points and 10 rebounds. Furstenfeld Panthers maintains first position in Bundesliga with 14-13 record. Loser Arkadia Lions keep the fourth place with 19 games lost. Furstenfeld Panthers will meet at home league's second-placed BC Vienna in the next round and it will be for sure the game of the week. Arkadia Lions will play against UBSC Graz and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
The game in Oberwart was also worth to mention about. Third ranked Xion Dukes (19-9) played at the court of 5th ranked Oberwart Gunners (17-11). Xion Dukes managed to secure a 6-point victory 81-75. The winners were led by Christoph Nagler who scored that evening 19 points and 8 rebounds. Xion Dukes' coach Werner Sallomon allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. Xion Dukes maintains third position in Bundesliga with 19-9 record having just -6 point less than leader Furstenfeld. Defending champion Oberwart Gunners keep the fifth place with 11 games lost. Xion Dukes' next round opponent will be league's second-placed Kapfenberg Bulls at home and it will be for sure the game of the week. Oberwart Gunners will play against Gussing Knights and it may be a tough game between close rivals.

In the last game of round 8 In Bundesliga Gussing were crushed by Wels in a road game 85-65.
The best stats of 8th round was 34 points (!!!) and 6 rebounds by Vernard Hollins of Oberwart.


Group A
Kapfenberg - Gmunden 74-79
An exciting game between Top Four teams was played in Kapfenberg. First ranked Gmunden Swans faced second-ranked Kapfenberg Bulls. Guests from Gmunden (22-6) defeated host Kapfenberg Bulls (20-8) 79-74. The guests were already 12 points ahead at halftime and as many as 13 after three quarters before a 32-24 last quarter charge of Kapfenberg Bulls cut the lead to 79-74 at the end of the game. Gmunden Swans made 18-of-19 charity shots (94.7 percent) during the game. American forward Robert Arnold (198-88, college: Boise St.) orchestrated the victory by scoring 25 points and 7 rebounds (on 9-of-11 shooting from the field). The other American import guard Morris Curry (178-87, college: Providence) contributed with 24 points and 5 assists for the winners. American forward Larry Gordon (196-87, college: Cal Poly Pomona, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) replied with 21 points and 8 rebounds and the former international guard Deteri Mayes (189-74, college: Murray St., agency: Court Side) added 20 points in the effort for Kapfenberg Bulls. Gmunden Swans maintains first position in Bundesliga with 22-6 record. Kapfenberg Bulls at the other side keep the second place with eight games lost. Gmunden Swans will play against Raiffeisen Wels (#4) at home in the next round. Kapfenberg Bulls will play against Xion Dukes in Klosterneuburg and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Kapfenberg: L.Gordon 21+8reb+1ast, D.Mayes 20+4reb+2ast, D.Nelson 18+6reb, S.Knabl 6+1ast, T.Schreiner 5+5reb+13ast, J.Fears 2+2reb+5ast
Gmunden: R.Arnold 25+7reb+2ast, M.Curry 24+2reb+5ast, E.Murati 9+2reb+2ast, M.Oppland 8+4reb, D.Oppland 8+4reb+3ast, M.Mayer 5+9reb+2ast
gschID: 169210


Wels - Gussing 85-65
There was no surprise when 6th ranked Gussing Knights (11-17) were crushed on the road by fourth ranked Raiffeisen Wels (19-9) 85-65. The game was mostly controlled by Raiffeisen Wels. Gussing Knights was better in second period 23-20. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Raiffeisen Wels made 16-of-19 charity shots (84.2 percent) during the game. Raiffeisen Wels outrebounded Gussing Knights 38-22 including 26 on the defensive glass. The winners were led by American center Joe Werner (201-84, college: Wisc.-La Cros.) who had that evening a double-double by scoring 15 points and 13 rebounds and American-Iranian point guard Ali Farokhmanesh (183-88, college: N.Iowa, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) supported him with 24 points. Five Raiffeisen Wels players scored in double figures. Even 17 points and 6 assists by international guard Thomas Klepeisz (188-91) did not help to save the game for Gussing Knights. American forward Carleton Scott (200-88, college: Notre Dame) added 13 points for the guests. Gussing Knights' coach rotated twelve players seeing no chance for a win. Raiffeisen Wels maintains fourth position in Bundesliga with 19-9 record. Gussing Knights at the other side keep the sixth place with 17 games lost. Raiffeisen Wels' next round opponent will be league's leader Gmunden Swans in Gmunden and it may be the game of the week. Gussing Knights will play at home against Oberwart Gunners (#5) and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Gussing: T.Klepeisz 17+3reb+6ast, C.Scott 13+3reb+2ast, M.Heard 10+5reb, E.Kadic 8+4reb, S.Koch 6+2reb+2ast, M.Klepeisz 5+2reb
Wels: A.Farokhmanesh 24+3reb+1ast, T.Brown 15+4reb+3ast, J.Werner 15+13reb+3ast, L.Stutz 10+7reb+1ast, R.Vieider 10+4reb+4ast, D.Lamesic 8+6reb+2ast
gschID: 169211


Oberwart - Klosterneub. 75-81
The game in Oberwart was also worth to mention about. Third ranked Xion Dukes (19-9) played at the court of 5th ranked Oberwart Gunners (17-11). Xion Dukes managed to secure a 6-point victory 81-75. The guests took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But Oberwart Gunners won third quarter 18-17. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. 26 personal fouls committed by Oberwart Gunners helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. The winners were led by the former international guard Christoph Nagler (196-84) who scored that evening 19 points and 8 rebounds and Bosnian power forward Ramiz Suljanovic (206-79) supported him with 21 points. Xion Dukes' coach Werner Sallomon allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. Even 34 points (!!!) and 6 rebounds by American guard Vernard Hollins (190-80, college: Wright St.) did not help to save the game for Oberwart Gunners. His fellow American import forward Joe Dean Shaw (199-87, college: Nevada) added 11 points and 9 rebounds for the hosts. Xion Dukes maintains third position in Bundesliga with 19-9 record having just -6 point less than leader Furstenfeld. Defending champion Oberwart Gunners keep the fifth place with 11 games lost. Xion Dukes' next round opponent will be league's second-placed Kapfenberg Bulls at home and it will be for sure the game of the week. Oberwart Gunners will play against Gussing Knights and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Oberwart: V.Hollins 34+6reb+1ast, J.Dean Shaw 11+9reb+2ast, E.Rizvic 9+8reb, H.Ochsenhofer 8+2reb+1ast, J.Johnson 7+4reb, H.Artner 3+1reb
Klosterneub.: R.Suljanovic 21+3reb+1ast, C.Nagler 19+8reb+2ast, C.Bobb 14+4reb+1ast, M.Lanegger 9+8reb+3ast, J.Chappell 7+3reb+1ast, D.Zeleznik 7+1reb+1ast
gschID: 169212


Group B
St.Polten - UBSC Graz 92-71
The most important game in the last round took place in St.Polten between third ranked UBSC Graz (8-18) and fifth ranked St.Polten (2-25) on Friday night. UBSC Graz was crushed by St.Polten on the road 92-71. The hosts trailed by 4 points after first quarter, but they stormed back to get the 21-point lead at the halftime and eventually won the game 92-71. St.Polten dominated on the defensive end, holding UBSC Graz to just 2 points in second quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 62 of its points in the paint compared to UBSC Graz's 28. They outrebounded UBSC Graz 42-31 including 34 on the defensive glass. The best player for the winners was swingman Florian Trmal (193-89) who scored 9 points and 14 rebounds. The former international forward Martin Speiser (202-83) chipped in 14 points and 7 rebounds. Four St.Polten players scored in double figures. St.Polten's coach Hubert Schreiner felt very confident that he used entire bench which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Croatian power forward Milan Stegnjaic (204-81) produced a double-double by scoring 21 points and 13 rebounds and forward Reinhard Lanegger (196-81) added 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively for the guests. St.Polten maintains fifth position in Bundesliga with 2-25 record. UBSC Graz at the other side keeps the third place with 18 games lost. St.Polten will have a break next round, and it should allow them to practice more before next game. UBSC Graz will play at home against Arkadia Lions in Traiskirchen and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
UBSC Graz: M.Stegnjaic 21+13reb+1ast, T.Ambrose 10+3reb+3ast, R.Lanegger 9+8reb, S.Schaal 8+2reb+3ast, S.Grum 8+1reb+4ast, C.Knor 8+2reb
St.Polten: D.Friedrich 19+1ast, M.Speiser 14+7reb, L.Gvozden 13+4reb+2ast, N.Milosevic 11+4reb+4ast, I.Bakovic 10+6reb+1ast, F.Trmal 9+14reb
gschID: 169213


Arkadia - Furstenfeld 82-87
An exciting game between Top Four teams was played in Traiskirchen. First ranked Furstenfeld Panthers faced 4th ranked Arkadia Lions. Guests from Furstenfeld (14-13) defeated host Arkadia Lions (7-19) 87-82. Arkadia Lions were trailing by 1 point at halftime but managed to get 3-point lead after three quarters before a 24-16 charge of Furstenfeld Panthers, which allowed them to win the game. They made 22-of-26 free shots (84.6 percent) during the game. Worth to mention a great performance of American forward Jeff Robinson (198-88, college: Seton Hall) who helped to win the game recording 28 points and 7 rebounds and the other American import guard Anthony Shavies (191-83, college: Missouri St., agency: Interperformances) who added 21 points and 5 rebounds during the contest. Four Furstenfeld Panthers players scored in double figures. Serbian forward Djordje Drenovac (203-92, agency: Interperformances) responded with a double-double by scoring 28 points and 10 rebounds and Montenegrin power forward Radosav Spasojevic (204-92, agency: Interperformances) scored 19 points and 5 rebounds. Furstenfeld Panthers maintains first position in Bundesliga with 14-13 record. Loser Arkadia Lions keep the fourth place with 19 games lost. Furstenfeld Panthers will meet at home league's second-placed BC Vienna in the next round and it will be for sure the game of the week. Arkadia Lions will play against UBSC Graz and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Arkadia: D.Drenovac 28+10reb+3ast, R.Spasojevic 19+5reb, T.Stadelmann 10+3reb+2ast, S.N'Diaye 8+2reb+2ast, B.Danek 7+3reb+9ast, A.Percan 6+1reb
Furstenfeld: J.Robinson 28+7reb, A.Shavies 21+5reb+3ast, G.Ware 16+10reb, L.O'Neal 11+1reb+3ast, K.Payton 6+2reb+2ast, P.Radakovics 5+1reb


Standings - A Bundesliga
A Standings
Group A
 1. Gmunden 22-6 
 2. Kapfenberg 20-8 
 3. Klosterneub. 19-9 
 4. Wels 19-9 
 5. Oberwart 17-11 
 6. Gussing 11-17 
Group B
 1. Furstenfeld 14-13 
 2. BC Vienna 11-15 
 3. UBSC Graz 8-18 
 4. Arkadia 7-19 
 5. St.Polten 2-25 


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Stjepan STAZIC
  BC Vienna
  (199-G-78)
  Avg: 26
 1. Stazic, BC Vienna26.0 
 2. Drenovac, Arkadia22.6 
 3. Reed, Oberwart19.9 
 4. Shavies, Furstenf.18.9 
 5. Shaw, Oberwart17.8 
 6. Djuric, Gussing17.3 
 7. Grum, UBSC G.16.9 
 8. Fears, Kapfenberg16.9 
 9. Nagler, Klostern.16.6 
 10. Moric, UBSC G.16.5 
Rebounds Per Game
 Joe WERNER
  Wels
  (201-C-84)
  Avg: 9.4
 1. Werner, Wels9.4 
 2. Gordon, Kapfenberg8.2 
 3. Reed, Oberwart7.8 
 4. Oppland, Gmunden7.6 
 5. Ware, Furstenfeld7.3 
 6. Moric, UBSC G.7.1 
 7. Nelson, Kapfenberg7.1 
 8. Robinson, Furstenf.7.1 
 9. Scott, Gussing7.0 
 10. Skurdauskas, Arka.7.0 
Assists Per Game
 Benedikt DANEK
  Arkadia
  (176-PG-86)
  Avg: 7
 1. Danek, Arkadia7.0 
 2. Fears, Kapfenberg5.9 
 3. Shavies, Furstenf.5.5 
 4. Schreiner, Kapfe.5.5 
 5. Klepeisz, Gussing4.8 
 6. Stazic, BC Vienna4.7 
 7. Schaal, UBSC G.4.2 
 8. Milosevic, St.Polt.4.1 
 9. Lanegger, Klostern.4.0 
 10. Curry, Gmunden4.0 
Steals Per Game
 Jeremy FEARS
  Kapfenberg
  (196-G-85)
  Avg: 2.6
 1. Fears, Kapfenberg2.6 
 2. Shavies, Furstenf.2.4 
 3. Pryor, Wels2.1 
 4. Schreiner, Kapfe.2.0 
 5. Brown, Wels1.7 
 6. Mayer, Gmunden1.4 
 7. Milosevic, St.Polt.1.4 
 8. Scott, Gussing1.4 
 9. Jandl, Oberwart1.4 
 10. Bobb, Klosterneub.1.3 
Blocks Per Game
 Gary WARE
  Furstenfeld
  (205-F/C-83)
  Avg: 1.1
 1. Ware, Furstenfeld1.1 
 2. Scott, Gussing1.1 
 3. Kohlmaier, Wels0.8 
 4. Koch, Gussing0.8 
 5. Skurdauskas, Arkad.0.7 
 6. Moric, UBSC G.0.6 
 7. Brown, Wels0.6 
 8. Francois, BC Vienna0.5 
 9. Bakovic, St.Polten0.5 
 10. Chappell, Kloster.0.5 


*****************************************************
  BALTIC LEAGUE   


Round 1 of Quarter-Finals - by Eurobasket News
Lietuvos rytas - Ventspils 99-79

Lietuvos Rytas cruised to the opening win in the quarterfinal series versus Ventspils. The game was mostly controlled by Lietuvos rytas. Ventspils was better in fourth quarter 19-18. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Lietuvos rytas shot 62.3 percent from the field. Lietuvos rytas outrebounded Ventspils 34-16 including 23 on the defensive glass. It was a great shooting night for Lietuvos rytas especially from behind the arc, where they had solid 66.7 percentage. Worth to mention a great performance of center Jonas Valanciunas (210-C-92) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Mindaugas Katelynas (206-83, college: Chattanooga) contributed with 16 points and 5 rebounds for the winners. Center Martins Meiers (206-91) answered with 16 points and American point guard Todd Abernethy (185-84, college: Mississippi) added 13 points and 4 assists in the effort for Ventspils. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Both coaches allowed to play bench players saving starting five for next games.
Top scorers:
Lietuvos rytas: R.Seibutis 19+2reb+1ast, J.Valanciunas 16+10reb+3ast, M.Katelynas 16+5reb+2ast, T.Rice 13+1reb+2ast, L.Roberts 8+7reb+2ast, A.Jomantas 6+1reb+3ast
Ventspils: M.Meiers 16+4reb, T.Abernethy 13+1reb+4ast, S.Willard 12+2reb+1ast, J.Young 10+4ast, M.Diane 8+1reb+2ast, R.Zakis 8+1reb
gschID: 171419


Rudupis - Zalgiris 97-85

Rudupis shocked visiting Zalgiris to surge ahead in the series. It looked good early as Zalgiris took an 1-point lead at the end of first quarter. But then Rudupis had a 30-16 second period charge getting the lead and Zalgiris were not able to take back game control losing it eventually 85-97. Rudupis made 21-of-23 charity shots (91.3 percent) during the game. They shot the lights out from three nailing 12 long-distance shots on high 54.5 percentage. Swingman Adas Juskevicius (194-89) nailed 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the winning side and guard Gintaras Kadziulis (193-80) accounted for 22 points. Forward Paulius Jankunas (205-84, agency: Interperformances) came up with 17 points and 7 rebounds and Lithuanian guard Mantas Kalnietis (196-86, agency: Interperformances) added 13 points and 4 steals respectively for Zalgiris in the defeat. Both teams had five players each who scored in double figures. Zalgiris' coach Aleksandar Trifunovic rotated eleven players in this game, but that didn't help.
Top scorers:
Rudupis: G.Kadziulis 22+4reb, A.Juskevicius 20+5reb+5ast, A.Milaknis 17+2reb+2ast, G.Orelikas 10+5reb+1ast, V.Dabkus 10+3reb, P.Butkevicius 8+1reb+1ast
Zalgiris: P.Jankunas 17+7reb+1ast, M.Kalnietis 13+1reb+3ast, S.Weems 12+3reb+1ast, D.Salenga 12+2reb, M.Popovic 11+2ast, R.Javtokas 8+4reb
gschID: 171421


VEF Riga - Kalev/Cramo 64-56

VEF Riga took a 1-0 lead over Kalev/Cramo in the Baltic League quarterfinals. The hosts were already 13 points ahead after 3 quarters before a 20-15 Kalev/Cramo's run in the last quarter cut the lead to 64-56 at the end of the game. VEF Riga dominated down low during the game scoring 48 of its points in the paint compared to Kalev/Cramo's 24. They outrebounded Kalev/Cramo 40-22 including a 28-17 advantage in defensive rebounds. It was a very good performance for Lithuanian center Antanas Kavaliauskas (208-84, college: Texas A&M, agency: Interperformances) who helped to win the game recording 17 points. American guard Curtis Millage (185-81, college: Arizona St.) contributed with 7 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. VEF Riga's coach allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. Guard Tanel Sokk (184-85) answered with 13 points and Latvian guard Armands Skele (192-83) added 9 points in the effort for Kalev/Cramo.
Top scorers:
VEF Riga: A.Kavaliauskas 17+3reb+1ast, D.Zavackas 12+2reb+1ast, S.Valters 11+1reb+2ast, C.Millage 7+11reb+2ast, G.Jahovics 6+9reb+2ast, T.Cain 4
Kalev/Cramo: T.Sokk 13+1reb+3ast, P.Ulyanko 10+2reb, B.Fall 10+4reb+1ast, A.Skele 9+4reb+3ast, G.Arbet 7+3reb+3ast, G.Dorbek 3+3reb+1ast
gschID: 171423


Triumph - Siauliai 84-76

Triumph earned the first win over Siauliai in the series before withrawing from the competition. Siauliai trailed by 11 points after 3 quarters before a 21-18 run in the last quarter cut the deficit to 76-84 at the end of the game. Triumph Lyubertsy made 26-of-31 free shots (83.9 percent) during the game, while Siauliai only scored ten points from the stripe. 31 personal fouls committed by Siauliai helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. American forward Davon Jefferson (204-86, college: USC) stepped up with a double-double by scoring 21 points and 12 rebounds for the winners and forward Sergey Karasev (201-93) chipped in 22 points (made all of his seven free throws). At the losing side forward Valdas Vasylius (203-83, college: ODU) responded with a double-double by scoring 14 points and 13 rebounds and guard Edvinas Ruzgas (198-87, college: TCU) scored 22 points. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games.
Top scorers:
Triumph: S.Karasev 22+1reb+2ast, D.Jefferson 21+12reb, K.Landry 10+7reb+1ast, T.McKee 9+4reb+5ast, A.Kuzyakin 8+4reb, E.Valiev 8+2reb+1ast
Siauliai: E.Ruzgas 22+1reb, V.Vasylius 14+13reb+1ast, R.Broadus 11+1reb+1ast, V.Liutych 8+1reb, D.Gvezdauskas 5+1reb, J.Jucikas 4+3reb
gschID: 170883


Group Challenge
Lietkabelis - Naglis Palangos 96-82

Lietkabelis edged Naglis Palangos to reach the Challenge Cup Finals. The hosts trailed by 11 points after first quarter, but they stormed back and won the game by 14 points. Lietkabelis dominated down low during the game scoring 66 of its points in the paint compared to Naglis Palangos' 46. Forward Osvaldas Matulionis (200-91) fired 18 points and 8 rebounds for the winners. Guard Sarunas Vasiliauskas (188-89, agency: Alti Sport) chipped in 19 points and 6 rebounds (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field). Guard Mantas Mockevicius (189-93, college: Olney Central CC) produced 20 points and 6 rebounds and American center Dane Johnson (208-86, college: Hofstra) added 13 points and 8 rebounds respectively for lost side. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Both coaches tested many bench players and allowed the starting five to rest.
Top scorers:
Lietkabelis: S.Vasiliauskas 19+6reb+2ast, J.Zurna 19+4reb+4ast, O.Matulionis 18+8reb+3ast, S.Kulevicius 15+4reb+3ast, E.Stanionis 8+1reb+1ast, A.Drungilas 8+3reb
Naglis Palangos: M.Mockevicius 20+6reb+2ast, P.Kleiza 13+5reb+4ast, D.Johnson 13+8reb+2ast, A.Montrimavicius 10+3reb+1ast, R.Pickett 9+1reb, V.Peciukas 7+2reb+3ast
gschID: 170884


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Denzel BOWLES
  Siauliai
  (208-F/C-89)
  Avg: 19.3
 1. Bowles, Siauliai19.3 
 2. Mayo, Liepaja16.2 
 3. Amis, Tartu Ulikool15.9 
 4. Hallik, Tarvas15.0 
 5. Young, Ventspils14.8 
 6. Vasylius, Siauliai14.6 
 7. Lucas, Valmiera14.3 
 8. Umbrasko, Tarvas14.3 
 9. Veideman, Tartu U.14.3 
 10. Karasev, Triumph14.3 
Rebounds Per Game
 David MCCLURE
  Kedainiai
  (200-F-86)
  Avg: 9.3
 1. McClure, Kedainiai9.3 
 2. Arnold, TTU7.7 
 3. Johnson, Naglis P.7.5 
 4. Bowles, Siauliai7.4 
 5. Rozitis, Valmiera6.9 
 6. Amis, Tartu Ulikool6.3 
 7. Delas, Baltai Kaun.6.2 
 8. Willard, Ventspils6.1 
 9. Fall, Kalev/Cramo6.0 
 10. Hallik, Tarvas5.8 
Assists Per Game
 Rashaun BROADUS
  Siauliai
  (183-PG-84)
  Avg: 4.6
 1. Broadus, Siauliai4.6 
 2. Maceina, Juventus4.3 
 3. Ezerskis, Lietkabe.4.0 
 4. Lucas, Valmiera3.8 
 5. Kulagin, Triumph3.8 
 6. Rinkevicius, Nagli.3.8 
 7. McKee, Triumph3.8 
 8. Janavicius, Baltai3.7 
 9. Kadziulis, Rudupis3.5 
 10. Mayo, Liepaja3.3 
Steals Per Game
 Tywain MCKEE
  Triumph
  (188-PG-86)
  Avg: 2.8
 1. McKee, Triumph2.8 
 2. Virsis, Valmiera1.8 
 3. Akenparg, TTU1.8 
 4. Keedus, TTU1.8 
 5. Young, Ventspils1.8 
 6. Janavicius, Baltai1.7 
 7. Long, Siauliai1.7 
 8. Hughes, Pieno Z.1.6 
 9. Kulevicius, Lietka.1.5 
 10. Butkevicius, Saka.1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Bamba FALL
  Kalev/Cramo
  (216-C-86)
  Avg: 2.6
 1. Fall, Kalev/Cramo2.6 
 2. Rozitis, Valmiera2.1 
 3. Johnson, Naglis P.1.7 
 4. Gumeniuk, Juventus1.6 
 5. Amis, Tartu Ulikool1.2 
 6. Staniulis, Lietkab.1.1 
 7. Leiteris, Liepaja1.1 
 8. Toome, Kalev/Cramo1.0 
 9. Morgan, Pieno Z.1.0 
 10. Jefferson, Triumph0.9 


Raitis Grafs joins Siauliai - by Eurobasket News
Siauliai made a market move just before the end of the tranfer period. The team has agreed on terms of contract with Raitis Grafs (208-C-81, college: Valparaiso). The centre arrives from Cyprus. The Latvian player started the season with Apollon. Last season Raitis Grafs started with VEF Riga. His stats read 3.0 points and 1.0 board per VTB League game. In Baltic League the centre delivered 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds. Later Raitis Grafs signed with Barons Riga. His stats read 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per appearance. The centre finished the season in Slovakia. He delivered 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds for Nitra. Raitis Grafs also had stints with ASK Riga, Ventspils, Slask Wroclaw, Oostende. He was the member of Latvian NT in 1997/2010.

*****************************************************
  BELARUS   


Standings - Premier League
Premier League Standings
 1. Minsk-2006 20-1 
 2. Grodno-93 20-3 
 3. Rubon 12-10 
 4. BGUIR-RTI 9-13 
 5. SBK Osipovichi 8-14 
 6. Minsk-2006 II 8-14 
 7. Sozh Gomel 0-22 


Stats Leaders - Premier League
Points Per Game
 Ronaldas RUTKAUSKAS
  Minsk-.
  (203-F-92)
  Avg: 20.5
 1. Rutkauskas, Minsk.20.5 
 2. Sitnik, SBK O.16.8 
 3. Ignatchik, Minsk-.15.1 
 4. Patupchyk, Sozh G.14.3 
 5. Knox, Minsk-200613.9 
 6. Yafremov, Grodn.13.1 
 7. Sugoniako, BG.12.6 
 8. Svirydov, SBK O.12.2 
 9. Ovdeenko, Grodno-.12.1 
 10. Drobyshevski., So.12.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Pavel BLIZNETS
  Sozh Gomel
  (205-C-94)
  Avg: 11.6
 1. Bliznets, Sozh Gom.11.6 
 2. Rutkauskas, Minsk.10.2 
 3. Zakhar, BG.9.2 
 4. Krisevich, Minsk-.7.7 
 5. Drobyshevski., Soz.6.8 
 6. Ovsepian, Rubon6.8 
 7. Kojenets, Minsk.6.7 
 8. Knox, Minsk-20066.1 
 9. Yafremov, Grodn.5.7 
 10. Hrumiantsau, BGUI.5.3 
Assists Per Game
 Dzmitry KUZMIN
  Grodno-93
  (196-G-75)
  Avg: 5.1
 1. Kuzmin, Grodno-935.1 
 2. Akulich, Rubon4.5 
 3. Kudrautsau, Minsk.3.6 
 4. Papruha, BG.3.4 
 5. Ignatchik, Minsk-.2.8 
 6. Korzh, Grodno-932.5 
 7. Sitnik, SBK O.2.4 
 8. Vergun, Minsk-20062.0 
 9. Nakic, Minsk-20062.0 
 10. Malkov, Rubon2.0 
Steals Per Game
 Dmitri AKULICH
  Rubon
  (192-G-86)
  Avg: 2.4
 1. Akulich, Rubon2.4 
 2. Papruha, BG.2.2 
 3. Ovsepian, Rubon2.1 
 4. Zakhar, BG.2.1 
 5. Sapegin, Rubon2.0 
 6. Sitnik, SBK O.1.9 
 7. Malkov, Rubon1.8 
 8. Yafremov, Grodn.1.8 
 9. Sivalko, Rubon1.6 
 10. Shestilovski., So.1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Aliaksandr MINAYEU
  Minsk-20.
  (189-PG-93)
  Avg: 0
 1. Minayeu, Minsk-20.0.0 
 2. Mastou, Grodno-930.0 
 3. Zakhar, BG.0.0 
 4. Malyavko, Minsk-20.0.0 
 5. Yafremov, Grodn.0.0 
 6. Malkov, Rubon0.0 
 7. Verevkin, Rubon0.0 
 8. Malakhau, Minsk-20.0.0 
 9. Vashkevich, Minsk-.0.0 
 10. Lashkevich, Minsk.0.0 


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


Standings - Division I
D1 Standings
 1. Spirou 15-6 
 2. Oostende 15-7 
 3. Antwerp 14-7 
 4. Aalstar 12-8 
 5. Leuven 12-9 
 6. M.Hainaut 11-11 
 7. Liege 7-15 
 8. Gent 7-16 
 9. Verviers-Pep. 4-18 


Stats Leaders - Division I
Points Per Game
 Christopher COPELAND
  Aalstar
  (203-F-84)
  Avg: 19.9
 1. Copeland, Aalstar19.9 
 2. Bostic, Liege16.6 
 3. Lojeski, Oostende15.8 
 4. Black, Antwerp14.4 
 5. Haynes, Gent14.2 
 6. Taylor, M.Hainaut14.2 
 7. Freeman, Leuven14.2 
 8. Green, Spirou14.1 
 9. Love, Verviers-Pep.13.4 
 10. Tofi, Leuven13.1 
Rebounds Per Game
 Graham BROWN
  Gent
  (205-C-84)
  Avg: 8
 1. Brown, Gent8.0 
 2. Love, Verviers-Pep.7.4 
 3. Mejri, Antwerp7.3 
 4. McLean, Leuven7.3 
 5. Merriex, Verviers.7.0 
 6. Young, Aalstar6.9 
 7. Booker, Oostende6.1 
 8. Mukubu, Verviers.6.1 
 9. Green, Spirou5.8 
 10. Bostic, Liege5.7 
Assists Per Game
 Dominic WATERS
  Liege
  (185-PG-86)
  Avg: 3.9
 1. Waters, Liege3.9 
 2. Djordjevic, Ooste.3.8 
 3. Marnegrave, Leuven3.5 
 4. Bosco, Gent3.3 
 5. Black, Antwerp3.1 
 6. Slaughter, M.Hai.3.1 
 7. Bostic, Liege2.9 
 8. Winston, Oostende2.8 
 9. Taylor, M.Hainaut2.7 
 10. Thompson, Vervier.2.6 
Steals Per Game
 Adeola DAGUNDURO
  Leuven
  (196-G-86)
  Avg: 2.4
 1. Dagunduro, Leuven2.4 
 2. Black, Antwerp2.3 
 3. Mukubu, Verviers.2.1 
 4. Wilson, Antwerp2.0 
 5. Muya, Liege1.7 
 6. Steinbach, Aalstar1.7 
 7. Slaughter, M.Hai.1.7 
 8. Bosco, Gent1.7 
 9. Bostic, Liege1.7 
 10. Haynes, Gent1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Salah MEJRI
  Antwerp
  (216-C-86)
  Avg: 2.4
 1. Mejri, Antwerp2.4 
 2. Riddick, Spirou1.9 
 3. Jennings, Liege1.8 
 4. Love, Verviers-Pep.1.1 
 5. Young, Aalstar1.1 
 6. Booker, Oostende0.8 
 7. Holiday, Aalstar0.6 
 8. Copeland, Aalstar0.6 
 9. Nivins, M.Hainaut0.6 
 10. De Zeeuw, Vervier.0.5 


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


Big changes with KK BOSNA ASA Rahimic out! Armin Cengic and Sead Hadifejzovic in! Nermin Buza new captain of the team! - by Chris Mathieu
Big changes with KK BOSNA ASA Rahimic out! Armin Cengic and Sead Hadifejzovic in! Nermin Buza new captain of the team!
In a quite surprising change after a serious fallout between Coach Hamdo Fraljak and team captain Dzenan Rahimic resulted in Rahimic leaving the team and being replaced by the combination of Armin Cengic and Sead Hadifejzovic. Even though Dzenan was considered possibly the best player in KSBiH13 this season his regular conflicts with head coach Fraljak led to this surprising break with the team. Sead had a breakout season and should prove to be a capable replacement for the crafty veteran Dzenan. Sead has a quality all-around game and younger legs than Dzenan but it will be interesting to see how quickly they can assimilate them into the team. It is a gamble but one that could pay off for the team as they continue to make a surprising run into the final 6 of the season.
The selection of Nermin Buza as the new team captain was also a surprise but he is the most talented youngster on the team and had a quality breakout season for the club. Coach Fraljaks team had a very good season and played better than expected so it appears a good move by the team to back the coach in this dispute.


*****************************************************
  BULGARIA   


All-Star Game 2012 voting results out, Aaron Harper is #1 choice of the fans - by Maria Mitzova
The voting for All-Star Game 2012 in Bulgaria is now closed, and the results clear. NBL topscorer Aaron Harper is at the top of the list of the players, chosen from the fans to participate in the show. The leader of Levski received 7353 votes and was joined by six more of his teammates, also to star in the event. Champion Lukoil will also be represented by seven players.
All-Star Game 2012 is on April 7th in Sofia new gem Armeec Arena, and special guest of the event will be NBA Hall of famer Dennis Rodman.
Here are the results, and with bold are shown the participants:

POINT GUARDS


Alexander Diakovski 855 votes
Asen Velikov 2238 votes
Bozhidar Avramov 4386 votes
Dimitar Roshmanov 459 votes
Dimitar Filipov 1143 votes
Ivaylo Kasabov 936 votes
Jordan Bozov 1395 votes
Plamen Alexiev 1347 votes
Stanislav Tsonkov 696 votes
Tsvetoslav Ostrev 594 votes
Yulian Radionov 2187 votes
Andre Owens 4251 votes
Branko Mirkovic 2475 votes
Jarrett Howell 3963 votes
Jimmy Hunt 2943 votes
Michael Jefferson 2604 votes

SHOOTING GUARDS
Bogdan Boev 999 votes
Vasil Kiossev 1881 votes
Vesselin Georgiev 831 votes
Zlatin Georgiev 1857 votes
Lyubomir Kirov 414 votes
Martin Marinov 1329 votes
Milen Zahariev 504 votes
Rosen Sofroniev 759 votes
Stanimir Marinov 1680 votes
Stanislav Govedarov 2322 votes
Stoyo Cholakov 1011 votes
Tihomir Zhelev 1338 votes
Todor Zahariev 426 votes
Hristo Zahariev 885 votes
Brandon Heath 6975 votes
Damjan Stojanovski 1872 votes
Dejan Dunovich 1164 votes
Marcus Hall 6225 votes

SMALL FORWARDS
Atanas Penev 450 votes
Emil Binev 819 votes
Ivaylo Vuchkov 732 votes
Ivan Marchev 654 votes
Iliya Stankov 978 votes
Konstantin Koev 450 votes
Krassimir Georgiev 501 votes
Lubomir Lilov 1131 votes
Martin Durchev 2856 votes
Milcho Borisov 636 votes
Pavel Ivanov 1107 votes
Pavel Marinov 2100 votes
Simeon Iliev 819 votes
Stanislav Slaveykov 696 votes
Todor Stoykov 2307 votes
Ante Bilobrk 2094 votes
Aaron Harper 7353 votes
Lamont Mack 6789 votes


POWER FORWARDS
Veselin Veselinov 2328 votes
Dimitar Angelov 3258 votes
Dimitar Marincheshki 1845 votes
Ivo Slavchev 777 votes
Nikolay Kolev 1656 votes
Rostislav Aleksov 723 votes
Simeon Tsenov 1173 votes
Stanislav Vaklinov 1638 votes
Hrisimir Dimitrov 2838 votes
Denis Agre 1341 votes
Isiah Martin 3159 votes
Anthony Gugino 3864 votes
Justin Eller 4383 votes

Dwayne Morton 3489 votes

CENTERS
Asen Saraliyski 1014 votes
Vassil Evtimov 4161 votes
George Davidov 2403 votes
Stefan Georgiev 1914 votes
Tencho Banev 3909 votes
Todor Todorov 1080 votes
Stoyan Petkov 1755 votes
Bruno Sundov 4563 votes
John Ofoegbu 3312 votes
Dragomir Marojevic 1524 votes
Kiril Pavlovski 1122 votes
Sasha Mijajlovic 2352 votes
Philip Vukosavlevic 3363 votes

COACHES
Decho Koeshinov 351 votes
Ivan Cholakov 1689 votes
Konstantin Papazov 2262 votes
Lubomir Minchev 1200 votes
Marin Dokuzovski 471 votes
Mihail Mihailov 678 votes
Rosen Barchovski 978 votes
Tsvetan Antov 489 votes


Total of people, voted: 8118


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


Rainmen top Lightning; NBL title down to one game - by Eurobasket News
A fifth game will determine the first champion of the National Basketball League of Canada.

The Halifax Rainmen parlayed a huge third quarter into a 93-85 victory over the London Lightning on Thursday night at the Metro Centre, evening their best-of-five final at two wins apiece and setting the stage for a deciding game Sunday afternoon at the John Labatt Centre.

Following a scrpt they utilized Wednesday night in a stunning come-from-behind triumph, the Rainmen put together a blistering 19-2 run over a six-minute span of the third to wrest control from the Lightning and send the series back to London.

'We did what we wanted to do,' said rookie guard Chris Hagan (5'9''-G-89, college: Midwestern St.), who finished with 16 points and a game-high six assists.

'We came home, protected our home court and everybody played hard, gave maximum effort. Now we gotta go back there and finish it off.'

London was up 22-21 after a pair of Shamari Spears (6'6''-F-86, college: Charlotte) free throws with 40 seconds left in the first quarter produced the games eighth lead change.

Only one more would come.

The Lightning scored the first seven points of the second and Rodney Bufords deuce with just under seven minutes to go widened the gap to 38-27 before Halifax chiselled it to 48-42 at the break.

But the Rainmen had a third-quarter answer, just as a 19-4 streak Wednesday got them back into a contest they stole by dropping three unanswered hoops in the final 30 seconds.

This time, the Lightning were ahead 54-49 when Taliek Brown (6'1''-G-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Connecticut) converted the first of two straight drives to the basket with 5:33 gone in the period. By the time league MVP Gabe Freeman (6'6''-F-85, college: Costa Mesa JC) stopped the bleeding with 28 seconds remaining on a short baseline jumper, Halifax had opened up a 68-56 advantage, outscoring the visitors 26-10 in the quarter.

Brown led a balanced Rainmen attack with 20 points while Lawrence Wright (6'5''-F-84, college: Bradley) had 18 and Darnell Hugee (6'7''-F-85, college: Prairie View A&M) 12.

Freeman had game highs of 21 points and 21 rebounds, playing just under 45 minutes before fouling out with about a minute to go, much to the delight of 3,842 raucous fans.

Freeman became a lightning rod for the Metro Centre faithful after he and Rainmen veteran Eric Crookshank had a confrontation in Game 2 that sent Crookshank to the showers.

Crookshank, the fifth-year Rainman playing for his first championship, started for Halifax on Thursday and topped the team with 13 rebounds to go along with five points.

After Spears sank two foul shots to cut Halifaxs lead to 83-80 with 3 minutes left in the fourth, Crookshank replied with what might have been his biggest basket as a Rainman, slamming home a Wright miss just before the shot clock expired.

Wright followed with his own jam off a Lightning turnover and Tyrone Levett drained a three-point dagger to give the Rainmen a 90-80 spread and make the final 1:40 a formality.

'Micheal Ray said that we wouldnt go back to London,' said Crookshank, referring to London coach Micheal Ray Richardson. 'The series was over here, a sweep. Weve proved them wrong and were gonna prove them wrong again by getting this win in London.'

That wont be an easy task. The Lightning tied Halifax for the leagues best home record during the regular season at 16-2 and are unbeaten at the JLC in three playoff starts. The Rainmen havent won there in five tries this year.

But the Lightning also hadnt lost two games in a row all season until Wednesday and Thursday.

'In the playoffs, none of those stats matter,' Hagan said. 'If they matter to them, thats why theyre in the predicament theyre in now. So were gonna go there, were gonna play hard and were gonna try to make it three in a row.'

The Rainmen were playing for the sixth time in eight nights and travelled to and from London on the two days they didnt play. They finally have an off-day today before flying to London on Saturday afternoon.

Fatigue hasnt appeared to be a problem recently, though, something Levett chalked up to the Rainmens balance.

'Everybody was very productive today whether they played one minute or 50 minutes,' he said with some exaggeration.

The small forward, picked up in a trade for Buford early in the season, finished with nine points and nine rebounds before fouling out after 34 tough minutes.

He said he and his teammates were driven after the Lightning opened a 2-0 series lead.

'With our backs against the wall, theyre showing pictures, theyre laughing, theyre very cocky players and weve just proven to be who we are. We work very hard to earn everything we got.'

Courtesy of http://thechronicleherald.ca


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


Guang Dong lost 2nd game at Finals - by Robert Wang
CBA finals second game just ended at 106:109. Guangdong lost their second game at home against Beijing team. At the last 30 seconds, Brooks, Zhu Fang Yu and another local players all missed three points and missed the chance to play the overtime. From Guangdong team, Brooks got 25 points, 6 rebounds and 7 turnovers. Singleton got 18 points and 10 rebounds. Zhu Fang Yu got 15 points and made 1-7 3-pts. From Beijing teams, S Marbury received 23 pts, 9 assists and 4 turnovers. Morris received 33 pts, 12 rebounds and 5 turnovers. Chen lei got 15 pts and li Xue Lin for 13 pts.

Beijing Takes 2-0 Lead in CBA Finals - by Arthur Volbert
Beijing rallied 32-19 in the fourth quarter to shock hometeam Guangdong 109-106 and take a 2-0 lead in the CBA finals. Morris Randolph (211-F/C-86, college: Kentucky) had 33 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way. Stephon Marbury had 23 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals. Chen Lei scored 15. Zhu Yanxi had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Lee Hsueh-Lin had 13 points and 5 assists.

Aaron Brooks had 25 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for Guangdong. James Singleton had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Zhu Fangyu had 15 points and 7 rebounds. Dong Hanlin had 11 points and 8 rebounds. Zhou Peng had 11 points and 4 rebounds. Su Wei had 9 points and 6 rebounds. Chen Jianghua had 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Wang Shipeng scored 7 in 7 minutes.


