Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on former Tar Heel hoopsters ... Pictured -- Dante Calabria.


* The Tar Heel contingent of the NBA defending champion Detroit Pistons -- PF Rasheed Wallace, coach Larry Brown, and assistants Dave Hanners, Pat Sullivan and Phil Ford -- have until Tuesday to regroup after being thrashed twice by the Spurs in San Antonio.

Last night's 97-76 win by the Spurs was even more dominating than the 84-69 thumping San Antonio handed down in Game 1. Rasheed Wallace had 11 points (5-12 FG) and eight rebounds in Game 2.

The best-of-seven NBA Finals shifts to the Pistons' homecourt for the next three games coming up on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (on ABC).

"I hope so," Pistons coach Larry Brown answered when asked if a location change would help his squad. "Right now, the way they are playing, and with the way they are executing, the contribution they are getting from a lot of people, they have just dominated two ballgames." The Pistons are also in need of corrective action when shooting from long distance after going a combined 1-12 (8 percent) from beyond the arc in San Antonio.


* With a one-point loss in Game 3 (77-76), followed by a two-point defeat in Game 4 (70-68), Henrik Rodl watched his ALBA Berlin team lose a German League semifinal best-of-five to Frankfurt, 3-1.

Coach Rodl congratulated Frankfurt and lamented that his squad did not make the crucial shots they needed to make at the end to avoid elimination. "I would have been glad to have seen Michael Wright (Arizona) be able go up against Chris Williams (Virginia)," said Rodl following the series. Berlin's Wright has been under a disputed suspension since the end of the regular season for a doping charge involving the use of amphetamines for performance enhancement purposes. Williams led Frankfurt in scoring in Game 4 with 21 points and grabbed 10 boards.


* Armani Jeans Milano dropped Game 1 of the Italian League best-of-five series to Bologna on Wednesday, 77-70. Milano's Dante Calabria shot just 2-9 on three-point tries on his way to 16 points. Ruben Douglas (New Mexico) led Bologna with 21 points and shot 5-for-6 on threes.

Game 2 was on Saturday in Milan. A crowd of neary 11,000 screaming fans and 23 forced turnovers helped Armani Jeans even the series 1-1 with a 73-66 win. Calabria scored 11 points and was sharper from long range hitting on 3-of-4 attempts from the three-point area.

If Game 5 is necessary it will be played on Sunday at Bologna. Game 3 is slated for Bologna on Tuesday with Game 4 back in Milan on Thursday.


* Unicaja Malaga used 21 points from Kris Lang to get a Game 3 double overtime win, 96-93, over TAU Vitoria last week. The win by Malaga forced a Game 4 that was played on Thursday and won by Vitoria 74-62 to close out the Spanish League semifinal series 3-1.

Lang ably filled in for Malaga in the overtime victory making 10-of-14 shots from the floor to go along with four rebounds in 29 minutes. In Game 4, Lang contributed 10 points (4-8 FG, 2-3 FT) and three boards in 21 minutes.

Malaga added Lang near the end of the season to replace an injured player. At that time, Lang had recently completed a 54-game season in Seoul, South Korea (KBL) where he was named the league's best American player.


* Tracy Reid was unable to catch on with the Houston Comets just prior to the start of the 2005 WNBA season last month, but the former Tar Heel star and pro basketball veteran has agreed to play next season for Acis Leon in Spain's women's pro league.

Reid, 28, played the 2004-05 season in Israel for Maccabi Ramat Hen and played for FC Barcelona in Spain during the previous season. Reid has played in the WNBA with Charlotte, Miami and Phoenix.

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