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Basketball - 25. April 2007.

RUS/AUS - World champion Jackson lands in Moscow

MOSCOW (Superleague) - Spartak Moscow Region have signed Australia center Lauren Jackson until the end of the season.

Jackson, who was on the Australia team that won gold at the FIBA World Championship for Women in Brazil last year, made her debut for Spartak in their opening game of the Superleague play-offs, collecting 17 points and 10 rebounds against Dynamo Kursk.

Spartak coach Natalia Hejkova was impressed by what she saw in her new player.

"Jackson put in a good performance in her debut and that tells you about her class," she said in Sport-Express.

"However, every player needs time to get used to a new team. She needs to have more training with us and establish better relationships with her new team-mates.

"I hope she can adapt quickly so she can help Spartak in the play-offs a great deal."

This is not Jackson's first spell in Russia. The 25-year-old played three games for UGMK Ekaterinburg in the 2003/04 season, tallying 7.7 points and three rebounds.

But while Jackson is getting used to her new home, several players are on their way out of Russia.

Khimki Moscow Region have parted company with German forward Ademola Okulaja by mutual agreement. The 32-year-old has moved to Spanish club Alicante.

CSK VVS Samara have let two of their leading players go, with American guard Omar Cook heading to Strasbourg in France, and Greek guard Giorgos Diamantopoulos departing with the intention of continuing his career in his home country.

Spartak St Petersburg will begin their Superleague play-off games with regular-season champions CSKA Moscow without captain Anton Yudin.

He has been ruled out for a week with a cut to the face suffered in the game against Ural Great Perm.

Dmitri Sevastianov
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