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


Standings - NBL
NBL Standings
A1
 1. CEZ Nymburk 30-2 
 2. BK Prostejov 24-9 
 3. BK Decin 22-10 
 4. BK Pardubice 22-10 
 5. BC Kolin 21-21 
 6. USK Praha 15-16 
A2
 1. NH Ostrava 23-14 
 2. Levice 16-21 
 3. Svitavy 16-21 
 4. Chomutov 15-22 
 5. Usti n/Labem 13-24 
 6. Inter Bratislava 10-27 
 7. Plzen 9-28 
 8. B&W Opava 8-29 


Stats Leaders - NBL
Points Per Game
 Patrick POPE
  Chomutov
  (183-G-81)
  Avg: 20.2
 1. Pope, Chomutov20.2 
 2. Sedmak, USK Praha19.6 
 3. Grant, Levice19.0 
 4. McFadden, Usti n.18.3 
 5. Wright, Chomutov17.9 
 6. Hruban, USK Praha17.5 
 7. Lowery, Chomutov17.4 
 8. Longmire, Usti n.15.9 
 9. Houska, BK Decin15.7 
 10. Arnold, BK Pardu.15.5 
Rebounds Per Game
 Stanislav VOTROUBEK
  USK P.
  (212-C-81)
  Avg: 9.2
 1. Votroubek, USK P.9.2 
 2. Meno, Svitavy8.2 
 3. Arnold, BK Pardu.8.1 
 4. Gottselig, Usti n.8.0 
 5. Naymick, CEZ N.8.0 
 6. Pesic, Inter B.7.9 
 7. Gadri-N., BK Prost.7.6 
 8. Peterson, BK Prost.7.4 
 9. Houska, BK Decin7.2 
 10. Gavran, Inter B.6.9 
Assists Per Game
 Emanuel UBILLA
  Inter B.
  (188-G-86)
  Avg: 5.4
 1. Ubilla, Inter B.5.4 
 2. Deloach, Svitavy5.0 
 3. Wright, Chomutov4.6 
 4. Sotnar, USK Praha4.6 
 5. Wright, NH Ostrava4.5 
 6. Vrubl, Plzen4.4 
 7. Barnes, BC Kolin4.3 
 8. Sirina, B&W Opava4.0 
 9. George, Svitavy3.9 
 10. Lawrence, CEZ N.3.9 
Steals Per Game
 Emanuel UBILLA
  Inter B.
  (188-G-86)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Ubilla, Inter B.2.5 
 2. Ames, BC Kolin2.5 
 3. Wright, Chomutov2.4 
 4. Wright, NH Ostrava2.2 
 5. McFadden, Usti n.2.2 
 6. Klecka, B&W Opava2.0 
 7. Sirina, B&W Opava1.9 
 8. Pumprla, CEZ N.1.8 
 9. Lowery, Chomutov1.8 
 10. Pope, Chomutov1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Andrew NAYMICK
  CEZ N.
  (211-C-85)
  Avg: 1.5
 1. Naymick, CEZ N.1.5 
 2. Miklosik, B&W O.1.5 
 3. Gadri-N., BK Prost.1.3 
 4. Hughes, NH Ostrava1.3 
 5. Reese, Usti n.1.1 
 6. Williams, BK Decin1.0 
 7. Grant, Levice1.0 
 8. Arnold, BK Pardu.0.9 
 9. Meno, Svitavy0.9 
 10. Pumprla, CEZ N.0.8 


*****************************************************
  D-LEAGUE   


Latest games - by Eurobasket News
Rio Grande VV - Los Angeles D. 89-96
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers dropped a 96-89 decision to the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Thursday night at State Farm Arena. Greg Smith (6'10''-C-91, college: Fresno St.) led the Vipers with 27 points and 9 rebounds. Elijah Millsap (6'6''-G-87, agency: Interperformances, college: UAB) led the D-Fenders with 26 points. The Vipers jumped started on a strong run and led 16-4 with 5:13 left in the first quarter. The D-Fenders, though, limited the Vipers to one basket during the final 2 minutes of the first quarter and were within 23-21 to end the opening 12 minutes of play. The D-Fenders took the lead for good, 37-36, on a Kareem Rush 3-pointer with 5:35 left to play in the second quarter and finished the first half on a 16-1 run for a 51-38 advantage at halftime. Smith's dunk with 3:11 left in the third quarter got the Vipers to within 65-57. Otis George followed up with one from the line, and Scott VanderMeer contributed a layup to get the Vipers to within 7 points, 59-66. But the D-Fenders led 68-59 to end the third quarter after Millsap sunk two free throws. Another Smith got the Vipers to within 80-76 with 5:38 left in the game but that would be as close as they would get. Jermaine Taylor added 16 points and Tyren Johnson chipped in 13 points. *Courtesy of www.themonitor.com

Texas L. - Reno B. 111-103
Andre Emmett had his second straight game scoring over 30 points, but this time it was not enough as the Reno Bighorns fell to the Texas Legends 111-103 at the Dr Pepper Arena Thursday Night. Emmett had 36 points, including sinking 15-of-16 free throws, in the loss. Will Blalock once again had a great performance in his starting role, posting 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Bighorns. Alando Tucker (6'6''-F-84, college: Wisconsin) led the Legends with 22 points and five assists. The Bighorns shot 55.6 percent from the field, but the Legends grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and had 17 more shot attempts in the game. The Bighorns also turned the ball over 19 times compared to the Legends' 11 giveaways. Emmett, who scored 35 points in a win over the Rio Grande Valley Viper Saturday night, showed why he is the NBA D-League's leading scorer, shooting 10-of-16 from the field and continuously making trips to the free throw line. Antoine Wright added 18 points for the Bighorns while newly acquired David Harrison (7'0''-C-82, college: Colorado) had eight points and four rebounds. The Legends saw six players score in double figures. The Bighorns stay in Frisco, Texas for a rematch against the Legends on Saturday, March 24 at the Dr Pepper Arena. The team returns to Reno for a March 30 matchup against the Idaho Stampede at the Reno Events Center. *Courtesy of www.ktvn.com

Canton C. - Ft.Wayne MA 106-87
The scenario screamed for a letdown. The Canton Charge, a team rolling for more than a month, faced the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, a team that had one win in the last 52 days but trotted out an improved roster Wednesday night. Whatever the situation, the Charge seem to find a way to win these days. Canton took control in the second half of a physical NBA Development League game and pulled away for a 106-87 win in front of 2,378 fans at Memorial Civic Center. It was the Eastern Conference-leading Charges sixth straight win and their eighth in the last nine games. Were an older team, Charge wing player Alan Anderson (6'6''-G/F-82, agency: Priority Sports, college: Michigan St.) (6'6''-G/F-82, agency: Priority Sports, college: Michigan St.) said. Guys have played all over the world. Couple of guys have played in the NBA. I mean, guys want to win. We want to have fun, but weve got to win also. Anderson and Fort Waynes Stephen Graham (6'6''-F/G-82, college: Oklahoma St.), both former NBA players, seemed to be engaged in hand-to-hand combat most of the night. Anderson won. He scored a game-high 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting and nearly fouled out Graham in the process. Luke Harangody, on assignment from the Cavaliers, had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Charge, who shot 55.3 percent from the floor. Fort Wayne stayed in the game thanks to a big, strong front line of Vernon Macklin and Charles Garcia. Both Macklin on assignment from the Pistons and Garcia stand 6-foot-10. Garcia, an animated player who always seems to be on the verge of a meltdown, contributed 20 points and nine rebounds off the bench before fouling out to the delight of the home crowd. Macklin added 14 points and 13 rebounds. But the pair combined for 12 turnovers as Fort Wayne (11-32) lost its sixth straight and 16th in the last 17 games. Its a great thing and a fun thing to win games like that, Charge head coach Alex Jensen said, where it gets physical and you come out on top. Quinton Ross (6'6''-G/F-81, college: SMU) scored 14 points, while Dante Milligan (6'9''-F/C-84, agency: Interperformances, college: Massachusetts) totaled 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots for the Charge. Fort Wayne went scoreless for almost six minutes of the first quarter. Canton countered by going scoreless for almost six minutes in the second quarter. The Charge then took control with a 10-0 run during the middle of the third quarter. Anderson hit a short jumper. Ross made two free throws and missed the third after being fouled on a 3-point attempt, but Harangody got the offensive rebound. That led to a corner 3 from T.J. Campbell for a five-point trip. After one of Fort Waynes 25 turnovers on the night, Harangodys driving three-point play put the Charge up 71-60 with 3:34 left. Their lead never dipped below nine the rest of the way. Campbell, who had eight points and six assists, suffered a right eye abrasion at the 3:12 mark of the third quarter and did not return. He was taken to Aultman Hospital for treatment. His status for tonights game in Erie is questionable. Kyle Gibson, a natural shooting guard, finished the night at point guard and provided good minutes. During a stretch of the fourth quarter where points were hard to come by, he scored a driving bucket and knocked down a deep 3 on a broken play to help the Charge hold their lead. Gibson totaled 11 points. Kyle did a great job, Jensen said. Its funny how much harder it is to be the guy that brings it up and guards the point guard. Courtesy of www.timesreporter.com

Austin T. - Iowa E. 113-103
Former Longhorn Cory Joseph (6'3''-PG-91, college: Texas) (6'3''-PG-91, college: Texas), re-assigned from the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, scored a season-high 25 points, and the Austin Toros overcame a slow start to beat the Iowa Energy 113-103 at Cedar Park Center on Wednesday night. Lester Hudson (6'3''-G-84, college: Tenn-Martin) added 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Toros. The Energy went on runs of 12-0 and 10-0 in the first quarter to build a 31-17 lead after one period. Hudson's three-pointer tied the score at 42, and Iowa led 55-53 at halftime. The third quarter included nine lead changes, and Joseph's 12 points helped Austin take an 87-82 lead going into the fourth period. Austin led by as many as 18 points in the final quarter. Michael Efevberha (6'7''-G-84, college: CS Northridge) led the Energy with 28 points, and Ben Strong (6'11''-C-86, agency: Interperformances, college: Guilford) had 16 points and 17 rebounds. Courtesy of www.statesman.com

Erie Bay H. - Canton C. 92-109
The Canton Charge are displaying a revolutionary concept in a me-first league. Unselfish, team basketball. And it is translating to wins. Kyle Gibson and Frank Hassell scored 47 combined points off the bench and the Charge ran away from the Erie BayHawks in the fourth quarter for a 109-92 win Thursday night at Tullio Arena. A crowd of 2,015 watched Canton extend its season-best seven-game winning streak with various contributions. The Eastern Conference-leading Charge (26-18) are playing with the togetherness one might see in a good high school or college team. Talented wing Alan Anderson struggled a bit Thursday, but there he was in the fourth quarter, playing the role of the Charge's biggest cheerleader as Gibson and Hassell closed out the win. 'Since I've been here I've seen new faces coming in every other week,' the 6-foot-8 Hassell said. 'How we've jelled is kind of unique. We all love playing together and sharing the ball.' Thursday was a homecoming of sorts for Hassell. The Charge traded him to the BayHawks in mid February. Hassell spent two days in Erie before he failed a physical, which negated the trade and sent him back to Canton. He looked physically able Thursday. Hassell totaled 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and a game-high 12 rebounds as the Charge demolished Erie on the boards. Canton held a 55-30 rebounding edge and had 21 second-chance points to Erie's five. As the game progressed, the Charge, who beat Fort Wayne the night before, seemed to get stronger. And this was on a muggy night when the arena's air conditioning was not working. 'After watching that game, who would you think played the night before and who hadn't played for three or four days?' Charge head coach Alex Jensen asked. The 6-4 Gibson scored a game-high 24 points in 25 minutes. He made five of six 3-pointers, attacked the rim hard in the first half when the Charge were struggling to score, and displayed a wonderful all-around floor game. 'Coming off the bench, you want to give a spark,' Gibson said. 'Some guys got tired, so me and Frank came in and provided a spark.' Up 78-74 entering the fourth, Canton took control with a 9-2 run. T.J. Campbell and Antoine Agudio scored on driving layups, while Hassell made a pair of free throws. The Charge then swung it around the perimeter to Gibson, who nailed a 3 to put the Canton lead into double digits for the first time. 'Yeah, nice pass, Q!' Jensen yelled to Quinton Ross as Erie head coach Jay Larranaga called time with 9:16 left and the Charge up 87-76. Gibson wasn't done. He knocked down 3s on two of the next three possessions and four overall in the fourth as the Canton bench roared its approval. He and Hassell scored 12 points each in the fourth as the Charge outscored Erie 31-18. The Charge trailed by as many as 12 in the first half as former NBA bruiser Joey Graham, making his Erie (22-20) debut, bludgeoned Canton for 19 of his 23 points. Graham scored 11 points in the game's first 4:07, but he seemed to run out of gas in the second half. The Charge clawed their way back in it behind Gibson, who scored 12 first-half points and keyed a 22-8 run to close the second quarter. When Ross canned a corner 3 at the halftime buzzer, Canton led 58-56. The Charge's Luke Harangody battled foul problems but finished with 18 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes. Anderson scored 12 points, while Campbell added 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds. *Courtesy of www.cantonrep.com

Sioux Falls S. - Springfield A. 109-115
The Springfield Armor defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 115-109 Tuesday night at the Sioux Falls Arena. A strong fourth quarter propelled Springfield as they snapped Sioux Falls' three-game winning streak. The first quarter saw nine lead changes and seven ties. Sioux Falls (13-30) led 33-26 late in the first until Springfield ended the quarter on a quick 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 33-31 after one. Anthony Mason, Jr. had 12 of his 34 points in the first for Sioux Falls. With the game tied (44-44) a little over halfway through the second quarter, Springfield (23-19) went on a 7-0 run to take a 51-44 lead. Springfield controlled the rest of the half and led 60-56 at halftime. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the first half. After trailing the entire third quarter, Sioux Falls took their first lead since losing it in the first half. Trey Gilder found Mason, Jr. for a layup in transition with half a minute left to play in the third and Sioux Falls led 83-82 entering the fourth. However, Springfield began the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run and never looked back. They outscored Sioux Falls 33-26 in the final quarter, getting an important win and snapping their three-game losing streak. Jeff Foote (7'0''-C-88, college: Cornell) finished the game with 22 points and nine rebounds. Lance Hurdle scored 20 points behind 5-of-9 3-pointers. Mason, Jr. tied a season-high in points (34) to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Marqus Blakely had a solid all-around performance with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Sioux Falls hosts Bakersfield Friday at 7 p.m. CT. Springfield returns home to face Canton on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. *Courtesy of www.ksfy.com

Texas L. - Maine RC 91-105
Morris Almond (6'6''-F/G-85, college: Rice) (6'6''-F/G-85, college: Rice) scored 33 points, Xavier Silas added 25 and the Maine Red Claws kicked off a four-game trip Tuesday night with a 105-91 victory against the Texas Legends at the Dr. Pepper Arena. Almond, who is third in the league in scoring average with 23.4, had 24 in the first half as the Red Claws (18-26) overcame a rash of injuries and illnesses to beat the Legends for the second time this season. Almond propelled the Red Claws to a 52-46 halftime lead, which was expanded to 84-63 by the end of the third quarter, when Silas had eight of his 17 second-half points. Kenny Hayes (6'2''-PG-87, agency: KMG Sports Management, college: Miami, OH) added 17 points, a team-high 12 assists and along with Almond, nine rebounds. Maine played without forwards DeShawn Sims (6'8''-F-88, college: Michigan) (foot) and Lawrence Hill (6'8''-F-87, college: Stanford) (ankle). Assistant coach Donyell Marshall filled in for head coach Dave Leitao, who has the flu. Courtesy of www.pressherald.com

Reno B. - Rio Grande VV 114-108
With newly acquired center David Harrison (7'0''-C-82, college: Colorado) and point guard Will Blalock (6'0''-PG-83, agency: Priority Sports, college: Iowa St.) in the starting lineup, the Reno Bighorns found great offensive rhythm and defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 114-108 Tuesday night. Andre Emmett (6'5''-G/F-82, college: Texas Tech) led the scoring charge with 35 points and Blalock had 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and six steals in the win. The Bighorns win ended a four-game losing streak for the team and extended the Vipers losing streak to six losses in a row. The Bighorns shot 46.4 percent from the field and outrebounded the Vipers 50-45. The Bighorns led by as many as 29 points in the third quarter, but the Vipers used a full court press to create turnovers and cut the lead to as many as five points with under a minute left in the game. Mo Charlo (6'7''-F-83, college: Nevada) had the teams only double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds and Antoine Wright (6'7''-F/G-84, college: Texas A&M) posted 19 points and nine rebounds. Harrison had seven points and four rebounds in his Bighorns debut. The Bighorns travel to Texas for a game against the Legends on Thursday. The team returns to Reno for a March 30 matchup against the Idaho Stampede at the Reno Events Center. Courtesy of www.kolotv.com

Dakota W. - Springfield A. 98-93
The Springfield Armor left for their four-game, five-day road trip tied for first place in the D-Leagues East Conference. Three losses later, the Armor suddenly find themselves on the fringe of the playoff picture. Heading into Mondays game against the Dakota Wizards, five teams were separated by a half-game in the overall standings, including both Springfield and Dakota. Thats why the Armors 98-93 loss to the Wizards was so costly. The victory dropped the Armor to 22-19, a half-game behind Dakota (23-19). Springfield is now tied for fourth in the East and is in a three-way deadlock for seventh overall. The top eight teams qualify for the postseason. There's 10 teams between 21 and 26 wins, and only seven of them are getting in, Armor coach Bob MacKinnon said. Each team was playing with its leading scorer in the NBA, Springfields Jerry Smith with the New Jersey Nets and Dakotas Edwin Ubiles with the Washington Wizards. The Armor did get back center Jeff Foote (7'0''-C-88, college: Cornell), who had a big game with 18 points and 13 rebounds. I think hes going to have a 12-year NBA career, MacKinnon said. When youve got a guy whos going to be an NBA player on your roster, its a quality player. Weve been playing a couple players short for a couple of weeks now. It didnt help that Dennis Horner, Springfields leading scorer after Smith, was slowed by back spasms and plagued with foul trouble. He played just 11 minutes and didnt score. The teams traded the lead until early in the second, when the Armor gained the upper hand with a 14-1 run, turning a 28-23 deficit into a 37-29 lead. Springfields press harried the Wizards into 11 first-half turnovers leading to 13 points. The Armor also earned some style points with a vicious tomahawk dunk from L.D. Williams. Three-pointers from Jameson Curry (6'4''-G-86, agency: Strategic Sports, college: Oklahoma St.) and Lance Hurdle ensured the Armor held their lead, 51-44, at the break. Curry poured in 15 of his 23 points in the first half. The Wizards turned up their defensive intensity in the third. The result was a brutal offensive quarter for the Armor, who shot 5 for 23 and turned the ball over eight times after having done so just six times in the first half. Even more damaging, the Wizards converted those turnovers into 15 points. Dakota headed into the final quarter with a 67-63 edge. The game remained tight deep into the fourth, Springfields Damian Johnson (6'7''-F-87, agency: Edge Sports, college: Minnesota) tying it at 83 with 4:24 to go. The Wizards took control with three consecutive 3-pointers the first two by Shy Ely, the third by Leo Lyons. Marcus Dove (6'9''-F-85, college: Oklahoma St.) had 26 points and Stefhon Hannah (6'1''-G-85, college: Missouri) 24 for the Wizards. The Armor wrap up their trip Tuesday at Sioux Falls. Courtesy of www.masslive.com


Standings
D-League Standings
East Conference
 1. Canton C. 26-18 
 2. Dakota W. 23-19 
 3. Springfield A. 23-19 
 4. Iowa E. 22-19 
 5. Erie Bay H. 22-20 
 6. Maine RC 18-26 
 7. Sioux Falls S. 13-30 
 8. Ft.Wayne MA 11-32 
West Conference
 1. Los Angeles D. 32-11 
 2. Austin T. 27-16 
 3. Bakersfield J. 24-17 
 4. Texas L. 23-20 
 5. Rio Grande VV 22-23 
 6. Tulsa 66ers 21-22 
 7. Reno B. 19-24 
 8. Idaho S. 17-27 


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Andre EMMETT
  Reno B.
  (196-G/F-82)
  Avg: 24.4
 1. Emmett, Reno B.24.4 
 2. Ahearn, Reno B.23.8 
 3. Almond, Maine RC23.8 
 4. Dentmon, Austin T.22.9 
 5. Harris, Canton C.21.4 
 6. Costner, Los A.20.9 
 7. Ubiles, Dakota W.20.4 
 8. Mitchell, Sioux F.19.6 
 9. Green, Los A.19.1 
 10. Millsap, Los A.19.1 
Rebounds Per Game
 Marcus LEWIS
  Tulsa 66ers
  (203-F/C-86)
  Avg: 13
 1. Lewis, Tulsa 66ers13.0 
 2. Dawson, Austin T.10.4 
 3. Thomas, Los A.9.2 
 4. Criswell-L., Austi.8.9 
 5. Foote, Springfield8.7 
 6. Reid, Tulsa 66ers8.5 
 7. Williams, Texas L.8.5 
 8. Milligan, Canton C.8.3 
 9. Horner, Springfi.8.1 
 10. Goldcamp, Erie B.8.0 
Assists Per Game
 Walker RUSSELL
  Ft.Wayne.
  (183-G-82)
  Avg: 9.9
 1. Russell, Ft.Wayne.9.9 
 2. Conroy, Rio G.9.4 
 3. Daniels, Texas L.8.3 
 4. Wise, Bakersfield6.6 
 5. Curry, Springfield6.1 
 6. Baker, Dakota W.6.0 
 7. Stinson, Iowa E.6.0 
 8. Fortson, Los A.5.9 
 9. Bailey, Idaho S.5.9 
 10. Bozeman, Reno B.5.5 
Steals Per Game
 Marqus BLAKELY
  Sioux F.
  (196-F-89)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Blakely, Sioux F.2.2 
 2. Fortson, Los A.2.1 
 3. Coleman, Sioux F.2.1 
 4. Curry, Springfield2.0 
 5. Hannah, Dakota W.2.0 
 6. Smith, Springfield1.9 
 7. Millsap, Los A.1.9 
 8. Saunders, Rio G.1.9 
 9. Russell, Ft.Wayne.1.9 
 10. Bobbitt, Idaho S.1.8 
Blocks Per Game
 Will FOSTER
  Idaho S.
  (226-C-88)
  Avg: 2.9
 1. Foster, Idaho S.2.9 
 2. Williams, Texas L.2.5 
 3. Saunders, Rio G.2.4 
 4. Thomas, Los A.2.1 
 5. Daniels, Erie B.2.1 
 6. Hill, Maine RC1.7 
 7. Dawson, Austin T.1.7 
 8. Ojougboh, Tulsa1.6 
 9. Blakely, Iowa E.1.5 
 10. VanderMeer, Rio G.1.5 


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


Iverson not joining Dominican Republic team - by Eurobasket News
The manager for Allen Iverson (6'1''-G-75, college: Georgetown) says the former NBA star will not play for a team in the Dominican Republic.

Gary Moore says Iverson has not signed nor is he considering signing with any team.

Earlier Thursday, Pueblo Nuevo team president Milton Nunez told The Associated Press the 36-year-old guard would play for his team.

Moore says Iverson is 'shocked' by Nunez's announcement.

Moore says Iverson is still working out, 'waiting for another opportunity.'

Iverson left the NBA in 2010. He was the NBA's MVP in 2001, when he led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA finals. In 14 seasons in the NBA, he averaged 26.7 points. He has also played in Turkey.

Courtesy of www.usatoday.com


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


EBA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES ANNOUNCED - by EBA Media
EBA President Dick Anzolut announced today that the EBA CHAMPIONSHIPS will be held April 21 & 22 at the Elmcor Gym in Corona, N.Y. Hudson Valley Hype will serve as the host team.

Allen Pickett. CEO of Hudson Valley Hype Enterprises said,'We're honored and delighted to be hosting this event in the New York City area. In addition to the high quality of play exhibited by the EBA, the fans will enjoy some specialty events that we are planning , such as a Saturday dunk contest and a Sunday 3-point contest. '

All games will be HD DVD recorded in addition to a live play by play on the internet. Scouts, agents and overseas coaches will be invited to attend.

Tickets will be sold through Eventbrite and be available at the door.

EBA regular season ends April 7. The brackets will be established at that time. The Final Four will advance to New York City.

More information at EasternBasketballAlliance.com or HudsonValleyHype.com


Standings
EBA Standings
Northern Division
 1. HV Hype 8-1
 2. New York W. 8-3
 3. Philadelphia L. 0-0
 4. NYC Jaguars 0-10
Southern Division
 1. M. All-Stars 8-1
 2. Washington M. 5-5
 3. Harrisburg H. 4-5
 4. NoVa Hawks 4-6
 5. Winchester S. 4-6


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


Standings - KML
KML Standings
 1. Tartu Ulikool 21-3 
 2. Tarvas 18-8 
 3. Kalev/Cramo 16-3 
 4. Rapla 14-11 
 5. TTU 11-12 
 6. Tln Kalev 11-15 
 7. Parnu 3-22 
 8. Valga 3-23 


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Toomas RAADIK
  Parnu
  (202-C-90)
  Avg: 18.6
 1. Raadik, Parnu18.6 
 2. Raley-Ross, Tln K.17.5 
 3. Soo, Rapla17.4 
 4. Cipruss, Tarvas17.3 
 5. Pilk, TTU16.8 
 6. Veideman, Tartu U.15.6 
 7. Raap, Parnu15.4 
 8. Hallik, Tarvas15.0 
 9. Arnold, TTU14.6 
 10. Shaw, Tln Kalev13.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Kaspars CIPRUSS
  Tarvas
  (210-C-82)
  Avg: 10.3
 1. Cipruss, Tarvas10.3 
 2. Arnold, TTU8.8 
 3. Cricelli, Valga8.4 
 4. Fedortchuk, Tln K.8.4 
 5. Ringmets, Rapla7.8 
 6. Raadik, Parnu7.6 
 7. Shaw, Tln Kalev7.4 
 8. Allingu, Tartu U.6.5 
 9. Hallik, Tarvas6.5 
 10. Fall, Kalev/Cramo6.2 
Assists Per Game
 Edgars CUNDA
  Valga
  (196-G-84)
  Avg: 4.5
 1. Cunda, Valga4.5 
 2. Laane, Rapla4.3 
 3. Sokk, Tartu Ulikool3.9 
 4. Kriisa, Tarvas3.6 
 5. Pilk, TTU3.4 
 6. Dorbek, Tarvas3.4 
 7. Raap, Parnu3.3 
 8. Keedus, TTU3.2 
 9. Veideman, Tartu U.2.8 
 10. Raley-Ross, Tln K.2.8 
Steals Per Game
 Edgars CUNDA
  Valga
  (196-G-84)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Cunda, Valga2.5 
 2. Laane, Rapla2.4 
 3. Kaldre, Rapla2.2 
 4. Raley-Ross, Tln K.2.1 
 5. Veideman, Tartu U.2.1 
 6. Leppik, Tartu Ulik.2.0 
 7. Dorbek, Tarvas1.9 
 8. Skele, Kalev/Cramo1.9 
 9. Cricelli, Valga1.7 
 10. Keedus, TTU1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Bamba FALL
  Kalev/Cramo
  (216-C-86)
  Avg: 1.8
 1. Fall, Kalev/Cramo1.8 
 2. Raadik, Parnu1.5 
 3. Amis, Tartu Ulikool1.3 
 4. Fedortchuk, Tln K.1.1 
 5. Toome, Kalev/Cramo0.7 
 6. Makke, TTU0.5 
 7. Veski, Tarvas0.5 
 8. Hallik, Tarvas0.5 
 9. Shaw, Tln Kalev0.4 
 10. Koolman, Valga0.3 


*****************************************************
  EUROCUP   


Quarterfinals, Game 1 MVP: Bojan Dubljevic, KK Buducnost VOLI - by Eurobasket News
In what probably was the most surprising result of the first leg of the Eurocup Quarterfinals, Bojan Dubljevic (205-C-91, agency: Beo Basket) of KK Buducnost Voli led his team to a home win over Valencia Basket by 75-71 and earned weekly MVP honors in the process with an index rating performance of 25. Dubljevic scored 15 points, pulled 8 boards, had 3 steals and drew 6 fouls to rack up the best perfoemance among the winning teams in Game 1. The player with the highest index rating was CEZ Nymburk's Chester Simmons (198-G-82, college: Washington) with 29, but his team lost to Spartak SPB at home. Next in line was BC Khimki's Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, agency: Beo Basket, college: Washington St.), with an index rating performance of 23 thanks to his 20 points - including 6 of 7 threes -, 3 rebounds and 3 steals to defeat Lokomotiv Kuban at home. Also 23 was what Lietuvos Rytas' big man Jonas Valanciunas (210-C-92) had in his team's home win over BC Donetsk by 76-65.

Individual highs: Chester Simmons, 23 points

Nymburk's Simmons was also the best scorer of the week with his 23 points against Spartak. Kelati of Khimki was the only other player to reach 20 points this week. Two players led the rebounders of the week with 10 boards each - Ivan Radenovic (208-F-84, college: Arizona) of BC Donetsk and Lietuvos Rytas' Valanciunas. Likewise, two players shared the assists throne this week as both Stefan Markovic (194-G-88) of Valencia Basket and Tyrese Rice (185-PG-87, agency: Priority Sports, college: Boston Coll.) of Lietuvos Rytas dished 7 of them. Simmons completed a great performance also leading the steals ranking of the week with 4, while three players had 2 blocks each this week - Valanciunas, Vitor Faverani (211-C-88) of Valencia Basket and Drew Naymick of CEZ Nymburk - . Finally, two players ended up with double-doubles this week, Radenovic with 16 points and 10 boards plus Valanciunas with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Courtesy of www.eurocupbasketball.com


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


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Mirza TELETOVIC
  Caja L.
  (206-F-85)
  Avg: 22
 1. Teletovic, Caja L.22.0 
 2. McCalebb, Montepa.17.5 
 3. Spanoulis, Olympia.17.2 
 4. Weems, Zalgiris15.5 
 5. Domercant, Unics15.3 
 6. Macvan, Partizan15.3 
 7. Krstic, CSKA14.3 
 8. Carroll, Real Madr.14.2 
 9. Lorbek, FCB Regal14.2 
 10. Vujacic, Anadolu13.9 
Rebounds Per Game
 Milan MACVAN
  Partizan
  (206-C-89)
  Avg: 8.2
 1. Macvan, Partizan8.2 
 2. Motiejunas, Asseco7.9 
 3. Kirilenko, CSKA7.2 
 4. Slaughter, Brose B.6.9 
 5. Freeland, Unicaja6.7 
 6. Reyes, Real Madrid6.3 
 7. Veremeenko, Unics6.2 
 8. Tucker, Brose B.6.2 
 9. Zoric, Unicaja6.1 
 10. Fischer, Gescrap6.0 
Assists Per Game
 Sergio RODRIGUEZ
  Real M.
  (191-G-86)
  Avg: 5.4
 1. Rodriguez, Real M.5.4 
 2. Diamantidis, Panat.5.2 
 3. Teodosic, CSKA5.1 
 4. Huertas, FCB Regal4.6 
 5. Prigioni, Caja L.4.6 
 6. Tunceri, Anadolu4.5 
 7. Blassingame, Assec.4.5 
 8. Linehan, Nancy4.0 
 9. Spanoulis, Olympia.3.9 
 10. Kalnietis, Zalgir.3.7 
Steals Per Game
 Pablo PRIGIONI
  Caja L.
  (191-G-77)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Prigioni, Caja L.2.2 
 2. Linehan, Nancy2.0 
 3. Gordon, Galatasaray1.9 
 4. Slaughter, Brose B.1.8 
 5. Kirilenko, CSKA1.7 
 6. Diamantidis, Panat.1.6 
 7. McCalebb, Montepa.1.4 
 8. Ohayon, Maccabi1.4 
 9. Moerman, Nancy1.4 
 10. Lafayette, Assec.1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 Andrei KIRILENKO
  CSKA
  (205-F-81)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Kirilenko, CSKA2.2 
 2. Begic, Real Madrid1.7 
 3. Slaughter, Brose B.1.3 
 4. Vazquez, FCB Regal1.2 
 5. Hendrix, Maccabi1.2 
 6. Fischer, Gescrap BB1.2 
 7. Hines, Olympiakos1.1 
 8. Ndong, FCB Regal1.1 
 9. James, Maccabi T-A1.0 
 10. Perovic, FCB Regal1.0 


Eurobasket Evaluates Maccabi's Performances Against PAO - by David Pick
After being shocked, blown out, demolished and suffering from a moral beat down after a 73-93 loss to Panatinaikos, in Game 1 of the Euroleague Quarter-final series at OAKA Arena in Athens, Greece David Blatt and his troops impressively bounced back 48-hours later, squeezing out a rightfully deserved overtime 94-92 Game 2 victory, splitting the series at 1-1 apiece.

Coming into the series as underdogs, the yellow-and-blue army will enjoy an opportunity to close-out the series next week at Nokia Arena. With both a boring and epic Games 1 and 2 behind, and with the series just possibly crossing the 50 percent mark, Eurobasket evaluates Maccabi's players and coaching staff's performances on a 1-10 scale.

Head Coach David Blatt: Stunned by Zeljko Obradovic's Game 1 coaching masterpiece, Blatt took the loss personal. When returning to the team's hotel, Blatt stayed up until the late hours of the night, trying to learn where and what at he did wrong.

While understanding and implementing his adjustments to perfection in Game 2, Blatt responded with a jaw-dropping coaching clinique, dazzling the entire European basketball world, specifically, Zeljko Obradovic. Evaluation 8

Theodoros Papaloukas: If this series can get any more personal to anyone, it's Papaloukas. Booed, cursed out and rejected by 20,000 fanatic green fans, Papaloukas thought he saw it all. Yet, when his own coach showed no signs of belief in his abilities to contribute, Papa was devastated.

Nonetheless, he kept to himself and made sure to be ready when his name was called. As expected, when needed most down the stretch, Papa (again) rose to the occasion and with five crucial points along with immense leadership, took a major role in Tel-Aviv's W. Evaluation 7

Richard Hendrix: If Hendrix and Maccabi learned anything from the first game of the series, it's that Mike Batiste and Aleks Maric are nothing like the Adriatic/Israeli League soft big men, and that for Hendrix to be effective, he needs to be a starter. When coming off the bench if Game 1, Hendrix showed no signs of aggressiveness on either ends of the floor, finishing with just five shots and three rebounds in 22 minutes.

As a starter in Game 2, Rich doubled both his shots (12) and boards (7) from the first encounter, and if not for repeated unforgivable refereeing errors, Hendrix would have sealed the deal for his team much earlier. Evaluation 7.5

Devin Smith: Marked by Eurobasket as the X Factor of the series. Despite the Game 1 loss, Smith showed poise, patience and maturity on the court. Maccabi's defensive stopper matched a game high in blocks (2) and collected a team high in rebounds (6), along with 17 points.

In Game 2, the 'Professor' did everything you don't see on the stat sheet, yet recorded a back-to-back team high cleaning the glass with nine boards, proving to be Blatt's most trustworthy player with a series high 42 minutes. Evaluation 8.5

David Blu: The former Trojan is currently the most underrated European player. Earlier this year, Blu approached team Manager Gur Shelef, saying he's entertaining the thought of a change this summer. Since then, Maccabi has oddly made no contact with Blu's people.

However, Eurobasket was informed that the California native will possibly workout for the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. Lakers consultant Ettore Messina, is known to think highly of Blu and his unlimited shooting range, and would be expected to follow Blu's training closely.

As for the series, Keith Langford, who last year felt Blu's buzzer-beating dagger while playing for Khimki Moscow, enjoyed being on the winning side for a change. Blu, a three time Euroleague finalist, took Tuesday's loss extra personal and stepped up with hustle plays on defense and draining long/mid-range wowing jumpers on offense, playing a crucial role in Maccabi's victory. Evaluation - 8.5

Lior Eliyahu: If anyone sees a long 6-foot-9 Israeli forward wearing yellow shorts and a blue jacket walking around Athens, please contact Shimon Mizrahi immediately. Six points and three rebounds in Maccabi's loss and two points with zero rebounds in the team's victory, clearly establishes that Maccabi lost Eliyahu somewhere around passport checking at the Athens airport.

The fact that Eliyahu is an Israeli NT star and former Spanish ACB League Champion, only makes you wonder where did Blatt go wrong, or whether Eliyahu doesn't really have what it takes. Evaluation 4.5

Demond Mallet: Prior to signing with Maccabi in December 2011, advisors suggested to Mallet not to transfer to Tel-Aviv. Mallet, who's playing his 10th pro career season, felt that joining the Israeli empire is a milestone in his career and something he wasn't willing to lose out on.

Well, three months later, Mallet is nowhere near Blatt's radar and frankly, even a GPS cant find the guard. Mallet saw Maccabi win the Israeli State-Cup title from the sidelines and took no part in four of the team's Domestic games. Mallet's Euroleague averages drastically dropped from 34 minutes and 18.7ppg with Belgium Spirou, to 15 minutes and 5.4ppg in Tel-Aviv.

Against Pao, Mallet nearly tied a season low in minutes, playing just six of them in Game 2, taking only one field goal attempt. In May, with the Israeli Final Four on the line, and with a healthy Smith and Langford, Blatt will show Mallet the best courtside seat in the house, again. This clearly isn't what he signed up for? Evaluation 4

Guy Pnini: Maccabi's last year's Rottweiler is this season's poodle. Pnini went from 45.8% shooting from deep last season to 30% this season to zero percent against Pao. Reasons for Pnini's slump could easily be injuries, but more so, that fact that Devin Smith is eating up all his minutes. During the summer, Pnini played with the Israeli NT in the European Championship in Lithuania, where he averaged 13.2ppg on 50.0% field goal shooting showcasing flashy abilities.

The fact that Pnini played only 1:37 minutes in Game 2 still remains a mystery. Evaluation 3

Tal Burstein: The thought of playing Burstein as a starter in Game 1 was correct. Tal's strong, experienced and is a solid defender who handles the ball well. However, playing him over Ohayon, a lesson Blatt learned later on, was incorrect. Burstein's athletic abilities aren't what they used to be and his shooting capabilities aren't all there either.

In Maccabi's Game 2 victory, Burstein played a third of his minutes from Game 1, leaving like Pnini, an empty stat sheet. Evaluation 4

Yogev Ohayon: Wow, incredible, amazing and oh my God, were some of the words needed to describe Yogev's Game 2 performance. A Euroleague career high in points (15), while tying a career high in assists (5), Ohayon demolished Pao's backcourt.

With talks about Jordan Farmar joining Israel's NT raising, Ohayon made sure to end any doubts of his abilities to lead a team forward. The last successful Israeli point guard to wear Maccabi's jersey was Oded Katash and today icons, Papaloukas, Burstein and Mallet see the rookie as a -- starter.

Maccabi managed to dig a big hole three times this season (Cantu, Jerusalem, Pao), and surprisingly, it was Ohayon who came to the rescue. David Blatt is doing something Maccabi's former Coach Pini Gershon would never imagine could be possible, which is giving the keys to an Israeli point guard.

Last season while in Jerusalem, Ohayon was shadowed by Will Solomon and Yuval Naimy. The team's recently fired coach Oded Katash, fought a great deal this past summer to keep Ohayon in the Holy City instead of Yuval Naimy, but Yogev wanted a challenge. In game 2 against Pao, Ohayon limited Diamantidis, an All-Euroleague Point Guard to just 31% on 4/15 shooting. Evaluation 9

Shawn James: The former two time Eurobasket.com All-Israeli League Center of the Year is yet to show he's capable of playing on the big stage. James, a Euroleague rookie, didn't disappoint after being thrown into battle last night due to Hendrix and Sofo's foul trouble.

Despite his lack of physical abilities to compete with bigs such as Batiste and Maric, James played a vital role for team, assisting with seven points and five boards. Evaluation 6.5

Sofoklis Schortsanitis: As the season progresses, Sofo's playing minute's developed a pattern. They decrease. The large muscle and body weight Sofo carees make it hard, even for someone with a huge passion for the game to thrive, or mealy remain standing.

Despite Sofo's playing time dropping from 17 minutes to eight in Games 1 and 2, he appeared to be more efficient and valuable to his team. Sofo scored more points on better shooting percentages, decreased the amount of turnovers and grabbed more rebounds. Evaluation 7.5

Keith Langford: One of Maccabi's most deadliest and expensive weapons stepped up big on both occasions. In Game 1, Langford nearly recorded a point for every minute he was on the hardwood. Yet, as a guard, his assists column showed a big fat zero and Maccabi was far from victory.

In Game 2, not only did Langford make big plays down the stretch, kissing the ball of the left side of the glass, he also got his teammates involved by sharing the rock, resulting into four very crucial dimes. Langford also showed signs of maturity on the defensive end by picking up fouls. On the offensive side, Langford lowered his turnovers by a fourth, creating better situation for himself and his teammates. Evaluation 8




Barca takes 2-0 lead against Unics, Maccabi wins in Athens for 1-1 - by Eurobasket News
Panathinaikos - Maccabi T-A 92-94 OT
Heartbreaking thriller was played on Thursday night at OAKA arena in Athens. Maccabi Electra grabbed 92-94 OT win against the reigning Euroleague champion and tied the score to 1-1 in the series. Thanks to this victory Maccabi secured two games at its home court in Tel Aviv. Keith Langford (193-G/F-83, college: Kansas) led the Israeli powerhouse with 17 points and David Blu (201-F-80, college: USC) had one less than him. Devin Smith (196-G/F-83, college: Virginia) (9 rebs) and Yogev Ohayon (189-G-87) (5 rebs, 5 as) helped with 15 points each. In PAO, Kostas Kaimakoglou (206-C/F-83) answered with 20 points. Mike Batiste (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) had 16 pts, 9 rebs and 6 assists, while Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) added 12 points, 6 assists and 5 boards. Maccabi was 10-points up at the beginning of the last quarter, but PAO responded with 15-8 run and later tied the score to 81-81 with 1:10 to go. David Blu made a jump shot for Maccabi and Batiste walked in the paint, but Dimitris Diamantidis rescued the hosts with a blocked shot and Kaimakoglou went to the line with 13.2 seconds remaining and sank both free throws to tie the game at 83-83. A busted Maccabi play ended with Langford making a desperate jumper, but it was after the buzzer and the game went to overtime. Teams were tied at 90-90 and the halfway of OT, after what Batiste made a short jumper and Blu drained a huge three at the other side for 92-93 with 29.8 seconds to go. Sarunas Jasikevicius missed a quick jumper and Keith Langford was sent to the line immediately. He made only one and PAO had the last chance with 18.3 seconds remaining, but Diamantidis missed from three, then Saras missed from two and Maccabi raced off the court with the win. Quarters: 24-20, 19-21, 15-20, 25-22, 9-11 OT. Teams will meet again next Tuesday in Tel Aviv. Game Four is scheduled for Thursday.

