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James, Irving, Love power Cavs over Knicks

LeBron James and Iman Shumpert

LeBron James and Iman Shumpert

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each scored 18 points while Kevin Love added 16 points and 16 rebounds on Sunday as the Cleveland Cavaliers ripped the NBA-worst New York Knicks 101-83.

J.R. Smith contributed 17 points for Cleveland while James and reserve Iman Shumpert each made a game-high six assists as the Cavaliers improved to 35-22 with the afternoon victory at Madison Square Garden.

The performance by James, on 7-of-17 shooting from the floor, boosted him to 24 383 career points, moving James ahead of former Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson (24 368) into 22nd place on the all-time NBA scoring list.

James also needs only five more assists to have the most by any forward in an NBA career.

Smith and Shumpert were playing their first game against the Knicks since New York traded the pair to Cleveland last month in a three-team deal.

With 16 triumphs in their past 18 games, the Cavaliers are only one loss behind Central division leader Chicago.

Langston Galloway’s 13 points led six double-digit scorers for the Knicks, who fell to 10-45 with their seventh loss in a row and fourth consecutive home defeat.

New York has lost top scorer Carmelo Anthony for the remainder of the season after knee surgery, his absence dimming what fans hoped earlier in the season would be a showdown with four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James.

Instead, the Knicks fell to 0-15 this season when Anthony does not play.

James passed Iverson on a layup 90 seconds into the game on his way to scoring 12 points in the first quarter, in which Cleveland led by as much as 19 points. The Cavaliers stretched the margin as large as 30 in the fourth quarter when Shumpert set up smith on an alley-oop reverse slam dunk.

Alexey Shved grabbed a rebound and missed a 3-point shot in his first 3:24 of the season just three days after the Knicks obtained him in a deal with Houston. He helped spark a Russian 2012 Olympic team guided by Cleveland coach David Blatt to bronze at the London Games.

February 24, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Dominant Espoir suffer shocking defeat in basketball league

Yesman Bushiri (left) of IPRC- South goes round Patrick Kalibushi of Rusizi BC in a league game in Rusizi on Sunday

Yesman Bushiri (left) of IPRC- South goes round Patrick Kalibushi of Rusizi BC in a league game in Rusizi on Sunday

Sunday

Espoir 65-73 IPRC- Kigali

UGB 79-46 UR- CoE

Rusizi     64-68     IPRC-South

APR         78-59     CSK

Patriots    80-55     KBC

Saturday   

Patriots 62-67 UGB

30-Plus 56-50 UR-CASS

Women

The Hoops Rwanda 55-46 IPRC-South

APR     55-36     UR-CASS

Friday (Men)

APR                        83-54     UR-CASS

REIGNING CHAMPIONS Espoir basketball club tasted their first defeat in three years as they lost 65-73 in a tight league encounter against IPRC-Kigali on Sundat at University of Rwanda’s College of Technology basketball courts.

Stars players Steve Havugintwari and DieudonneNdizeye combined to score 52 points for IPRC- Kigali with 27 from Havugintwa and 25 from Ndizeye respectively.

IPRC – Kigali head coach Albert Buhake praised his team’s strong mentality and hard work after the win.

Speaking to the press, a happy Buhake hailed his players for staging an impressive win over the champions.

He said, “I am proud of my players, not only because of the win but because we have made history by beating Espoir after such a long time. This gives the team confidence that they will perform well this season,”

Elsewhere, Huye-based IPRC- South point guard, YesmanBushiri scored 25 points to help his team defeat Rusizi 68-64 in Rusizi.

The league newcomers, IPRC-South recovered from last weekend’s 79-65 defeat to reigning champions Espoir.

Rusizi, who won their first two games against University of Rwanda College of Education (UR-CoE) and CSK last weekend, were booed by their fans following yesterday’s loss.

Seven-time champions APR won their two weekend games, beating University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) 83-54 on Friday and CercleSportif de Kigali (CSK) 78-59 on Sunday respectively.

While Patriots BC had their confidence dented after a 62-67 loss against United Basketball Generation (UGB) on Saturday at UR-TECH courts but recovered to beat 2011 champions, Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) 80-55 on Sunday.