PAO: Kostas Kaimakoglou 20, Mike Batiste 16+9 boards+6 as, Dimitris Diamantidis 12+6 as+5 boards
Maccabi: Keith Langford 17, David Blu 16, Devin Smith 15+9 boards, Yogev Ohayon 15+5 boards+5 as


FCB Regal - Unics 66-63
Regal Barca is 2-0 up against Unics in the Euroleague Quarterfinals. The reigning Spanish champ had to work very hard to beat Unics 66-63 last night at the Palau Blaugrana. Teams were tied to 61-61 in the finish, after what Marcelinho Huertas (191-PG-83, agency: Edge Sports) missed around the basket but Kosta Perovic (217-C-85) collected a key steal, drew a foul at the other end and calmly made free throws for a 63-61 Barcelona edge with 48.6 seconds left. Vladimir Veremeenko (208-F-84, agency: RU-Basket Management) committed a turnover on the other side, but Huertas made just one of his two free throws. Unics had the possession and there was 8.2 seconds to go. Henry Domercant (192-G-80, college: E.Illinois) was fouled and he made 1 of 2 from the line, Mickeal matched him and then Domercants desperation heave missed, which left Barcelona with the win and series lead. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) top-scored in victory with 18 points and Erazem Lorbek (209-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) had 14. Pete Mickeal (199-F-78, college: Cincinnati) helped with 12 points. In defeat, Nathan Jawai (208-F/C-86, college: Midland CC) shined with double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. Bostjan Nachbar (207-F-80) had 16 points and 5 rebs, while Lynn Greer (186-PG-79, college: Temple) stopped to 7 pts. Quarters: 17-13, 16-17, 18-18, 15-15. Teams will meet against next Tuesday, when Unics will be the host.

Barca: Juan Carlos Navarro 18, Erazem Lorbek 14, Pete Mickeal 12
Unics: Nathan Jawai 21+10 boards, Bostjan Nachbar 16+5 boards, Lynn Greer 7


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


KORISLIIGA: YMCA Lahti defeated Karhu - by Rauno Hurmalainen
Korisliiga, round 38/40: Only one contest tonight. YMCA Lahti defeated Karhu from Kauhajoki 95-83 (42-37). Quarters: 17-16, 25-21, 20-24, 33-22. Karhu has still several players on injured list and that helped YMCA Lahti (10-28) to achieve the victory # 10 this season. American G Malik Moore (192-G-77, agency: Prossin Sports Management, college: Amer.Internat.) scored his personal best 34 points. Moore grabbed also eight rebounds and gave six assists. Ryan Brooks (193-G-81, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Temple) added 26 pts and Brant Bailey (202-F-77, college: Wisc.-Stevens Point) 25 pts. So, three American players scored 85 out of 95 points. Karhu's three Americans netted 70/83 pts.
Forward Matti Nuutinen (200-F-90) has re-signed with Bisons (Loimaa) a 1+1 -year-contract. Nuutinen is playing now his first season on Bisons roster averaging 10,2 ppg - 5,9 rpg. Veteran F-G Jukka Matinen (203-F-78) (11,5 ppg) will continue his basketball career untill spring 2015 and on KTP (Kotka) roster.

YMCA Lahti - Karhu 95-83 (42-37). (Malik Moore 34/8/6a, Ryan Brooks 26, Brant Bailey 25 - Clevin Hannah 32, Todd Hendley 24, Kelly Beidler 14/10. A: 633).


Standings - Korisliiga
Korisliiga Standings
 1. Kataja 29-8 
 2. Pyrinto 25-11 
 3. Nilan Bisons 24-12 
 4. Kauhajoki 21-16 
 5. ToPo 20-16 
 6. Salon Vilpas 16-20 
 7. KTP 16-21 
 8. LrNMKY 15-21 
 9. Kouvot 13-23 
 10. Korihait 12-25 
 11. Namika Lahti 10-28 


Stats Leaders - Korisliiga
Points Per Game
 Tim BLUE
  KTP
  (205-F-84)
  Avg: 22.8
 1. Blue, KTP22.8 
 2. Zeno, Nilan Bisons20.0 
 3. Beidler, Kauhajoki19.3 
 4. Hannah, Kauhajoki19.0 
 5. Crocker, KTP19.0 
 6. Holloway, Salon V.19.0 
 7. Brooks, Namika L.18.8 
 8. Newson, Kataja18.6 
 9. Durham, Salon Vilp.18.2 
 10. Ivey, Nilan Bisons18.2 
Rebounds Per Game
 John FIELDS
  Salon Vilpas
  (205-F-88)
  Avg: 12.9
 1. Fields, Salon Vilp.12.9 
 2. Durham, Salon Vilp.11.6 
 3. Blue, KTP10.6 
 4. Beidler, Kauhajoki10.1 
 5. Williams, Pyrinto9.2 
 6. Newson, Kataja8.6 
 7. Zeno, Nilan Bisons8.6 
 8. McDade, Nilan B.8.3 
 9. Brown, Kouvot8.1 
 10. Jordan, Kouvot7.7 
Assists Per Game
 Malik MOORE
  Namika L.
  (192-G-77)
  Avg: 5.2
 1. Moore, Namika L.5.2 
 2. Ivey, Nilan Bisons4.8 
 3. Haynes, LrNM.4.6 
 4. Hannah, Kauhajoki4.5 
 5. Williams, Pyrinto4.2 
 6. Virtanen, Kataja4.2 
 7. Sarcevic, KTP4.1 
 8. Walker, Kataja4.0 
 9. Holloway, Salon V.3.3 
 10. Nikkarinen, Kouvot3.3 
Steals Per Game
 Antwine WILLIAMS
  Pyrinto
  (192-F-75)
  Avg: 2.3
 1. Williams, Pyrinto2.3 
 2. Moore, Korihait2.1 
 3. Beidler, Kauhajoki2.1 
 4. Holloway, Salon V.1.9 
 5. Williams, Pyrinto1.9 
 6. Haynes, LrNM.1.7 
 7. Newson, Kataja1.7 
 8. Jordan, Kouvot1.6 
 9. Moore, Namika L.1.5 
 10. Crocker, KTP1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 John FIELDS
  Salon Vilpas
  (205-F-88)
  Avg: 2
 1. Fields, Salon Vilp.2.0 
 2. Beidler, Kauhajoki1.9 
 3. Blue, KTP1.4 
 4. Zeno, Nilan Bisons0.9 
 5. Williams, Pyrinto0.8 
 6. Lehtoranta, Kataja0.8 
 7. Hamm, LrNM.0.8 
 8. Jones, Nilan Bisons0.7 
 9. Newson, Kataja0.7 
 10. Ahvenniemi, Pyrin.0.6 


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


Standings - ProA
ProA Standings
 1. Gravelines 20-3 
 2. Chalon 18-3 
 3. Orleans 15-8 
 4. Paris-Levallois 14-7 
 5. Nancy 14-8 
 6. Le Mans 14-8 
 7. Cholet 11-11 
 8. Roanne 10-11 
 9. Dijon 10-12 
 10. Strasbourg 10-12 
 11. ASVEL 10-13 
 12. Nanterre 9-14 
 13. Poitiers 7-15 
 14. Le Havre 6-16 
 15. Pau-Lacq-Orthez 6-16 
 16. Hyeres-Toulon 2-19 


Standings - ProB
ProB Standings
 1. Limoges 21-5 
 2. Boulazac 20-6 
 3. Chalons-Reims 17-9 
 4. Fos Ouest 17-9 
 5. Maurienne 16-10 
 6. Bordeaux 15-12 
 7. Lille 15-12 
 8. Boulogne 13-13 
 9. Bourg 12-14 
 10. Antibes 12-14 
 11. Evreux 12-14 
 12. Nantes 12-15 
 13. St Vallier 11-15 
 14. Denain 10-16 
 15. Le Portel 10-17 
 16. Rouen 9-17 
 17. Vichy 7-19 
 18. Quimper 7-19 
 19. St Etienne 0-0 


Stats Leaders - ProA
Points Per Game
 Eric CHATFIELD
  Paris-.
  (191-G-79)
  Avg: 21
 1. Chatfield, Paris-.21.0 
 2. Rochestie, Le Mans19.0 
 3. Gipson, Pau-Lacq.17.2 
 4. Hamilton, Paris-.16.8 
 5. Williams, Paris-.16.3 
 6. Causeur, Cholet16.0 
 7. Cox, Le Havre15.3 
 8. Wise, Le Havre15.0 
 9. Schilb, Chalon15.0 
 10. Morlende, Hyeres-.15.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Chinemelu ELONU
  Pau-Lacq.
  (206-F/C-87)
  Avg: 8.6
 1. Elonu, Pau-Lacq.8.6 
 2. Hamilton, Paris-.8.1 
 3. Greer, Strasbourg7.5 
 4. Aminu, Chalon7.3 
 5. Akingbala, Nancy7.3 
 6. Armstrong, AS.6.9 
 7. Nsonwu-Amadi, Roa.6.8 
 8. Falker, Cholet6.8 
 9. Labeyrie, Hyeres-T.6.7 
 10. Camara, Le Havre6.5 
Assists Per Game
 Kareem REID
  Hyeres-Toulon
  (178-PG-75)
  Avg: 7.6
 1. Reid, Hyeres-Toulon7.6 
 2. Rochestie, Le Mans6.4 
 3. Wise, Le Havre5.7 
 4. Linehan, Nancy5.3 
 5. Pellin, Orleans5.3 
 6. Barrett, Roanne4.9 
 7. Dixon, Dijon4.9 
 8. Schilb, Chalon4.7 
 9. Gipson, Pau-Lacq.4.6 
 10. Chatfield, Paris-.4.3 
Steals Per Game
 Andrew ALBICY
  Gravelines
  (178-PG-90)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Albicy, Gravelines2.5 
 2. Wise, Le Havre2.0 
 3. Linehan, Nancy2.0 
 4. Pellin, Orleans1.9 
 5. Melody, Dijon1.9 
 6. Riley, Nanterre1.8 
 7. Acker, Le Mans1.7 
 8. Nelson, Cholet1.7 
 9. Gipson, Pau-Lacq.1.6 
 10. Causeur, Cholet1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Randal FALKER
  Cholet
  (201-F-85)
  Avg: 1.4
 1. Falker, Cholet1.4 
 2. Gobert, Cholet1.1 
 3. Elonu, Pau-Lacq.1.1 
 4. Akingbala, Nancy1.0 
 5. Akpomedah, Grave.1.0 
 6. Hamilton, Paris-.1.0 
 7. Issa, Gravelines1.0 
 8. Williams, Paris-.0.9 
 9. Armstrong, AS.0.8 
 10. Sy, Orleans0.8 


Stats Leaders - ProB
Points Per Game
 Chris DAVIS
  Le Portel
  (195-F/G-80)
  Avg: 17.9
 1. Davis, Le Portel17.9 
 2. Siggers, Rouen17.6 
 3. Denave, St Vallier16.8 
 4. Wood, Evreux16.3 
 5. Paelay, Quimper16.2 
 6. Brown, Maurienne16.0 
 7. Coleman, Vichy15.6 
 8. Prowell, St Vallier15.4 
 9. Monroe, Boulazac15.4 
 10. Gay, Fos Ouest15.4 
Rebounds Per Game
 Christophe MASSIE
  Limoges
  (206-C/F-77)
  Avg: 11.7
 1. Massie, Limoges11.7 
 2. Wood, Evreux11.5 
 3. Osby, Maurienne9.5 
 4. Monroe, Boulazac9.5 
 5. Rossiter, Denain9.4 
 6. Allen, Antibes8.6 
 7. Daniels, Chalons-.8.4 
 8. Barro, Bourg8.4 
 9. Badiane, Nantes8.3 
 10. Brown, Maurienne7.8 
Assists Per Game
 Ronnie TAYLOR
  Le Portel
  (188-PG-81)
  Avg: 6.9
 1. Taylor, Le Portel6.9 
 2. Rowland, Evreux5.5 
 3. Copeland, Bourg5.3 
 4. Mullins, Chalons-.5.3 
 5. Darnauzan, Mauri.5.0 
 6. Patiejunas, Rouen5.0 
 7. Darrigand, Bordeaux5.0 
 8. Denave, St Vallier4.9 
 9. Mouillard, Quimper4.6 
 10. Sauret, Lille4.4 
Steals Per Game
 Armand CHARLES
  Nantes
  (193-SF-83)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Charles, Nantes2.5 
 2. Shiloh, St Vallier2.1 
 3. Allen, Antibes2.0 
 4. Paelay, Quimper2.0 
 5. Eito, Vichy2.0 
 6. Rowland, Evreux1.9 
 7. Mullins, Chalons-.1.9 
 8. Denave, St Vallier1.8 
 9. Choquet, Fos Ouest1.7 
 10. Stanley, Boulogne1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Sherman GAY
  Fos Ouest
  (201-PF-82)
  Avg: 1.7
 1. Gay, Fos Ouest1.7 
 2. Jefferson, Vichy1.5 
 3. Osby, Maurienne1.5 
 4. Massie, Limoges1.1 
 5. Ford, Bordeaux1.0 
 6. Fields, Nantes1.0 
 7. Prowell, St Vallier0.9 
 8. McKenzie, Boulazac0.9 
 9. Barrett, St Vallier0.8 
 10. Dunn, Rouen0.8 


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


Bo McCalebb selected the top FYR Macedonian playing abroad in last week's games - by Eurobasket Center
We bring you last week's top performances from FYR Macedonians who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.


Bo McCalebb
Bo McCalebb
   #1. This week's number one is an international point guard Bo McCalebb (183-85, college: New Orleans). He led Montepaschi Siena to a victory over the 15th-ranked Vanoli-Braga (8-16) 79-61 in the Italian SerieA in Sunday night's game. McCalebb was MVP of the game. He recorded 17 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 23 minutes on the court. Montepaschi Siena (18-6) is placed first in the SerieA. It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row. McCalebb has relatively good stats this year: 13.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 59.5%(94-158), 3FGP: 34.2% and FT: 77.8% in the 23 games he played so far. He is a naturalized American. McCalebb is currently a member of the FYR Macedonian senior national team. Strangely he has never played in FYR Macedonia.

Jeremiah Massey
Jeremiah Massey
   #2. Second place goes to former international forward Jeremiah Massey (202-82, college: Kansas St.), who plays in Russia. Massey could not help Lokomotiv (4-2) in their last game on Tuesday. Despite his good performance the first-placed Lokomotiv was defeated 81-72 on the road by the second-ranked Khimky in the group L of Eurocup. Massey was the top scorer with 14 points. He also added 7 rebounds. Massey belongs to league's top scorers (ranked #3) and also on the list of best rebounders (second place). He has individually a very good season with high stats. Massey averages: 15.7ppg, 8.4rpg, 2.2apg, 1.8spg, 3FGP: 30.4% and FT: 73.6%. He is a naturalized American. Massey played for the FYR Macedonian national team in 2009. Apparently he has never played in FYR Macedonia.

Vojdan Stojanovski
Vojdan Stojanovski
   #3. The FYR Macedonian player who performed third best last week abroad was an international guard Vojdan Stojanovski (193-87). Stojanovski was the major contributor in a BC Donetsk's victory against the league outsider Halychyna (7-27) 90-78 in the Ukrainian Superleague in Thursday night's game. He scored 16 points and added 3 passes (was perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line). BC Donetsk (24-8) is placed second in the Superleague. It was his team's sixth consecutive victory in a row. There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. Stojanovski's overall stats this season are: 9.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.0apg, 3FGP: 46.2%(6-13). He is also a member of the FYR Macedonian senior national team.

Marques Green
Marques Green
   #4. Point guard Marques Green (167-82, college: St.Bonaventure) was not able to help Air Avellino (12-12) in their game against Scavolini Pesaro (14-9) in the Italian SerieA, despite his very good performance last Sunday. Green was the second best scorer with 14 points. He also added 4 assists and 3 steals in 40 minutes. But Air Avellino lost 81-89 in Pesaro to the higher-ranked (#6) Scavolini. It was Air Avellino's third consecutive loss in a row. Green is currently ninth on the league's list of top scorers and also on the list of best passers (first place). He has very impressive stats this year: 15.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 6.2apg and 2.4spg in the 24 games. Green is a naturalized American. He used to play for the FYR Macedonian national team back in 2010. Interesting that Green has never played in FYR Macedonia.

Pero Antic
Pero Antic
   #5. International forward Pero Antic (210-82, agency: Beo Basket) managed to help Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus to win against the leader Montepaschi Siena (4-2) 82-75 in the Euroleague on Wednesday night. He recorded only 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. It was the game of the round between two top 2 ranked teams in group E. Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus (3-3) is placed second. Antic's overall stats this season are: 7.4ppg and 4.4rpg. He has a dual citizenship: FYR Macedonian and Bulgarian. Antic plays currently for the FYR Macedonian national team.

Damjan Stojanovski
Damjan Stojanovski
   #6. Forward Damjan Stojanovski (197-87) contributed to a Lukoil Academik's victory against one of league's weakest teams Spartak Pleven (4-18) 87-80 in the Bulgarian NBL in Saturday night's game. He recorded 8 points in only 11 minutes. Lukoil Academik Sofia (20-2) is placed first in the NBL. It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row. This year Stojanovski's overall stats are: 6.0ppg, 2.5rpg and 1.1spg in the 20 games. He is an international player who is currently on the senior FYR Macedonian National Team roster.

Vlado Ilievski
Vlado Ilievski
   #7. International point guard Vlado Ilievski (189-80, agency: World Sport Agency) is a teammate of previously mentioned Jeremiah Massey and both played together in the last Eurocup game. Ilievski was not able to secure a victory for Lokomotiv (4-2) in their game against Khimky (5-1). He cannot count Tuesday's game as one of the best ones. Ilievski recorded only 2 points and added 5 assists in 18 minutes. Lokomotiv lost 72-81 in Khimki to the second-ranked Khimky in the group L of Eurocup. This year Ilievski's total stats are: 2.8ppg, 1.3rpg and 2.5apg in the four games. He is also FYR Macedonian national team player.


The list of other players, who all have FYR Macedonian passport but never been selected to any of FYR Macedonian national teams:

   #1. Darius Washington (188-PG-85, college: Memphis) was the major contributor in a 3-point Turk Telekom's victory against the closely-ranked Aliaga (11-12) 89-86 in the Turkish TBL on Sunday night. Washington scored 20 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished 3 assists in 27 minutes. Turk Telekom Ankara (10-13) is placed tenth in the TBL. Washington is currently eighth on the league's list of top scorers with 16.5ppg. This year his other stats are: 4.4rpg, 4.5apg and 1.1spg in the 15 games he played so far. Washington is a naturalized American. Interesting that he has never played in FYR Macedonia.

   #2. Blagoj Janev (203-F-84, college: New Hampshire), who plays in the Icelandic Express League could not help Thor Thorl (15-7) in their last game on Friday. Despite Janev's very good performance Thor Thorl was badly defeated 97-80 on the road by the lower-ranked Tindastoll (#7). He was the second best scorer with 20 points. Janev also added 7 rebounds. The Regular Season already ended. It's Janev's first season with the team. He has individually a very good year with high stats. Janev averages: 15.6ppg and 6.5rpg. He has a dual citizenship: FYR Macedonian and Australian. Despite Janev's FYR Macedonian passport, he previously played for the Australian U21 national team and is probably not eligible to play for the FYR Macedonian team.

   #3. Kiril Pavlovski (210-C-85, agency: Global Sports Plaza), who plays in the Bulgarian NBL was not able to help Chernomorets (2-20) in their last game on Saturday. Despite Pavlovski's very good performance the bottom-ranked Chernomorets was defeated 89-74 at home by the higher-ranked Balkan (#6). He was the top scorer with 18 points. Pavlovski also added 8 rebounds. It's Pavlovski's first season with the team. Pavlovski is ranked eighth on the list of the top scorers in the league and also on the list of best rebounders (second place). This season he has very high stats. Pavlovski averages: 15.4ppg, 10.0rpg and 1.1bpg.

   #4. Nenad Zivcevic (204-F-87) led Sundsvall Dragons to a victory against the closely-ranked LF Basket (20-16) 88-80 in the Swedish Basketligan last Tuesday. He recorded 13 points in 28 minutes. Sundsvall Dragons (21-15) is placed sixth in the Basketligan. It was his team's first victory after three consecutive loses. This year Zivcevic has relatively solid stats: 13.8ppg, 3.3rpg and 2.2apg in the 12 games. He is another player who holds two passports: Serbian and FYR Macedonian. Despite Zivcevic's FYR Macedonian nationality, he previously played for the Serbian U20 national team and probably cannot be called to the FYR Macedonian team.

   #5. Todorce Petkovski (200-F-80) contributed to an easy victory against the third-ranked Hoganas (15-6) 84-66 in the Swedish Basketettan (second division) on Sunday night. Petkovski recorded a double-double by scoring 17 points and getting 10 rebounds. KSF Srbija Malmo (12-9) is placed fifth in South group. It was his team's first victory after three consecutive loses. They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical. It's Petkovski's sixth season with the team. He is currently second on the list of best rebounders. This season Petkovski has very high stats. He averages: 16.0ppg, 11.2rpg, 1.7apg and 1.2spg.

   #6. Jovan Zdravevski (197-F-80) contributed to an easy victory against the league leader Keflavik crushing them 94-69 in the Icelandic Express League in Friday night's game. Zdravevski scored 10 points in 19 minutes. He has averaged so far 9.1ppg, 3.3rpg and 1.4apg in the 13 games.

   #7. Milos Pejanovic was not able to secure a victory for Mladost Cacak in their game against Mladost Zemun in the Serbian B League (second division). Pejanovic cannot count Saturday's game as one of the best ones. He recorded only 2 points. His team was defeated 71-56. Pejanovic has averaged so far 9.8ppg, 2.6rpg and 2.3apg.


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


Stats Leaders - 2.Bundesliga
Points Per Game
 Martin SAMARCO
  Karlsruhe
  (191-G-85)
  Avg: 20.9
 1. Samarco, Karlsruhe20.9 
 2. Reese, Duesseldorf20.2 
 3. McKiver, Braves20.2 
 4. Reid, MBC18.0 
 5. Hassan, Leitersh.18.0 
 6. Alexander, ETB W.18.0 
 7. Stommes, Webmoebel17.3 
 8. Mason, Webmoebel16.7 
 9. Brooks, Kirchheim16.7 
 10. Lipke, Leitershof.16.5 
Rebounds Per Game
 Justin HOWARD
  Karlsruhe
  (208-C-81)
  Avg: 10.6
 1. Howard, Karlsruhe10.6 
 2. Uskoski, Kirchheim8.8 
 3. Black, Jena8.1 
 4. Richardson, Leiter.7.5 
 5. Gerwig, Cuxhaven7.4 
 6. Webb, Crailsheim7.4 
 7. Harris, Cuxhaven7.3 
 8. Shaw, Chemnitz7.2 
 9. Buechert, Ehingen7.0 
 10. Mason, Webmoebel6.8 
Assists Per Game
 Ahmad SMITH
  Kirchheim
  (194-G-84)
  Avg: 6.4
 1. Smith, Kirchheim6.4 
 2. Jeka, Braves5.2 
 3. Johnson, Chemnitz5.1 
 4. Rice, Cuxhaven5.0 
 5. Chavis, NBC4.5 
 6. Holcomb Faye, MBC4.4 
 7. Burgess, Heidelberg4.3 
 8. Reese, Duesseldorf4.3 
 9. Hill, Crailsheim4.0 
 10. Barker, Jena3.9 
Steals Per Game
 Skyler BOWLIN
  Leitershofen
  (190-G-89)
  Avg: 2
 1. Bowlin, Leitershof.2.0 
 2. Johnson, Chemnitz1.9 
 3. Matthews, Ehingen1.8 
 4. Rice, Cuxhaven1.8 
 5. Brooks, Kirchheim1.8 
 6. Capel, Cuxhaven1.6 
 7. Diggs, Webmoebel1.5 
 8. Lipke, Leitershofen1.5 
 9. Harris, NBC1.5 
 10. Williamson, Ehing.1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 Dmitriy CHEREMNYKH
  Braves
  (213-C-78)
  Avg: 1.6
 1. Cheremnykh, Braves1.6 
 2. De Michael, NBC1.3 
 3. Williamson, Ehingen1.1 
 4. Zipser, Heidelberg1.0 
 5. Lawson, Chemnitz1.0 
 6. Flomo, Duesseldorf0.9 
 7. Harris, Cuxhaven0.9 
 8. Buechert, Ehingen0.8 
 9. Howard, Karlsruhe0.8 
 10. Schoo, Heidelberg0.7 


Standings - ProA
ProA Standings
 1. MBC 21-5 
 2. Kirchheim 17-9 
 3. Chemnitz 17-10 
 4. Crailsheim 16-10 
 5. Webmoebel 15-11 
 6. Jena 14-13 
 7. Karlsruhe 13-13 
 8. Duesseldorf 13-13 
 9. Heidelberg 13-13 
 10. ETB Wohnbau 12-14 
 11. NBC 11-15 
 12. Ehingen 11-15 
 13. Cuxhaven 10-16 
 14. Braves 7-19 
 15. Leitershofen 6-20 


Dragons Rhoendorf do not renew Eric Detlev's contract - by Moritz Korff
Pro B side Dragons Rhoendorf has announced that head coach Eric Detlev is going to leave the club after more than ten years. The Dragons decided not to renew his contract. 'Eric Detlev was an excellent coach for all Dragon players over the years and an outstanding coach of our Bundesliga team. The decision not to renew his contract has nothing to do with dropping out of the playoffs early this year. In fact, different opinions concerning the further athletic development in Rhoendorf increasingly occurred between us', general manager Michael Wichterich stated.
Detlev led the Dragons to the 2010 Pro B championship and helped several prospects developing into solid players at the pro level. The Rhoendorf team finished the 2011-12 regular season with a 13-9 record and in fifth place of the Pro B South standings. The Dragons fell short to Braunschweig in the first round of the playoffs.


Jimmie Hunt (Murat Didin Would Say Bubba At Least Every 5 Minutes) - by Miles Schmidt-Scheuber


Jimmie Hunt (187-G-82, agency: Interperformances, college: Franklin Pierce) is a 29 year old 187cm guard that is playing for the second time for Euroins Cherno More in Bulgaria. He started his basketball career at Franklin Pierce (NCAA2) in 2000 where he played until 2004. He started his basketball career for : Kemoplast Alpos Sentjur (Slovenia) in 2005. In the 2006-2007 season for : Kemoplast Alpos Sentjur (Slovenia ) he played : 35 games: Score-1 (18.4ppg), 3.1rpg, Assists-1 (4.6), 1.6spg, 2FGP: 55,9%, 3FGP: 38,9%, FT: 80,0%. In 2007-2008 season, he played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany)German League: 43 games: 2.8ppg, 1.1rpg, 1.1apg; ULEB Cup: 10 games: 4.8ppg, 1.1rpg, 2.4apg. He ha splayed in Bulgaria since 2008 and last season for the Florida Flight (CBL). He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.

It has been almost four years since you played your last game with the Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Has the time moved quickly since then?

Yes and no. I really missed my time in Frankfurt, but at the same time I have had good times since so I cant complain.

You are playing your second time for Cherno More in Bulgaria and since 2008 in Bulgaria. You seem to like Bulgaria to stay?

Bulgaria is a nice country which has treated me good. I have always goten nice contracts so why shouldnt I stay?

You live in Varna which is on the Black sea. What do you like most about the city?

The Black sea is nice. It is a nice place to walk around and there are always people around you. It isnt Frankfurt, but Varna is nice.

How do you get around with English? I am sure its not as easy as it was in Frankfurt?

It isnt as easy as it was in Frankfurt where everyone spoke English. My young teammates all speak English so they help me with the language.

Cherno More has a record of 9-15. How are your chances of making the playoffs?

The league has eight teams and they all make the playoffs. We have had injuries and some guys going, but we are coming together. I think that we can make a run in the playoffs.

Where can the team still improve on?

Just playing together. We have a young team and it is tough getting adjusted, but we will be ok.

How tough was it losing top scorer Aleksand Yanev who went to Greece?

It was tough. He is a good young player that took a lot of pressure off the rest of the team. We are still a good team without him.

You are the only American in a team that has Bulgarian players. How have you been accepted?

I have been accepted well. I am the point guard so they look for me to score and do things.

Your teammate is 21 year old Tihomir Zhelev. How much potential does he have an dcould he play in another country?

I think that he has a good chance. He is young and works very hard. If he continues to improve then I think that he could play in another country.

How much fun is it playing together with 35 year old Bulgarian basketball legend Georgi Davidov?

He is a great player and its a lot of fun playing with him. He knows the game very well and makes us better.

What have you learned from him?

Just to keep working and pushing. He also taught me to remain patient as we have many young players on the team.

How would you compare the Bulgarian league and Beko BBL?

I think they are about the same, but the BBL is faster due to more Americans.

What have you improved the most from your time in Frankfurt?

I am older now and see the game better. I use more my brain than my physical ability

What is a strength in your game that doesnt get noticed right away?

To be able to use my strength as a guard and post up against smaller guards.

Who has been your toughest opponent in Bulgaria?

Aaron Harper. He came to Bulgaria the same time I did.

Do you miss playing against less Americans?

For me it doesnt matter. Basketball is basketball. I dont really miss the Americans.

After your season for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners, why did you sit out the 2008-2009 season?

I had to go home and had family issues.

After strong seasons in Slovenia, you came to Frankfurt but were unable to fit expectations. Was the level to difficult or was it other factors?

I felt good playing that season. It wasnt the level. Frankfurt had a very strong team and Pascal Roller had come back and was getting a lot of minutes. Sometimes a player will have a season like that.

Would the Deutsche Bank Skyliners have won the German title if they had won game 5 against Bonn?

I think that we could of. We were a bit unlucky in game 5, but had a strong enough team to have won it all.

What is your memory of Rudy Mbemba?

He was a very nice and funny guy that was always positive. He was so quick and athletic.

Were you surprised that Mbemba never made his basketball breakthrough?

He was a good up and coming player. He was very talented, but sometimes things happen in basketball and life that doesnt make it happen for a player.

How was your relationship with Murat Didin? Were you intimidated by him?

No I wasnt intimidated. We had a normal decent coach-player relationship.

How often did Murat Didin say bubba during the day?

At least every five minutes.

What do you miss the most from Frankfurt?

The fans. I loved the fans. They would support you no matter what.

Do you still have contact to players today?

Yes I talk to Derrick Allen, Ken Johnson, Dominic Bahiense De Mello and Ilian Evtimov.

If you gave Pascal Roller and Jimmy Mckinney 100 shots each from the corner, who would hit more shots?

That is a tough question. Both are good shooters, but it could go either way.

Who won a one on one in practice you or Jimmy Mckinney?

It depended who was hitting better. We had some good wars.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

The girl with the dragon tattoo.

Thanks Jimmie for the chat.


ProA Round 28: Mitteldeutscher BC defeats NBC in the closest game of the week - by Eurobasket News
There are only two more rounds left in the Regular Season in ProA. There was no lack of excitement in the last round games. The round ended with favorites losing the games and games ending by tiny margin.

Eleventh-ranked NBC (11-15) gave a tough game to first ranked Mitteldeutscher BC (21-5) in Weissenfels on Friday. Mitteldeutscher BC managed to secure only one-point victory 73-72. However their fans expected much easier game. Mitteldeutscher BC have a solid three-game winning streak. They maintain first position with 21-5 record. NBC lost third consecutive game. Newly promoted team keeps the eleventh place with 15 games lost. They share the position with Ehingen. Mitteldeutscher BC are looking forward to face Saar-Pfalz Braves (#14) in Homburg in the next round which should be an easy win for them. NBC will play at home against Leitershofen in Diedorf and is hoping to prove to their fans that they can break losing series.
Very important is a road loss of third ranked Crailsheim Merlins (16-10) against fourth ranked BV Chemnitz 99 (17-10) on Friday night. Visiting Crailsheim Merlins were defeated by BV Chemnitz 99 in a tough game in Chemnitz 66-70. Americans were the main players on the court. The winners were led by point guard Gary Johnson (188-PG-82, college: Cent.Florida) who scored that evening 18 points and 8 assists and Ty Shaw supported him with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Even a double-double of 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists by forward Billy Baptist (196-87, college: Quincy) did not help to save the game for Crailsheim Merlins. Crailsheim Merlins' coach tried various players' combinations and tested in total eleven players in this game, but that didn't help. BV Chemnitz 99 have a solid three-game winning streak. They moved-up to third place. Crailsheim Merlins at the other side dropped to the fourth position with ten games lost. BV Chemnitz 99 will play against Ehingen/Urspringschule (#12) in Allmendingen in the next round and are hoping to win another game. Crailsheim Merlins will play at home against USC Heidelberg (#9) and hope to get back on the winning track.
Fourteenth-ranked Saar-Pfalz Braves (7-19) gave a tough game to tenth ranked USC Heidelberg (13-13) on Friday. USC Heidelberg managed to secure only three-point victory 91-88. However their fans expected much easier game. Sanijay Watts fired a double-double by scoring 24 points and 11 rebounds (on 11-of-14 shooting from the field) for the winners. P.J. Alawoya produced a double-double by scoring 18 points and 12 rebounds for lost side. USC Heidelberg moved-up to seventh place, which they share with Duesseldorf and Karlsruhe. Loser Saar-Pfalz Braves keep the fourteenth position with 19 games lost. USC Heidelberg will meet higher ranked Crailsheim Merlins (#4) on the road in the next round and it may be quite challenging game. Saar-Pfalz Braves will play against the league's leader Mitteldeutscher BC (#1) having rather not much hope for a victory.
An interesting game took place in Cuxhaven where higher ranked Gloria Giants (13-13) were upseton the court of thirteenth ranked Cuxhaven BasCats (10-16) 85-80. Worth to mention a great performance of Jusuf El Domiaty who helped to win the game recording 25 points. Gloria Giants' coach tried various players' combinations and tested in total eleven players, but that didn't help to avoid defeat in this game. Cuxhaven BasCats maintains thirteenth position with 10-16 record. Gloria Giants at the other side dropped to the seventh place with 13 games lost. Cuxhaven BasCats' next round opponent will be league's second-placed Kirchheim Knights on the road and they do not belong to the favorites in that game.
9th ranked ETB Wohnbau (12-14) was outscored at home by second ranked Kirchheim Knights (17-9) with the biggest margin this round 101-57 on Friday night. Worth to mention a quality performance of Devin Uskoski who helped to win the game recording 25 points and 7 rebounds. ETB Wohnbau's coach Igor Krizanovic gave up on the game allowing to play twelve players seeing no chance for a win. Kirchheim Knights maintains second position with 17-9 record having four points less than leader MBC. ETB Wohnbau lost third consecutive game. They dropped to the tenth place with 14 games lost. Kirchheim Knights will face Cuxhaven BasCats (#13) at home in the next round which should be another easy win for them. ETB Wohnbau will play against BG Karlsruhe.

In the last two games of round 28 Jena won against Webmoebel on the opponent's court 87-83. Bottom-ranked Leitershofen was outscored by Karlsruhe in a home game 55-81.
The most impressive stats of the last round was 28 points and 6 rebounds by Cedric Brooks of Kirchheim.


Cuxhaven - Duesseldorf 85-80

An interesting game took place in Cuxhaven where higher ranked Gloria Giants (13-13) were upseton the court of thirteenth ranked Cuxhaven BasCats (10-16) 85-80. The hosts were ahead by 4 points but lost the second period ending it with a 3-point deficit before their 29-21 run, which allowed them to win the game. Cuxhaven BasCats forced 26 Gloria Giants turnovers. Worth to mention a great performance of guard Jusuf El Domiaty (189-90, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) who helped to win the game recording 25 points. American guard Dwuan Rice (180, college: CSU Bakersfield) contributed with a double-double by scoring 13 points and 10 assists for the winners. Naturalized Croatian guard Marin Petric (190-80) replied with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists and Estonian forward Rait Keerles (201-80) added 16 points in the effort for Gloria Giants. Four Cuxhaven BasCats and five Gloria Giants players scored in double figures. Gloria Giants' coach tried various players' combinations and tested in total eleven players, but that didn't help to avoid defeat in this game. Cuxhaven BasCats maintains thirteenth position with 10-16 record. Gloria Giants at the other side dropped to the seventh place with 13 games lost. Cuxhaven BasCats' next round opponent will be league's second-placed Kirchheim Knights on the road and they do not belong to the favorites in that game.
Top scorers:
Duesseldorf: M.Petric 26+6reb+4ast, R.Keerles 16+3reb+1ast, Q.Lollis 13+6reb, P.Flomo 11+4reb+1ast, C.Pfeil 10+4reb+1ast, C.Bennett 2+2reb+1ast
Cuxhaven: J.El Domiaty 25, J.Capel 13+2reb+2ast, D.Rice 13+2reb+10ast, N.Gerwig 11+6reb, D.McDaniel 9+3reb+1ast, M.Bogdanov 6+2reb+3ast
gschID: 141561


Webmoebel - Jena 83-87

There was a minor upset in Paderborn where 5th ranked Webmoebel Baskets (15-11) were defeated by seventh ranked Science City Jena (14-13) 87-83 on Friday. Science City Jena made 26-of-32 free shots (81.3 percent) during the game. Science City Jena outrebounded Webmoebel Baskets 39-26 including 29 on the defensive glass. Americans were the main players on the court also this time. Worth to mention a great performance of guard Kenny Barker (191-86, college: Alaska-Anch.) who helped to win the game recording 32 points (made all of his ten free throws !!!) and forward Jeremy Black (203-85, college: Tampa, agency: Court Side) who added 13 points and 14 rebounds during the contest. At the losing side swingman Justin Stommes (200-88, college: E.Kentucky, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) responded with 24 points and swingman Nick Freer (198-85, college: Grand Valley St.) scored 17 points and 6 rebounds. Four Webmoebel Baskets players scored in double figures. Science City Jena have a solid three-game winning streak. They moved-up to sixth place. Loser Webmoebel Baskets keep the fifth position with 11 games lost. Science City Jena will have a break next round. Webmoebel Baskets will play on the road against Gloria Giants (#8) in Duesseldorf.
Top scorers:
Webmoebel: J.Stommes 24+2reb+2ast, N.Freer 17+6reb+1ast, J.Mason 13+5reb+3ast, J.Diggs 11+2reb+3ast, O.Wendt 9+6reb+5ast, M.Jost 8+3reb+1ast
Jena: K.Barker 32+4reb+2ast, T.Kepkay 19+1reb+2ast, J.Black 13+14reb+1ast, C.Roquette 7+6reb+3ast, J.Voigtmann 6+3reb+1ast, E.Reyes-Napoles 5+3reb
gschID: 141562


Leitershofen - Karlsruhe 55-81

Very predictable result in Diedorf where eighth ranked BG Karlsruhe (13-13) smashed bottom-ranked Leitershofen (6-20) 81-55 on Friday. The game without a history. BG Karlsruhe led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. BG Karlsruhe forced 20 Leitershofen turnovers. Americans were the main players on the court also this time. Worth to mention a great performance of guard Martin Samarco (191-85, college: Bowling Green) who helped to win the game recording 20 points and guard Michael Stockton (185-89, college: Westminster, UT, agency: Limelight Hoops) who added 18 points and 4 assists during the contest. Five BG Karlsruhe players scored in double figures. At the losing side center DeWayne Richardson (202-77, college: Fairmont St.) responded with a double-double by scoring 17 points and 13 rebounds and guard Skyler Bowlin (190-89, college: Missouri So., agency: Warren Sports International) scored 14 points and 4 steals. BG Karlsruhe moved-up to seventh place, which they share with Duesseldorf and Heidelberg. Newly promoted Leitershofen stay at the bottom position with 20 games lost. BG Karlsruhe will face ETB Wohnbau (#10) in Essen in the next round. Leitershofen will play on the road against NBC (#11) in Nurnberg.
Top scorers:
Leitershofen: D.Richardson 17+13reb+2ast, S.Bowlin 14+4reb+3ast, J.Lipke 9+2ast, C.Hassan 5+5reb+1ast, J.Genck 5, A.Kronhardt 5+4reb+1ast
Karlsruhe: M.Samarco 20+4reb+3ast, M.Stockton 18+4reb+4ast, J.Moore 13+8reb+1ast, J.Howard 11+7reb, R.Roessler 10+5reb+3ast, D.Jones 8+4reb+1ast
gschID: 141563


ETB Wohnbau - Kirchheim 57-101

9th ranked ETB Wohnbau (12-14) was outscored at home by second ranked Kirchheim Knights (17-9) with the biggest margin this round 101-57 on Friday night. The game without a history. Kirchheim Knights led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 54 of its points in the paint compared to ETB Wohnbau's 34. Kirchheim Knights shot the lights out from three sinking 13 long-distance shots on high 59.1 percentage. Worth to mention a quality performance of American forward Devin Uskoski (198-85, college: Rocky Mountain) who helped to win the game recording 25 points and 7 rebounds and the other American import guard Cedric Brooks (185-80, college: Pittsburg St.) who added 28 points and 6 rebounds during the contest (on 11-of-14 shooting from the field). Four Kirchheim Knights players scored in double figures. At the losing side forward Kevin Wysocki (198-87) responded with 8 points and American forward Kendall Chones (201-84, college: Colgate, agency: Dynamics Global Management) scored 5 points and 9 rebounds. ETB Wohnbau's coach Igor Krizanovic gave up on the game allowing to play twelve players seeing no chance for a win. Kirchheim Knights maintains second position with 17-9 record having four points less than leader MBC. ETB Wohnbau lost third consecutive game. They dropped to the tenth place with 14 games lost. Kirchheim Knights will face Cuxhaven BasCats (#13) at home in the next round which should be another easy win for them. ETB Wohnbau will play against BG Karlsruhe.
Top scorers:
ETB Wohnbau: K.Wysocki 8+4reb+2ast, J.Henley 8+2reb+1ast, D.Kapelan 7+1ast, M.Buljevic 7+1reb+1ast, C.Alexander 6+1reb+1ast, P.Carney 5+2reb+1ast
Kirchheim: C.Brooks 28+6reb+1ast, D.Uskoski 25+7reb+3ast, B.Griffin 12+2reb+1ast, S.Adeberg 10+2reb+4ast, R.Tomasevic 8+1reb+2ast, N.Menck 7+1reb+1ast
gschID: 141564