In the women’s league, The Hoops Rwanda beat IPRC-South 55-46 while former champions APR overcame UR- CASS 55-36 on Saturday.

As it stands on the league standings, UGB and APR basketball club lead the log with seven points in four matches played. Rusizi, Patriots and IPRC-South follow with five points.

Defending champions Espoir BBC lies in eighth spot with three points in two matches.

February 24, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Rwanda basketball League 0 Comment

What next for All-Star African quartet?

Gorgui Dieng

Gorgui Dieng

What do GorguiDieng, Victor Oladipo, Giannis Atentokounmpo and Dennis Schroder have in common? One way or the other, they lifted the Africa flag high at the 2015 All-Star weekend.

Senegalese Dieng, the only African-born of the four athletes, showed again that his potential should not be judged by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ poor season.

In the BBVA Compass Rising Star Challenge, the Timberwolves centre came off the bench with convincing numbers, including 14 points, four rebounds and a block shot to help the World Select team edge out the USA 121-112.

The former Basketball Without Borders camper out of SEED Project, in Dakar, wasn’t weighed down by the fact that he was the first African-born player to take part in the first showcase event involving rookies and sophomores, but he also had fun throughout.

He run up and down the floor for 19.13 minutes, made a couple of flashy dunks, and left fans and observers thinking that he could make a significant impact for Minnesota in the remaining two months of the regular-season.

The Wolves (11-42) currently rank bottom of the Western Conference with the fewest winning percentage, but the 21st overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft is doing really well as his double-double performances continue to prove.

GorguiDieng

He had two games with 20 points and 20 rebounds, nine double-doubles and 10 games with 10 or more rebounds.

Before the All-Star break, Dieng appeared in 53 games (starting 38), averaging 9.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.

Fans and observers are not alone watching Dieng’s evolvement though.

This is what five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan had to say about Dieng’s game during the All-Star weekend in New York:

“He’s been great. He’s really steady, very deliberate. He’s improved his midrange jump shot. He’s solid defensively. He doesn’t try to get outside of himself. I really like what I’ve seen from him.”

Victor Oladipo

In his second NBA season, the Orlando Magic guard has become a household name for a reason.

The American-born player, who introduced himself to SuperSport.com as Nigerian – he is the son of Nigerian immigrants – sparked the USA team in the Rising Star Challenge versus the World Select team with 22 points and four assists, but they fell short.

In that game, Oladipo came up with what have become been his trademark plays throughout the season. He dunked, provided assists and entertained fans at Barclays Bank Arena in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, Oladipo’s highly anticipated moment happened in Saturday’s Slam Dunk contest.

The 22-year-old, known for his athleticism and ferocity in attacking the rim, opened his participation with an impressive 360 dunk, which looked more like a 540 to getting the highest score of 50.

However, contest favourite Minnesota’s Zach LaVine was in the building to confirm his credentials and win this year’s edition of the Slam Dunk Contest.

Even though the Magic (17-39) have little chances of clinching one of the eight playoff places on offer in the Eastern Conference, the coming season seems bright for a man who improved his scoring averages from 13.8 to 16.6 points per game in jut one season.

Dennis Schröder

Ever wondered why Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer continues to trust second-year back-up guard Dennis Schröder?

The answer to that question is, watch Schröder. Compare his playing style from his rookie season, in which he was sent to the D-League, to now and you certainly will find Budenholzer’s belief in Schröder.

The Hawks, who had four players in the All-Star Game, and are currently the No 1 team in the Eastern Conference have real championship credentials and can’t be disregarded for the remaining of the regular-season.

And Schröder… Well, he has plenty reasons to cheer. He saw his playing time increase five more minutes in one season, and doubled his assists from 1.9 to 3.5 per contest.

In Friday’s Rising Star Challenge, Schröder scored 13 points, had three steals and contributed a game-high nine assists.

Here is his assessment of the game: “Everybody said we had to win because we are the world. That’s why we wanted to win the game.”

The Germany-native also replaced John Wall in the skills challenge.