Chemnitz - Crailsheim 70-66

Very important is a road loss of third ranked Crailsheim Merlins (16-10) against fourth ranked BV Chemnitz 99 (17-10) on Friday night. Visiting Crailsheim Merlins were defeated by BV Chemnitz 99 in a tough game in Chemnitz 66-70. Crailsheim Merlins were ahead by 6 points at the halftime before a 22-10 third quarter run of BV Chemnitz 99. Crailsheim Merlins were plagued by 28 personal fouls down the stretch. Americans were the main players on the court. The winners were led by point guard Gary Johnson (188-82, college: Cent.Florida) who scored that evening 18 points and 8 assists and power forward Ty Shaw (202-79, college: Idaho Coll.) supported him with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Four BV Chemnitz 99 players scored in double figures. Even a double-double of 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists by forward Billy Baptist (196-87, college: Quincy) did not help to save the game for Crailsheim Merlins. Guard Mark Hill (180, college: CS Northridge) added 6 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists for lost side. Crailsheim Merlins' coach tried various players' combinations and tested in total eleven players in this game, but that didn't help. BV Chemnitz 99 have a solid three-game winning streak. They moved-up to third place. Crailsheim Merlins at the other side dropped to the fourth position with ten games lost. BV Chemnitz 99 will play against Ehingen/Urspringschule (#12) in Allmendingen in the next round and are hoping to win another game. Crailsheim Merlins will play at home against USC Heidelberg (#9) and hope to get back on the winning track.
Top scorers:
Crailsheim: B.Baptist 19+12reb+4ast, D.Webb 16+5reb, J.Stohl 9+1reb, J.Buck 7, M.Hill 6+11reb+4ast, J.Dunbar 5+1ast
Chemnitz: G.Johnson 18+3reb+8ast, D.Lawson 13+5reb+2ast, T.Shaw 12+13reb+1ast, J.Schmidt 11+7reb+2ast, T.Ishizaki 9+3reb+2ast, J.Schaffrath 5+5reb
gschID: 141558


Heidelberg - Braves 91-88

Fourteenth-ranked Saar-Pfalz Braves (7-19) gave a tough game to tenth ranked USC Heidelberg (13-13) on Friday. USC Heidelberg managed to secure only three-point victory 91-88. However their fans expected much easier game. The hosts trailed by 1 point at the halftime before their 25-19 charge in the third quarter, which allowed them to win the game. USC Heidelberg made 25-of-30 free shots (83.3 percent) during the game. American forward Sanijay Watts (193-87, college: Central Mo., agency: Limelight Hoops) fired a double-double by scoring 24 points and 11 rebounds (on 11-of-14 shooting from the field) for the winners. Swingman Janis Heindel (199-83) chipped in 9 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Nigerian-American forward P.J. Alawoya (200-88, college: McNeese St.) produced a double-double by scoring 18 points and 12 rebounds and Nigerian guard Nick Okorie (185-88, college: Texas Tech) added 18 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists respectively for lost side. Four Saar-Pfalz Braves players scored in double figures. USC Heidelberg moved-up to seventh place, which they share with Duesseldorf and Karlsruhe. Loser Saar-Pfalz Braves keep the fourteenth position with 19 games lost. USC Heidelberg will meet higher ranked Crailsheim Merlins (#4) on the road in the next round and it may be quite challenging game. Saar-Pfalz Braves will play against the league's leader Mitteldeutscher BC (#1) having rather not much hope for a victory.
Top scorers:
Braves: R.Cardenas 18+8reb+1ast, P.Alawoya 18+12reb, N.Okorie 18+5reb+7ast, L.Jeka 15+1reb+4ast, T.Reed 8+2reb, M.Damjanovic 5
Heidelberg: S.Watts 24+11reb+2ast, J.Williams 17+4reb+1ast, O.Komarek 16+1reb+1ast, B.Schoo 10+1reb, J.Heindel 9+10reb+7ast, K.Barth 7+2reb+7ast
gschID: 141559


MBC - NBC 73-72

Eleventh-ranked NBC (11-15) gave a tough game to first ranked Mitteldeutscher BC (21-5) in Weissenfels on Friday. Mitteldeutscher BC managed to secure only one-point victory 73-72. However their fans expected much easier game. Mitteldeutscher BC have a solid three-game winning streak. They maintain first position with 21-5 record. NBC lost third consecutive game. Newly promoted team keeps the eleventh place with 15 games lost. They share the position with Ehingen. Mitteldeutscher BC are looking forward to face Saar-Pfalz Braves (#14) in Homburg in the next round which should be an easy win for them. NBC will play at home against Leitershofen in Diedorf and is hoping to prove to their fans that they can break losing series.
gschID: 141560


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  GREECE   


Maccabi Electra grabs 92-94 OT win at OAKA, Athens (1-1) - by Eurobasket News
Panathinaikos - Maccabi T-A 92-94 OT

Heartbreaking thriller was played on Thursday night at OAKA arena in Athens. Maccabi Electra grabbed 92-94 OT win against the reigning Euroleague champion and tied the score to 1-1 in the series. Thanks to this victory Maccabi secured two games at its home court in Tel Aviv. Keith Langford (193-G/F-83, college: Kansas) led the Israeli powerhouse with 17 points and David Blu (201-F-80, college: USC) had one less than him. Devin Smith (196-G/F-83, college: Virginia) (9 rebs) and Yogev Ohayon (189-G-87) (5 rebs, 5 as) helped with 15 points each. In PAO, Kostas Kaimakoglou (206-C/F-83) answered with 20 points. Mike Batiste (203-F-77, college: Arizona St.) had 16 pts, 9 rebs and 6 assists, while Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) added 12 points, 6 assists and 5 boards. Maccabi was 10-points up at the beginning of the last quarter, but PAO responded with 15-8 run and later tied the score to 81-81 with 1:10 to go. David Blu made a jump shot for Maccabi and Batiste walked in the paint, but Dimitris Diamantidis rescued the hosts with a blocked shot and Kaimakoglou went to the line with 13.2 seconds remaining and sank both free throws to tie the game at 83-83. A busted Maccabi play ended with Langford making a desperate jumper, but it was after the buzzer and the game went to overtime. Teams were tied at 90-90 and the halfway of OT, after what Batiste made a short jumper and Blu drained a huge three at the other side for 92-93 with 29.8 seconds to go. Sarunas Jasikevicius missed a quick jumper and Keith Langford was sent to the line immediately. He made only one and PAO had the last chance with 18.3 seconds remaining, but Diamantidis missed from three, then Saras missed from two and Maccabi raced off the court with the win. Quarters: 24-20, 19-21, 15-20, 25-22, 9-11 OT. Teams will meet again next Tuesday in Tel Aviv. Game Four is scheduled for Thursday.

PAO: Kostas Kaimakoglou 20, Mike Batiste 16+9 boards+6 as, Dimitris Diamantidis 12+6 as+5 boards
Maccabi: Keith Langford 17, David Blu 16, Devin Smith 15+9 boards, Yogev Ohayon 15+5 boards+5 as


Div.B Standing
B Standings
 1. Aiolos Trikallon 21-2 
 2. Filathlitikos 20-3 
 3. Niki Volou 16-7 
 4. Irakleio 15-8 
 5. Agia Paraskevis 14-9 
 6. Koroivos 13-10 
 7. Diagoras 12-11 
 8. Doukas 11-12 
 9. Egaleo 11-12 
 10. MENT 11-12 
 11. Stratoni 10-13 
 12. Near East 10-13 
 13. Iraklis 7-16 
 14. Aias Evosmou 6-17 
 15. Anagennisi 6-17 
 16. Halkidona 1-22 


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  HOLLAND   


Stats Leaders - Eredivisie
Points Per Game
 Tyrone SALLY
  Rotterdam
  (201-F-82)
  Avg: 18.3
 1. Sally, Rotterdam18.3 
 2. Jeter, Leeuwarden18.1 
 3. Hargrove, Nijmegen16.3 
 4. Wesley, Den Bosch15.8 
 5. Humphrey, Nijmegen15.5 
 6. Boxley, Leiden15.4 
 7. Acker, Nijmegen14.7 
 8. Wells, Zwolle14.5 
 9. Wesby, Groningen14.3 
 10. Bell, Groningen13.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Yamene COLEMAN
  Weert
  (206-C-86)
  Avg: 9.7
 1. Coleman, Weert9.7 
 2. Sanchez, Leeuw.9.0 
 3. Robinson, Zwolle7.6 
 4. Boxley, Leiden6.9 
 5. Wesley, Den Bosch6.8 
 6. Humphrey, Nijmegen6.8 
 7. Hargrove, Nijmegen6.6 
 8. Saaka, Zwolle6.6 
 9. Bekkering, Nijme.6.5 
 10. de Randamie, Gron.6.1 
Assists Per Game
 Frank TURNER
  Den Bosch
  (178-PG-88)
  Avg: 5
 1. Turner, Den Bosch5.0 
 2. Harman, Weert4.4 
 3. Acker, Nijmegen3.8 
 4. Wells, Zwolle3.7 
 5. Jeter, Leeuwarden3.6 
 6. Slagter, Leiden3.5 
 7. Fletcher, Weert3.3 
 8. Jansen, Den Bosch3.1 
 9. Defares, Groningen3.0 
 10. Huffman, Zwolle2.8 
Steals Per Game
 David GONZALVEZ
  Den B.
  (193-G-87)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Gonzalvez, Den B.2.5 
 2. Wells, Zwolle2.4 
 3. Huffman, Zwolle2.2 
 4. Harman, Weert2.0 
 5. Turner, Den Bosch2.0 
 6. Wesley, Den Bosch1.9 
 7. de Jong, Leiden1.7 
 8. Fletcher, Weert1.6 
 9. Wessels, Den Bosch1.6 
 10. Hargrove, Nijmegen1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Kareem MADDOX
  Zwolle
  (203-F-89)
  Avg: 1.6
 1. Maddox, Zwolle1.6 
 2. Wyatt, Groningen1.2 
 3. Wesley, Den Bosch1.0 
 4. Boxley, Leiden0.9 
 5. Bekkering, Nijme.0.9 
 6. Minter, Weert0.8 
 7. Poels, Leeuwarden0.7 
 8. Hilliman, Leiden0.7 
 9. Zondervan, Zwolle0.7 
 10. Saaka, Zwolle0.6 


Standings - Eredivisie
Eredivisie Standings
 1. Groningen 20-5 
 2. Leiden 18-6 
 3. Den Bosch 18-6 
 4. Nijmegen 15-10 
 5. Zwolle 10-15 
 6. Leeuwarden 9-15 
 7. Weert 5-20 
 8. Rotterdam 3-21 


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  ICELAND   


Express L. Round 22: Tindastoll edges Njardvik by two points - by Eurobasket News
The Regular Season in Express L. just ended. There were many interesting games last round. The round ended with extra overtimes and derby games.

The most exciting game of round 22 in the Express L. took place in Sauoarkrokur. This derby game ended with only two-point defeat on the road of 8th ranked Njardvik (9-13) to seventh ranked Tindastoll (11-11) 81-79 in the game for the seventh place. Njardvik was trailing by 5 points at halftime but managed to get 6-point lead after three quarters before a 23-15 charge of Tindastoll, which allowed them to win the game. They made 17-of-22 free shots (77.3 percent) during the game. Tindastoll forced 19 Njardvik turnovers. American guard Maurice Miller (187-88, college: Georgia Tech) fired 31 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for the winners. The other American import guard Curtis Allen (193-86, college: ORU) chipped in 18 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. American power forward Cameron Echols (203-81, college: Ball St.) produced a double-double by scoring 26 points and 12 rebounds for lost side. Tindastoll maintains seventh position with 11-11 record. Njardvik lost third consecutive game. They keep the eighth place with 13 games lost.
An exciting game between Top Four teams was played in Grindavik. First ranked Grindavik faced 3rd ranked Stjarnan. Host Grindavik (19-3) defeated guests from Stjarnan (14-8) 89-80. It ended at the same time the two-game winning streak of Stjarnan. Worth to mention a great performance of American guard Giordan Watson (178-85, college: Cent.Michigan) who helped to win the game recording 24 points and 8 assists. Sigurdur Thorsteinsson contributed with 12 points and 7 rebounds for the winners. Grindavik's coach Helgi Jonas Gudfinnsson allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. American-Estonian forward Renato Lindmets (198-84, college: Westfield St.) replied with 24 points and 9 rebounds for Stjarnan. Grindavik maintains first position with 19-3 record. Stjarnan at the other side dropped to the fourth place with eight games lost. They share the position with Keflavik.
Bottom-ranked Valur (0-22) tried to put together a comeback for its first victory of the season, but they fell short in the 80-68 loss to sixth ranked Snaefell (13-9) in Reykjavik on Thursday evening. Jon Olafur Jonsson had a double-double by scoring 13 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the charge for the winners. At the losing side Marvin Jackson responded with a double-double by scoring 25 points and 12 rebounds. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Snaefell have a solid four-game winning streak. They maintain sixth position with 13-9 record. Newly promoted Valur still closes the standings.
Tenth-ranked Fjolnir (8-14) made lots of trouble for fifth ranked Keflavik (14-8) in Reykjavik. The visitors from Keflavik managed to secure only one-point victory 99-98. However their fans expected much easier game. Jarryd Cole notched a double-double by scoring 37 points (!!!) and 19 rebounds to lead the effort. Keflavik's coach Sigurour Ingimundarson used entire bench in such tough game. Keflavik moved-up to fourth place, which they share with Stjarnan. Fjolnir at the other side dropped to the ninth position with 14 games lost.
Another interesting game was a derby match between two local teams from Reykjavik: KR (#2) and IR (#9). Despite it looked like an easy game for KR, those rules do not exist in derby games. It's more the case of honor for local supporters and such games have that special and unique approach you cannot find in other games. Host IR challenged much higher ranked KR giving them a very tough game, but finally losing it by six points 88-82. Finnur Magnusson fired a double-double by scoring 24 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. KR have a solid four-game winning streak. Defending champion maintains second position with 15-7 record having four points less than leader Grindavik, which they share with Thor Thorl. IR lost third consecutive game. They keep the ninth place with 14 games lost.

In the last game of round 22 Thor Thorl defeated Haukar in Thorlakshofn 85-79.



Fjolnir - Keflavik 98-99 OT

Tenth-ranked Fjolnir (8-14) made lots of trouble for fifth ranked Keflavik (14-8) in Reykjavik. The visitors from Keflavik managed to secure only one-point victory 99-98. However their fans expected much easier game. Fjolnir was ahead by 8 points after three quarters before a 21-13 charge of Keflavik, which allowed them to tie the game at the end of regular time. They were better in overtime eventually winning that period 13-12. American forward Jarryd Cole (200-88, college: Iowa, agency: JEMsports) notched a double-double by scoring 37 points (!!!) and 19 rebounds to lead the effort and the former international guard Magnus Gunnarsson (186-81) supported him with 28 points and 5 steals. Keflavik's coach Sigurour Ingimundarson used entire bench in such tough game. Even 18 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists by guard Arnthor Gudmundsson (187-91) did not help to save the game for Fjolnir. American forward Nathan Walkup (200-88, college: Texas A&M) added 16 points and 12 rebounds for lost side. Five Fjolnir players scored in double figures. Keflavik moved-up to fourth place, which they share with Stjarnan. Fjolnir at the other side dropped to the ninth position with 14 games lost.
Top scorers:
Fjolnir: A.Gudmundsson 18+5reb+8ast, B.Rikhardsson 17+4reb+4ast, N.Walkup 16+12reb+2ast, C.O'Neil 16+8reb+4ast, H.Vilhjalmsson 12+1reb+3ast, J.Sverrisson 8+4reb+3ast
Keflavik: J.Cole 37+19reb, M.Gunnarsson 28+2reb+1ast, C.Parker 14+5reb+6ast, G.Stefansson 6+1reb+1ast, H.Halldorsson 5+4reb+2ast, A.Gudbrandsson 4+3reb+1ast
gschID: 140223


IR - KR 82-88

Another interesting game was a derby match between two local teams from Reykjavik: KR (#2) and IR (#9). Despite it looked like an easy game for KR, those rules do not exist in derby games. It's more the case of honor for local supporters and such games have that special and unique approach you cannot find in other games. Host IR challenged much higher ranked KR giving them a very tough game, but finally losing it by six points 88-82. The guests started the game with a very strong first quarter 30-20. But IR won second period 17-16. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. The game was decided in the last minutes when KR won last quarter 27-23. They made 16-of-21 free shots (76.2 percent) during the game. Center Finnur Magnusson (206, college: Catawba) fired a double-double by scoring 24 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. American power forward Robert Ferguson (203-85, college: St.Joseph's) chipped in a double-double by scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds. Four KR players scored in double figures. American forward Rodney Alexander (201-87, college: Oklahoma City) produced a double-double by scoring 23 points and 10 rebounds and his fellow American import guard Robert Jarvis (180-87, college: ORU) added 25 points and 6 rebounds respectively for lost side. KR have a solid four-game winning streak. Defending champion maintains second position with 15-7 record having four points less than leader Grindavik, which they share with Thor Thorl. IR lost third consecutive game. They keep the ninth place with 14 games lost.
Top scorers:
IR: R.Jarvis 25+6reb+2ast, R.Alexander 23+10reb, N.Sovic 16+2reb+2ast, K.Jonasson 6+2reb, E.Onundarson 4+3reb+3ast, N.Dungal 4+4reb+1ast
KR: F.Magnusson 24+11reb+1ast, J.Brown 18+6reb+2ast, R.Ferguson 17+11reb+3ast, D.Sencanski 15+5reb+2ast, E.Johannsson 6+3reb+6ast, S.Ingason 4+3reb
gschID: 140224


Haukar - Thor Thorl 79-85

There was no surprise in Hafnarfjordur where 11th ranked Haukar (6-16) was defeated by fourth ranked Thor Thorl (15-7) 85-79 on Thursday. The guests took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But Haukar won third quarter 23-20. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Thor Thorl forced 21 Haukar turnovers. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 22 assists. American guard Darrin Govens (185-88, college: St.Joseph's) fired a triple-double by scoring 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the winners. Swingman Darri Hilmarsson (191-87) chipped in 20 points and 7 rebounds. American forward Christopher Smith (198-82, college: St.Edward's) produced 20 points, 7 rebounds and 8 blocks and his fellow American import point guard Aleek Pauline (185-87, college: Norfolk St., agency: Strategic Sports) added 16 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals respectively for lost side. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Thor Thorl moved-up to second place, which they share with KR. Loser Haukar keeps the eleventh position with 16 games lost.
Top scorers:
Haukar: C.Smith 20+7reb+2ast, A.Pauline 16+5reb+7ast, S.Aronsson 13+2reb+2ast, H.Oskarsson 12+1reb+2ast, H.Einarsson 10+3reb+1ast, E.Barja 8+9reb+5ast
Thor Thorl: D.Govens 26+11reb+10ast, D.Hilmarsson 20+7reb+1ast, G.Jonsson 18+3reb+2ast, B.Janev 14+11reb+2ast, B.Ragnarsson 4+1reb+4ast, G.Erlendsson 3+9reb+3ast
gschID: 140219


Valur - Snaefell 68-80

Bottom-ranked Valur (0-22) tried to put together a comeback for its first victory of the season, but they fell short in the 80-68 loss to sixth ranked Snaefell (13-9) in Reykjavik on Thursday evening. The game without a history. Snaefell led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. Snaefell outrebounded Valur 53-42 including 16 on the offensive glass. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Snaefell made 8 blocks. Forward Jon Olafur Jonsson (199-81) had a double-double by scoring 13 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the charge for the winners and American point guard Marquis Hall (183-87, college: Lehigh) chipped in 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists during the contest. Four Snaefell players scored in double figures. At the losing side American forward Marvin Jackson (195, college: St.Andrews, agency: Strategic Sports) responded with a double-double by scoring 25 points and 12 rebounds and American-French guard Hamid Dicko (-84, college: Hillsdale) scored 13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Snaefell have a solid four-game winning streak. They maintain sixth position with 13-9 record. Newly promoted Valur still closes the standings.
Top scorers:
Valur: M.Jackson 25+12reb+2ast, H.Dicko 13+8reb+4ast, A.Dungal 7+1reb+2ast, B.Petursson 6+6reb, R.Gylfason 5+2reb+3ast, B.Blondal 4+2reb
Snaefell: O.Torfason 15+10reb, M.Hall 14+7reb+6ast, J.Olafur Jonsson 13+11reb+4ast, P.Sigurgeirsson 11+3reb+6ast, S.Davidsson 9+6reb+1ast, H.Gunnarsson 6+5reb+3ast
gschID: 140220


Tindastoll - Njardvik 81-79

The most exciting game of round 22 in the Express L. took place in Sauoarkrokur. This derby game ended with only two-point defeat on the road of 8th ranked Njardvik (9-13) to seventh ranked Tindastoll (11-11) 81-79 in the game for the seventh place. Njardvik was trailing by 5 points at halftime but managed to get 6-point lead after three quarters before a 23-15 charge of Tindastoll, which allowed them to win the game. They made 17-of-22 free shots (77.3 percent) during the game. Tindastoll forced 19 Njardvik turnovers. American guard Maurice Miller (187-88, college: Georgia Tech) fired 31 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for the winners. The other American import guard Curtis Allen (193-86, college: ORU) chipped in 18 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. American power forward Cameron Echols (203-81, college: Ball St.) produced a double-double by scoring 26 points and 12 rebounds and guard Elvar Fridriksson (181-94) added 20 points and 5 assists respectively for lost side. Tindastoll maintains seventh position with 11-11 record. Njardvik lost third consecutive game. They keep the eighth place with 13 games lost.
Top scorers:
Njardvik: C.Echols 26+12reb, E.Fridriksson 20+4reb+5ast, T.Holmes 13+4reb+6ast, O.Jonsson 7+2reb+2ast, M.Baginski 5+2reb, S.Fjeldsted 4
Tindastoll: M.Miller 31+6reb+5ast, C.Allen 18+9reb+4ast, T.Johannsson 11+3reb+2ast, H.Viggosson 7+6reb+3ast, F.Hreinsson 7+3reb, S.Birgisson 4+2reb
gschID: 140221


Grindavik - Stjarnan 89-80

An exciting game between Top Four teams was played in Grindavik. First ranked Grindavik faced 3rd ranked Stjarnan. Host Grindavik (19-3) defeated guests from Stjarnan (14-8) 89-80. It ended at the same time the two-game winning streak of Stjarnan. Stjarnan was ahead by 1 point at the halftime before a 49-39 second half run of Grindavik. They also forced 19 Stjarnan turnovers. Their players were unselfish on offense dishing 25 assists. Worth to mention a great performance of American guard Giordan Watson (178-85, college: Cent.Michigan) who helped to win the game recording 24 points and 8 assists. The former international center Sigurdur Thorsteinsson (204-88) contributed with 12 points and 7 rebounds for the winners. Grindavik's coach Helgi Jonas Gudfinnsson allowed to play the deep bench players saving starting five for next games. American-Estonian forward Renato Lindmets (198-84, college: Westfield St.) replied with 24 points and 9 rebounds and American guard Justin Shouse (180-81, college: Mercyhurst) added 21 points and 7 assists (made all of his seven free throws) in the effort for Stjarnan. Grindavik maintains first position with 19-3 record. Stjarnan at the other side dropped to the fourth place with eight games lost. They share the position with Keflavik.
Top scorers:
Stjarnan: R.Lindmets 24+9reb, J.Shouse 21+4reb+7ast, K.Cothran 14+5reb+3ast, F.Helgason 7+3reb+1ast, J.Zdravevski 6+2reb+2ast, S.Larusson 3
Grindavik: G.Watson 24+1reb+8ast, S.Thorsteinsson 12+7reb+3ast, J.Bullock 9+7reb+3ast, J.Olafsson 8+4reb+3ast, T.Olafsson 8+1reb+4ast, O.Olafsson 7+4reb+2ast
gschID: 140222




Standings - Iceland Express League
Express L. Standings
 1. Grindavik 19-3 
 2. KR 15-7 
 3. Thor Thorl 15-7 
 4. Stjarnan 14-8 
 5. Keflavik 14-8 
 6. Snaefell 13-9 
 7. Tindastoll 11-11 
 8. Njardvik 9-13 
 9. IR 8-14 
 10. Fjolnir 8-14 
 11. Haukar 6-16 
 12. Valur 0-22 


Stats Leaders (Men)
Points Per Game
 Robert JARVIS
  IR
  (180-G-87)
  Avg: 24
 1. Jarvis, IR24.0 
 2. Govens, Thor Thorl23.1 
 3. Echols, Njardvik22.8 
 4. Walkup, Fjolnir22.2 
 5. Holmes, Njardvik22.1 
 6. Bullock, Grindavik21.5 
 7. Sovic, IR20.5 
 8. Cole, Keflavik20.4 
 9. O''Neil, Fjolnir20.2 
 10. Miller, Tindastoll19.4 
Rebounds Per Game
 Junior HAIRSTON
  Thor T.
  (203-F-84)
  Avg: 13.3
 1. Hairston, Thor T.13.3 
 2. Hankins-Cole, Snae.12.9 
 3. Echols, Njardvik11.6 
 4. Smith, Haukar10.7 
 5. Tratnik, Valur10.4 
 6. Walkup, Fjolnir10.1 
 7. Cole, Keflavik10.0 
 8. Bullock, Grindavik10.0 
 9. Lindmets, Stjarnan8.6 
 10. Magnusson, KR8.1 
Assists Per Game
 Justin SHOUSE
  Stjarnan
  (180-G-81)
  Avg: 7
 1. Shouse, Stjarnan7.0 
 2. Watson, Grindavik6.4 
 3. Miller, Tindastoll6.1 
 4. Hall, Snaefell5.5 
 5. Fridriksson, Njard.4.6 
 6. Govens, Thor Thorl4.6 
 7. O''Neil, Fjolnir4.5 
 8. Parker, Keflavik4.0 
 9. Arnarson, IR3.8 
 10. Gunnarsson, Kefla.3.7 
Steals Per Game
 Travis HOLMES
  Njardvik
  (193-G-86)
  Avg: 3
 1. Holmes, Njardvik3.0 
 2. Cothran, Stjarnan2.7 
 3. Allen, Tindastoll2.7 
 4. Hall, Snaefell2.4 
 5. Parker, Keflavik2.4 
 6. Miller, Tindastoll2.3 
 7. Gunnarsson, Kefla.2.3 
 8. Shouse, Stjarnan2.2 
 9. Govens, Thor Thorl1.8 
 10. Jonsson, Thor Tho.1.8 
Blocks Per Game
 Junior HAIRSTON
  Thor T.
  (203-F-84)
  Avg: 4.1
 1. Hairston, Thor T.4.1 
 2. Smith, Haukar3.6 
 3. Tratnik, Valur2.2 
 4. Lindmets, Stjarnan1.0 
 5. Magnusson, KR1.0 
 6. Holmes, Njardvik1.0 
 7. Thorsteinsso., Gri.0.9 
 8. Barja, Haukar0.9 
 9. Cole, Keflavik0.9 
 10. Hankins-Cole, Sna.0.9 


*****************************************************
  IRELAND   


UL Eagles celebrate Superleague title - by Eurobasket News
UL Eagles - DCU Saints 70:56

UL Eagles earned Superleague title. They overcame DCU Saints in the championship game tonight. The victory meant UL Eagles completed the double this season claiming both Superleague and Cup titles.
UL Eagles and DCU Saints kept neck and neck throughout the first quarter. The scoreboard read 12:12 after ten minutes of action. DCU Saints pulled in front in the second quarter. They eked out a narrow 26:25 halftime advantage. The tempo increased in the second half. UL Eagles unloaded 21 points in the third term to surge ahead. They accumulated a 46:40 advantage with one quarter remaining. DCU Saints could not find an answer in the fourth frame. UL Eagles delivered 24 points more and ran away with the trophy. Jason Killeen came up with 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the effort. Robert Taylor (188-G-83, college: Rider) added 15 points, while Matthew Hall (186-G-75, college: Earlham) contributed 12 points for UL Eagles. Pat Patrick Glover (193-F-77) responded with 16 points for DCU Saints. Martins Provizors (202-C-87) had 14 points in the loss.

UL Eagles: Jason Kileen 25+12 boards, Robert Taylor 15, Matthew Hall 12
DCU Saints: Patrick Glover 16, Martins Provizors 14


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


Eurobasket Evaluates Maccabi's Performances Against PAO - by David Pick
After being shocked, blown out, demolished and suffering from a moral beat down after a 73-93 loss to Panatinaikos, in Game 1 of the Euroleague Quarter-final series at OAKA Arena in Athens, Greece David Blatt and his troops impressively bounced back 48-hours later, squeezing out a rightfully deserved overtime 94-92 Game 2 victory, splitting the series at 1-1 apiece.

Coming into the series as underdogs, the yellow-and-blue army will enjoy an opportunity to close-out the series next week at Nokia Arena. With both a boring and epic Games 1 and 2 behind, and with the series just possibly crossing the 50 percent mark, Eurobasket evaluates Maccabi's players and coaching staff's performances on a 1-10 scale.

Head Coach David Blatt: Stunned by Zeljko Obradovic's Game 1 coaching masterpiece, Blatt took the loss personal. When returning to the team's hotel, Blatt stayed up until the late hours of the night, trying to learn where and what at he did wrong.

While understanding and implementing his adjustments to perfection in Game 2, Blatt responded with a jaw-dropping coaching clinique, dazzling the entire European basketball world, specifically, Zeljko Obradovic. Evaluation 8

Theodoros Papaloukas: If this series can get any more personal to anyone, it's Papaloukas. Booed, cursed out and rejected by 20,000 fanatic green fans, Papaloukas thought he saw it all. Yet, when his own coach showed no signs of belief in his abilities to contribute, Papa was devastated.

Nonetheless, he kept to himself and made sure to be ready when his name was called. As expected, when needed most down the stretch, Papa (again) rose to the occasion and with five crucial points along with immense leadership, took a major role in Tel-Aviv's W. Evaluation 7

Richard Hendrix: If Hendrix and Maccabi learned anything from the first game of the series, it's that Mike Batiste and Aleks Maric are nothing like the Adriatic/Israeli League soft big men, and that for Hendrix to be effective, he needs to be a starter. When coming off the bench if Game 1, Hendrix showed no signs of aggressiveness on either ends of the floor, finishing with just five shots and three rebounds in 22 minutes.

As a starter in Game 2, Rich doubled both his shots (12) and boards (7) from the first encounter, and if not for repeated unforgivable refereeing errors, Hendrix would have sealed the deal for his team much earlier. Evaluation 7.5

Devin Smith: Marked by Eurobasket as the X Factor of the series. Despite the Game 1 loss, Smith showed poise, patience and maturity on the court. Maccabi's defensive stopper matched a game high in blocks (2) and collected a team high in rebounds (6), along with 17 points.

In Game 2, the 'Professor' did everything you don't see on the stat sheet, yet recorded a back-to-back team high cleaning the glass with nine boards, proving to be Blatt's most trustworthy player with a series high 42 minutes. Evaluation 8.5

David Blu: The former Trojan is currently the most underrated European player. Earlier this year, Blu approached team Manager Gur Shelef, saying he's entertaining the thought of a change this summer. Since then, Maccabi has oddly made no contact with Blu's people.

However, Eurobasket was informed that the California native will possibly workout for the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. Lakers consultant Ettore Messina, is known to think highly of Blu and his unlimited shooting range, and would be expected to follow Blu's training closely.

As for the series, Keith Langford, who last year felt Blu's buzzer-beating dagger while playing for Khimki Moscow, enjoyed being on the winning side for a change. Blu, a three time Euroleague finalist, took Tuesday's loss extra personal and stepped up with hustle plays on defense and draining long/mid-range wowing jumpers on offense, playing a crucial role in Maccabi's victory. Evaluation - 8.5

Lior Eliyahu: If anyone sees a long 6-foot-9 Israeli forward wearing yellow shorts and a blue jacket walking around Athens, please contact Shimon Mizrahi immediately. Six points and three rebounds in Maccabi's loss and two points with zero rebounds in the team's victory, clearly establishes that Maccabi lost Eliyahu somewhere around passport checking at the Athens airport.

The fact that Eliyahu is an Israeli NT star and former Spanish ACB League Champion, only makes you wonder where did Blatt go wrong, or whether Eliyahu doesn't really have what it takes. Evaluation 4.5

Demond Mallet: Prior to signing with Maccabi in December 2011, advisors suggested to Mallet not to transfer to Tel-Aviv. Mallet, who's playing his 10th pro career season, felt that joining the Israeli empire is a milestone in his career and something he wasn't willing to lose out on.

Well, three months later, Mallet is nowhere near Blatt's radar and frankly, even a GPS cant find the guard. Mallet saw Maccabi win the Israeli State-Cup title from the sidelines and took no part in four of the team's Domestic games. Mallet's Euroleague averages drastically dropped from 34 minutes and 18.7ppg with Belgium Spirou, to 15 minutes and 5.4ppg in Tel-Aviv.

Against Pao, Mallet nearly tied a season low in minutes, playing just six of them in Game 2, taking only one field goal attempt. In May, with the Israeli Final Four on the line, and with a healthy Smith and Langford, Blatt will show Mallet the best courtside seat in the house, again. This clearly isn't what he signed up for? Evaluation 4

Guy Pnini: Maccabi's last year's Rottweiler is this season's poodle. Pnini went from 45.8% shooting from deep last season to 30% this season to zero percent against Pao. Reasons for Pnini's slump could easily be injuries, but more so, that fact that Devin Smith is eating up all his minutes. During the summer, Pnini played with the Israeli NT in the European Championship in Lithuania, where he averaged 13.2ppg on 50.0% field goal shooting showcasing flashy abilities.

The fact that Pnini played only 1:37 minutes in Game 2 still remains a mystery. Evaluation 3

Tal Burstein: The thought of playing Burstein as a starter in Game 1 was correct. Tal's strong, experienced and is a solid defender who handles the ball well. However, playing him over Ohayon, a lesson Blatt learned later on, was incorrect. Burstein's athletic abilities aren't what they used to be and his shooting capabilities aren't all there either.

In Maccabi's Game 2 victory, Burstein played a third of his minutes from Game 1, leaving like Pnini, an empty stat sheet. Evaluation 4

Yogev Ohayon: Wow, incredible, amazing and oh my God, were some of the words needed to describe Yogev's Game 2 performance. A Euroleague career high in points (15), while tying a career high in assists (5), Ohayon demolished Pao's backcourt.

With talks about Jordan Farmar joining Israel's NT raising, Ohayon made sure to end any doubts of his abilities to lead a team forward. The last successful Israeli point guard to wear Maccabi's jersey was Oded Katash and today icons, Papaloukas, Burstein and Mallet see the rookie as a -- starter.

Maccabi managed to dig a big hole three times this season (Cantu, Jerusalem, Pao), and surprisingly, it was Ohayon who came to the rescue. David Blatt is doing something Maccabi's former Coach Pini Gershon would never imagine could be possible, which is giving the keys to an Israeli point guard.

Last season while in Jerusalem, Ohayon was shadowed by Will Solomon and Yuval Naimy. The team's recently fired coach Oded Katash, fought a great deal this past summer to keep Ohayon in the Holy City instead of Yuval Naimy, but Yogev wanted a challenge. In game 2 against Pao, Ohayon limited Diamantidis, an All-Euroleague Point Guard to just 31% on 4/15 shooting. Evaluation 9

Shawn James: The former two time Eurobasket.com All-Israeli League Center of the Year is yet to show he's capable of playing on the big stage. James, a Euroleague rookie, didn't disappoint after being thrown into battle last night due to Hendrix and Sofo's foul trouble.

Despite his lack of physical abilities to compete with bigs such as Batiste and Maric, James played a vital role for team, assisting with seven points and five boards. Evaluation 6.5

Sofoklis Schortsanitis: As the season progresses, Sofo's playing minute's developed a pattern. They decrease. The large muscle and body weight Sofo carees make it hard, even for someone with a huge passion for the game to thrive, or mealy remain standing.

Despite Sofo's playing time dropping from 17 minutes to eight in Games 1 and 2, he appeared to be more efficient and valuable to his team. Sofo scored more points on better shooting percentages, decreased the amount of turnovers and grabbed more rebounds. Evaluation 7.5

Keith Langford: One of Maccabi's most deadliest and expensive weapons stepped up big on both occasions. In Game 1, Langford nearly recorded a point for every minute he was on the hardwood. Yet, as a guard, his assists column showed a big fat zero and Maccabi was far from victory.

In Game 2, not only did Langford make big plays down the stretch, kissing the ball of the left side of the glass, he also got his teammates involved by sharing the rock, resulting into four very crucial dimes. Langford also showed signs of maturity on the defensive end by picking up fouls. On the offensive side, Langford lowered his turnovers by a fourth, creating better situation for himself and his teammates. Evaluation 8




Playoff Hunt - by Adrian Banks
The season is coming to an end soon and my team and I find ourselves fighting for a playoff spot. After we started the season 0-6, it was hard for me early on to see us in this position, during this part of the season. We have worked very hard and at the same time, had deal with a lot of injuries as a team! More than just a couple of guys have been injured, from season ending to something as simple and common as a cold. We've also had a lot of players come and go, so we spend a lot of time building a new chemistry as a team almost every month.

Personally I've been having a very good second season with netanya, so not making the playoffs would be a very big deal for me. This weekend is basically the the game of the season for us, if we win we have a chance, if not, no playoffs for the team this year! In the locker room I can tell my teammates are ready to take on this challenge with me and fight for a playoff position!!! But as we all know, only time will tell......



Maccabi T-A won Panathinaikos in OT- Post Game Quotes - by Netanel Dahan
Maccabi Tel Aviv managed to win Panathinaikos in overtime at PAO's home court (OAKA Olympic Arena) 94-92 to tie the series at 1-1. And that's only 48 hours after losing the 1st game also at PAO's home court by 20 (93-73).

Top Scorers:

Tel Aviv:
Langford- 17 pts.
Blu- 16 pts.
Ohayon& Smith- 15 pts each.

Panathinaikos:
Kaimakoglou-20 pts (season high).
Batiste- 15 pts.

Post Game Quotes (By Euroleague):

David Blatt- Maccabi T-A HC:'

Ιt was an unbelievable game. The spectators saw tonight what they expect to see in a basketball game. Great players, big shots, comebacks, ups and downs. Both teams could have won the game and I am proud because we finally did it. On Tuesday I said that we need to improve our rebounding and ball handling. We returned tonight better prepared and with a great desire. David Blu made two big shots in the last seconds and sealed the victory. I have to mention Yogev Ohayon, who had a great game too. You probably don't know him, he is a Euroleague rookie and he is not famous outside the country, but he deserves a lot of credit for everything he has done. In the first game I knew that we had a mission impossible and I decided to use some tricks just to bother Panathinaikos. Today it was much different. I was sure that we could do it. Call it inspiration or whatever. We played a tactical game and it worked. We tied the series, but this doesn't mean anything yet. We have to go back and see what we can do against a great team and a great coach.'

Zeljko Obradovic- Panathinaikos HC:'

Two days ago, I stated here that Game 2 should be much different and you saw what happened tonight. We lacked energy and didn't play the same way. If you don't put pressure on your opponent, they will score and in such a case you pay for the lack of concentration. Individually and as a team we have the experience needed to react and fight. We paid for our mistakes and this is the reason we lost. I don't think that Maccabi improved its game, but they showed their team character. However it is hard to play two games of that level in 48 hours.'


The following games of this series wil take place in Israel on the 27th and the 29th of March. In case of needing an extra game/s they will be scheduled in April.


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


C Regionale Campania - Round 23 Results - by Crazy


SERIE C REGIONALE CAMPANIA - ROUND 23 RESULTS

POULE PROMOZIONE
Eosolare Matera - AP Cercola: 63-48
Casaurea - Capua: 75-48
NP Arzano - Senise: 84-72
Mugnano - San Michele Maddaloni: 50-80
RF Group Matera - S.Maria a Vico: 60-71
Casavatore - Stabia: 73-76
Scafati - Meomartini Benevento: 71-62
Savoia - Cala Moresca: 79-76

Standings:
Group A:
Maddaloni 46, Scafati 34, Stabia 30, Eosolare Matera 28, Cala Moresca 26, Arzano 24, Capua 22, Rf Group Matera 20.
Group B: Senise 40, Savoia 30, S.Maria 28, Casaurea 26, Meomartini 24, Mugnano 20, Cercola 18, Casavatore 18.

POULE RETROCESSIONE
Partenope - Battipaglia: 111-43
Baiano - Nola: 38-57
Barra - Solofra: 63-51

Standings: Partenope 22, Telese 16, Solofra 12, Nola 10, Barra 10, Battipaglia 2, Baiano 0.

SCORING LEADERS:
1 - Njegos Visnjic (199-F-79) (Maddaloni) 23.6 points per game;

2 - Accettola (Meomartini) 22.8 ppg;

3 - Andrija Djukanovic (205-PF-89) (Telese) 19.9 ppg;

4 - Dominik Kos (198-G/F-87) (Senise) 19.9 ppg;

5 - Emilio Barbaro (180-PG-92) (Baiano) 18.4 ppg;

6 - Riccardo Fiore (182-G-85) (Mugnano) 17.1 ppg;


Bennet Cantu : Greg Brunner is injured - by Giovanni Bargna
As officially reported by the team website Greg Brunner (201-C/F-83, college: Iowa) suffered an injury at his right collarbone during last league match played against Scavolini Pesaro.
Other medical investigations will be performed next week in order to decide how long will it take for the player to recover and get back on the court.
The team is facing a difficult time due to injuries as they are missing Andrea Cinciarini (193-PG-86), wrist injured, and Gianluca Basile (192-G-75), muscolar trouble, too.
The only good news for the team is that they won't get on the court next week-end as the game scheduled against Montepaschi Siena was deferred as the italian champs are playing the Euroleague playoffs tonight. The game will be played on April 12 at 20:30 at the Paladesio.


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


Lakeland Community College (Mentor, Oh) Is Headed to the NJCAA Div II Final Four - by Vance Marbury
Lakeland Community College (Mentor, Oh) Is Headed to the NJCAA Div II Final Four

Lakeland Community College #5 seed Defeated South Mountain Community College #4 seed 81 to 74. Lakeland (LCC) was Led by (John Hay) Chaz Rollins who tallied 25 pts and 10 rebs. Brendan Cooper (Parma, Oh) added 10 pts and 10 rebounds. Martell Medley (Cleveland, Oh/Euclid) chipped in 19 pts 2 rebs. Daishon Robinson supported LCC effort with 6 pts 3 rebs 3 assists 2 stls. Rich Smith (Cleveland, Oh) added 7 pts 10 rebs 3 blocks.

Lakeland advance to the National Final Four for the first time in school history!! Lakeland will face the #1 seed Mott CC Today at 8 pm

You can watch the game live via the web at http://www.ihigh.com/dacc/broadcast_213808.html?silverlight=1


Lakeland Community College (Mentor, Oh) Is Headed to the NJCAA Div II Final Four - by Vance Marbury
Lakeland Community College (Mentor, Oh) Is Headed to the NJCAA Div II Final Four

Lakeland Community College #5 seed Defeated South Mountain Community College #4 seed 81 to 74. Lakeland (LCC) was Led by (John Hay) Chaz Rollins who tallied 25 pts and 10 rebs. Brendan Cooper (Parma, Oh) added 10 pts and 10 rebounds. Martell Medley (Cleveland, Oh/Euclid) chipped in 19 pts 2 rebs. Daishon Robinson supported LCC effort with 6 pts 3 rebs 3 assists 2 stls. Richard Smith (Cleveland, Oh) added 7 pts 10 rebs 3 blocks.

Lakeland advance to the National Final Four for the first time in school history!! Lakeland will face the #1 seed Mott CC Today at 8 pm

You can watch the game live via the web at http://www.ihigh.com/dacc/broadcast_213808.html?silverlight=1


D2: Latest games with box-scores - by Eurobasket News
Latest games with box-scores:

Thursday, March 22
Game 12: Erie def. Penn Valley - 48-34
Game 13: Danville def. Iowa Central - 56-53
Game 14: Grand Rapids def. Bismarck State - 82-79
Game 15: Baltimore City def. Johnson County - 74-65
Game 16: Mott def. Louisburg - 72-57
Game 17: Lakeland def. South Mountain - 81-74



Schedule:
Friday, March 23
Game 18: Moraine Valley vs. Erie - 11 am
Game 19: Danville vs. Grand Rapids - 1 pm
Game 20: Louisburg vs. South Mountain - 3 pm
Game 21: South Suburban vs. Rhode Island - 6 pm
Game 22: Mott vs. Lakeland - 8 pm


Saturday, March 24
Game 23 (7th/8th Place): Game 18 Winner vs. Game 19 Winner - 12 pm
Game 24 (5th/6th Place): Baltimore City vs. Game 20 Winner - 2 pm
Game 25 (3rd/4th Place): Game 21 Loser vs. Game 22 Loser - 5:30 pm
Game 26 (Championship): Game 21 Winner vs. Game 22 Winner - 7:30 pm


MACJC All-Star Basketball Games Scheduled March 27 at ECCC, Decatur - by Eurobasket News
MACJC All-Star Basketball Games Scheduled March 27 at ECCC

The states top sophomore JUCO basketball players will have an opportunity to showcase their talents when the annual MACJC All-Star Basketball Games are held Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at East Central Community College in Decatur.

Womens action begins at 5 p.m. and will be followed by the mens contest at 7 p.m. in the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building.

Admission is $5 per person for the event which is sanctioned by Region 23 and the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges.

Both games will be streamed on Holmes Community College Web site, www.homesathletics.ihigh.com.

Named to the South Division All-Star womens squad are JaMonica Orton, East Central; Lauren Douglas, Alecia Autman and Terrenisha Hollis, all of Jones County; Kenya Wright, Hinds; Ricille Davis and Delainna Lyons, both of Gulf Coast; Shaniece Sheffield, Southwest; Toy Johnson and Branita Malone, both of Pearl River; and Jasmine James and Keosha Bradley, both of Copiah-Lincoln.
Melanie Stone of Gulf Coast will serve as head coach.

North Division women All-Stars are Kierra Gilmore, Dierra Gilmore and Louise Collins, all of Holmes; Anna Brooke Page, Northeast; Chadisty Hickman, East MS; Dayana McGee and Ciara Morgan, both of Coahoma; Jameilka Hoskins, Vechatita Bonner and LaPrecious Naylon, all of Itawamba; Calmetta Greyer, Delta; and Erica Turner, Northwest.
Nancy Gray of Itawamba will serve as head coach.

Selected on the South Division mens All-Star team are Jimmie Broomfield, East Central; Guy Payne, Ice Asortse and Justin Childs, all of Gulf Coast; Cory Lacy and Michael Hall, both of Southwest; Kelvin Nixon, Jones County; Yondarious Johnson, Daron Bell and Zane Knowles, all of Pearl River; Jake Reed, Copiah-Lincoln; and Trevis Thomas, Hinds.
Wendell Weathers of Gulf Coast will serve as head coach.

North Division men All-Stars are Everick Morris and Darius Woods, both of Northwest; Deangelo Priar and Emmanuel Dias, both of Holmes; Rashard Harris and Cortavious Vaughn, both of Coahoma; Jermaine Hollimon and Cedric Janes, both of Northeast; Deon Bedford, East MS; Marius Myles, Itawamba; and LaQuavius Cotton and Kwahmere Gredric, both of Delta.

ECCC assistant Matt Riley will serve as head coach.

Courtesy of www.njcaa.org


*****************************************************
  KAZAKHSTAN   


BC Astana clinch Kazakh Cup title - by Eurobasket News
BC Astana proved their dominance in the Kazakh basketball clinching the Cup title. The Kazakh powerhouse had little problems marching to the title. They celebrated five wins in as many games during the Cup Final Round in Almaty.
BC Astana opened the Final Round with a comfortable 110:69 win over Barsy. Six player scored in double digits as BC Astana cruised to the win. Jerry Johnson (183-G-82, agency: Beo Basket, college: Rider) scored 23 points, while Rustam Yargaliev (195-F/G-86) and Rawle Marshall (201-G-82, agency: Beo Basket, college: Oakland) added 16 points each for the winners. Mikhail Evstigneev (202-F/C-84) answered with 15 points for Barsy.
Next BC Astana took care of their cross-town rivals Astana Tigers 81:32. Goran Cakic (208-C/F-80, agency: Beo Basket) stepped up with 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the effort. BC Astana built a 38:17 halftime lead and never looked back en route to the victory. Nikolay Bazhin answered with 12 points for the Tigers.
BC Astana held off Tobol 97:61 in the third game of the Final Round. This time Anton Ponomaryov (210-C/F-88, agency: Beo Basket) came up for Astana scoring 23 points. Rawle Marshall contributed 15 points in the winning case. Ismailov replied with 14 points for Tobol.
BC Astana finished the campaign with a 65:38 victory over BK Almaty. Anton Ponomaryov knocked down 14 points to lead the charge. Vsevolod Fadeikin (206-C-85) added 12 points in the winning case. Maksim Otbozin (211-C-80) nailed 8 points in the loss.


*****************************************************
  LATVIA   


Standings - LBAL
LBL2 Standings
 1. Barons kvartals 25-2 
 2. BK VEF 25-3 
 3. Liepaja-2 23-4 
 4. Saldus 21-6 
 5. RSU 16-10 
 6. VEF Kadeti 16-12 
 7. BS Riga 14-11 
 8. VA 14-14 
 9. DSN 13-13 
 10. Livani 9-18 
 11. Valmiera BSS 8-18 
 12. Ogres 8-19 
 13. Jelgava/LLU 8-20 
 14. Cesis 8-21 
 15. Gulbene 6-23 
 16. Ridzene 4-24 


LBL2 Round 34: Barons kvartals keep a leadership position - by Eurobasket News
There are only two more rounds left in the Regular Season in LBL2.

The game had a very big importance for second-ranked Barons kvartals as it allowed them to take a leadership position. Barons kvartals defeated 4th ranked Saldus in Riga 66-56. Saldus were trailing by 3 points at halftime but managed to get 2-point lead after three quarters before a 18-6 charge of Barons kvartals, which allowed them to win the game. They dominated on the defensive end, holding Saldus to just 6 points in fourth quarter. Barons kvartals (25-2) have an impressive 13-game winning streak. As mentioned above they are alone now at the top position. Saldus at the other side keep the fourth place with six games lost. Saldus will have a break next week, which should allow them to rest in order to get back on the winning path. Barons kvartals will try to continue on its current victory against eleventh ranked Valmiera BSS on the road.
The game with biggest result difference took place in Riga. Local Ridzene (4-24) was outscored by eighth ranked Ventspils Augstskola (14-14) 122-66. Ventspils Augstskola maintains eighth position with 14-14 record. Ridzene at the other side stay dead last with 24 lost games. Ventspils Augstskola will play against Zemgale/Juniors (#13) in Jelgava in the next round where they are favorite. Ridzene's supporters look forward to an exciting derby game next round, where their team will travel locally in Riga to the arena VEF Kadeti.

Rest of the games of round 34 were quite predictable and ended without any surprises. Here they are:
BK VEF crushed Valmiera BSS in Riga 91-52. DSN beat Jelgava/LLU at home 80-62. Cesis lost to RSU on the opponent's court 66-77. Liepaja-2 managed to outperform VEF Kadeti in a home game 85-81.



Valmiera BSS - BK VEF 52-91

There was no surprise when 11th ranked Valmiera BSS (8-18) was crushed at home by second ranked VEF Riga junior (25-3) 91-52. The game without a history. VEF Riga junior led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They dominated on the defensive end, holding Valmiera BSS to just 7 points in third quarter. VEF Riga junior have a solid three-game winning streak. They maintain second position with 25-3 record having just -1 point less than leader Barons kvartals. Newly promoted Valmiera BSS keeps the eleventh place with 18 games lost. VEF Riga junior's supporters look forward to an exciting derby game next round, where their team will face at home their local rival from Riga RSU.
gschID: 165473


Barons kvartals - Saldus 66-56

The game had a very big importance for second-ranked Barons kvartals as it allowed them to take a leadership position. Barons kvartals defeated 4th ranked Saldus in Riga 66-56. Saldus were trailing by 3 points at halftime but managed to get 2-point lead after three quarters before a 18-6 charge of Barons kvartals, which allowed them to win the game. They dominated on the defensive end, holding Saldus to just 6 points in fourth quarter. Barons kvartals (25-2) have an impressive 13-game winning streak. As mentioned above they are alone now at the top position. Saldus at the other side keep the fourth place with six games lost. Saldus will have a break next week, which should allow them to rest in order to get back on the winning path. Barons kvartals will try to continue on its current victory against eleventh ranked Valmiera BSS on the road.
gschID: 165474


DSN - Jelgava/LLU 80-62

No shocking result in a game in Riga where ninth ranked DSN (13-13) defeated 13th ranked Zemgale/Juniors (8-20) 80-62. It was a very close game until the last quarter, when DSN's pressure prevailed and they won that period 21-8 extending their advantage to 18 points. DSN have a solid three-game winning streak. Newly promoted DSN maintains ninth position with 13-13 record. Zemgale/Juniors lost fourth consecutive game. They keep the thirteenth place with 20 games lost. DSN will play against Livani (#10) at home in the next round. Zemgale/Juniors will play against Ventspils Augstskola and hope to get back on the winning track.
gschID: 165470


Ridzene - VA 66-122

The game with biggest result difference took place in Riga. Local Ridzene (4-24) was outscored by eighth ranked Ventspils Augstskola (14-14) 122-66. The game without a history. Ventspils Augstskola led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. Ventspils Augstskola maintains eighth position with 14-14 record. Ridzene at the other side stay dead last with 24 lost games. Ventspils Augstskola will play against Zemgale/Juniors (#13) in Jelgava in the next round where they are favorite. Ridzene's supporters look forward to an exciting derby game next round, where their team will travel locally in Riga to the arena VEF Kadeti.
gschID: 165471


RSU - Cesis 77-66

Very expected game in Riga where 14th ranked Cesis (8-21) were defeated by sixth ranked RSU (16-10) 77-66. The game was mostly controlled by RSU. Cesis was better in third quarter 14-9. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. RSU have a solid four-game winning streak. They moved-up to fifth place. Cesis lost fifth consecutive game. Cesis at the other side, also newcomer in the league, keep the fourteenth position with 21 games lost. RSU will play against Livani (#10) on the road in the next round where they are favorite. Cesis will have a break next round.
gschID: 165472


Liepaja-2 - VEF Kadeti 85-81

Rather predictable result when third ranked Liepaja-2 (23-4) beat at home 5th ranked VEF Kadeti (16-12) 85-81. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But VEF Kadeti won fourth quarter 25-24. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Liepaja-2 maintains third position with 23-4 record having just two points less than leader Barons kvartals. VEF Kadeti at the other side dropped to the sixth place with 12 games lost. Liepaja-2 will play against BS Riga (#7) on the road in the next round. VEF Kadeti's supporters look forward to an exciting derby game next round, where their team will face at home their local rival from Riga Ridzene.
gschID: 165469




Siauliai gets bigger with C Raitis Grafs - by Eurobasket News
Raitis Grafs (208-C-81, college: Valparaiso) is a new member of Siauliai. The Latvian big guy penned a deal for rest of the season. He arrives to Siauliai from Cypriot Pizza Express Apollon. They reached Playoff Semifinals, but failed against the defending champion Etha. Raitis Grafs changed three teams last season. He started with VEF Riga and in December of 2010 joined Barons Riga. Finally, Grafs ended the season with Slovakian Nitra averaging 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds for 23 games. He helped them reach Slovakian league finals. Raitis Grafs already played for Siauliai in the past. It was in 2009/10 season, when he had 8.1 ppg and 4.2 rpg for 21 Baltic league games. He also added 7.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg for 26 games in LKL. In EuroCup, Grafs had 5.3 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 4 games that season. He also has experience from ASK Riga, Ventspils, Slask Wroclaw, Oostende and Valparaiso University, where he graduated in 2003.

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


Last transactions - by Evaldas Ceilytkas
Today was deadline of LKL new player registration for this season. Last player who joined Lithuanian league is Mantas Virbalas (203-F/C-88). He will play for Naglis Palangos team. Mantas Virbalas is young promising power forward. This season he began in Lithuanian second division team Vilnius Perlas.
Virbalas played 20mpg and averaged 10.5ppg, 5.9rpg and 1.0 apg. Virbalas began his professional career in Rokiskis. He also played for Pasvalys and Klaipeda Laivite team in second division.


Standings - LKL
LKL Standings
 1. Lietuvos rytas 17-2 
 2. Zalgiris 15-0 
 3. Rudupis 15-4 
 4. Siauliai 12-6 
 5. Pieno Zvaigzdes 11-7 
 6. Baltai Kaunas 8-9 
 7. Kedainiai 7-12 
 8. Neptunas 6-12 
 9. Juventus 6-13 
 10. Naglis Palangos 4-14 
 11. Sakalai 4-14 
 12. Lietkabelis 3-15 


Siauliai gets bigger with C Raitis Grafs - by Eurobasket News
Raitis Grafs (208-C-81, college: Valparaiso) is a new member of Siauliai. The Latvian big guy penned a deal for rest of the season. He arrives to Siauliai from Cypriot Pizza Express Apollon. They reached Playoff Semifinals, but failed against the defending champion Etha. Raitis Grafs changed three teams last season. He started with VEF Riga and in December of 2010 joined Barons Riga. Finally, Grafs ended the season with Slovakian Nitra averaging 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds for 23 games. He helped them reach Slovakian league finals. Raitis Grafs already played for Siauliai in the past. It was in 2009/10 season, when he had 8.1 ppg and 4.2 rpg for 21 Baltic league games. He also added 7.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg for 26 games in LKL. In EuroCup, Grafs had 5.3 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 4 games that season. He also has experience from ASK Riga, Ventspils, Slask Wroclaw, Oostende and Valparaiso University, where he graduated in 2003.

M.Virbalas joins Palanga - by Evaldas Ceilytkas
Today was deadline of LKL new player registration for this season. Last player who joined Lithuanian league is Mantas Virbalas. He will play for Palanga team. Mantas Virbalas is young promising power forward. This season he began in Lithuanian second division team Vilnius Perlas.
Virbalas played 20mpg and averaged 10.5ppg, 5.9rpg and 1.0 apg. Virbalas began his professional career in Rokiskis. He also played for Pasvalys and Klaipeda Laivite team in second division.


Baltic League Challenge Cup: Sakalai edge Palanga in Bronze medals series - by Eurobasket News
Palanga - Sakalai 67:83

Sakalai made a step towards Baltic League Challenge Cup pedestal. They stole a road win over Palanga in the consolation final series tonight. The return leg game is scheduled for April 6th. Laurynas Samenas (192-G-88) knocked down 15 points to lead the charge.
Sakalai strongly started the game. The visitors enjoyed a 22:11 lead after ten minutes. Palanga cut the deficit to just 6 points at the interval 36:42. The hosts got closer in the third term. Palanga narrowed the distance to a single point at the final intermission 56:57. But the fourth term belonged to Sakalai. The visitors erupted for 26 points and cruised to the win at the end. Arvydas Gydra (206-F-89) finished with 14 points, while Arnas Butkevicius (199-F-92), Rolandas Matulis (199-C-73) and Paulius Joneliunas (211-C-84, college: American) had 10 points each in the victory. Mindaugas Reminas (190-G-86) topscored with 23 points for Palanga. Tomas Rinkevicius (178-PG-78) had 14 points in the loss.

Palanga: Mindaugas Reminas 23, Tomas Rinkevicius 14
Sakalai: Laurynas Samenas 15, Arvydas Gydra 14, Arnas Butkevicius 10, Rolandas Matulis 10, Paulius Joneliunas 10


Raitis Grafs joins Siauliai - by Eurobasket News
Siauliai made a market move just before the end of the tranfer period. The team has agreed on terms of contract with Raitis Grafs (208-C-81, college: Valparaiso). The centre arrives from Cyprus. The Latvian player started the season with Apollon. Last season Raitis Grafs started with VEF Riga. His stats read 3.0 points and 1.0 board per VTB League game. In Baltic League the centre delivered 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds. Later Raitis Grafs signed with Barons Riga. His stats read 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per appearance. The centre finished the season in Slovakia. He delivered 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds for Nitra. Raitis Grafs also had stints with ASK Riga, Ventspils, Slask Wroclaw, Oostende. He was the member of Latvian NT in 1997/2010.

LKL changes playoff format - by Eurobasket News
LKL has changed the format of the upcoming playoffs. So now two best teams of the regular season will advance directly into the semifinal stage. Therefore Zalgiris and Lietuvos Rytas will await for their opponents in the semis.
The teams placed 3rd through 6th will play in the quarterfinal series to decide on two more teams to reach the semifinal stage.
The semifinal format has also been changed. Now the series will consist of only two games on a home-away basis.
The final series is not decided yet. If Zalgiris or Lietuvos Rytas will reach VTB League Final Four then LKL Finals will be played in best-of-five format. If not the LKL Final series will be best-of-seven series. The decision about the format changes comes with the idea to give more resting period for the National Team members who play for Zalgiris and Lietuvos Rytas prior to the start of Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela.


Stats Leaders - LKL
Points Per Game
 Jonas VALANCIUNAS
  Lietuv.
  (210-C-92)
  Avg: 15.5
 1. Valanciunas, Lietu.15.5 
 2. Mazeika, Neptunas15.0 
 3. Urbonas, Juventus14.9 
 4. Mikalauskas, Neptu.14.6 
 5. Benn, Naglis Palan.14.5 
 6. Vasylius, Siauliai14.4 
 7. Butkevicius, Rudup.14.2 
 8. Hughes, Pieno Z.14.1 
 9. Cepukaitis, Lietka.14.1 
 10. Johnson, Naglis P.13.9 
Rebounds Per Game
 Dane JOHNSON
  Naglis P.
  (208-C-86)
  Avg: 10.3
 1. Johnson, Naglis P.10.3 
 2. Butkevicius, Rudup.7.5 
 3. Valanciunas, Lietu.7.5 
 4. Benn, Naglis Palan.7.5 
 5. McClure, Kedainiai7.2 
 6. Petrukonis, Juven.7.1 
 7. Mikalauskas, Neptu.6.8 
 8. Bowles, Siauliai6.4 
 9. Adomaitis, Kedaini.6.2 
 10. Vasylius, Siauliai5.9 
Assists Per Game
 Evaldas DAINYS
  Neptunas
  (180-PG-82)
  Avg: 5.3
 1. Dainys, Neptunas5.3 
 2. Kalnietis, Zalgiris5.2 
 3. Peciukeviciu., Sak.4.8 
 4. Rice, Lietuvos.4.6 
 5. Broadus, Siauliai4.6 
 6. Kadziulis, Rudupis3.9 
 7. Ezerskis, Lietkabe.3.7 
 8. Maceina, Juventus3.6 
 9. Kelys, Pieno Z.3.4 
 10. Hughes, Pieno Z.3.4 
Steals Per Game
 TreVon HUGHES
  Pieno Z.
  (183-PG-87)
  Avg: 2.3
 1. Hughes, Pieno Z.2.3 
 2. Broadus, Siauliai1.9 
 3. Benn, Naglis Palan.1.7 
 4. Ginevicius, Kedain.1.6 
 5. Long, Siauliai1.6 
 6. Collins, Zalgiris1.5 
 7. Roberts, Lietuvos.1.4 
 8. Seibutis, Lietuv.1.4 
 9. Kelys, Pieno Z.1.4 
 10. Weems, Zalgiris1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 Dane JOHNSON
  Naglis P.
  (208-C-86)
  Avg: 1.9
 1. Johnson, Naglis P.1.9 
 2. Valanciunas, Lietu.1.9 
 3. Petrukonis, Juven.1.3 
 4. Morgan, Pieno Z.1.1 
 5. Staniulis, Lietkab.1.1 
 6. Samardziski, Lietu.0.9 
 7. McClure, Kedainiai0.9 
 8. Joneliunas, Sakalai0.8 
 9. Zelionis, Rudupis0.8 
 10. Gumeniuk, Juvent.0.7 


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


Sparta extends contracts with leaders - by Eurobasket News
Sparta Bertrange extended the contracts with head coach Rainer Kloss , Larrie Smith (198-F-75, college: Tenn Tech) and Kasey Ulin (184-PG-82, college: Dickinson St.).
Rainer Kloss took over Sparta at the beginning of the season. Previously the German specialist worked with Grengewald, BBC Nitia, Black Star, Tubingen.
Larrie Smith will enter his 12th straight season with the team. The forward joined Sparta Bertrange back in 2001 right after graduating from Tennessee Tech. Larrie Smith was named Eurobasket.com All-Luxembourg League Player of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Kasey Ulin inked with Sparta at the start of the current season. The guard tallies 18.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per appearance in Diekirch League. He participated at Diekirch League All-Star Game in 2012. Previously Kasey Ulin had stints with Goettingen, Feni Indistrija, Hertener.


Scoring Leaders - DBBL
Points Per Game
 Lamonte ULMER
  Soleuvre
  (198-SF-86)
  Avg: 26.4
 1. Ulmer, Soleuvre26.4 
 2. Arre, BBC Nitia25.1 
 3. Raji, Etzella23.8 
 4. Schumacher, T7122.8 
 5. Kennedy, Residence22.5 
 6. Muller, T7121.5 
 7. Rajniak, Basket E.21.3 
 8. Perre, Musel Pikes20.4 
 9. Gumbs, Residence19.7 
 10. Smith, Sparta19.2 
Rebounds Per Game
 Brandon GARY
  Musel Pikes
  (202-F/C-83)
  Avg: 12.4
 1. Gary, Musel Pikes12.4 
 2. Ulmer, Soleuvre12.4 
 3. Stephens, T7111.3 
 4. Svitek, Basket Es.11.0 
 5. Kennedy, Residence10.0 
 6. Raji, Etzella9.8 
 7. Poznaks, BBC Nitia9.6 
 8. Smith, Sparta9.5 
 9. Carvalho, Heffingen9.4 
 10. Muller, T719.1 
Assists Per Game
 Kasey ULIN
  Sparta
  (184-PG-82)
  Avg: 4.8
 1. Ulin, Sparta4.8 
 2. Schartz, Amicale4.1 
 3. Schumacher, T713.7 
 4. Rajniak, Basket E.3.5 
 5. Biever, Basket Es.3.3 
 6. Arre, BBC Nitia3.3 
 7. Delgado, Etzella3.1 
 8. Ruffato, T713.0 
 9. Koster, Residence3.0 
 10. Raji, Etzella2.3 
Steals Per Game
 Christopher JONES
  Amicale
  (188-G-90)
  Avg: 2.7
 1. Jones, Amicale2.7 
 2. Kennedy, Residence2.1 
 3. Arre, BBC Nitia1.9 
 4. Ulmer, Soleuvre1.7 
 5. Carvalho, Heffingen1.7 
 6. Perre, Musel Pikes1.6 
 7. Brown, Amicale1.3 
 8. Ruffato, T711.2 
 9. Schumacher, T711.2 
 10. Schartz, Amicale1.2 
Blocks Per Game
 Brandon GARY
  Musel Pikes
  (202-F/C-83)
  Avg: 2.3
 1. Gary, Musel Pikes2.3 
 2. Hoffmann, Sparta1.3 
 3. Ulmer, Soleuvre1.2 
 4. Carvalho, Heffingen0.9 
 5. Jorssen, Soleuvre0.8 
 6. Djerman, Amicale0.7 
 7. Brown, Amicale0.7 
 8. Poznaks, BBC Nitia0.6 
 9. Smith, Sparta0.5 
 10. Bintz, BBC Nitia0.4 


Standings
Diekirch Standings
1-6 places
 1. T71 20-4 
 2. Sparta 18-5 
 3. Musel Pikes 13-10 
 4. Amicale 12-11 
 5. Residence 11-12 
 6. Etzella 11-13 
7-10 places
 1. Basket Esch 12-9 
 2. Soleuvre 10-11 
 3. Heffingen 3-18 
 4. BBC Nitia 2-19 


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  MALI   


Amara Sy selected the top Malian playing abroad in last week's games - by Eurobasket Center
Here is the weekly review of the top performing Mali players, who play currently abroad.


Amara Sy
Amara Sy
   #1. This week's number one is an international forward Amara Sy (202-81). He led Entente Orleans 45 to a victory against the 13th-ranked STB Le Havre (6-16) 79-72 in the French ProA in Saturday night's game. Sy recorded 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 31 minutes on the court. Entente Orleans 45 (15-7) is placed third in the ProA. Sy has relatively good stats this year: 12.6ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.1apg, 2FGP: 53.3%, 3FGP: 28.9% and FT: 83.3% in the 22 games he played so far. He has a dual citizenship: Mali and French. Sy is currently a member of the Mali senior national team.

Tahirou Sani
Tahirou Sani
   #2. Second place goes to an international forward Tahirou Sani (204-85). Sani led Blois to a victory over the second-ranked Saint-Quentin (19-7) 83-78 in the French NM1 (third division) on Saturday night. He was MVP of the game. Sani scored 19 points in 22 minutes. ADA Blois Basket (17-9) is placed sixth in the NM1. It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row. It's Sani's first season with the team. This year he averages: 7.9ppg, 3.5rpg, 2FGP: 52.7%, 3FGP: 25.0% and FT: 76.7% in the 26 games. Sani is another player who holds two passports: Mali and French. He is in the roster of the Mali senior national team.

Ibrahim Saounera
Ibrahim Saounera
   #3. The Mali player who performed third best last week abroad was an international guard Ibrahim Saounera (179-87). Saounera was the main contributor in Cognac's victory against the 14th-ranked CFBB (5-16) crushing them 95-67 in the French NM1 (third division) in Saturday night's game. He was the best player in that game. Saounera scored 17 points and added 6 passes. Cognac BB (17-9) is placed fifth in the NM1. Saounera's overall stats this season are: 6.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.9apg, 2FGP: 56.0%(42-75), 3FGP: 28.3% and FT: 72.0%. Similarly like Sani and Sy above he has both Mali and French nationalities. Saounera is also a member of the Mali senior national team.

Mahamadou Drame
Mahamadou Drame
   #4. Shooting guard Mahamadou Drame (188-86) contributed to Nantes' victory against the closely-ranked Saint Vallier (11-15) 78-68 in the French ProB (second division) on Friday night. Drame scored 9 points and had 3 steals. Hermine Nantes Atlantique (12-14) is placed 11th in the ProB. They ended the series of three consecutive loses. Drame's overall stats this season are: 6.8ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.2apg. Similarly like three previous players above, he also holds two passports: Mali and French. Drame is also Mali national team player.

Ludovic Chelle
Ludovic Chelle
   #5. International guard Ludovic Chelle (183-83), who plays in the French ProB (second division) could not help SPO Rouen (9-17) to beat Quimper UJAP (7-19). He scored 7 points in 23 minutes. SPO Rouen was edged 69-67 on the road by the one of league's weakest teams (#18) Quimper UJAP. It was SPO Rouen's third consecutive loss in a row. This year Chelle's overall stats are: 6.2ppg and 1.8rpg in the 26 games. He has dual citizenship: Mali and French. Despite Chelle played previously for the French U20 national team, he is currently in the Mali national team roster.

Sambou Traore
Sambou Traore
   #6. An experienced power forward Sambou Traore (199-79) managed to help Limoges CSP Elite to win against the 14th-ranked Le Portel (10-16) crushing them 80-48 in the French ProB (second division) last Friday. Traore scored only 2 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Limoges CSP Elite (21-5) is placed first in the ProB. Traore's total stats this season are: 9.0ppg, 4.6rpg and 1.3apg. He is an international player who is currently on the senior Mali National Team roster.

Mahmoud Diakite
Mahmoud Diakite
   #7. International swingman Mahmoud Diakite (197-86, college: Wyoming) was not able to help Stade Clermont (8-18) in their game against Orchesien BC (19-7) in the French NM1 (third division). Diakite scored 6 points in 27 minutes. Stade Clermont was crushed 97-59 in Orchies by the much higher-ranked (#3) Orchesien BC. It was Stade Clermont's third consecutive loss in a row. This year Diakite's total stats are: 7.9ppg and 3.3rpg in the 26 games. He is also Mali national team player.

Dramane Diarra
Dramane Diarra
   #8. Power forward Dramane Diarra (203-80, college: Kansas St.) faced previously mentioned Mahamadou Drame in the French ProB last game. Diarra was not able to secure a victory for Saint Vallier (11-15) in their game against Nantes (12-14). He cannot count Friday's game as one of the best ones. Diarra scored only 2 points. Saint Vallier was defeated 78-68 on the opponent's court by the higher-ranked Nantes (#11). Diarra has averaged so far 5.2ppg and 2.7rpg. He plays currently for the Mali national team.


The list of other players, who all have Mali passport but never been selected to any of Mali national teams:

   #1. Yohann Sangare (193-G-83) managed to help Entente Orleans 45 to win against the 13th-ranked STB Le Havre (6-16) 79-72 in the French ProA last Saturday. He recorded only 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Entente Orleans 45 (15-7) is placed third in the ProA. It's Sangare's first season with the team. This year Sangare averages: 5.6ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.3apg and 1.4spg. He has a dual citizenship: Mali and French.

   #2. Mamoutou Diarra (200-F-80, agency: Two Points), who plays in the French ProA could not help JSF Nanterre (8-14) to beat Cholet (11-11). He recorded 7 points in 17 minutes. JSF Nanterre lost 68-77 on the road to the higher-ranked (#7) Cholet. It was JSF Nanterre's third consecutive loss in a row. This year Diarra's overall stats are: 7.9ppg, 3.0rpg and 1.3apg in the eight games he played so far. He is another player who holds two passports: Mali and French. Despite Diarra's Mali nationality, he previously played for the French national team and is probably not eligible to play for the Mali team.


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  MEXICO   


Gustavo Ayon selected the top Mexican playing abroad in last week's games - by Eurobasket Center
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Mexicans who are currently playing abroad.


Gustavo Ayon
Gustavo Ayon
   #1. This week's number one is former international power forward Gustavo Ayon (209-85, agency: Duran International, college: San Jose St.), who plays in the NBA. He could not help the New Orleans Hornets (12-35) in their last game. Despite Ayon's very good performance the New Orleans Hornets lost 89-99 on the road to the Washington Wizards. He was the second best scorer with 16 points. Ayon also added 9 rebounds in 37 minutes on the court. It's Ayon's first season with the team. This year he averages: 6.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 57.2%(111-194) and FT: 59.6% in the 39 games he played so far. Ayon played for the Mexican senior national team two years ago.

Paul Stoll
Paul Stoll
   #2. Second place goes to an international point guard Paul Stoll (178-85). He led Gigantes to an overtime victory over the league outsider Toros (4-21) 106-103 in the Venezuelan LPB last Thursday. Stoll was MVP of the game. He recorded a double-double by scoring 31 points and making 11 passes. Stoll also added and 7 steals. Gigantes de Guayana (15-7) is placed fourth in the LPB. It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row. Stoll is ranked eighth on the list of the top scorers in the league and also on the list of best passers (first place). He has individually a very good season with high stats. Stoll averages: 17.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 7.2apg, 4.6spg. He is a naturalized American. Stoll is in the roster of the Mexican senior national team. He used to play for Algodoneros de La Comarca - Torreon in Mexican league.

Romel Beck
Romel Beck
   #3. The Mexican player who performed third best last week abroad was former international swingman Romel Beck (203-82, college: UNLV). Beck led Ikaros to a victory over the closely-ranked Ilysiakos (7-16) 69-61 in the Greek A1 on Saturday night. He was the best player in that game. Beck scored 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 37 minutes. Ikaros Kallitheas (6-17) is placed second from the bottom (#12) in the A1. There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. Beck belongs to league's top scorers and is ranked #5 with 16.3ppg. This year his other stats are: 2.4rpg, 1.7apg, 2FGP: 55.1%(43-78) and FT: 83.3% in the 14 games. Beck is a naturalized American. He played for the Mexican national team three years ago. Beck used to play for Correcaminos Victoria in Mexican league.

Adam Parada
Adam Parada
   #4. Center Adam Parada (213-81, college: Cal-Irvine), who plays in the Filipino PBA was not able to help Alaska Aces (4-4) in their last game on Friday. Despite his very good performance Alaska Aces were defeated 90-75 in Pasig by the second-ranked B-Meg Llamados. Parada recorded a double-double by scoring 24 points and getting 12 rebounds. He also added 3 blocks. Parada's team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial. Parada belongs to league's best blockers and is ranked #4. This season he has very high stats. Parada averages: 20.3ppg, 13.8rpg, 1.5apg and 2.4bpg. He is also Mexican national team player.

Eduardo Najera
Eduardo Najera
   #5. An experienced former international forward Eduardo Najera (202-76, college: Oklahoma) managed to help Charlotte Bobcats in a victory against the Toronto Raptors (15-32) 107-103 in the NBA last Saturday. Najera scored 5 points in 10 minutes. The Charlotte Bobcats have rather weak 7-37 record this season. This year Najera's overall stats are: 2.9ppg and 1.8rpg in the 16 games. He used to play for the Mexican national team nine years ago.


The list of other players, who all have Mexican passport but never been selected to any of Mexican national teams:

   #1. Mark Sanchez (201-F-87, agency: Court Side, college: Boise St.), who plays in the Dutch Eredivisie could not help Leeuwarden (9-15) in their last game on Saturday. Despite Sanchez's very good performance Leeuwarden was edged 72-69 at home by the leading Groningen. He was the second best scorer with 17 points. Sanchez also added 9 rebounds and 3 assists. There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. Sanchez is currently second on the league's list of best rebounders. He has very reliable stats this season: 13.6ppg, 9.0rpg and 2.0apg. Sanchez is a naturalized American. He used to play for Lobos Grises de la UAD Durango in Mexican league.

   #2. Robert Fields was not able to help one of league's weakest teams Falcon (7-20) in their game against Aabyhoj (8-19) in the Danish Ligaen. Fields recorded 6 points and added 7 passes in 34 minutes. The bottom-ranked Falcon lost 74-86 on the road to the one of league's weakest teams (#9) Aabyhoj. It was Falcon's fifth consecutive loss in a row. Fields belongs to league's best passers and is ranked #7 with 3.9apg. He also averaged so far 16.7ppg, 3.2rpg and 2.1spg in the 14 games he played so far.

   #3. Geoffrey Renon (208-C-91) contributed to an easy victory against the 16th-ranked Montbrison (4-22) 80-62 in the French NM1 (third division) last Saturday. Renon scored 6 points. Vendee Challans Basket (14-12) is placed tenth in the NM1. Renon's total stats this season are: 3.9ppg and 2.5rpg.

   #4. Enrico Tucker (183-PG-86, agency: TSS Management, college: San Diego) was not able to secure a victory for Perla Harghitei (2-24) in their game against U-Mobitelco (17-8) in the Romanian Division A. He cannot count Saturday's game as one of the best ones. Tucker scored only 2 points in 14 minutes. Perla Harghitei lost 78-92 in Cluj to the much higher-ranked (#5) U-Mobitelco. It was Perla Harghitei's tenth consecutive loss in a row. There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial. Tucker has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 16.3ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.3apg and 2.0spg in the 26 games. Tucker is a naturalized American. He used to play for Cosmos de Tijuana in Mexican league.


Standings - CIBACOPA
CIBACOPA Standings
 1. Hermosillo 7-1 
 2. Guaymas 6-2 
 3. Tijuana 5-2 
 4. Navolato 5-3 
 5. Los Mochis 4-4 
 6. Nogales 4-4 
 7. Cananea 3-5 
 8. Guasave 3-5 
 9. Culiacan 2-6 
 10. Tepic 0-7 


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


Quarterfinals, Game 1 MVP: Bojan Dubljevic, KK Buducnost VOLI - by Eurobasket News
In what probably was the most surprising result of the first leg of the Eurocup Quarterfinals, Bojan Dubljevic (205-C-91, agency: Beo Basket) of KK Buducnost Voli led his team to a home win over Valencia Basket by 75-71 and earned weekly MVP honors in the process with an index rating performance of 25. Dubljevic scored 15 points, pulled 8 boards, had 3 steals and drew 6 fouls to rack up the best perfoemance among the winning teams in Game 1. The player with the highest index rating was CEZ Nymburk's Chester Simmons (198-G-82, college: Washington) with 29, but his team lost to Spartak SPB at home. Next in line was BC Khimki's Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, agency: Beo Basket, college: Washington St.), with an index rating performance of 23 thanks to his 20 points - including 6 of 7 threes -, 3 rebounds and 3 steals to defeat Lokomotiv Kuban at home. Also 23 was what Lietuvos Rytas' big man Jonas Valanciunas (210-C-92) had in his team's home win over BC Donetsk by 76-65.

Individual highs: Chester Simmons, 23 points

Nymburk's Simmons was also the best scorer of the week with his 23 points against Spartak. Kelati of Khimki was the only other player to reach 20 points this week. Two players led the rebounders of the week with 10 boards each - Ivan Radenovic (208-F-84, college: Arizona) of BC Donetsk and Lietuvos Rytas' Valanciunas. Likewise, two players shared the assists throne this week as both Stefan Markovic (194-G-88) of Valencia Basket and Tyrese Rice (185-PG-87, agency: Priority Sports, college: Boston Coll.) of Lietuvos Rytas dished 7 of them. Simmons completed a great performance also leading the steals ranking of the week with 4, while three players had 2 blocks each this week - Valanciunas, Vitor Faverani (211-C-88) of Valencia Basket and Drew Naymick of CEZ Nymburk - . Finally, two players ended up with double-doubles this week, Radenovic with 16 points and 10 boards plus Valanciunas with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Courtesy of www.eurocupbasketball.com


Nikola Pekovic's double-double lands him Player of the Week award among Montenegrins playing currently abroad. - by Eurobasket Center
We bring you last week's top performances from Montenegrins who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.


Nikola Pekovic
Nikola Pekovic
   #1. This week's number one is an international center Nikola Pekovic (210-86, agency: Beo Basket), who plays in the NBA. He could not help the Minnesota Timberwolves (23-25) in their last game. Despite Pekovic's very good performance the Minnesota Timberwolves lost 92-97 on the road to the Los Angeles Lakers. He had a double-double by scoring 20 points and getting 12 rebounds in 39 minutes on the court. Pekovic has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 13.5ppg, 7.5rpg, 2FGP: 56.5%(187-331) and FT: 77.3% in the 35 games he played so far. Pekovic is currently a member of the Montenegrin senior national team.

Vladimir Dragicevic
Vladimir Dragicevic
   #2. Second place goes to an international power forward Vladimir Dragicevic (206-86). He was the major contributor in a Spartak St.Petersburg's victory against the closely-ranked CEZ Nymburk (3-3) 68-64 in the Eurocup last Monday. Dragicevic recorded 18 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. It was the game of the round between two top 2 ranked teams in group K. Spartak St.Petersburg (5-1) is placed first. It was his team's 11th consecutive victory in a row. Dragicevic has relatively good stats this season: 10.5ppg, 4.3rpg, 2FGP: 68.7%(68-99) and FT: 66.7%. He is in the roster of the Montenegrin senior national team.

Goran Jeretin
Goran Jeretin
   #3. The Montenegrin player who performed third best last week abroad was an experienced international guard Goran Jeretin (192-79, also represented by Beo Basket). Jeretin led his Slovenian team Amit12 to a victory against the fourth-ranked Buducnost (17-8) 72-68 in the Adriatic League on Saturday night. He scored 14 points and added 4 passes in 25 minutes. Union Olimpija Ljubljana (14-12) is placed sixth in group A. The Regular Season already ended in the Adriatic League. Jeretin is currently sixth on the list of best passers with 4.1apg. This year his other stats are: 9.9ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 57.9%(22-38), 3FGP: 23.7% and FT: 87.5% in the 10 games. Jeretin is also a member of the Montenegrin senior national team.

Omar-Sharif Cook
Omar-Sharif Cook
   #4. Point guard Omar-Sharif Cook (186-82, another player represented by Beo Basket, college: St.John's) contributed to a Armani Milano's victory against the 12th-ranked Otto Caserta (10-13) 95-89 in the Italian SerieA in Sunday night's game. He recorded 11 points and added 4 assists. EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (14-9) is placed third in the SerieA. Cook is currently fourth on the list of best passers. His overall stats this season are: 7.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 5.1apg and 1.5spg. Cook is a naturalized American. He is also Montenegrin national team player. Strangely Cook has never played in Montenegro.

Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic
   #5. International forward Nikola Vucevic (208-90, college: USC) was not able to help the Philadelphia 76ers (26-21) in their game against the Miami Heat (34-11) in the NBA. Vucevic recorded 9 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. But the Philadelphia 76ers were defeated 84-78 in Miami by the Heat. Vucevic's overall stats this season are: 6.2ppg and 4.9rpg. He plays currently for the Montenegrin national team.

Goran Martinic
Goran Martinic
   #6. Point guard Goran Martinic (184-87, agency: BeoExcell) led CSM Bucuresti to a victory over the closely-ranked Craiova (18-11) crushing them 94-54 in the Romanian Division A in Saturday night's game. Martinic was MVP of the game. He scored 30 points (!!!) and added 5 assists in 25 minutes. CS Municipal Bucuresti (17-8) is placed sixth in the Division A. There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. It's Martinic's fifth season with the team. Martinic is currently first on the league's list of top scorers with 24.0ppg. He also averaged so far 3.3rpg, 5.0apg and 1.6spg in the 26 games. Martinic is a former U21 international player as he played for the Montenegrin team five years ago.

Suad Sehovic
Suad Sehovic
   #7. International swingman Suad Sehovic (197-87) helped Budivelnyk edge the sixth-ranked BC Odessa (20-15) 77-75 in the Ukrainian Superleague last Monday. He scored 14 points, had 8 boards, passed 3 assists and added 3 steals. Budivelnyk Kyiv (26-6) is placed first in the Superleague. It was his team's seventh consecutive victory in a row. There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial. This season Sehovic has relatively solid stats: 10.8ppg, 5.9rpg and 1.3spg. He is also Montenegrin national team player.

Blagota Sekulic
Blagota Sekulic
   #8. Power forward Blagota Sekulic (208-82, agency: FCM) was the main contributor in an UCAM Murcia's victory against the league outsider Blancos de Rueda (6-19) crushing them 85-56 in the Spanish ACB last Sunday. He was the best player in that game. Sekulic had a double-double by scoring 14 points and getting 10 rebounds in 26 minutes. UCAM Murcia (8-17) is placed 16th in the ACB. This year Sekulic's overall stats are: 9.4ppg and 6.0rpg in the 24 games. He used to play for the Montenegrin national team back in 2008.

Zarko Rakocevic
Zarko Rakocevic
   #9. Former international forward Zarko Rakocevic (204-84) helped Lugano Tigers win their game against the sixth-ranked Starwings (9-15) crushing them 111-57 in the Swiss LNA last Sunday. Rakocevic recorded 23 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Lugano Tigers (19-4) are placed first in the LNA. His team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is quite important. This season Rakocevic has very high stats. He averages: 15.5ppg, 8.7rpg, 2.2apg, 1.5bpg and 1.2spg. Rakocevic used to play for the Montenegrin national team three years ago.

Ivan Koljevic
Ivan Koljevic
   #10. Guard Ivan Koljevic (185-84, agency: New Trend Agency), who plays in the Ukrainian Superleague was not able to secure a victory for Cherkasy (8-25) in their last game. Despite his very good performance Cherkasy lost 69-75 at home to the leading Budivelnyk. Koljevic was the top scorer with 24 points. He also added 6 passes in 34 minutes. It was Cherkasy's fourth consecutive loss in a row. There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. Koljevic has reliable stats this year: 11.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 8.0apg and 1.4spg in the five games. He is a former international player as two years ago he still played for the Montenegrin senior national team.

   #11. Former international guard Nenad Mijatovic (193-87) helped Sloga win their game against the second-ranked Tamis 74-70 in the Serbian A League in Saturday night's game. Mijatovic was the top player that evening. He scored 19 points. This season Mijatovic has very high stats. He averages: 15.4ppg, 2.0rpg and 1.4apg. Mijatovic used to play for the Montenegrin national team four years ago.

   #12. International forward Vladimir Dasic (206-88, another player represented by Beo Basket) is a teammate of previously mentioned Goran Jeretin and both played together in the last Adriatic League game. Dasic managed to help Union Olimpija Ljubljana in a victory against the fourth-ranked Buducnost 72-68. He scored 5 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 23 minutes. This year Dasic's total stats are: 9.3ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.3apg and 1.5spg in the 13 games. He is also in the roster of the Montenegrin national team.

   #13. International forward Milos Borisov (201-85) helped Banca Tercas win their game against the seventh-ranked Banco di Sardegna Sassari 83-78 in the Italian SerieA last Sunday. He recorded 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Borisov has averaged so far 9.5ppg, 5.0rpg and 1.1apg. He is also Montenegrin national team player.

   #14. International center Milko Bjelica (207-84, another player represented by Beo Basket) helped Caja Laboral win their game against the eighth-ranked Unicaja Malaga crushing them 90-68 in the Spanish ACB on Sunday night. Bjelica recorded only 2 points in 9 minutes on the court. Bjelica has averaged so far 8.0ppg and 3.4rpg in the 22 games. He plays currently for the Montenegrin national team.

   #15. International guard Boris Bakic (194-86, another player represented by Beo Basket) couldn't help Radnicki Kragujevac in their game against Maccabi T-A in the Adriatic League. Bakic scored 8 points. His team was badly defeated by 16 points 92-76. Bakic has averaged so far 4.5ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.3apg. He is also in the roster of the Montenegrin national team.


The list of other players, who all have Montenegrin passport but never been selected to any of Montenegrin national teams:

   #1. Nikola Mirotic (207-F/C-91) contributed to a Real Madrid's victory against the tenth-ranked CAI Zaragoza (13-12) 85-71 in the Spanish ACB last Sunday. He recorded 10 points in 15 minutes. Real Madrid (20-5) is placed first in the ACB. This year Mirotic's overall stats are: 9.0ppg and 4.4rpg in the 25 games he played so far. He has a dual citizenship: Montenegrin and Spanish. Despite Mirotic's Montenegrin passport, he currently plays for the Spanish U20 national team and is not eligible to play for the Montenegrin team.

   #2. Slobodan Pejovic (192-PG-86) led Napredak Rubin to a victory over the tenth-ranked Proleter Naftagas (2-24) 76-70 in the Serbian A League on Saturday night. Pejovic was the best player in that game. He had a double-double by scoring 17 points and getting 11 rebounds. Pejovic also added 5 assists in 36 minutes. KK Napredak Rubin Krusevac (8-18) is placed eighth in Places 9-18 group. The Regular Season already ended. Pejovic is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's his fourth year in Napredak Rubin's roster. This season his overall stats are: 9.8ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.9apg and 1.1spg in the 24 games.

   #3. Dusan Djordjevic (195-G-83, agency: Beo Basket) was the main contributor in a Base Oostende's victory against the seventh-ranked Belgacom Liege (7-14) 78-69 in the Belgian D1 in Friday night's game. Djordjevic was the best player in that game. He scored 15 points. Telenet Oostende (15-7) is placed second in the D1. It's Djordjevic's first season with the team. Djordjevic is currently second on the league's list of best passers. His overall stats this season are: 9.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.8apg and 1.3spg. Djordjevic has also Serbian passport.

   #4. Balsa Radunovic (207-F/C-80) was the major contributor in Lirija's victory against the closely-ranked Fersped-Rabotnicki (9-17) 83-81 in a derby game in the FYR Macedonian Superleague on Saturday night. Radunovic recorded a double-double by scoring 30 points and getting 10 rebounds. KK Lirija Skopje (15-11) is placed third in the Superleague. It was his team's first victory after three consecutive loses. They will play only one more game in the Second Stage. And that game will be critical. Radunovic is currently sixth on the league's list of top scorers and also on the list of best rebounders (fifth place). He has individually a very good season with high stats. Radunovic averages: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg and 1.9spg.

   #5. Miljan Pavkovic (178-G-81, also represented by Beo Basket), who plays in Serbia could not help Radnicki Kragujevac (12-14) in their last game. Despite his good performance the eighth-placed Radnicki Kragujevac was badly defeated 92-76 on the road by the leading Maccabi T-A in the group A of Adriatic League. Pavkovic had a double-double by scoring 11 points and making 12 passes in 40 minutes. The Regular Season already ended in the Adriatic League. It's Pavkovic's first season with the team. Pavkovic belongs to league's best passers and is ranked #2 with 7.0apg. He also averaged so far 13.2ppg, 2.6rpg and 1.2spg in the 20 games.

   #6. Experienced Branko Cuic (197-G-78, agency: 011 Sports) helped Timisoara win their game against the 12th-ranked CS Dinamo Bucuresti crushing them 100-58 in the Romanian Division A on Saturday night. Cuic scored 6 points, had 8 rebounds and dished 10 assists. Cuic has averaged so far 9.9ppg, 5.7rpg and 4.9apg.

   #7. Bojan Subotic (206-F/C-90) was not able to help Zvezda in their game against Maccabi T-A in the Adriatic League, despite his good performance in Thursday night's game. He recorded 11 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 20 minutes. But his team was crushed by 35 points 101-66. Subotic has averaged so far 8.0ppg and 3.9rpg in the 25 games. Despite his Montenegrin passport, Subotic previously played for the Serbian U20 national team and probably cannot be called to the Montenegrin team.

   #8. Dragomir Marojevic (207-C-81, agency: Global Sports Plaza) helped Balkan win their game against the league outsider Chernomorets 89-74 in the Bulgarian NBL in Saturday night's game. Marojevic recorded 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in 28 minutes. Marojevic belongs to league's best rebounders (ranked #6) and also on the list of best blockers (fifth place). He has averaged so far 8.5ppg, 6.7rpg and 1.4apg in the 10 games.

   #9. Nikola Vukovic (202-F/C-94) helped Mladost Zemun win their game against the closely-ranked Mladost Cacak 71-56 in the Serbian B League (second division) last Saturday. Vukovic recorded a double-double by scoring 13 points and getting 17 rebounds. Vukovic is ranked third on the list of the best rebounders in the league. He has averaged so far 9.4ppg and 8.3rpg.

   #10. Nikola Vucurovic (200-G/F-80, another player represented by Global Sports Plaza) helped MZT Skopje win their game against the closely-ranked Feni Indistrija 79-75 in the FYR Macedonian Superleague on Saturday night. Vucurovic recorded 10 points in 24 minutes. He has averaged so far 8.6ppg, 3.5rpg and 1.5apg in the 10 games.


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


Standings
NBA Standings
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Div.
 1. Philadelph.76 26-21 
 2. Boston C. 25-21 
 3. New York K. 23-24 
 4. Toronto R. 15-32 
 5. New Jersey N. 15-33 
Central Div.
 1. Chicago B. 39-10 
 2. Indiana P. 27-18 
 3. Milwaukee B. 21-25 
 4. Cleveland C. 17-27 
 5. Detroit P. 16-30 
Southeast Div.
 1. Miami Heat 34-11 
 2. Orlando M. 30-18 
 3. Atlanta H. 27-20 
 4. Washington W. 11-35 
 5. Charlotte B. 7-37 
Western Conference
Northwest Div.
 1. Oklah.City T. 35-12 
 2. Denver N. 26-21 
 3. Utah Jazz 25-22 
 4. Minnesota T. 23-25 
 5. Portland TB 22-25 
Pacific Div.
 1. LA Lakers 29-18 
 2. LA Clippers 26-21 
 3. Phoenix Suns 23-24 
 4. Golde State W. 19-26 
 5. Sacramento K. 17-30 
Southwest Div.
 1. San Antonio S. 30-14 
 2. Dallas M. 27-21 
 3. Houston R. 26-22 
 4. Memphis G. 25-20 
 5. N.Orleans H. 12-35 


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Kobe BRYANT
  LA Lakers
  (198-G-78)
  Avg: 28.7
 1. Bryant, LA Lakers28.7 
 2. Durant, Oklah.Ci.27.6 
 3. James, Miami Heat27.2 
 4. Love, Minnesota T.25.7 
 5. Westbrook, Oklah..23.8 
 6. Wade, Miami Heat22.9 
 7. Rose, Chicago B.22.8 
 8. Williams, New J.22.0 
 9. Ellis, Golde S.21.9 
 10. Aldridge, Portlan.21.2 
Rebounds Per Game
 Dwight HOWARD
  Orlando M.
  (211-C-85)
  Avg: 14.8
 1. Howard, Orlando M.14.8 
 2. Love, Minnesota T.13.7 
 3. Bynum, LA Lakers12.6 
 4. Varejao, Clevelan.11.5 
 5. Humphries, New J.11.0 
 6. Cousins, Sacramen.10.9 
 7. Griffin, LA Clipp.10.9 
 8. Gasol, LA Lakers10.2 
 9. Noah, Chicago B.10.1 
 10. Gortat, Phoenix10.0 
Assists Per Game
 Steve NASH
  Phoenix Suns
  (190-PG-74)
  Avg: 11
 1. Nash, Phoenix Suns11.0 
 2. Rondo, Boston C.10.5 
 3. Paul, LA Clippers8.5 
 4. Calderon, Toron.8.5 
 5. Rubio, Minnesot.8.2 
 6. Parker, San A.8.0 
 7. Rose, Chicago B.8.0 
 8. Williams, New J.8.0 
 9. Wall, Washington W.7.9 
 10. Conley, Memphis G.7.4 
Steals Per Game
 Mike CONLEY
  Memphis G.
  (186-PG-87)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Conley, Memphis G.2.5 
 2. Paul, LA Clippers2.4 
 3. Rubio, Minnesot.2.2 
 4. James, Miami Heat1.9 
 5. Lowry, Houston R.1.8 
 6. Rondo, Boston C.1.8 
 7. Millsap, Utah Jazz1.8 
 8. Iguodala, Philadel.1.8 
 9. Shumpert, New Y.1.8 
 10. Kidd, Dallas M.1.8 
Blocks Per Game
 Serge IBAKA
  Oklah.Ci.
  (208-C/F-89)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Ibaka, Oklah.Ci.3.3 
 2. McGee, Washingt.2.5 
 3. Howard, Orlando M.2.2 
 4. Jordan, LA Clippers2.2 
 5. Bynum, LA Lakers2.0 
 6. Gasol, Memphis G.1.9 
 7. Dalembert, Houst.1.9 
 8. Smith, Atlanta H.1.9 
 9. Hibbert, Indiana P.1.8 
 10. Biyombo, Charlott.1.8 


Iverson not joining Dominican Republic team - by Eurobasket News
The manager for Allen Iverson (6'1''-G-75, college: Georgetown) says the former NBA star will not play for a team in the Dominican Republic.

Gary Moore says Iverson has not signed nor is he considering signing with any team.

Earlier Thursday, Pueblo Nuevo team president Milton Nunez told The Associated Press the 36-year-old guard would play for his team.

Moore says Iverson is 'shocked' by Nunez's announcement.

Moore says Iverson is still working out, 'waiting for another opportunity.'

Iverson left the NBA in 2010. He was the NBA's MVP in 2001, when he led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA finals. In 14 seasons in the NBA, he averaged 26.7 points. He has also played in Turkey.

Courtesy of www.usatoday.com


Spurs Snag Boris Diaw - by Bryan Floyd
The San Antonio Spurs have signed Boris Diaw (6'8''-PF-82) for the remainder of the season. The deadline to sign players who can still be playoff-eligible is today, so the Spurs had to move quickly. Diaw has averaged 9.4 ppg over his nine-year career and has some valuable playoff experience. Diaw was dealing with some conditioning issues in Charlotte and was struggling to play, but part of that could have been because the Bobcats have been so bad this season. The Spurs are hoping Diaw can come off the bench and provide a spark for the playoff run. Diaw will be reunited with his best friend Tony Parker so that may get him a little more hungry.

Pacers: Fesenko signs for rest of season - by Eurobasket News
The Indiana Pacers are getting some help in the middle to fill the gap left by Jeff Foster's retirement.

The Pacers signed center Kyrylo Fesenko (7'0''-C-86) on Thursday for the rest of the season.

Fesenko, a former second-round pick in 2007, spent his first four seasons with the Utah Jazz, where he averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 8.3 minutes. He'll compete with Lou Amundson to be Roy Hibbert's backup at center.

Foster announced his retirement Wednesday after 13 years with the Pacers because of chronic back problems.

'It's bittersweet for him,' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. 'He obviously had a great career. He's part of our identity. When we established smash-mouth basketball last year, he was almost the face of that with his defense, rebounding and protecting of the rim with his physicality.

'Not having that in there is a challenge for us, but we have had guys stepping up all year.'

Foster's biggest impact -- other than his blue-collar work ethic -- was on Hibbert, who said he respected the way Foster took care of his body and approached the game.

'That man never sat still,' Hibbert said. 'No matter what, he was always moving. It's very sad. I'm happy he was able to accomplish everything he did in his career. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to stay with us for this playoff run.'

Courtesy of www.indystar.com


Suns Hang On vs. Pacers, 113-111 - by Daniel Gibson
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.---The Phoenix Suns were coming in on a two game losing streak against the Pacers who had just pulled out a close win the night before in Washington. Last night the Pacers fought back and made the plays they needed to in the final minute, tonight they ball bounced the other way.

Steve Nash led the way with 17 assists and 12 points en route to a win, 113-111. Martin Gortat had 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting with eight rebounds and the veteran Grant Hill added 22 shooting 9-of-16 from the floor.

Danny Granger led the way for the Pacers with 28 points knocking down 9-of-13 shots and going 4-for-4 from three-point range. Roy Hibbert chipped in 19 points and Paul George had 15 but he needed to have 17 for the Pacers to send the game to overtime.

The game ended on a frantic sequence with George on the free-throw line. He made the first shot to draw within two points. The plan was to miss the second shot, get the rebound and tie the game up before the buzzer sounded. Everything went according to plan as George's shot hit the backboard and spun of the rim. The ball was tipped around and George came down with the rebound. It looked like Hill grabbed George's arm while George attempted the potential game-tying shot, which he missed.

The night before George used Twitter to voice his frustration about not getting foul calls, and tonight just backed up his argument. The Pacers have no time to hang their heads though as they host the Miami Heat on Monday night.


Smith Ruins CP3 Homecoming - by Miguel Rivera
In what started off as a great tribute to long-time star Chris Paul (6'0''-PG-85, college: Wake Forest), the New Orleans Hornets soured the evening with a display of poor sportsmanship by Jason Smith (7'0''-F-86, agency: Priority Sports, college: Colorado St.). Smith has become a regular contributor for the woeful Hornets, and had a nice night yesterday with 17 points and 8 rebounds, but displayed antics that have no place on the professional level.

In a close game throughout, Clippers star Blake Griffin (6'10''-F-89, college: Oklahoma) had a fast break look for a dunk, when Jason Smith comes hustling down the court to 'defend', throwing his left shoulder into a defenseless Griffin, which immediately threw Griffin to the ground. The hit looked like one that would've won the bounty for the New Orleans Hornets, so its safe to say it had no business in last night's NBA game. Smith was immediately ejected from the game.

Flagrant fouls are a part of the game, and Smith's foul was no different. But what made this incident even worse was Smith's reaction to being ejected from the game. As he was being escorted out by security, Smith was waving his arms, to gain praise from his home crowd, as if he had accomplished something honorable. Instead, all he did was to bring the wrong type of attention to a game that should've been about honoring Chris Paul, and applauding the Hornets for pulling out a tough victory. Instead, it'll be about Smith and his selfish acts.


Thursday's games review (6): Hornets beat Clippers 97-90 in Paul's return to NO - by Eurobasket News
Sacramento K. - Utah Jazz 102-103
Al Jefferson's (6'10''-F/C-85) putback with 0.9 seconds remaining lifted the Utah Jazz to a 103-102 win over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night. The Jazz went almost 9 minutes without a basket in the fourth quarter and blew a 14-point second-half lead before Jefferson bailed them out with the game-winner to silence the crowd. Jefferson finished with 26 points and seven rebounds, Derrick Favors (6'10''-F-91, college: Georgia Tech) added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Gordon Hayward scored 18 points for Utah, which remained one-half game behind Houston for eighth place in the Western Conference. Tyreke Evans scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Kings. Marcus Thornton added 22 points and 18 rebounds, but shot an airball on his 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Sacramento took the lead twice in the final 28 seconds but left Jefferson alone under the basket after Kings center DeMarcus Cousins left to try to block Devin Harris from the right baseline. Harris, whose 17-foot jumper earlier had given Utah a 99-97 lead with 1:06 to go, said after the game he was trying to pass the ball to Jefferson all along. The official scorekeeper ruled it a shot. Jefferson went 13 for 19 from the floor for the Jazz, who have won five straight. Utah won despite a long scoring drought to begin the fourth quarter when the scored only eight points, six coming on free throws. The Jazz ended the skid by making four shots in the final 96 seconds to stay close to Houston in the race for the No. 8 seed in the West. Utah limped into the game without several key players. The Jazz lost forward Josh Howard to a possible season-ending knee injury earlier in the week and was also without reserves Earl Watson (sprained left ankle) and Raja Bell (strained right adductor). It didn't seem to bother them much against Sacramento, which started off well but went through a big slump in the second and third quarters to fall behind. Evans nearly rallied the Kings in his second game as reserve. He scored seven of Sacramento's first 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a behind-the-back layup that put the Kings up 96-95 with 3:11 left. Thornton's free throw extended Sacramento's lead before Jefferson tied it at 97-all with a 17-foot jumper. Harris then put the Jazz up with his own 17-footer. After Thornton's 3 put the Kings back on top, Alec Burks banked in a short off-balance jumper with 12.3 seconds left to give Utah the lead. Thornton's driving layup with 4.1 seconds left gave Sacramento a 102-101 lead but the Kings failed to defend Jefferson at the other end. Harris finished with 14 points and six assists for Utah while Paul Millsap had 10 points and seven rebounds. Jefferson had 12 points in the first quarter and the Jazz closed the period on a 10-2 run to take a 30-26 lead. Jefferson also harassed Cousins defensively, forcing the Kings center into 2-of-10 shooting early. Sacramento made only two shots over an 8-minute span before Evans provided a spark off the bench. Evans, who has been nursing a sprained left ankle, scored six straight points and Jimmer Fredette made a 3-pointer to pull the Kings within 42-35. Evans made his first five shots and had 12 points in the first half but Utah still led 58-48 at the break. The Jazz, who went into the night with only six road wins, led by 14 in the third quarter before Sacramento made its run in the fourth. *Courtesy of www.foxnews.com

N.Orleans H. - LA Clippers 97-90
Chris Kaman (7'0''-C-82, college: Cent.Michigan) scored 20 points and the Hornets rallied for a 97-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, spoiling Chris Paul (6'0''-PG-85, college: Wake Forest) 's return to New Orleans. The Clippers were held to 11 points in the fourth quarter as they shot 4 for 23 from the field. Los Angeles also missed its last 19 3-point attempts. After trailing throughout the first three quarters, the Hornets went ahead with an 11-2 run at the start of the fourth and led the rest of the way. Jarrett Jack and Jason Smith each scored 17 as New Orleans snapped a five-game home losing streak and won for only the 12th time in 47 games this season. Blake Griffin had 21 points for Los Angeles, which has lost three in a row for the first time this season. Paul, who forced a trade from New Orleans before the season after six years as the face of the franchise, added 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting. Jack, Paul's replacement as the starting point guard in New Orleans, put the Hornets ahead for the first time, 80-79, with a jumper in the lane. After the Clippers tied the score at 81, Xavier Henry hit a fallaway buzzer-beater to put New Orleans ahead for good, Jason Smith dunked off a beautiful bounce pass from Greivis Vazquez and Smith sank an outside shot to give the Hornets a six-point lead. The game took an ugly turn with 4:06 left when Smith body-slammed Griffin to the floor on a fastbreak. Paul followed Smith into the concourse behind the basket and had words with him as several players jawed at each other. Smith was assessed a flagrant 2 foul, which carries an automatic ejection, but left the court to a loud ovation. Griffin hit both free throws, but the Clippers failed to score on the ensuing possession and never caught up. Typical of their frustration, DeAndre Jordan shot an air ball from 3 feet that turned into a shot clock violation with the Hornets leading 93-89. Griffin cut the gap to 93-90 on a free throw with 54.2 seconds left, but Randy Foye missed a 3 that would have tied it on Los Angeles' next possession. Marco Belinelli's two free throws with 14.9 seconds left gave New Orleans a 95-90 lead. Paul and Nick Young then missed desperation 3s in the final seconds. Paul, a four-time All-Star with the Hornets, drew a mixed reaction. He was greeted with cheers and boos in the introduction. A tribute that ran on the video screens above the court at the end of the first quarter -- focusing on his off-court projects with kids in New Orleans -- drew a loud ovation, and he waved his acknowledgement while standing in front of the Clippers' bench. But fans cheered again when he picked up his third foul late in the second quarter and even started screaming 'Beat L.A.,' a chant normally reserved for the Lakers. Paul needed only 16 seconds for his first assist, a pass to Randy Foye for a 3-pointer. He had three assists on the Clippers' first four baskets and also scored on a driving layup and a wide open 3-pointer from the top of the key in the first 8 minutes. That was part of the Clippers' 35-point outburst -- the most points the Hornets have allowed in the first quarter all season -- and Los Angeles led by six. They had three dunks, including one by Young over Smith immediately after Smith blocked a dunk attempt by Jordan. But the Clippers slowed down dramatically from there, failing to score 100 points for the ninth consecutive game. Paul had five assists in the open quarter and only four more the rest of the way. He also did not have a rebound. Jack outscored him by 1 and matched his nine assists. *Courtesy of www.boston.com

Milwaukee B. - Boston C. 91-100
The Boston Celtics brought the Milwaukee Bucks back to earth. The Celtics, bolstered by Paul Pierce (6'7''-F/G-77, college: Kansas) and their bench, beat the Bucks 100-91 on Thursday night at the Bradley Center. The Celtics' snapped the Bucks' six-game winning streak, which was the longest in the NBA. The victory improved the Celtics' record to 25-21 and kept them in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The loss dropped the Bucks' record to 21-25 and put them 11/2 games behind New York, which is in the eighth and final playoff spot. Pierce virtually had his way against the Bucks. Pierce, connecting on 10-of-15 shots from the floor, finished with a game-high 25 points. The Celtics also got some nice performances from their reserves, mainly Mickael Pietrus, Greg Stiemsma, Avery Bradley and Keyon Dooling. That group was instrumental in the Celtics taking control at the outset of the fourth quarter. That's when the Celtics outscored the Bucks in the first four minutes of the period to take an 82-73 lead. The Celtics were never seriously threatened the rest of the way. Besides Pierce, the Celtics had four other players score in double figures. Kevin Garnett totaled 16 points along with 10 rebounds, Pietrus had 13 points, Brandon Bass had 12 points and Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 14 assists. The Bucks, who shot a dismal 3-for-15 from beyond the arc, were led by point guard Brandon Jennings. He had 19 points. Carlos Delfino contributed 16 points for the Bucks, and Ersan Ilyasova (6'10''-F-87) finished with a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds. It didn't take long to realize the importance of this game for the Bucks. A little more than two minutes into the game, Bucks coach Scott Skiles stormed off the bench and protested a non-goaltending call against Garnett, who had rejected a shot by Jennings. Skiles was assessed a technical. The intensity of the game remained high the rest of the way. The Celtics moved to a 35-29 lead after the first quarter, thanks in large part to Pierce, who scored 11 points in the period by making 5 of 8 shots from the field. But the Bucks put the clamps on Pierce in the second quarter and held him scoreless. That enabled the Bucks to take a 58-56 advantage at halftime. Delfino and Ilyasova each finished the first half with 12 points, while Jennings and Mike Dunleavy, who has been playing well off the bench, contributed 11 points. Besides Pierce's 11 points, the Celtics got eight points apiece from Bass and Rondo in the opening half. The game was the seventh of eight straight games on the road for the Celtics. They are 4-3 in that stretch. Monta Ellis, whom the Bucks acquired in a trade with Golden State last Tuesday, played his first game as a Buck at the Bradley Center. But Ellis struggled most of the game. While he totaled 13 points, he managed to make just 6 of 18 field-goal attempts. *Courtesy of http://sports.yahoo.com

Houston R. - Golde State W. 109-83
Rookie Chandler Parsons (6'9''-F-88, agency: Priority Sports, college: Florida) had 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, leading the Houston Rockets to a 109-83 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. Goran Dragic (6'5''-PG-86) added 17 points and nine assists for the Rockets, who dominated the Warriors inside, outrebounding Golden State 48-31 and scoring 58 points in the paint. Luis Scola scored 18 and Samuel Dalembert added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Richard Jefferson scored 14 points and David Lee added 12 for the Warriors, who've lost five of their last six games. The Rockets maintained their hold on the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference by beating Golden State for the 13th time in the last 15 meetings. The Warriors have lost seven straight games in Houston dating to December 2007. The Rockets hit 11 of their first 14 shots, most of them from close range, to quickly build a 14-point lead. The Warriors gave away five turnovers in the first nine minutes to help Houston widen the gap. Scola started 5 for 6 from the field and flipped in an easy hook shot for a 30-16 lead. Golden State rallied in the second quarter against a Houston lineup of mostly reserves. Jefferson finished a fast break with a dunk and swished a 3-pointer during a 17-5 run that cut the deficit to 37-35. Dragic and Parsons answered with back-to-back 3-pointers and the Rockets extended the lead again. Parsons, Scola and Dragic were all in double figures by halftime and Houston led 56-47. The Rockets scored 34 points in the paint in the first half. Scola started the second half with a three-point play, following a hard collision with Lee. Scola broke free for a layup on Houston's next possessions, as the Warriors continued to give up easy baskets underneath. Nate Robinson was called for a flagrant foul when he wrestled down Dragic on a breakaway. Dragic landed hard on his tailbone and slid into the base of the stanchion, but he stayed in the game. Houston's left-handed point guard then threw a perfect alley-oop pass to Dalembert for a dunk for a 68-53 lead five minutes into the third quarter. Dragic sank a 3-pointer later in the quarter to stretch the lead over 20 for the first time. The Rockets outrebounded the Warriors 15-4 in the third quarter and took an 84-67 lead to the fourth. Houston's reserves kept control in the final quarter, and rookie Marcus Morris' mid-range jumper with 4:19 left put the Rockets over 100 points for the sixth time in eight games. *Courtesy of www.ktvn.com

Portland TB - Memphis G. 97-93
This season is not a lost cause to the Portland Trail Blazers. Nicolas Batum (6'7''-F-88) had 24 points and the new-look Blazers held off the Memphis Grizzlies 97-93 on Thursday. Jamal Crawford (6'5''-G-80, college: Michigan) added 17 points, including four clutch free throws in the final seconds as Portland snapped a two-game skid to even to 2-2 under interim head coach Kaleb Canales. There had been plenty of speculation that the obviously rebuilding Blazers were just hoping to finish out the season the best they could after dismissing head coach Nate McMillan and trading away a pair of starters. The Blazers went into the night with nine losses in their last 12 games. 'We never felt like that,' LaMarcus Aldridge proclaimed after scoring 16 points in the win. Marc Gasol's layup for Memphis narrowed it to 91-88 with 2:15 to go. Neither side could get a shot to fall as time wound down, but Wesley Matthews made two free throws for Portland before Mike Conley's 3-pointer kept the Grizzlies close at 93-91. Crawford's two free throws with 13 seconds left gave Portland some cushion and after O.J. Mayo made a layup for the Grizzlies, Crawford added two more for the final margin. Rudy Gay missed a 3 at the buzzer for Memphis. 'We're still in this,' said Matthews, who had 18 points and nine rebounds. 'We fully believe will make the playoffs.' Gasol finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost four of their last five games. Memphis saw the debut of Gilbert Arenas, who was signed Tuesday for the rest of the season. The 30-year-old guard has not played since finishing last season with the Orlando Magic. Arenas has averaged 21.2 points and 5.4 assists per game in his nine-year career, but has been slowed considerably by knee injuries. The Magic acquired Arenas from Washington last season, but used the NBA's amnesty cause to waive him in December. 'Before today I didn't know I was playing,' he said. 'Leaving Memphis I thought I was gonna be inactive until I got myself in shape, but they told me right before the game I was going to get thrown right into the fire.' Arenas gave himself an average grade, finishing with two points and two assists in 11 minutes 'I thought I did all right for coming off the couch,' he said. 'All I want to do is help the team out, play some defense and not embarrass myself out there.' J.J. Hickson was in uniform but did not play for the Blazers. The 6-foot-9 forward as waived by Sacramento on Tuesday and claimed by Portland on Wednesday. It was the latest of a serious of moves by the Blazers. In addition to dismissing head coach McMillan, Portland traded starters Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace at the deadline. Often-injured former No. 1 draft Greg Oden was also let go. Hickson played 35 games for the Kings, averaging 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18.4 minutes, but he had been limited in the last 10 games because of back spasms. The Blazers activated him shortly before the game. The Blazers made all 25 of their free throw attempts. It was the most they'd made without a miss since they went 30-for-30 on Nov. 30, 1986 at Indiana. 'It felt good. It felt really good,' said Crawford, who did his part by making all 10 of his foul shots. 'It reminded me of the beginning [of the season] and the times we had really big wins against good teams. Hopefully we can see more of that but that's on us to go out and perform.' The Blazers led by seven points in the first quarter, but the Grizzlies closed in midway through the second and former Blazer Zach Randolph put Memphis in front 37-36 with 4:53 left in the half. Batum answered with a 3 to put the Blazers back in front and Portland led 49-44 at the break. Randolph, who played for the Blazers from 2001-07, appeared in his fourth game since missing 37 with a torn right MCL. He led the Grizzlies with 12 points at the break. Gasol's dunk made it 57-all and he added a free throw to put Memphis in front before Conely made two straight jumpers to go up 62-57. The Grizzlies led by seven points before Portland rallied to take a 73-71 lead on Crawford's turnaround jumper. Portland stretched the advantage to 81-74 on Aldridge's tip-in before Memphis narrowed it on Tony Allen's tip and 3-pointer. Allen's 3 pulled the Grizzlies to 83-82 with 4:39 left, but after Aldridge hit a pair of free throws, Matthews' 3 made it 88-82 for the Blazers. 'We made a couple of mistakes,' Gasol said. 'Had a couple of turnovers, missed a couple of shots, didn't execute the way we wanted to. And that was the game.' *Courtesy of www.cbssports.com

Washington W. - Indiana P. 83-85
David West (6'8''-F-80, college: Xavier) grabbed three offensive rebounds in the final 70 seconds, Darren Collison (6'0''-PG-87, college: UCLA) made a key steal of an inbounds pass, and Paul George's 3-pointer with 1:01 to play gave the Indiana Pacers their first lead of the game, completing a 22-point comeback Thursday night for an 85-83 win over the Washington Wizards. The Pacers effectively kept the ball away from the Wizards in the game's final minute until Washington got one final possession with 9.5 seconds to play. John Wall, trying to find room for an open shot, essentially dribbled out the clock, making a would-be-tying 12-footer after the horn had sounded. Roy Hibbert scored 19 points, Danny Granger had 16, and West and George finished with 13 apiece for the Pacers, who recovered from an abysmal first half in which they were outshot, outhustled and outrun by one of the worst teams in the NBA. Down by 20 at halftime, Indiana roared back with an 11-0 third-quarter run led by Granger, and rode Hibbert through the middle of the fourth quarter to stay close. Granger made a pair of free throws with 1:42 left to cut the deficit to two, then George made the 3-pointer that put the Pacers in front. Collison then alertly stole Nene's nonchalant inbounds pass, and the Pacers kept getting rebounds from their own missed shots until Collison made 1 of 2 free throws with 9.5 seconds to play. Jordan Crawford scored 21 points, Chris Singleton matched his career-high with 16, and Wall had 16 points and nine assists for the Wizards. For a while, it appeared the Wizards would ride the Nene effect to another win. In his second game with the Wizards since the trade deadline swap that brought him over from the Denver Nuggets, the Brazilian was the catalyst for a team's 6 for 6 start with six assists, a burst that put Washington in good shape to possibly sweep games on back-to-back nights for the first time in more than two years. But Nene's presence diminished after the first quarter. He finished with six points, five rebounds and three turnovers. The Pacers were outrebounded 24-14 and outrun 18-2 in fast-break points in the first half, and West had his left pinkie bent backward while trying to grab a rebound in the third quarter and did not return until early in the fourth. By then, however, his teammates had the momentum and went on to get their second straight win. *Courtesy of http://abcnews.go.com


Von Wafer wants to stay in Orlando - by Eurobasket News
Von Wafer (6'5''-G-85, agency: VVG Sports, college: Florida St.) has fallen out of Stan Van Gundy's rotation, but the 26-year-old hasnt asked the Orlando Magic for a buyout. He wants to make things work in Orlando and is working hard to move back up the depth chart.

Wafer was recently deactivated and rumors began to surface that the Magic may waive him. However, Wafers camp hasnt asked to be bought out and they expect the shooting guard to finish the season in Orlando.

On Thursday, there was a report saying that the Italian team Milano would express interest in Wafer should he be waived. However, sources close to the Wafer say that he wants to remain in the NBA. If the Magic do decide to waive Wafer, expect him to sign with another NBA team.

Courtesy of www.hoopsworld.com


Ricky Rubio knee surgery successful - by Eurobasket News
Spanish national team mainstay and Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (6'4''-G-90) underwent surgery in Vail, Colorado Wednesday to reconstruct two torn ligaments in his left knee.

The injury occured in the Timberwolves' loss against the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the month when the point guard was defending Kobe Bryant.

Rubio is expected to miss the rest of the season for Minnesota. He also won't be a part of the Spanish national team's Olympic campaign in London this summer.

The 22-year-old averaged 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists with 2.2 steals in 41 games played with the Timberwolves.

Courtesy of www.gmanetwork.com


Jamaal Tinsley revives career - by Eurobasket News
One year ago, Jamaal Tinsley (6'3''-G-78, college: Iowa St.) was in LA Fitness doing two-a-days. He was training in Atlanta, preparing to make his comeback. It had been over a year since he had last played in the NBA, but he was only 33 years old. When he wasnt working out, he would watch NBA games and see the same players that he used to run circles around.

It was difficult, knowing you can still be out there and competing with the best of them, Tinsley said. I got up early every day and worked out. I did lots of shooting and lots of conditioning. I maintained a healthy diet and watched tons of basketball.

After months of hard work and a stint with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, Tinsley made his way back onto a roster. He received interest from a number of teams, but ultimately signed a one-year-deal with the Utah Jazz.

This season, Tinsley has been a class act in Utah. He has emerged as a leader for the Jazz and has been extremely vocal with his young teammates. Al Jefferson gave him the nickname The Voice since hes always yelling at the group during games and practices.

He has also led by example, showing up to training camp in excellent shape and accepting his role. He only appeared in 12 games prior to the All-Star break, but he remained professional and vocal. Tinsley cheered on his teammates and offered advice from the bench.

There are some things you cant control, but you can control staying in shape, eating healthy and producing when your number is called, Tinsley said.

Since the All-Star break, Earl Watson has been sidelined with an ankle injury and Tinsley has stepped up in his absence. He is averaging 6.9 points and 4 assists in 16.4 minutes. When given the opportunity to start, he posted 9 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. As Tinsley believed last year, he still has plenty left in the tank and can contribute when given the opportunity.

Im playing with a group of guys who understand the game and they want to get better, Tinsley said. They make my job easy when Im on the court.

Utah has won four straight games and the team is playing well as they make a push for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Tinsley has been effective backing up Devin Harris, providing a spark off the bench and displaying his tremendous court vision.

On Tuesday night, the Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 97-90. The highlight of the night was when Tinsley dribbled between Nazr Mohammads legs and knocked down an open jumper. The play electrified the home crowd and shifted the momentum in Utahs favor.

It was nice, but the win was even better, Tinsley said.

Tinsley has become a significant contributor for the Jazz, who are just a half game out of the playoff picture in the West. This season, he has shown that he can still compete at this level. He belongs in an NBA arena, not in an LA Fitness gym.

Courtesy of www.hoopsworld.com


Vinny Del Negro losing Clippers? - by Eurobasket News
With the Los Angeles Clippers in free fall, tensions are high in the club's locker room, most notably in the relationship between coach Vinny Del Negro and his players, according to several sources close to the situation.

'Vinny has lost the team,' one source said. 'They don't want to play hard for him.'

With the Clippers having lost 11 of their past 18 games to turn this once-promising season into a mess, Del Negro's job security would certainly seem to be in jeopardy. As it is, Del Negro is in the final guaranteed season of his contract. The Clippers hold a team option for next season.

Most of the players, according to sources, believe it's time for a change. They cite the uncertainty of Del Negro's rotation as a major problem. With the front office adding several players to the roster throughout this shortened season -- Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, Bobby Simmons and Nick Young -- plus Eric Bledsoe's return from injury in February, players' minutes have fluctuated from game to game.

For instance, in one four-game stretch this month, Bledsoe played 6 minutes one game, 16 the next, then 4 minutes, then 17. And while starting at shooting guard, Randy Foye has played 35 minutes on some nights and 14 or 16 on others. This week, he lost his starting job to Young and did not play a minute in Tuesday's loss to Indiana.

Beyond that, players have complained that Del Negro's offensive and defensive schemes are too basic and predictable and they say he plays favorites when handing out criticism, according to the sources. They say while he refuses to harshly criticize stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, he does not hold back in jumping on the team's lesser players.

'That's a big problem,' one player said. 'The best coaches jump on whoever deserves it, no matter who it is.'

After beating Miami, Oklahoma City, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers en route to a 19-9 start, the Clippers, who have an 11-13 record since Chauncey Billups went down with an Achilles injury, have fallen to the fifth seed in the Western Conference and are just two games ahead of ninth-place Utah.