Giannis Atentokounmpo

Only Oladipo, spent more playing time than Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Atentokounmpo in the Rising Star Challenge, and he came up with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the World team.

The Greek-born player with Nigerian parents tried to put his dunking abilities in focus, but he was eliminated in the first-round of the Slam Dunk Contest.

For now, Atentokounmpo has a tougher challenge of helping the Bucks (30-23) continue among the East playoff contenders.

Supersport

February 20, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

NBA heads back to work

John Wall

John Wall

The NBA All-Star game has come and gone and the memories of the dunks, assists and overall spectacular basketball will live long.

Now we’ve reached the business end of the regular season, the second half of every team’s campaign for a playoff spot.

The high-flying franchises like the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks will be desperate not to drop off as the season progresses.

Both conferences look a little foreign at the moment with some of the less fancied teams still occupying the nose-bleed spots on the standings.

In the Eastern Conference the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets are all still slugging it out with teams like the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Only eight can make it and the fight resumes on Friday.

In the West, Golden State are leading the way, but close behind them are the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers. There are a host of better rated teams chasing them.

The Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, Champions San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns will all look to overhaul the teams currently above them.

Live on SuperSport early on Saturday morning is the clash between the Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Our feature game on Sunday sees the Milwaukee Bucks lock horns with the Atlanta Hawks.

The NBA Action will be red-hot in the second half of the season and you won’t want to miss it.

Supersport

February 19, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Ivan and Ange Kagame attended 2015 NBA All-Star weekend

Ivan and Ange Kagame

Ivan and Ange Kagame

In support of basketball in Africa, President Paul Kagame’s children Ivan and Ange Kagame attended their second consecutive All-Star event last weekend to see some of the best performers in action, including their fellow African, GorguiDieng.

Speaking after the event, foot-6 Ivan said, “He’s been doing really well. It just shows how Africans are good at basketball,”

A number of African personalities attended the event and expressed their passion and support for the game.

Some crossed the Atlantic to see the best basketball talents in the world showcasing their skills in the Big Apple, while others made sure to witness an unmissable event.

Besides Ange and Ivan Kagame, South African-Nigerian Akin Omotoso introduced himself not just as a filmmaker and screenwriter, but as “filmmaker and basketball enthusiast”.

In his visit to New York, Omotoso, who at the age of 40 still plays basketball, shared his thoughts about the event.

“I am very excited to be here in support of what Amadou [Gallo Fall] and his team are doing for NBA Africa in terms of growing the game.

“It is about time that we acknowledge the African role in the NBA, and also continue the growth in South Africa.”

Omotoso had a good time in New York as this photo with former NBA Gheorghe Muresan shows.

“Being here has been really great as a fan, but more importantly, it is about the bigger mission, which is the acknowledgement, and the support that the NBA has shown and what we can do to help NBA Africa be as successful as any of the other continents.”

FatouNdiaye, the younger sister of former Senegalese international AstouNdiaye, was in the city to see “Africa well represented”.

“I was at the 2009 All-Star. This year’s is definitely another level,” she said.

“I am very proud of this situation. People really now talk about the NBA in Africa.”

February 18, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Rusizi maintains top spot in basketball league

National Basketball League

Sunday

Men

APR 62-63 Patriots

CSK 60-67 Rusizi

UGB 62-51 30-Plus

Espoir 79-65 IPRC-South

Women

Ubumwe 59-51 The Hoops Rwanda

Saturday

Men

APR 58-52 UGB

IPRC-Kigali 58-35 30-Plus

Rusizi 20-00 UR- CoE

Women

IPRC-South 26-54 APR

Rusizi maintains top spot in basketball league

APR’s Ishimwe, (with the ball) helped his team beat UGB 58-52 on Saturday before they went on to lose to Patriots 62-61 on Sunday

RUSIZI BASKETBALL CLUB registered double victories as they launched a brilliant start to the 2015 national basketball league over the weekend.

The Rusizi-based club beat CSK 67-60 Rusizi and UR-CoE20-00 in a weekend which saw debutants Patriots basketball club shock seven-time champions APR following a 63-62 victory on Sunday at CercleSportif de Kigali courts.