Courtesy of ESPN


Oklahoma City 149, Minnesota 140 - by Milord Nikolic
Russell Westbrook scored nine of his career-high 45 points in the second overtime as host Oklahoma City withstood Kevin Love's 51 points to beat Minnesota for the 11th consecutive time. Kevin Durant added 40 points and a season-high 17 rebounds as the Thunder won back-to-back games for the first time since March 7. Love set a franchise record and a career high with the 51 points and added 14 rebounds. Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea also turned in a spectacular effort, recording a triple-double with 25 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. The Thunder erased a five-point deficit in the final 46 seconds of the first overtime, getting a tying 3-pointer from Durant with 10.1 seconds left. Durant seemingly had won the game in regulation when he buried a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in regulation, only to see Love drilled a tying shot from behind the arc with one second left to force overtime. James Harden added 25 points for the Thunder. Anthony Tolliver scored 23 for the Timberwolves, who went 2-5 on their seven-game road trip.

Kelenna Azubuike will sign with Dallas Mavericks - by Eurobasket News
Dallas Mavericks are aiming at signing contract with Kelenna Azubuike (6'5''-G/F-83, college: Kentucky). The British swingman has not been playing since 2009/10 season. He was last seen in the Golden State Warriors. Kelenna Azubuike tallied 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 block per game that season. He sustained a knee injury and had to sit out the last season. However the process of rehabilitation seems to have gone pretty well and the Mavs are ready to get the forward on board. Kelenna Azubuike is expected to sign a deal for the reminder of the season with the option of extending for the next season. Azubuike played for the Rockets, Warriors in the NBA as well as Fort Worth Flyers in the D-League. Kelenna Azubuike is expected to join the Mavericks D-League affiliate team Texas Legends. The forward may get to action as soon as Saturday when the Legends face the Maine Red Claws.

Rick Adelman criticizes Darko Milicic - by Eurobasket News
The Timberwolves sent starting center Nikola Pekovic (6'11''-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) home to Minnesota to seek new treatment for his two hurting ankles while his teammates wrap up a seven-game, 13-day road trip by playing the two best teams in the West.

Wolves coach Rick Adelman compensated Wednesday at San Antonio by starting rookie Derrick Williams alongside Kevin Love in a small lineup, while 7-foot Darko Milicic (7'0''-C-85) remained on the sideline and out of favor.

Milicic was inactive for Monday's victory against Golden State and its smallish lineup after he started Sunday at Sacramento but played only the first six minutes. He did not play in the two games before that and was inactive the game before. This season, he has missed games some nights because of a variety of injuries and other nights because Adelman has chosen not to play him.

'He hasn't done anything to really give you a lot of faith that he's going to go out and do the job,' Adelman said of Milicic. 'He's gotten himself out of shape. He hasn't been as driven as you'd like so when a situation like this happens, it's time for someone to have their opportunity and get back in there. Today, [Williams] going to get his chance and Anthony Randolph is going to get his chance and we'll see if any of those guys can step up.'

Adelman then went out and relied on a small lineup that featured Love, Williams and Anthony Tolliver.

Surgery repairs two ligaments
Ricky Rubio underwent surgery Wednesday in Vail, Colo., that repaired both his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament. The LCL tear was not found until he arrived in Colorado, where noted knee surgeon Richard Steadman performed the operation.

The team called the operation 'successful' in a news release. It has not put a timetable on Rubio's recovery, but such an injury usually requires six to nine months.

Wolves basketball boss David Kahn flew to Vail after Monday's game at Golden State to be with Rubio.

Playing without Pek
Pekovic played a little more than 11 minutes on Monday at Golden State and was in obvious pain, so the Wolves sent him home Wednesday after he had flown with the team from San Francisco to San Antonio on Tuesday.

Adelman said he's hopeful treatment will get Pekovic back by Sunday's home game by Denver.

'Even in that Golden State game, you saw the difference at both ends when he's on the court,' Adelman said. 'Even though he could hardly move in that game, he was hurting them around the basket, which opens it up for Kevin [Love] and our guards. We're hoping we get him back, but we want to be really careful with him because he's a tough guy. When he was limping around out there, you knew something was drastically wrong.'

Beasley plays on
While Pekovic went home, forward Michael Beasley played Wednesday with that sprained big toe that he seems to aggravate each game. He played only 10 1/2 first-half minutes Monday because he said his foot stiffened on him during a 40-minute halftime ceremony in which the Warriors retired Chris Mullin's jersey.

'That long halftime kind of messed me up,' he said. 'Once it gets loose, I'm cool. Once I sit for 10, 15, 20, 40 minutes, the whole foot just locks up.

'I can move it better than the last couple games. It's just sore more than anything.'

Courtesy of www.startribune.com


Nuggets' Rudy Fernandez to have back surgery - by Eurobasket News
Denver Nuggets guard Rudy Fernandez (6'6''-G-85) needs surgery on his lower back and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.

Fernandez's back injury flared up against Dallas on March 19, prompting further evaluation and more diagnostic testing. He has missed 12 games this season due to the injury.

In 31 games for Denver this season, Fernandez averaged 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.03 steals. He was acquired by the Nuggets, along with Corey Brewer, from Dallas in exchange for a future second-round pick on December 13, 2011.

A date for the surgery has yet to be scheduled.

Courtesy of www.sacbee.com


GS Warriors sign Mickell Gladness to 10-day contract - by Eurobasket News
The Warriors have been looking for a backup center since Kwame Brown tore a chest muscle Jan. 10, and after flirtations with Kyrylo Fesenko and a three-week audition for Earl Barron, they settled on Mickell Gladness (6'11''-F/C-86) on Thursday.

The Warriors were interested in inking Gladness earlier, but he opted to sign a second and final 10-day contract with Miami last month. Since the Heat didnt t sign him for the rest of the season, the Warriors were able to make another run at him.

The 6-foot-11, 220-pound rookie averaged 0.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.1 blocked shots in his first eight games for the Miami Heat, but the Warriors are banking on flashes hes shown in the past. Gladness, who was waived by Miami on Feb. 7 and re-signed to an initial 10-day contract Feb. 12, has displayed improvement in three NBA Development League seasons and was one of the best rim protectors in college history.

He played three seasons at Alabama A&M after transferring from Lawson State Community College (Alabama), appearing in 85 games at Alabama A&M and averaging 7.3 points and seven rebounds in 26.8 minutes. He made his name as the back-to-back SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, finishing his career with 4.7 blocked shots a game.

As a junior, he averaged 6.4 blocked shots a game, including setting an NCAA single-record with 16 against Texas Southern on Feb. 24, 2007.

Gladness wasnt drafted, and played in Holland before moving to the D-League. Hes improved his scoring, rebounding and block averages in each of his three seasons with Rio Grande Valley and Dakota, topping out this season with 7.8 points on 70 percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game.

Courtesy of www.sfgate.com


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  NBLCANADA   


Rainmen top Lightning; NBL title down to one game - by Eurobasket News
A fifth game will determine the first champion of the National Basketball League of Canada.

The Halifax Rainmen parlayed a huge third quarter into a 93-85 victory over the London Lightning on Thursday night at the Metro Centre, evening their best-of-five final at two wins apiece and setting the stage for a deciding game Sunday afternoon at the John Labatt Centre.

Following a scrpt they utilized Wednesday night in a stunning come-from-behind triumph, the Rainmen put together a blistering 19-2 run over a six-minute span of the third to wrest control from the Lightning and send the series back to London.

'We did what we wanted to do,' said rookie guard Chris Hagan (5'9''-G-89, college: Midwestern St.), who finished with 16 points and a game-high six assists.

'We came home, protected our home court and everybody played hard, gave maximum effort. Now we gotta go back there and finish it off.'

London was up 22-21 after a pair of Shamari Spears (6'6''-F-86, college: Charlotte) free throws with 40 seconds left in the first quarter produced the games eighth lead change.

Only one more would come.

The Lightning scored the first seven points of the second and Rodney Bufords deuce with just under seven minutes to go widened the gap to 38-27 before Halifax chiselled it to 48-42 at the break.

But the Rainmen had a third-quarter answer, just as a 19-4 streak Wednesday got them back into a contest they stole by dropping three unanswered hoops in the final 30 seconds.

This time, the Lightning were ahead 54-49 when Taliek Brown (6'1''-G-82, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Connecticut) converted the first of two straight drives to the basket with 5:33 gone in the period. By the time league MVP Gabe Freeman (6'6''-F-85, college: Costa Mesa JC) stopped the bleeding with 28 seconds remaining on a short baseline jumper, Halifax had opened up a 68-56 advantage, outscoring the visitors 26-10 in the quarter.

Brown led a balanced Rainmen attack with 20 points while Lawrence Wright (6'5''-F-84, college: Bradley) had 18 and Darnell Hugee (6'7''-F-85, college: Prairie View A&M) 12.

Freeman had game highs of 21 points and 21 rebounds, playing just under 45 minutes before fouling out with about a minute to go, much to the delight of 3,842 raucous fans.

Freeman became a lightning rod for the Metro Centre faithful after he and Rainmen veteran Eric Crookshank had a confrontation in Game 2 that sent Crookshank to the showers.

Crookshank, the fifth-year Rainman playing for his first championship, started for Halifax on Thursday and topped the team with 13 rebounds to go along with five points.

After Spears sank two foul shots to cut Halifaxs lead to 83-80 with 3 minutes left in the fourth, Crookshank replied with what might have been his biggest basket as a Rainman, slamming home a Wright miss just before the shot clock expired.

Wright followed with his own jam off a Lightning turnover and Tyrone Levett drained a three-point dagger to give the Rainmen a 90-80 spread and make the final 1:40 a formality.

'Micheal Ray said that we wouldnt go back to London,' said Crookshank, referring to London coach Micheal Ray Richardson. 'The series was over here, a sweep. Weve proved them wrong and were gonna prove them wrong again by getting this win in London.'

That wont be an easy task. The Lightning tied Halifax for the leagues best home record during the regular season at 16-2 and are unbeaten at the JLC in three playoff starts. The Rainmen havent won there in five tries this year.

But the Lightning also hadnt lost two games in a row all season until Wednesday and Thursday.

'In the playoffs, none of those stats matter,' Hagan said. 'If they matter to them, thats why theyre in the predicament theyre in now. So were gonna go there, were gonna play hard and were gonna try to make it three in a row.'

The Rainmen were playing for the sixth time in eight nights and travelled to and from London on the two days they didnt play. They finally have an off-day today before flying to London on Saturday afternoon.

Fatigue hasnt appeared to be a problem recently, though, something Levett chalked up to the Rainmens balance.

'Everybody was very productive today whether they played one minute or 50 minutes,' he said with some exaggeration.

The small forward, picked up in a trade for Buford early in the season, finished with nine points and nine rebounds before fouling out after 34 tough minutes.

He said he and his teammates were driven after the Lightning opened a 2-0 series lead.

'With our backs against the wall, theyre showing pictures, theyre laughing, theyre very cocky players and weve just proven to be who we are. We work very hard to earn everything we got.'

Courtesy of http://thechronicleherald.ca


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


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to enter draft - by Eurobasket News
Kentucky freshman forward Michael Gilchrist (6'7''-F-93) will enter the 2012 NBA draft after the Wildcats' season ends, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.

'He hopes he'll be able to announce right after they win the NCAA championship,' one source said. 'But even if they don't win it all, he's coming. He knows he's going to be a top-five pick. He can't pass that up.'

Kidd-Gilchrist responded to ESPN.com's report on Twitter later Thursday.

'I don't know where this is coming from. This is MY decision. Right now all I'm focused on my Teammates and winning Games,' Kidd-Gilchrist wrote. 'After the season Ill make a decision that's best for me and my family!

'Big Blue Nation Has nothing to worry about! Let's get (national championship) NUMBER 8'

Back in early March, Kidd-Gilchrist told reporters he would forgo the lures of the draft and stay in school.

'I'm graduating here,' he said. 'I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying at Kentucky.'

The 6-foot-7 Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game.

'He's the type of kid that you always want on your team,' one NBA general manager said. 'Coaches love him, his teammates love him and he does all the little things that matter on the court. He cares about winning and that's it. I doubt he ever looks at a box score.'

Courtesy of ESPN


Kansas 60, N.C. State 57 - by Milord Nikolic
National player of the year finalist Thomas Robinson had 18 points and 15 rebounds and Jeff Withey added a career-high 10 blocks, including one that denied a go-ahead basket in the final minute, to help No. 2 seed Kansas earn a matchup with former coach Roy Williams and North Carolina in the Midwest Regional final on Sunday in St. Louis. The second-seeded Jayhawks (30-6) seemed to have the game in hand, leading by eight with 3:48 left before the Wolfpack (24-13) reeled off seven straight points. C.J. Leslie, who led the 11th-seeded Wolfpack with 18 points, drove in for a layup that would have given N.C. State its first lead since a 33-32 halftime advantage, but Withey swatted his shot away to preserve the lead. Tyshawn Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one with 16.1 seconds left and Kansas leading 58-57, but the rebound went out of bounds off the Wolfpack. Elijah Johnson scored off an inbounds pass from Taylor to extend the lead to three. The Wolfpack didn't get off an attempt on their next possession, and their desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer came up well short. Robinson has scored in double digits in 24 consecutive games and has 26 double-doubles, breaking Drew Gooden's school record. Kansas has won 11 of 12 all-time meetings, including all four at neutral sites.

Ohio St makes East final, beats Cincinnati 81-66 - by Eurobasket News
Jared Sullinger (6'9''-F-92) and the Ohio State Buckeyes had blown a 12-point lead and fallen behind Cincinnati in the second half of the East Regional semifinals.

It was time for the 'cool guys' to take a seat, and let the blue-collar team take over.

Sullinger scored 23 points with 11 rebounds and Ohio State turned back Cincinnati's last charge with a 17-1 run to beat the Bearcats 81-66 on Thursday night and advance to the NCAA regional finals for the first time since 2007.

'We've got two types of basketball teams: We've got the cool guys and then the blue-collar guys,' Sullinger explained. 'I thought to start the second half we got into the cool-guy mode and we kind of let our guard down. ... I mean, we just came out and decided to be cool guys, and they came out and they stung us, and then we got ourselves back into another basketball game.'

Deshaun Thomas (6'7''-F-91) scored 26 points for the second-seeded Buckeyes (30-7), who will play Syracuse at the TD Garden on Saturday. Aaron Craft (6'2''-G-91) added 11 points all in the second half with five assists and six steals, taking charge during the second-half run that turned a four-point deficit into a double-digit lead.

Cashmere Wright (6'0''-G-90) scored 18 and Sean Kilpatrick (6'4''-G-90) had 15 for the No. 6 seeded Bearcats, who were attempting to match Big East rival Syracuse by beating a Big Ten opponent to advance to the East Regional finals. The top-seeded Orange advanced earlier Thursday by beating fourth-seeded Wisconsin 64-63.

It's the first trip to the regional finals for Ohio State since it lost in the 2007 championship game to Florida. The Buckeyes lost in the round of 16 in each of the past two years.

'Coach (Thad) Matta has been through two Sweet 16s where the train kind of stopped. And we wanted to make sure that this train was going to keep rolling,' Sullinger said. 'It's tremendous to be in a situation like this, and it's a blessing. But at the same time we can't lose focus.'

Wearing fluorescent orange shoelaces and piping on their jerseys, Cincinnati (26-11) fell behind by 12 at the half before going on a 19-4 run early in the second. The Bearcats led 52-48 with 11:34 to play when Matta called a timeout and ripped into his team.

The Buckeyes allowed just one free throw over the next 5 minutes.

'They had 20 points in nine minutes and were shooting 80 percent, and some of that goes to them,' Craft said. 'But we didn't play defense like we did in the first half. We did a great job of sticking together and getting stops.'

That effectively ended the season for Cincinnati, which fought its way back into prominence after a Dec. 10 brawl with crosstown rival Xavier.

The Musketeers, who were unbeaten and No. 8 in the nation at the time, lost their top three scorers and then five of their next six games. But Cincinnati, which fell to 5-3 with the 23-point loss at Xavier, won 10 of its next 11 games despite using a four-guard offense made necessary by the six-game suspensions of Yancy Gates and center Cheikh Mbodj.

The Bearcats reached the final of the Big East tournament and beat Texas and Florida State in the NCAAs to reach the regional semifinals for the first time since 2001.

'We've come a long way. I take a lot of pride in that. Nothing's been given to us,' Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. 'In the Big East, rebuilding a program has been a tough chore the last 10 years.'

Ohio State, which lost to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game, reached the round of 16 by beating 15th-seeded Loyola of Maryland and No. 7 seed Gonzaga. The Buckeyes were among four Ohio teams in the round of 16. Ohio plays North Carolina and Xavier plays Baylor on Friday.

Despite just about 100 miles separating their campuses along I-71, Ohio State and Cincinnati had played just once since the 1962 national championship game.

This one was evenly matched for about 30 minutes.

The Buckeyes led Cincinnati by five when Thomas hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Ohio State scored 10 of the last 13 points in the half to open a 37-25 lead. But Cincinnati opened the second half with a run of its own, tying it 41-all on JaQuon Parker's baby hook shot in the lane.

The Bearcats led 52-48 on Gates' three-point play with 11:34 left. But Ohio State scored 17 of the next 18 points to put it away.

'In the last 10 minutes, we challenged them. It was time,' Matta said. 'It's obviously a very, very good feeling to be down to eight tomorrow night, whenever the games end, with a lot at stake. I mean, so much is put on now, the NCAA tournament. I couldn't be happier for this team.'

Courtesy of www.chron.com


Top-seeded Syracuse beats Wisconsin 64-63 - by Eurobasket News
Syracuse will be playing for a spot in the Final Four because of numbers.

C.J. Fair (6'8''-F-91) put up some like he hadn't in a while, and the Orange finished with offensive statistics that Wisconsin just doesn't allow in a 64-63 victory in the East Regional semifinals Thursday night that wasn't secure until the final buzzer.

'Offensively we played very, very well and we had to play very, very well,' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.

Fair finished with 15 points five fewer than he had in the last six games combined on 7-of-9 shooting. The Orange scored 11 more than the Badgers allowed on average in leading Division I.

Syracuse shot 55 percent from the field, well above the 38.5 percent Wisconsin gave up this season, and the Orange were 5 of 9 from 3-point range, much better than the 28.8 percent the Badgers allowed.

All those numbers mean the Orange (34-2) will play second-seeded Ohio State (30-7) in the regional final Saturday with a trip to New Orleans at stake.

'I can't tell you how good it feels to win a game like this,' Boeheim said. 'This was a great, great game.'

And it wasn't decided until Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor (6'1''-PG-89) missed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left. Josh Gasser (6'3''-G) corralled the rebound but his toss toward the basket was off at the buzzer.

'It was on line, and I felt like I got my legs into it,' Taylor said. 'I knew it was a deep 3, but it felt good, and then to see it kind of come up short was kind of heartbreaking.'

Kris Joseph (6'7''-F-88), a 75 percent free throw shooter, had missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 18 seconds to go with Syracuse up by a point, giving the Badgers (26-10) a chance at the victory.

Passing the ball around the perimeter of the zone but not creating much space, Wisconsin had to settle for Taylor's shot.

'We were just trying to get an open shot and try and make them rotate in the zone,' Taylor said. 'We did a little bit, but they did a good job of recovering to open guys there. They used the length that they have and kind of forced us into a tough shot, and it obviously didn't go down. So it was tough. Hats off to them.'

The Badgers finished 14 of 27 from 3-point range but couldn't make one over the final 6 minutes after a stretch in the second half when they made six straight in as many possessions.

'I think we naturally tried to move out,' Boeheim said, referring to Syracuse's famed 2-3 zone. 'But you've got to get them off their spots. We didn't do that for a stretch out there. But they have terrific ball movement, and they have five guys that can shoot. There aren't that many teams like that.'

Scoop Jardine had 14 points for Syracuse, while Dion Waiters (6'4''-G-91) had 13 and Brandon Triche (6'4''-G-91) 11.

But it was Fair who made the difference after not being a factor late in the season.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, the Orange's fifth-leading scorer at 8.3 points per game, was 7 for 27 from the field over a six-game stretch. The Orange had been struggling offensively as well, failing to reach 60 points three times in their last seven games.

'Sometimes you just need to see the ball go in the rim,' Fair said.

Jared Berggren (6'10''-F/C-90) and Taylor both had 17 points for Wisconsin, which came in allowing 52.9 points per game.

Syracuse reached that many points with 9 minutes to play, but there were two lead changes and two ties still to come.

'It was a nailbiter, but we made some plays down the stretch and got a couple of stops,' Fair said.

Wisconsin, which averaged 7.7 3-pointers per game and has a season high of 15, hit its last 3 with 7:03 to play when Taylor gave the Badgers their final lead of the game, 59-56.

Syracuse went ahead for good on a spin move by Waiters with 6:03 to play, but the lead was never more than three points.

Gasser made two free throws with 31 seconds left to bring Wisconsin within 64-63.

'I think that was the best game anybody has ever played against us and didn't beat us,' Boeheim said.

The win was No. 890 overall for Boeheim, third on the all-time list, and it was his 48th in the NCAA tournament, breaking a tie for fifth place with John Wooden.

'Syracuse just has too many athletes that can do so many things, and it's hard to prepare for that on the defensive end. You think you're getting things done, but you're a step behind,' Badgers coach Bo Ryan said. 'So we did the best we could, and I thought we played great defense. Not everybody on the court agreed with that, but I thought we played unbelievable defense for the most part. '

Syracuse won again without starting center Fab Melo, who was declared ineligible for the tournament by the school just days before the Orange opened with a shaky win over 16th-seeded North Carolina-Asheville.

The Badgers were trying to reach the regional final for the first time since 2005.

Courtesy of http://news.yahoo.com


Will Barton says he'll enter NBA draft - by Eurobasket News
Memphis Tigers sophomore guard Will Barton (6'6''-G-91) announced Thursday he will leave the University of Memphis and enter the NBA draft.

The Conference USA Player of the Year was a five-star recruit for the Tigers out of Baltimore. He lead the Tigers in both scoring and rebounding, averaging more than 18 points and eight rebounds a game.

Tigers head coach Josh Pastner said his information is Barton could be selected anywhere from the 18th to the 33rd pick. Anything after 30th is in the second found and not guaranteed money.

Barton still has until April 10 to take his name out of the draft.

Courtesy of www.wmctv.com


Louisville outplays Michigan State, sends No. 1 Spartans packing - by Eurobasket News
When he examines a box score, Louisville point guard Peyton Siva (5'11''-PG-90) first looks at his assists and rebounds. 'Nine and two tonight,' he said in the locker room after the Cardinals crushed No. 1-seed Michigan State 57-44 in Thursday's Sweet 16 matchup. 'That's pretty good.'

But other numbers were what really popped off the page: seven blocks by 6-foot-11 sophomore Gorgui Dieng (6'10''-C-90). Perimeter shooting of 46.7 percent in the first half. Nine steals for the game. Twenty-eight point six percent field goal defense. Then Siva saw the rebounds: Louisville 39, Michigan State 36. 'Wow, Michigan State outrebounds people by eight a game!'

Louisville didn't just out-Spartan the Spartans on the glass. In advancing coach Rick Pitino's record in Sweet 16 games to a pristine 10-0, the Cardinals outplayed the Spartans, the best-shooting team in the NCAA tournament, in virtually every category. They wore them out on defense, outshot them from all over the floor, and forced them into 15 turnovers and a storm of bricks from the perimeter and the paint. Michigan State's 28.6 percent shooting and 44 points were the Spartans' worst ever in the NCAA tournament.

The Cardinals even outperformed the Spartans in the one area few people can outdo Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and his team of video breakdown artists: preparation.

'It was film, film, film,' said sophomore guard Russ Smith (6'0''-G-91), recounting the team's sojourn in the desert since the Cardinals arrived from Portland on Sunday. 'The day we landed, our 'off' day? That was film. Then it was film that night. Got up for breakfast. Film. After practice, film. Then we ate and we watched more film. Film for dinner, it was film, film, film.'

When the Spartans' freshman reserve guard Brandan Kearney, who had made only a cameo in the hours of film sessions, checked into the game in the first half for the first of two brief appearances, the Cardinals knew him, too. 'He wasn't on the film that much, but he subbed into the game and I remembered: Kearney!' said Smith. 'It was one of those things in the film you had to remember. We were all kind of laughing about that. We knew them inside out.'

All the preparation distilled down to three main goals: limit Michigan State's three-point shooting, beat them on the glass, and keep Dieng, who has been prone to foul trouble, in the game to make Michigan State's All-America Draymond Green (6'7''-F-90) think twice about driving the lane. Done, done and done. The Spartans hit just 5-of-21 shots from beyond the arc, for 23.8 percent; Louisville was plus three on the glass and Dieng had just three fouls. Meanwhile Green had 13 points and 16 rebounds but hit just 5-of-16 shots from the field.

It may not have been on the must-do list, but the Cardinals also got very hot on the perimeter in the first half, hitting 7-of-15 in the first half. Russ Smith came off the bench and hit two, and Jared Swopshire hit two in one game for the first time all season. Even Dieng, who has only shot two threes in his career (both misses) made one.

On offense everyone contributed but no one really stood out. Thirty-three minutes had passed before a Louisville player broke into double figures. (That was freshman Chase Behanan, who had a team leading 15 points for the night, along with nine rebounds and three steals) 'We're a really balanced offense, as you can see,' said Siva, pointing to the box score.

In forcing Michigan State into one of its worst games ever, did Louisville, now the winner of seven straight, play its best basketball of the season? In the locker room afterward, there was, of course, a balance of opinion. 'Nah, we've played better,' said Siva. 'It's definitely up there, because this one was to got to the Elite Eight,' added Swopshire, a junior forward who contributed two rebounds and two steals in addition to his two three-pointers.

Standing nearby senior guard Kyle Kuric (6'4''-G/F-89), who had seven points and three rebounds, didn't care how the game measured up. 'All that matters is that we played well enough to win,' he said. 'That's all that matters now, survive and move forward.'

Can Louisville survive one more time to make it to the Final Four?

The Cardinals' Elite Eight opponent, Florida, has had one of the best offensives in the country all year, highlighted by a perimeter attack that averages 9.8 three-pointers a game, best in the country. But the Gators have recently been playing great defense, too; they held Marquette, a great transition team, to 30.8 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from the three in their 68-58 win. 'I don't think we've come close to playing to our potential yet,' said Florida sophomore forward Patric Young (6'9''-F/C-92).

The Cardinals would no doubt say the same thing. And they know what that means for their next 36 hours: film, film, film.

Courtesy of http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com


Florida beats Marquette in West Region Semifinal - by Eurobasket News
What seemed unlikely early Thursday surprisingly came to fruition later, after both Florida and Louisville staged N.C.A.A. tournament upsets in the West Region, setting up a Saturday reunion with a Final Four berth at stake.

Florida did not limp into the tournament so much as it crawled, losing four of its final five games to receive a No. 7 seed, which seemed unfathomable last month. Then the tournament started. Then the Gators dispatched Virginia by 26 points and Norfolk State by 34.

On Thursday, the Gators run of tournament dominance continued with a 68-58 victory over Marquette, the third seed, at US Airways Center. The Gators (26-10) advanced to the regional final, where their coach, Billy Donovan, will square off against Coach Rick Pitino of Louisville, who also coached Donovan in college.

Outside of my parents, hes been the most influential person in my life, Donovan said after the game. The competition part will never, ever get in the way for me. Ever.

Earlier this week, the two could laugh about the way history unfolded: with Donovan and Pitino at Providence, with Donovan overweight and seeking to transfer, with Pitino happy to see him leave. Only Donovan did not leave. He stayed, lost the weight and led the Friars to the Final Four in 1986-87, which launched Pitinos coaching career and forged the bond with Pitino that led Donovan into coaching.

Pitino even referenced that Friars team Thursday, before his Cardinals upended top-seeded Michigan State, referencing how Providence will have a 25-year reunion this summer. He told his players that they were two wins from a reunion of their own. Make that one win, after Thursday.

Remnants of those Providence days still exist, including a media guide that featured Donovan on the cover, clad in boots, spurs and a cowboy hat, Providences version of Billy the Kid.

His Florida team, which lost forward Will Yeguete (6'7''-F-91) to a broken foot in late February, landed among the final eight teams because it plays a style suitable for the Wild West. The Gators roster contains no shortage of athletes, like guard Bradley Beal (6'3''-G-93), a potential N.B.A. lottery selection who paced Florida with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists on Thursday.

Florida jumped to a 36-30 halftime advantage largely because it shot the ball more accurately than Marquette, by roughly 12 percentage points. Beal led the Gators with 10 points, the only player who scored in double figures in the first half.

Marquette (27-8) fought back in the second half, even cut the deficit to 65-58 with under one minute remaining. But Gators guard Kenny Boynton made one free throw after the ensuing foul, the Golden Eagles missed a long 3-pointer and Beal sealed the victory with a slam dunk in transition.

Now Donovan, no longer a kid, will meet Pitino for a chance to reach the national semifinals. The former player will try and outwit the man he once called coach.

Buzz Williams , the Marquette coach who lost to Florida on Thursday and sees Louisville regularly in the Big East Conference, assessed the matchup this way: Its like when Louisville plays Seton Hall, or Louisville plays Cincinnati. With Coach Pitino and his tree, theres a whole plethora of those guys, theyre similar in regard to how they see the game and how they prepare.

But only one will be headed to New Orleans.

Courtesy of www.nytimes.com


Penn State thinks big, bold in preparing for UConn - by Eurobasket News
UConn is up to its normal tricks in the NCAA tournament.

Score, score, score.

But the Huskies might have some competition in that category this weekend. At least that's the game plan, if you listen to Penn State junior guard Alex Bentley.

'We're a scoring team. I don't think they've played against a real, true scoring team,' she said. 'That's what we do. That's what we do best. They're pretty much going to have to pick their poison. They're going to have to figure out how to keep us from scoring.'

Time will tell in Penn State's first appearance in the Sweet 16 since 2004.

But give credit to No. 4 seed Penn State (26-6) for thinking big and bold, at least, as it prepares to play the top-seeded Huskies (31-4) on Sunday in Kingston, R.I. in the regional semifinals. Even though UConn has ended the two deepest NCAA tournament runs the Lions have made this century, this group seems confident it can be more competitive.

And they're not afraid to say it.

'We've got stronger personnel at this time than we had then,' Penn State coach Coquese Washington said. 'I think our confidence as a team is certainly higher. Obviously, we've had some success the last few years. That gives us confidence going into this game that we can play our game, execute our game plan.

'If we do that, we feel good about our chances of having success.'

Few teams have had success scoring on the Huskies. UConn leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 45.1 points per game while they score an average of 76.3.

'They're the best defensive team we're going to see,' Washington said. 'Obviously.'

The Lions defeated UTEP, 85-77, and LSU, 90-80, to get here. The Huskies have been more convincing, beating Prairie View A&M, 83-47, and Kansas State, 72-26.

'They're a very high-powered offensive team,' Washington said. 'So, certainly, the most balanced team we will have seen all year, in terms of a team that can score and also play really good defense. They present problems on both ends of the floor.'

That's why, sophomore guard Maggie Lucas said, backcourt play for the Lions will be crucial.

'They're going to be ready to 'D' us up. They've proven they can put the handcuffs on people,' she said. 'We've got to stick to our offensive game plan, whatever (Coach Washington) draws up.'

Courtesy of www.newsday.com


*****************************************************
  NCAA2   


Western Washington to Play For Title - by Sanjey Noriega
From: gnacsports.com

Western Washington launches into uncharted territory Saturday as the Vikings play in the first national title game in the 110-year history of the program.

The Vikings, ranked No.12 nationally, meet No. 22 Montevallo, Ala., in the NCAA Division II National Championship game. (Live Stats)

The game, which tips off at 10 a.m. PDT, will be televised nationally on CBS.

WWU, which is the first GNAC team to advance to the men's national championship contest in the 11-year history of the conference, enters the championship contest 30-5, having already established a school record for victories in a season.

The Vikings, the West Region champion, defeated Midwestern State, Texas, 64-63, in a quarterfinal game Wednesday, and toppled Stonehill, Mass., 71-66, in the semifinals Thursday.

It is just the second trip to the Elite Eight for the Vikings, who reached the semifinals in 2001.

Montevallo is 29-7. The Falcons, champions of the Southeast Region, reached the championship by defeating Metro State 67-65 in the quarterfinals, then knocking off defending national champion Bellarmine 79-72 Thursday.

The 2012 Elite Eight thus far has seen a series of tightly contested games, with the average margin of victory being just 5.8 points and no game being decided by more than nine.

The close games are nothing new for the Vikings, who are 11-2 in games decided by six points or less, including four of their five national tournament triumphs.

Rory Blanche has been WWU's leading scorer and rebounder on the season, contributing 16.1 points and 7.0 rebounds a game, and he has led the Vikings in scoring in both Elite Eight contests, scoring 15 points against Midwestern State and 16 against Stonehill.

Blanche, who has shot 59.7 percent from the field this season, is 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) in the Elite Eight.

John Allen and Richard Woodworth have also scored in double figures in each of the Elite Eight games.

Allen is averaging 14.6 points on the season, shooting 41.1 percent (74-of-180) on three-pointers and 89.1 percent (90-of-101) on free throws. Woodworth contributes 10.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

WWU has been outstanding defensively in its tournament run. The Vikings have held opponents under 41.0 percent from the field in each of the last four contests, a feat they accomplished just five times in the first 30 games of the season.

The top threat for Montevallo, which has won 10 straight games and 15 of its last 17, is 6-4 senior guard D.J. Rivera, a consensus All-American who contributes 21.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.4 steals, and had three games of 33 points or more.

Guard Antoine Davis, the Peach Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, contributes 13.9 points and grabs 5.5 rebounds despite being 5-10.


Western Washington beats Stonehill 71-66, reaches 1st NCAA Division II title game - by Eurobasket News
Coming out of halftime, Western Washington huddled beneath a banner that said: 'NCAA Champions Play Here.' By making a big lead hold up, the Vikings gave themselves a chance to play for their first title.

Rory Blanche (6'6''-F) overcame foul trouble and scored 16 points Thursday night, and the Vikings made a 20-point lead hold up for a 71-66 victory over Stonehill and a spot in their first NCAA Division II title game.

'I've played on a lot of teams,' said Zach Henifin (6'5''-F-88), who scored 10 points, 'and I've never made a championship. Amazing, that's all I can say.'

The Vikings (30-5) set a school record with their 30th win. They got ahead by 20 against the fourth-toughest defense in Division II and held on, reaching the title game. Montevallo beat defending champion Bellarmine in the other semifinal.

Brian Hamor (6'2''-G-90) scored 22 for Stonehill (25-9), the only unranked team in the final four. The Skyhawks had won 10 in a row to reach the semifinals for the second time in school history. A bad start became too much to overcome.

'They're strong, physical,' Stonehill coach David McLaughlin said. 'It took us a while to get into that type of game.'

Blanche hit a 3 that got Western Washington out of a sloppy start and on a 21-3 spurt that put the Vikings ahead to stay. It seemed well in hand when Blanche hit a pair of jumpers during a 15-5 run that opened the second half and built the lead to 47-27 with 13 minutes left.

Not so.

'You couldn't have been able to pick five people in that stadium that thought we'd be able to cut it to what we did,' McLaughlin said.

The momentum changed quickly.

'We got a little tired,' Western Washington coach Brad Jackson said. 'I was pleased with the way we were able to hang on.'

Hamor, a point guard who has been one of the Skyhawks' leading scorers during their winning streak, took the game into his hands by repeatedly driving for tough layups or passing back outside for open shots. His step-back 3 completed a 10-0 run that got the lead down to 50-41 with 8:02 left and gave Stonehill a sense it could still pull this one out.

'Offensively we were a little slow, so I had to be a little more aggressive,' Hamor said.

The Skyhawks called a timeout after Patrick Lee's basket cut it to 63-59 with 46 seconds to go. In the Western Washington huddle, Jackson reminded his players what they had to do to hold on.

Don't make mistakes. Don't give up an open shot. Get the ball in the hands of John Allen.

'We said we wanted to manage the game out,' Jackson said. 'We didn't want to give up 3s.'

Allen, one of the nation's best free-throw shooters at 88.9 percent, was fouled after the inbounds pass and made two free throws. After a Stonehill miss, Allen was fouled again and made two more. Western Washington went 7 of 8 from the line in the final 46 seconds to finish it off.

Courtesy of www.startribune.com


Semifinals: Montevallo beats Bellarmine 79-72, advances to title game - by Eurobasket News
D.J. Rivera (6'2''-G-88) scored 23 points and led a closing run that swept Montevallo, Ala., to a 79-72 victory over defending champion Bellarmine in the Division II semifinals on Thursday night.

Montevallo (29-7) plays Western Washington for the championship on Saturday. Both teams will be making their first appearance in the title game.

Bellarmine (29-4) was trying to become the first Division II team to win back-to-back titles since Cal State-Bakersfield in 1993-94. The Knights let a close game slip away by going nearly 8 minutes without scoring.

Bellarmine had the home-court advantage, able to bring its pep band, cheerleaders and a large contingent of fans from nearby Louisville. Plus, the Knights were 4-0 at the Bank of Kentucky Center.

The quicker Falcons pushed the pace and blew open a back-and-forth game - four ties, 10 lead changes - behind their quick point guard, who led a decisive 11-0 spurt.

Courtesy of www.miamiherald.com


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  NCAA3   


D3hoops.com's All-America Awards - by Eurobasket
D3hoops.com's All-America 1st Team 2012
#s#
Chris Davis
Davis
Matt Addison
Addison
Cory Lemons
Lemons
Tim McCrary
McCrary
Ryan Sharry
Sharry
#e#5

Player of the Year: Chris Davis (6'6''-F) of WiscKing.-Whitew.
Rookie of the Year: Aaron Walton-Moss (6'1''-G) of Cabrini
Coach of the Year: Pat Miller of WiscKing.-Whitew.

1st Team
G: Matt Addison (5'8'') of Hardin-Simmons
G: Cory Lemons (5'10'') of Cabrini
F: Tim McCrary (6'6'') of Wheaton, IL
F: Ryan Sharry (6'8'') of Middlebury
F: Chris Davis (6'6'') of WiscKing.-Whitew.

2nd Team
PG: Georgio Milligan (6'2'') of Franklin & Marshall
G: Seth Anderson (6'2'') of Gustavus Adolphus
G: David Krombeen (6'2'') of Hope
F: Raymond Askew (6'6'') of Albertus Magnus
F: Jared Suderley (6'6'') of Hartwick

3rd Team
G: Jordan Zimmer (6'5''-89) of Illinois Wesleyan
G: Daquan Brooks (5'10'') of W.Connecticut
F: Aris Wurtz (6'4''-89) of Ripon
F: Justin Hallowell (6'7''-89) of Wooster
F: Aj Matthews (7'0''-89) of Farmingdale St.

Honorable Mention
Aaron Toomey (6'2''-PG) of Amherst
Dylan Richter (6'3''-G/F-90) of Wash.-St.Louis
DJ Woodmore (6'3''-G) of Va.Wesleyan
Chad Burridge (6'7''-C) of Oswego St.
Lance Brown (6'4''-G/F) of William Pater.


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


Standings Men
NBL Standings
 1. Bay Hawks 4-0 
 2. Auckland P. 3-2 
 3. Manawatu J. 2-1 
 4. Nelson G. 2-1 
 5. OceanaGold N. 2-2 
 6. Taranaki MA 2-2 
 7. Wellington S. 2-3 
 8. Harbour H. 1-3 
 9. Southland S. 1-5 


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Akeem WRIGHT
  OceanaGo.
  (200-F/G-84)
  Avg: 23.5
 1. Wright, OceanaGo.23.5 
 2. Hudson, Taranaki.22.8 
 3. Leasure, Taranaki.22.3 
 4. Gurley, Wellington22.2 
 5. Tait, Auckland P.22.0 
 6. Braswell, Southlan.21.8 
 7. Tisby, OceanaGo.21.3 
 8. Bradshaw, Southlan.19.0 
 9. Smith, Harbour H.18.5 
 10. Dickel, OceanaGo.18.0 
Rebounds Per Game
 Antoine TISBY
  OceanaGo.
  (203-F/C-83)
  Avg: 12.8
 1. Tisby, OceanaGo.12.8 
 2. Johnson, Bay Hawks11.0 
 3. Wright, OceanaGo.10.0 
 4. Abney, Southland9.3 
 5. Muhammad, Aucklan.9.0 
 6. Frank, Wellington8.8 
 7. Young, Bay Hawks7.8 
 8. Atkinson, Harbo.7.8 
 9. Abdelhamid, Tarana.7.5 
 10. Crowe, Wellington7.0 
Assists Per Game
 Jason CROWE
  Wellington S.
  (193-G-76)
  Avg: 8.6
 1. Crowe, Wellington8.6 
 2. Tait, Auckland P.7.4 
 3. Dickel, OceanaGo.6.8 
 4. Bailey, Harbour H.5.0 
 5. Young, Bay Hawks5.0 
 6. Wright, OceanaGo.4.8 
 7. Hudson, Taranaki.4.8 
 8. Kenny, Bay Hawks4.5 
 9. Muhammad, Aucklan.3.0 
 10. Leasure, Taranaki.2.8 
Steals Per Game
 Jason CROWE
  Wellington S.
  (193-G-76)
  Avg: 3.6
 1. Crowe, Wellington3.6 
 2. Wright, OceanaGo.2.8 
 3. Tait, Auckland P.2.4 
 4. Braswell, Southlan.2.3 
 5. Muhammad, Aucklan.2.2 
 6. Dickel, OceanaGo.2.0 
 7. Kenny, Bay Hawks1.8 
 8. Ruscoe, Auckland1.6 
 9. Gurley, Wellington1.6 
 10. Frank, Wellington1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Antoine TISBY
  OceanaGo.
  (203-F/C-83)
  Avg: 2.8
 1. Tisby, OceanaGo.2.8 
 2. Wright, OceanaGo.1.8 
 3. Frank, Wellington1.2 
 4. Cartwright, Auckla.1.0 
 5. Atkinson, Harbo.1.0 
 6. Smith-Milner, Auck.0.8 
 7. Trousdell, Wellin.0.8 
 8. Abney, Southland0.7 
 9. Newbold, Auckland.0.6 
 10. Johnson, Bay Haw.0.5 


Thomas Abercrombie selected the top New Zealander playing abroad in last week's games - by Eurobasket Center
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of New Zealanders who are currently playing abroad.


Thomas Abercrombie
Thomas Abercrombie
   #1. This week's number one is an international swingman Thomas Abercrombie (198-87, agency: Priority Sports, college: Washington St.). He led New Zealand Breakers to a victory over the closely-ranked Gold Coast Blaze (16-11) 109-93 in the Australian NBL in Thursday night's game. Abercrombie was MVP of the game. He scored 24 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 27 minutes on the court. It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. New Zealand Breakers (21-6) are placed first in the NBL. It was his team's sixth consecutive victory in a row. They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical. It's Abercrombie's fourth season with the team. Abercrombie is currently eighth on the list of top scorers with 15.4ppg. He also averaged so far 5.0rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 47.7%, 3FGP: 43.2% and FT: 68.8% in the 27 games he played so far. Ex-Waikato Pistons player is currently a member of the New Zealand senior national team.

Kirk Penney
Kirk Penney
   #2. Second place goes to an international guard Kirk Penney (196-80, college: Wisconsin), who plays in the Spanish ACB. Penney could not help Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (10-14) in their last game on Sunday. Despite his very good performance Baloncesto Fuenlabrada was defeated 75-70 on the road by the higher-ranked Cajasol (#7). Penney was the top scorer with 15 points. Penney belongs to league's top scorers and is ranked #7. He has very reliable stats this season: 14.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.3apg, 2FGP: 54.6%, 3FGP: 33.6% and FT: 84.5%. Penney is in the roster of the New Zealand senior national team.

Alex Pledger
Alex Pledger
   #3. The New Zealand player who performed third best last week abroad was an international center Alex Pledger (213-87, college: Belm.Abbey) is a teammate of previously mentioned Thomas Abercrombie and both played together in the last Australian NBL game. Pledger contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Gold Coast Blaze (16-11) 109-93. He scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. This season Pledger averages: 8.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 2FGP: 58.3%(95-163) and FT: 60.4%. He is also a member of the New Zealand senior national team.

Mika Vukona
Mika Vukona
   #4. Forward Mika Vukona (198-82) is a teammate of previously mentioned Thomas Abercrombie. He played also in the last Australian NBL game facing Alex Pledger (above) in the other team. Vukona contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Gold Coast Blaze (16-11) 109-93. He scored 9 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. This year Vukona's overall stats are: 9.0ppg, 6.3rpg and 1.9apg in the 27 games. He has a dual citizenship: Fijian and New Zealand. Vukona is also New Zealand national team player.

Everard Bartlett
Everard Bartlett
   #5. International guard Everard Bartlett (198-86) was not able to help Adelaide 36ers (8-19) in their game against Gold Coast Blaze (16-11) in the Australian NBL. He scored 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Adelaide 36ers were edged 84-83 in Broadbeach by the higher-ranked Gold Coast Blaze (#3). It was Adelaide 36ers' third consecutive loss in a row. Bartlett's team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial. It's Bartlett's first season with the team. His total stats this year are: 5.7ppg, 2.1rpg and 2.0apg. Bartlett plays currently for the New Zealand national team.

Joshua Bloxham
Joshua Bloxham
   #6. Guard Joshua Bloxham (186-90) is a teammate of previously mentioned Thomas Abercrombie. But that was another game of his team in Australian NBL which we would like to mention. Bloxham contributed to a New Zealand Breakers' victory against the closely-ranked Townsville Crocodiles (15-13) 76-69. He recorded 7 points in 16 minutes. It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. New Zealand Breakers (21-6) are placed first in the NBL. It was his team's sixth consecutive victory in a row. This year Bloxham averages only 1.3ppg in the 13 games. He is university international player who is currently on the New Zealand National Team roster.

Dillon Boucher
Dillon Boucher
   #7. An experienced former international forward Dillon Boucher (196-75) is a teammate of previously mentioned Thomas Abercrombie. He played also in the last Australian NBL game facing Mika Vukona (above) in the other team. Boucher managed to help New Zealand Breakers to win against the closely-ranked Gold Coast Blaze (16-11) 109-93. He scored only 3 points and had 4 steals. Boucher has been at the team for four years. Boucher's total stats this season are: 2.1ppg, 3.7rpg and 2.2apg. He used to play for the New Zealand national team five years ago.

Rob Loe
Rob Loe
   #8. Forward Rob Loe (210-91) was not able to secure a victory for the one of league's weakest teams St.Louis (12-4) in their game against the Michigan State University (13-5) in the NCAA National Tournament Round 3. Loe scored 5 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 21 minutes. The St.Louis lost 61-65 in East Lansing, MI to the Michigan State University. The National Tournament Round 3 already ended in the NCAA. This year Loe's total stats are: 2.1ppg, 3.7rpg and 2.2apg in the 27 games. He plays currently for the New Zealand national team.

Brendon Polyblank
Brendon Polyblank
   #9. Former international swingman Brendon Polyblank (197-78, college: Texas St.) couldn't help Fribourg (4-0) in their game against Monthey (18-5) in the Swiss LNA. Polyblank recorded 9 points. But Fribourg was defeated 82-71 at home by the second-ranked Monthey. His team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is quite important. Polyblank has averaged so far 9.8ppg, 3.8rpg and 1.8apg. He used to play for the New Zealand national team eight years ago.

Leon Henry
Leon Henry
   #10. Swingman Leon Henry (200-85, college: S.Idaho JC) is a teammate of previously mentioned Thomas Abercrombie. He played also in the last Australian NBL game facing Dillon Boucher (above) in the other team. Henry helped New Zealand Breakers win their game against the closely-ranked Gold Coast Blaze (16-11) 109-93. He scored only 3 points in 10 minutes. Henry has averaged so far 2.2ppg and 2.3rpg in the 16 games. He is an international player who is currently on the senior New Zealand National Team roster.


One more player who has never been selected to any of national teams, but has New Zealand passport:

   #1. Aron Baynes (208-C-86, college: Washington St.) led Ikaros to a victory against the closely-ranked Ilysiakos (7-16) 69-61 in the Greek A1 on Saturday night. He scored 11 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 27 minutes. Ikaros Kallitheas (6-17) is placed second from the bottom (#12) in the A1. There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. It's Baynes' first season with the team. Baynes is the league's best rebounder with 8.9rpg. This year his other stats are: 14.0ppg in the 21 games he played so far. Baynes has a dual citizenship: Australian and New Zealand. Despite his New Zealand passport, Baynes currently plays for the Australian national team and is not eligible to play for the New Zealand team.


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


Tony Skinn selected the top Nigerian playing abroad in last week's games - by Eurobasket Center
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Nigerians who are currently playing abroad.


Tony Skinn
Tony Skinn
   #1. This week's number one is former international guard Tony Skinn (185-83, college: George Mason), who plays in the Israeli Premier League. He could not help Ironi Ashkelon (10-9) in their last game on Wednesday. Despite Skinn's very good performance Ironi Ashkelon was crushed 81-60 at home by the second-ranked Galil Gilboa. He was the top scorer with 16 points. Skinn also added 4 rebounds and dished 3 assists. His team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical. It's Skinn's first season with the team. This year Skinn averages: 9.2ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 54.2%, 3FGP: 38.8% and FT: 72.7%. He has a dual citizenship: Nigerian and American. Skinn played for the Nigerian senior national team three years ago.

Ime Udoka
Ime Udoka
   #2. Second place goes to an experienced international forward Ime Udoka (198-77, agency: Priority Sports, college: Portland St.). He was the major contributor in an UCAM Murcia's victory against the league outsider Blancos de Rueda (6-19) crushing them 85-56 in the Spanish ACB on Sunday night. Udoka recorded 13 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals in 21 minutes. UCAM Murcia (8-17) is placed 16th in the ACB. Udoka is ranked second on the list of the most steals in the league with 2.1spg. This year his other stats are: 10.4ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.1apg, 2FGP: 31.3%, 3FGP: 48.6%(18-37) and FT: 74.1% in the 10 games he played so far. Udoka is another player who holds two passports: Nigerian and American. He is in the roster of the Nigerian senior national team.

Akinlolu Akingbala
Akinlolu Akingbala
   #3. The Nigerian player who performed third best last week abroad was former international center Akinlolu Akingbala (208-83, college: Clemson). Akingbala was not able to help Sluc Nancy (14-8) in their game against Strasbourg IG (10-12) in the French ProA. He recorded 5 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Sluc Nancy was defeated 82-73 on the road by the lower-ranked Strasbourg IG (#10). Akingbala is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's his fourth year in Sluc Nancy's roster. Akingbala is ranked fifth on the list of the best rebounders in the league and also on the list of best blockers (fourth place). He has very reliable stats this season: 12.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 2FGP: 64.2%(113-176) and FT: 52.9%. Akingbala played for the Nigerian national team three years ago.

Derrick Obasohan
Derrick Obasohan
   #4. Forward Derrick Obasohan (199-81, agency: Beo Basket, college: Texas Arlington), who plays in the Spanish ACB was not able to secure a victory for FIATC Joventut (11-14) in their last game. Despite his good performance FIATC Joventut lost 73-81 on their home court in Badalona to the lower-ranked (#14) Gran Canaria 2014. Obasohan recorded 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 23 minutes. They ended the series of four consecutive victories. This year Obasohan's overall stats are: 8.9ppg, 2.2rpg and 1.3apg in the 25 games. He has both American and Nigerian nationalities. Obasohan is also Nigerian national team player.

Chamberlain Oguchi
Chamberlain Oguchi
   #5. Former international guard Chamberlain Oguchi (198-86, college: Illinois St.) couldn't help Panteras (6-16) in their game against Bucaneros (11-12) in the Venezuelan LPB. Despite his very good performance on Thursday night He was the top scorer with 19 points. Oguchi has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 18.8ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.9apg and 1.1spg. Oguchi used to play for the Nigerian national team three years ago.

Michael Umeh
Michael Umeh
   #6. Point guard Michael Umeh (188-84, agency: Pro One Sports, college: UNLV) couldn't help New Yorker Phantoms (14-13) in their game against Phoenix Hagen (8-19) in the German BBL, despite his good performance in Sunday night's game. He was the second best scorer with 12 points in 27 minutes. But New Yorker Phantoms was crushed 96-75 in Hagen by the much lower-ranked (#15) Phoenix. Umeh has relatively good stats this year: 10.7ppg, 2.9rpg and 2.1apg in the 15 games. He also holds two passports: Nigerian and American. Umeh is an international player who is currently on the senior Nigerian National Team roster.

Ekenechukwu Ibekwe
Ekenechukwu Ibekwe
   #7. Former international forward Ekenechukwu Ibekwe (206-85, college: Maryland) couldn't help BBC Bayreuth (11-17) in their game against EnBW Ludwigsburg (8-20) in the German BBL. Despite his very good performance in Sunday night's game Ibekwe was the top scorer with 15 points. Ibekwe is ranked fourth on the list of the best blockers in the league. This season he has very good stats: 11.1ppg, 5.5rpg and 1.7bpg. Ibekwe holds both American and Nigerian passports. He used to play for the Nigerian national team three years ago.

Ebi Ere
Ebi Ere
   #8. Swingman Ebi Ere (195-81, agency: Two Points, college: Oklahoma) couldn't help Blusens Monbus (8-17) in their game against Regal FC Barcelona (20-5) in the Spanish ACB. Ere recorded 5 points. Blusens Monbus was defeated 71-58 in Barcelona by the second-ranked Regal FC. Ere's total stats this season are: 8.9ppg, 2.3rpg and 1.1apg. He holds both American and Nigerian passports. Ere used to play for the Nigerian national team back in 2009.

Chukwudinma Odiakosa
Chukwudinma Odiakosa
   #9. Former U22 international power forward Chukwudinma Odiakosa (203-85, agency: N.E.T., college: Illinois St.) contributed to a Melilla Baloncesto's victory against the league leader Canarias (21-7) 77-63 in the Spanish LEB Gold (second division) last Friday. He scored 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 21 minutes. Melilla Baloncesto (16-12) is placed sixth in the LEB Gold. It was his team's first victory after three consecutive loses. Odiakosa is ranked fifth on the list of the best blockers in the league with 1.2bpg. This year he also averages: 10.1ppg and 5.6rpg in the 29 games. Odiakosa used to play for the Nigerian U22 national team eight years ago.

Ezenwa Ukeagu
Ezenwa Ukeagu
   #10. Power forward Ezenwa Ukeagu (203-81, college: Washington St.) led Sparta to an easy victory against the leader Etzella (20-4) crushing them 86-64 in the Luxembourg Diekirch League in Saturday night's game. He recorded a double-double by scoring 11 points and getting the same number of rebounds. It was the game of the round between two top 3 ranked teams in group 1-6 places. BBC Sparta Bertrange (18-5) is placed second. This season Ukeagu has relatively solid stats: 12.3ppg and 10.8rpg. He holds both American and Nigerian passports. Ukeagu is an international player who is currently on the senior Nigerian National Team roster.


The list of other players, who all have Nigerian passport but never been selected to any of Nigerian national teams:

   #1. Alade Aminu (207-C/F-87, college: Georgia Tech) contributed to a 2-point Chalon/Saor's victory against the closely-ranked Chorale de Roanne (3-3) 78-76 in the EuroChallenge in Thursday night's game. He scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and made 2 blocks in 26 minutes. It was the game of the round between two top 2 ranked teams in group J. ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (3-3) is placed first. Aminu has relatively good stats this year: 12.0ppg, 6.4rpg and 1.1spg in the 14 games he played so far.

   #2. Experienced Uche Nsonwu-Amadi (208-F/C-78, agency: Beo Basket, college: Wyoming) faced previously mentioned Alade Aminu in the EuroChallenge last game. Nsonwu-Amadi, who plays in France could not help Chorale de Roanne (3-3) in their last game on Thursday. Despite his good performance the second-placed Chorale de Roanne was edged 78-76 on the road by the leading Chalon/Saor in the group I of EuroChallenge. Nsonwu-Amadi scored 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Nsonwu-Amadi has relatively good stats this season: 13.9ppg, 6.6rpg and 1.4apg.

   #3. Jefferson Agba (209-F/C-80, college: Embry Riddle) led his Brazilian team Itabom/Bauru to a victory against the closely-ranked Quimsa (1-2) 89-83 in the Liga Americas last Sunday. He recorded 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 27 minutes. Itabom/Bauru B.T. (2-1) is placed second in group D. The Preliminary Round already ended in the Liga Americas. This year Agba's overall stats are: 7.3ppg and 6.0rpg in the three games. He has a dual citizenship: Nigerian and American.

   #4. Ekpe Udoh (208-F/C-87, college: Baylor) was not able to help the Milwaukee Bucks (21-25) in their game against the Boston Celtics (25-21) in the NBA. Udoh did not beat the league record on Thursday evening. He recorded only 2 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Milwaukee Bucks were defeated 100-91 in Boston by the Celtics. It was Bucks' first loss after six consecutive victories. Udoh's overall stats this season are: 1.3ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.7apg and 2.0bpg.

   #5. Kenny Adeleke (205-C-83, college: Hartford) was not able to secure a victory for Cherkasy (8-26) in their game against Budivelnyk (26-6) in the Ukrainian Superleague, despite his very good performance in Wednesday night's game. He had a double-double by scoring 21 points and getting 15 rebounds. Adeleke also added 2 blocks in 32 minutes. But Cherkasy lost 69-75 at home to the leading Budivelnyk. It was Cherkasy's fifth consecutive loss in a row. His team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical. Adeleke has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 20.1ppg, 12.7rpg and 1.2spg in the 10 games.

   #6. Olaseni Lawal (208-F/C-86, college: Wayne St., MI) couldn't help one of league's weakest teams CB Clavijo in their game against Leche Rio Breogan in the Spanish LEB Gold (second division). Despite his very good performance last Friday He recorded a double-double by scoring 21 points and getting 14 rebounds. Lawal is currently first on the list of best rebounders and also on the list of best blockers (second place). His overall stats this season are: 9.6ppg, 11.0rpg and 1.7bpg. Worth to mention Lawal played also at Eurobasket Summer League, which helped him get the job in pro basketball.

   #7. Festus Ezeli (210-C-89) couldn't help the Vanderbilt in their game against the University of Wisconsin in the NCAA National Tournament Round 3, despite his very good performance on Saturday night. Ezeli had a double-double by scoring 14 points and getting 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. But his team was edged 60-57. This year his overall stats are: 9.6ppg, 11.0rpg and 1.7bpg in the 29 games.

   #8. Nick Okorie (185-G-88, college: Texas Tech) couldn't help Saar-Pfalz Braves in their game against USC Heidelberg in the German ProA (second division). Despite his very good performance last Friday He was the top scorer with 18 points. Okorie also added 5 rebounds and 7 assists. This season Okorie has relatively solid stats: 12.7ppg, 2.7rpg and 2.3apg.

   #9. P.J. Alawoya (200-F-88, college: McNeese St.) is a teammate of previously mentioned Nick Okorie and both played together in the last German ProA game. Alawoya couldn't help Saar-Pfalz Braves in their game against USC Heidelberg, despite his very good performance on Friday night. He had a double-double by scoring 18 points and getting 12 rebounds in 32 minutes. But his team was edged 91-88. This year Alawoya has relatively solid stats: 13.2ppg, 9.1rpg and 1.4spg in the 11 games. He is another player who holds two passports: Nigerian and American. He attended previously one of camps at Eurobasket Summer League on his way to pro basketball.

   #10. Chinemelu Elonu (206-F/C-87, college: Texas A&M) couldn't help Pau-Lacq-Orthez in their game against Poitiers in the French ProA. Elonu recorded 6 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 20 minutes. His team lost 76-85. Elonu is the league's best rebounder and also on the list of best blockers (third place). He has very solid stats this year: 10.6ppg, 8.6rpg and 1.1bpg in the 22 games.


*****************************************************
  PANAMA   


Gary Forbes selected the top Panamanian playing abroad in last week's games - by Eurobasket Center
We bring you last week's top performances from Panamanians who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.


Gary Forbes
Gary Forbes
   #1. This week's number one is an international swingman Gary Forbes (201-85, college: Virginia). He was the major contributor in an overtime Toronto Raptors' victory against the Memphis Grizzlies (25-20) 114-110 in the NBA in Friday night's game. Forbes recorded 20 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 22 minutes on the court. The Toronto Raptors have not so impressive 15-32 record this season. This year Forbes averages: 4.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.1apg, 2FGP: 41.3%, 3FGP: 21.6% and FT: 78.9% in the 32 games he played so far. He is a naturalized American. Forbes is currently a member of the Panamanian senior national team. Strangely he has never played in Panama.

Levour Warren
Levour Warren
   #2. Second place goes to former international forward Levour Warren (196-81, agency: SportsTalent, college: S.Carolina). Warren led Cedevita to an easy victory against the fifth-ranked KK Split (0-1) crushing them 101-79 in the Croatian A1 last Tuesday. He recorded 16 points (made all of his seven free throws). It was his first game for Cedevita this season. His team is placed first in Championship Group. But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen. Warren is a naturalized American. He played for the Panamanian national team in 2005. Apparently Warren has never played in Panama.

Danilo Pinnock
Danilo Pinnock
   #3. The Panamanian player who performed third best last week abroad was an international guard Danilo Pinnock (196-83, also represented by SportsTalent, college: G.Washington), who plays in the Puerto Rican BSN. He could not help one of league's weakest teams Capitanes (5-5) in their last game. Despite Pinnock's very good performance Capitanes was edged 85-84 on the road by the higher-ranked (#4) Quebradillas. He was the top scorer with 28 points. Pinnock also added 8 rebounds in 26 minutes. But the season is still in it's first stage and everything can happen. Pinnock has relatively good stats this year: 14.8ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 50.5%, 3FGP: 33.3% in the 10 games. He is a naturalized American. Pinnock is also a member of the Panamanian senior national team. He used to play for Toros de Chorrillo in Panamanian league.

Jose Lloreda
Jose Lloreda
   #4. Power forward Jose Lloreda (201-80, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: LSU), who plays in the Argentinian LigaA was not able to help Atenas (16-14) in their last game on Friday. Despite Lloreda's good performance Atenas was defeated 73-66 in Corrientes by the lower-ranked Regatas (#10). He was the second best scorer with 12 points. Lloreda also added 9 rebounds. This season Lloreda has relatively solid stats: 11.7ppg and 5.0rpg. He is also Panamanian national team player.

Ruben Garces
Ruben Garces
   #5. An experienced international power forward Ruben Garces (206-73, college: Providence) is a teammate of previously mentioned Danilo Pinnock. But that was another game of his team in Puerto Rican BSN which we would like to mention. Garces contributed to an easy victory against the league outsider Caciques (1-8) 97-82. He scored 8 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in 18 minutes. Capitanes de Arecibo (5-5) is placed fifth in the BSN. This year Garces' overall stats are: 5.6ppg and 6.4rpg in the 10 games. He has a dual citizenship: Panamanian and Spanish. Garces plays currently for the Panamanian national team.

Michael Hicks
Michael Hicks
   #6. Swingman Michael Hicks (194-76, college: Texas A&M-CC) led Sigma Barcellona to a victory against the closely-ranked Fileni BPA (11-11) 87-76 in the Italian Lega2 (second division) last Sunday. He scored 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Sigma Barcellona (13-10) is placed fifth in the Lega2. Hicks has reliable stats this season: 12.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.2apg and 1.3spg. He is an international player who is currently on the senior Panamanian National Team roster.

Dionisio Gomez Camargo
Dionisio Gomez Camargo
   #7. International forward Dionisio Gomez Camargo (203-80, college: Arkansas) contributed to an easy victory against the sixth-ranked Sendai 89ers (20-20) 80-61 in the Japanese BJ League on Saturday night. Gomez Camargo scored 13 points, had 7 rebounds and made 2 blocks in 23 minutes. Shiga Lakestars (24-16) are placed fifth in Western group. It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row. Gomez Camargo's stats this year are: 12.5ppg, 8.3rpg and 1.9apg in the 39 games. He is also Panamanian national team player.

Josimar Ayarza
Josimar Ayarza
   #8. Forward Josimar Ayarza (205-87, college: S.Mississippi) contributed to a Club 9's victory against one of league's weakest teams Quilmes MP (9-21) 82-71 in the Argentinian LigaA in Tuesday night's game. Ayarza scored 11 points and blocked 2 blocks. Club 9 de Julio Rio Tercero (11-19) is placed 14th in the LigaA. It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row. Ayarza's stats this season are: 14.8ppg and 4.5rpg. He plays currently for the Panamanian national team.

Jamahr Warren
Jamahr Warren
   #9. International swingman Jamahr Warren (194-79, agency: ProSportsCareers, college: Missouri So.), who plays in the Uruguayan LUB was not able to secure a victory for Bigua (4-6) in their last game. Despite Warren's good performance the fourth-placed Bigua lost 73-88 in a derby game to the leading Hebraica in the Serie 2. He scored 12 points in 26 minutes. Warren has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 15.5ppg, 5.5rpg and 1.5apg in the 11 games. Warren is a naturalized American. He is also in the roster of the Panamanian national team. Warren used to play for Toros de Chorrillo in Panamanian league.

Antonio Garcia
Antonio Garcia
   #10. Power forward Antonio Garcia (203-76, college: Ky Wesleyan) is a teammate of previously mentioned Jamahr Warren and both played together in the last Uruguayan LUB game. Garcia couldn't help Bigua (4-6) in their game against Hebraica (9-1). He scored 6 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Bigua (#4) was defeated 88-73 in a derby game by the leading Hebraica in the Serie 2. Garcia averaged so far 11.0ppg, 11.2rpg, 2.4apg and 1.4spg. He is an international player who is currently on the senior Panamanian National Team roster.

   #11. International forward Leonardo Pomare (203-86, agency: Top Notch Sports, college: San Diego) helped Hamamatsu Phoenix win their game against the eighth-ranked Chiba Jets 100-86 in the Japanese BJ League in Sunday night's game. Pomare recorded 6 points in only 10 minutes. This year Pomare's total stats are: 5.8ppg and 4.9rpg in the 35 games. He is a naturalized American. Pomare plays currently for the Panamanian national team. He used to play for Fieras de Cocle in Panamanian league.


The list of other players, who all have Panamanian passport but never been selected to any of Panamanian national teams:

   #1. Gabriel Giron (192-F-88) led Frayles de Guasave to a victory over the league outsider Coras de Tepic (0-7) 97-93 in the Mexican CIBACOPA last Saturday. Giron was MVP of the game. He had a double-double by scoring 22 points and getting 13 rebounds. Giron also added 3 assists in 37 minutes. Frayles de Guasave (3-5) is placed eighth in the CIBACOPA. But there are still lots of games to play and it's a long way to go. Giron has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 17.3ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.3apg and 1.1spg in the eight games he played so far. Giron has a dual citizenship: Panamanian and Mexican. Despite his Panamanian passport, Giron currently plays for the Mexican university national team and is not eligible to play for the Panamanian team.

   #2. Jordan Henriquez (213-C-89), who plays in the NCAA could not help the Kansas St. (7-7) in their last game on Saturday. Despite his good performance the Kansas St. was badly defeated 75-59 on the road by the Syracuse University. Henriquez recorded a double-double by scoring 14 points and getting 17 rebounds. He also added 3 assists. The National Tournament Round 3 already ended in the NCAA. This season Henriquez has very high stats. He averages: 17.3ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.3apg and 1.1spg. Henriquez is a naturalized American. Interesting that he has never played in Panama.


*****************************************************
  PBL   


Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Keith RADCLIFF
  Indiana D.
  (186-G-86)
  Avg: 22.8
 1. Radcliff, Indiana22.8 
 2. Love, Chicago M.20.6 
 3. Favors, Sauk V.20.6 
 4. Simpson, Scranton.20.4 
 5. Inabnit, Indiana D.19.5 
 6. Commons, Scranton.19.4 
 7. Robinson, Scranton.18.8 
 8. Hill, Chicago M.18.6 
 9. Fay, Sauk Valley P.18.0 
 10. Petty, Cent.Ill.17.5 
Rebounds Per Game
 Billy PETTIFORD
  India.
  (201-F-)
  Avg: 12.5
 1. Pettiford, India.12.5 
 2. Robinson, Scranton.11.4 
 3. Hill, Chicago M.10.5 
 4. Fay, Sauk Valley P.8.4 
 5. Davis, Rochester R.8.2 
 6. Harris, Sauk V.7.6 
 7. Slack, Cent.Ill.7.2 
 8. Batiste, Lake M.7.1 
 9. Love, Chicago M.6.8 
 10. Russ, Dayton A.S.6.6 
Assists Per Game
 Herman FAVORS
  Sauk V.
  (174-G-84)
  Avg: 8.6
 1. Favors, Sauk V.8.6 
 2. Simpson, Scranton.7.0 
 3. Snow, Lake M.5.3 
 4. Petty, Cent.Ill.5.1 
 5. Crouch, Rocheste.4.9 
 6. Anderson, Chica.4.3 
 7. Smith, Dayton A.S.4.1 
 8. Council, Rocheste.4.0 
 9. Carr, Rochester R.3.7 
 10. Radcliff, Indiana3.5 
Steals Per Game
 Marcel ANDERSON
  Chica.
  (175-PG-86)
  Avg: 2.1
 1. Anderson, Chica.2.1 
 2. Polk, St. Louis P.1.5 
 3. Pettiford, India.1.5 
 4. Crouch, Rocheste.1.5 
 5. Favors, Sauk V.1.4 
 6. Rose, Sauk V.1.3 
 7. Robinson, Scranton.1.3 
 8. Snow, Lake M.1.3 
 9. Bobo, Lake M.1.2 
 10. Smith, Dayton A.S.1.2 
Blocks Per Game
 Shagari ALLEYNE
  Lake M.
  (221-C-84)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Alleyne, Lake M.2.5 
 2. Slack, Cent.Ill.1.7 
 3. Commons, Scranton.1.6 
 4. Batiste, Lake M.1.5 
 5. Webster, Rocheste.1.3 
 6. Pettiford, India.1.1 
 7. Robinson, Scranton.1.1 
 8. Hill, Chicago M.1.0 
 9. Davis, Rochester R.0.8 
 10. Gorman, Scranton.0.8 


Standings
PBL Standings
Central Division
 1. Cent.Illinois D. 16-1 
 2. Sauk Valley P. 11-6 
 3. Chicago M. 8-8 
 4. St. Louis P. 3-11 
 5. Indiana D. 3-12 
Eastern Division
 1. Rochester R. 17-1 
 2. Scranton/W-B 8-10 
 3. Dayton A.S. 4-10 
 4. Lake Michigan 4-12 


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


Trade deadline in PLK - by Maciej Paszyn
PLK Regulations are saying that teams can employ new players till Monday of the second round preceding the first games of the return part. In current schedule this date is 26 March. After that date any transfers will be impossible. On these last days the part of clubs decided to strengthen its rosters. Teams which displaying the special activity are: Zastal Zielona Gora and PGE Turow Zgorzelec. From anticipated amendments to the lock of transfer gate a Mokrosa case which as the next player he would be supposed to leave remains for AZS Politechnika Warszawa.

Mateusz Ponitka joins Asseco, Piotr Pamula signs with AZS Koszalin - by Michal Koza
AZS Politechnika Warszawa financial issues proved costly for their roster. Mateusz Ponitka (196-G-93), one of the biggest prospects of Polish basketball left the club and joined Asseco Prokom Gdynia. He records 13,6 points and 4,6 rebounds per game this season and has become a true leader on and off the court for his previous club despite being only 19 years old. Everybody is wondering if he can win as many minutes on the floor in Asseco as he really needs in order to develop to a true star of European basketball.
Piotr Pamula (195-G-90) is another important player who left AZS Politechnika Warszawa and joined new club. He averaged 12,7 points per game in 27 minutes of action for his former club.


Thomas Mobley joined Zastal ZG - by Michal Koza
Gani Lawal (206-F-88, college: Georgia Tech) was supposed to be a serious weapon for Zastal Zielona Gora. He did not last long in his second stint with Zastal and was released. Now is time for a newcomer Thomas Mobley (195-F-81, college: Charleston) to gain a spot in rotation and give some inside presence. He spent some time in Poland during 2009/2010 season with PBG Basket Poznan. He averaged 8 points and 2 rebounds per game. Lately he played in Italian Lega 2. He enjoyed some time all over Europe playing basketball in: Italy, Croatia, France and Bulgaria.

Revolution in AZS PW - by Michal Koza
Nothing is assured in order to the future of AZS Politechnika Warszawa. We do not even know what will be official name for the club. But let's concentrate what we do know in order to the basketball issues. Mateusz Ponitka (196-G-93) and Piotr Pamula (195-G-90) left and joined new clubs. Veteran Leszek Karwowski (209-F/C-75) also left and may end career as his injury proved to be a serious one. AZS Politechnika Warszawa added some new blood to the club as Damian Cechniak, Cyprian Zieba (197-F-94) and Mikolaj Motel will be available in next game. No, they are not stars or even great prospects. Maybe prospects of prospects at best. There is no other way for this club to survive. Last round victory proved miracles can happen. AZS Politechnika Warszawa needs now some miracles to happen off the floor to keep this proud organization alive.

Damian Kulig officially joins PGE Turow - by Eurobasket News
As expected, Damian Kulig (205-F/C-87) will continue his career in PGE Turow. The Polish big guy signed a deal for rest of the season. He parted ways with PBG Basket Poznan a day ago and immediately got a new job. Kulig appeared 31 times for Poznan in PLK averaging 15.7 points and 5.9 rebounds. He spent last season in Poznan as well. For 18 games he had 10.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg. Damian Kulig played for Polpharma in 2009/10. In the past, he was a member of Big Star Tychy, UMKS Piotrcovia Piotrkow Trybunalski and KS AWF Mickiewicz Team Polska Katowice. Damian Kulig played for Polish U20 National Team in 2006 and 2007. Before that, he was a member of U18 Poland. PGE Turow currently has 0-4 record in Stage Two of PLK.

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


Standings - BSN
BSN Standings
 1. Guaynabo 7-3 
 2. Mayaguez 7-3 
 3. Bayamon 7-4 
 4. Quebradillas 6-4 
 5. Arecibo 5-5 
 6. San German 4-7 
 7. Guayama 3-6 
 8. Humacao 1-8 


Stats Leaders - BSN
Points Per Game
 Al THORNTON
  Guayama
  (203-F-83)
  Avg: 23.6
 1. Thornton, Guayama23.6 
 2. Dalmau, Bayamon20.8 
 3. Ramos, Quebradillas19.8 
 4. Hodge, Humacao18.0 
 5. McCants, Humacao18.0 
 6. Rivera, San German17.8 
 7. Smith, Mayaguez16.1 
 8. Ayuso, Arecibo16.0 
 9. Maye, Guaynabo15.3 
 10. Figueroa, Guayna.14.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Peter John RAMOS
  Quebradillas
  (222-C-85)
  Avg: 9.4
 1. Ramos, Quebradillas9.4 
 2. Thornton, Guayama8.9 
 3. Burgess, Guaynabo8.5 
 4. Shannon, Quebradil.8.3 
 5. Sweetney, Bayamon8.2 
 6. Pinkney, San G.8.1 
 7. O''Bryant, Mayaguez8.0 
 8. James, Humacao7.4 
 9. Smith, Mayaguez7.3 
 10. Hodge, Humacao6.8 
Assists Per Game
 Donta SMITH
  Mayaguez
  (201-G-83)
  Avg: 6.5
 1. Smith, Mayaguez6.5 
 2. Rivera, San German5.8 
 3. Williams, Quebradi.4.7 
 4. Guzman, Guaynabo4.6 
 5. Dalmau, Bayamon4.4 
 6. Hodge, Humacao4.0 
 7. Rivera, Mayaguez3.8 
 8. Pagan, Guayama3.7 
 9. Rodriguez, San G.3.3 
 10. Cruz, Quebradillas3.2 
Steals Per Game
 Donta SMITH
  Mayaguez
  (201-G-83)
  Avg: 2.7
 1. Smith, Mayaguez2.7 
 2. Ramirez, Mayaguez2.1 
 3. McCants, Humacao1.7 
 4. Mojica, Bayamon1.7 
 5. Ortiz, Mayaguez1.5 
 6. Williams, Quebradi.1.4 
 7. Garcia, Humacao1.3 
 8. Pagan, Guayama1.3 
 9. Ayuso, Arecibo1.3 
 10. Thornton, Guayama1.3 
Blocks Per Game
 Mamadou LAMIZANA
  Bayamon
  (207-F/C-81)
  Avg: 2.8
 1. Lamizana, Bayamon2.8 
 2. Shannon, Quebradil.2.1 
 3. Burgess, Guaynabo1.9 
 4. Thornton, Guayama1.6 
 5. Santiago, Arecibo1.4 
 6. O''Bryant, Mayaguez1.4 
 7. James, Humacao1.3 
 8. Ramos, Quebradillas1.2 
 9. Smith, Mayaguez1.2 
 10. Aubry, Arecibo1.0 


Quebradillas releases McCants: - by Luis Modestti
After just one game played Piratas de Quebradillas announced the release of shooter Rashad McCants (193-G/F-84, college: N.Carolina).

The former NBA guard played only 4:20 against Vaqueros de Bayamon. He didnt attempt a basket and had an assist.

Piratas will also evaluate making more changes to their roster after a 6-4 start. They will have Terrence Shannon and Corey Williams as their other imports.

Their next game is tomorrow at Arecibo.


Dominant performances by Bayamon and Mayaguez: - by Luis Modestti
Vaqueros de Bayamon and Indios de Mayaguez had dominant performances Thursday night in BSN.

Vaqueros dominated Piratas de Quebradillas 90-78 thanks to a great defensive effort over their shooters.

They dominated the first half 44-32 and never looked back. Christian Dalmau (194-G-77, agency: Paris Global Sports, college: Daytona Beach CC) led the way with 27 points. Miguel Ali Berdiel (198-G-83, college: Valparaiso) added 18 and Alejandro Flores (204-F-81, college: E.Oklahoma St. JC) 16.

In the loss Peter John Ramos (222-C-85) scored 15 points and David Huertas 14.

Indios crushed Atleticos de San German 88-73. They won the first quarter 29-18.

Donta Smith (201-G-83, college: SE Illinois JC) led Indios with 24 points and Patrick O'Bryant (213-C-86, college: Bradley) added 20.


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


PBL Round 16 of Regular Season - by Eurobasket News
Lokomotiv (8-6) survived in overtime against Krasnie Krilya (7-6) by four points 89-85 on Friday night. It ended at the same time the three-game winning streak of Krasnie Krilya. Jeremiah Massey fired a double-double by scoring 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists for the winners. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. Lokomotiv moved-up to third place. Krasnie Krilya at the other side dropped to the fifth position with six games lost. Lokomotiv will face Spartak-Prim. (#7) in Vladivostok in the next round. Krasnie Krilya will play on the road against Triumph Lyubertsy in Lubertsy and it may be a tough game between close rivals.

Spartak SP - N.Novgorod 82-79

There was no surprise when 10th ranked BC Nizhny Novgorod (1-12) was edged on the road by eighth ranked Spartak St.Petersburg (6-7) 82-79 on Friday. The hosts trailed by 12 points after first quarter, but they rallied back and won the game by 3 points. Spartak St.Petersburg made 29-of-33 free shots (87.9 percent) during the game. BC Nizhny Novgorod was plagued by 29 personal fouls down the stretch. American point guard Patrick Beverley (185-PG-88, college: Arkansas) fired 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals (made all of his ten free throws !!!) for the winners. Forward Valery Likhodey (205-86) chipped in 19 points and 6 rebounds. Serbian guard Ivan Paunic (194-87, agency: Beo Basket) produced 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists and Serbian guard Nemanja Protic (182-86) added 16 points and 8 rebounds respectively for lost side. Five Spartak St.Petersburg and four BC Nizhny Novgorod players scored in double figures. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. Spartak St.Petersburg moved-up to sixth place. BC Nizhny Novgorod lost tenth consecutive game. They stay at the bottom position with 12 games lost. Both teams do not play next round, which will be an opportunity for some rest.
Top scorers:
Spartak SP: V.Likhodey 19+6reb, J.Strelnieks 17+1reb+3ast, P.Beverley 15+9reb+4ast, M.Zupan 14+5reb+1ast, V.Keyru 11+1reb, A.Zozulin 2+1ast
N.Novgorod: N.Protic 16+8reb+2ast, I.Paunic 15+9reb+5ast, S.Antonov 13+3reb, P.Brezec 11+4reb+1ast, I.Savelyev 9+1reb+4ast, O.Baranov 7+3reb+2ast
gschID: 151234


Khimky - Triumph 91-80

No shocking result in a game in Khimki where second ranked Khimky (10-2) defeated 4th ranked Triumph Lyubertsy (7-5) 91-80 on Friday. The game was mostly controlled by Khimky. Triumph Lyubertsy was better in second period 21-20. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Khimky shot 64.0 percent from the field. It was a great shooting night for Khimky especially from behind the arc, where they had solid 66.7 percentage. Croatian-Bosnian guard Zoran Planinic (199-82) fired 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists (on 6-of-7 shooting from the field) for the winners. International forward Sergey Monya (203-83) chipped in 16 points. Four Khimky players scored in double figures. Khimky's coach Rimas Kurtinaitis used entire bench which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. American forward Davon Jefferson (204-86, college: USC) produced 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists and forward Sergey Karasev (201-93) added 14 points and 4 steals respectively for lost side. Khimky have an impressive five-game winning streak. They maintain second position with 10-2 record having just three points less than leader CSKA. Triumph Lyubertsy at the other side keeps the fourth place with five games lost. Khimky will have a break next round. Triumph Lyubertsy will play at home against Krasnie Krilya (#5) in Samara and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Khimky: V.Fridzon 18+4ast, S.Monya 16+4reb+2ast, Z.Planinic 15+5reb+4ast, J.Adrien 13+4reb, K.Loncar 7+1reb+1ast, E.Vyaltsev 6+1reb+2ast
Triumph: D.Jefferson 19+6reb+6ast, A.Kuzyakin 14, S.Karasev 14+3reb+2ast, K.Landry 12+4reb+1ast, D.Kulagin 9+4reb+4ast, T.McKee 6+4reb+6ast
gschID: 151235


Lokomotiv - Krasnie Krilya 89-85 OT

Lokomotiv (8-6) survived in overtime against Krasnie Krilya (7-6) by four points 89-85 on Friday night. It ended at the same time the three-game winning streak of Krasnie Krilya. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But Krasnie Krilya won third quarter 15-14. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening, at least not yet. The game turned upside-down in the last quarter, where Krasnie Krilya used huge pressure winning it 20-16 getting a tie at the end of regular time. They lost eventually overtime period 11-15. Lokomotiv made 16-of-20 free shots (80.0 percent) during the game. American-FYR Macedonian forward Jeremiah Massey (202-82, college: Kansas St.) fired a double-double by scoring 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists for the winners. American swingman K.C. Rivers (196-87, college: Clemson) chipped in 15 points and 8 rebounds. American guard Brion Rush (186-84, college: Grambling St., agency: Beo Basket) produced 27 points and 4 assists and his fellow American import guard Aaron Miles (186-83, college: Kansas) added 9 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists respectively for lost side. Five Lokomotiv and four Krasnie Krilya players scored in double figures. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. Lokomotiv moved-up to third place. Krasnie Krilya at the other side dropped to the fifth position with six games lost. Lokomotiv will face Spartak-Prim. (#7) in Vladivostok in the next round. Krasnie Krilya will play on the road against Triumph Lyubertsy in Lubertsy and it may be a tough game between close rivals.
Top scorers:
Lokomotiv: J.Massey 25+12reb+5ast, K.Rivers 15+8reb+1ast, V.Ilievski 10+1reb+1ast, A.Traore 10+3reb, S.Bykov 10+1reb+2ast, M.Sheleketo 10+7reb+1ast
Krasnie Krilya: B.Rush 27+3reb+4ast, Y.Vasiliev 13+4reb, D.Labovic 12+6reb, A.Surovtsev 10+4reb+1ast, A.Miles 9+6reb+9ast, J.Hayes 5+3reb