Patriots, formed just two months ago, lost the first quarter 20-16 but bounced back to claim the second quarter 22-13 with the first-half ending 38-33 in their favour. APR snacked the third quarter 17-12 before losing the final quarter 13-12.

The league’s new side got their first win of the season thanks to Ali Kubwimana and Walter Nkurunziza, who both a game high 13 points apiece, while former APR shooting guard, Sunny Niyomugabo added 10 points.

Elsewhere on Sunday, two-time reigning champions, Espoir started their title defence with a convincing 79-65 win over IPRC-South at KIST court.

Last year’s first runners-up, Cerclesportif de Kigali (CSK) were stunned at home by Rusizi 67-60, UGB who lost 58-52 to APR on Saturday, bounced back to defeat 30-Plus 62-51.

IPRC-Kigali, who beat 30-Plus 58-35 on Saturday, had their game against Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) on Sunday, called off due to rain.

However, it was also not a lucky day for women’s league defending champions, Ubumwe who lost 59-51 to new entrants of The Hoops Rwanda at CercleSportif de Kigali on Saturday, while former champions APR routed 54-26 IPRC-South in Huye.

APR, UGB and IPRC-South have three points each.

February 17, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured Tags:
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West win record-setting All-Star Game

West win record-setting All-Star Game

Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook poured in 41 points to lead the Western Conference to a 163-158 victory over the East on Sunday in a record-setting NBA All-Star Game.

The total points scored in the 64th edition of the mid-season showcase surpassed last year’s 163-155 Eastern Conference win for the highest-scoring NBA All-Star Game in history.

Westbrook earned Most Valuable Player honors as he fell one point shy of the All-Star game record of 42 set by Wilt Chamberlain back in 1962.

Westbrook’s 27 first-half points were a record and he closed out the contest with two free throws — a rarity on a night when spectacular offensive moves were the order of the day and defense was conspicuously absent.

The Western Conference’s 25 three-pointers were the most ever for one team in an All-Star Game, and the combined 48 three-pointers from both teams were also a record.

Houston’s James Harden, the league’s leading scorer heading into the All-Star break added 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the West, who built a 20-point lead in the first half only for the East to trim the deficit to one point at the interval.

The score was knotted at 148-148 with just over four minutes remaining when the West pulled away.

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James led the East with 30 points.

February 17, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured Tags:
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Patriots target league debut win in basketball

Patriots Coach Cyrille Kalima

Patriots Coach Cyrille Kalima

Saturday, Men

UR- CoE vs Rusizi 2pm

APR vs UGB 2pm

Espoir vs UR- CASS 2pm

CSK vs KBC 4pm

IPRC- Kigali vs 30-Plus 4pm

 

Sunday

CSK vs Rusizi (CSK)

APR vs Patriots (NPC)

UGB vs 30 Plus (Kist)

Espoir vs IPRS-South (NPC)

IPRC-Kigali vs Kigali (NPC)

The National basketball league continues over the weekend with several matches lined up on both Saturday and Sunday.

Debutants Patriots face APR on Sunday after playing their opening game against University of Rwanda (College of Arts and Social Sciences) on Friday at NPC Gymnasium. Their Friday results were yet to be known by press time.

According to Patriots coach Cyrille Kalima, their target is to end this weekend with maximum points from their two tricky encounters.

Elsewhere, UR-CASS who lost 82-64 to IPRC- South in the league’s opening match last Saturday have set the clash as a must win game and won’t welcome a second consecutive defeat according to head coach Charles Mushumba.

In the women’s league, IPRC- South who lost 51-48 to UR- CASS in their opening match, host seven-time champions APR in Huye district tomorrow while holders Ubumwe play newly created side, the Hoops BBC on Sunday at 10am at KIST basketball courts.

 

 

February 14, 2015 By : Category : Afrobasket English featured 0 Comment

LeBron dominant as Cavs beat Heat

LeBron James

LeBron James

LeBron James delivered a dominant performance against his former team on Wednesday leading Cleveland to a 113-93 NBA victory over Miami.

James finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Cavs cruised to their 14th win in 15 games despite playing without Kevin Love for most of the second half.

Love departed after he was poked in the right eye by Heat guard Mario Chalmers early in the third quarter.

Love was hit in the face as he was going up for a rebound and immediately fell to the court, holding his eye.

After several minutes he rose and headed to the locker room.

The Cavs said he had a corneal abrasion, although he was to travel with the team to Chicago for Thursday’s game against the Bulls – the last game before the NBA breaks for this weekend’s All-Star game festivities.

In Love’s absence, Timofey Mozgov stepped up, scoring 14 of his season-high 20 points in the second half.

Tristan Thompson added 17 points and nine rebounds, Kyrie Irving had 15 points and six assists and Iman Shumpert scored 13.

Chalmers scored 18 to lead the Heat, who have lost five of seven with Dwyane Wade sidelined by a hamstring strain and head into the All-Star break with a 22-30 record.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra refused to use Miami’s numerous injuries as an excuse for their position on the edge of playoff contention, in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

“This is a men’s only league,” Spoelstra said. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself, don’t make excuses, forge ahead. We’re in the playoffs right now. The best time of year will be when we come back and have that race to the finish.”

With the victory, the Cavaliers avenged a Christmas Day defeat in Miami, James’ first regular-season game against the Heat team he led to two NBA titles and four straight appearances in the finals.

AFP

February 13, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

Basketball in NYC for young SA baller

Luca Lunneman

Luca Lunneman

Luca Lunneman is no stranger to the basketball court. In fact the 17-year-old Pointguard from Michel Mount Waldorf School in Bryanston has been playing the sport since he was in grade three and today, he leaves for New York to represent South Africa in the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp taking place at Baruch College.

BWB is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness. Thirty nine Basketball Without Borders camps have been hosted in 22 cities in 19 countries on five continents since 2003.

The BWB Africa camp has been hosted in Johannesburg every year since 2003, with the exception of 2010 when it took place in Senegal.

As part of the camp, more than 50 players, ages 17 and under, from 20 countries travel from all corners of the continent for the four day event. Additionally, 25 elite female South African players ages 18 and under attend the BWB Girls Camp.

Lunneman got his love for basketball from his mother Dubravka, who is a basketball player herself and is the basketball head coach at her son’s school.

“I have always loved the game. My mother started teaching Basketball from a young age and later I started watching Youtube videos of the game and what was good was that our school also offered the sport as an extracurricular activity and I took it up,” he said. “I initially played positions like Power Forward until I was exposed to players from other African countries and realised that I was not that tall and changed to playing Pointguard.”

Lunneman was first selected to participate in BWB in 2013 when he was only 15 years old. He says that he was not sure what to expect from the camp that year but put up his best performance and ended up being selected to play in the camp’s All-Star game in which the top 20 BWB campers participate on the final day.

Last year, he was once again selected to take part in BWB Africa, which was hosted at the American International School in Johannesburg and emerged as the camp’s MVP.

“Last year I felt that I was much more ready for the camp as I knew exactly what to expect and once again I gave it my all. Winning the MVP award was incredible, but I felt that this time I played much better with more focus and as a pointguard, I took better control of the game,” explained Lunneman.

He further said that Patrick Mutombo (Assistant coach of the Denver Nuggets), his head coach at the camp pushed him to do his best, trusted and motivated him to perform at his peak.

“At first I was little intimidated by the fact that I was being coached by such a ‘big’ person like him, but he is an amazing person that brought out the best in me,” Lunneman said.

Looking ahead to the BWB Global Camp in New York this week, he said that it feels amazing to be part of the young campers that will be taking part in this first ever global edition of Basketball Without Borders.

“I have always wanted to go to New York and watch basketball so this is a dream come true for me. I never expected that something like this would ever happen to me but now that it has, I am extremely excited. I know that it is going to be a different level game play, but I have been putting in a lot of work and training every day,” explained Lunneman.

He also says that he has been getting a lot of support from his parents as well as his school and hopes to make them all proud at this week’s global development camp.

February 12, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment