Sep
0

VIDEO: Mike Fratello on Ukraine’s win and his attempts to see Bilbao

Mike Fratello and Ihor Zaytsev spoke to the media after Ukraine’s big win over Turkey on Tuesday in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Fratello also gave his thoughts on his efforts to see Bilbao during the few moments of free time he enjoyed on Monday.

Ukraine’s next game is against New Zealand on Wednesday.

Sep
0

VIDEO: Ataman on why Turkey didn’t foul, Osman on defeat to Ukraine


Turkey coach Ergin Ataman explained to the media why his team opted against fouling Ukraine when trailing late in Tuesday’s 64-58 defeat to Ukraine at the 2104 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Ataman and Cedi Osman also gave their thoughts on the game as a whole and what went wrong for Turkey in the defeat.

Turkey’s next game is against Finland on Wednesday.

Sep
0

FIBA World Cup: Ukraine beat Turkey 64-58

Scrappy-game-between-Ukraine-and-Turkey

Omer Asik dominated from the off but with little support from those around him, Turkey fell to Ukraine on Day 4 of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

The Turkish fans to the left of press row were far from great in number but inspired by the 12 Giant Men’s display on Sunday night, they were in a fiery mood to start the game. The action however took a while to settle down with both sides focusing heavily on defence early on. Turkey, showing the same patience on offence as they had against the United States, worked the outside to good effect for an open three by Ender Arslan. Ukraine were playing a more inside-out game, charging up the gut to make space on the perimeter. It was the Turks whose strategy paid off better initially as they got Asik to the line three times to move into a 10-4 lead mid-way through the quarter. The pace however was such that Ukraine didn’t need to hurry to catch up and an Olexandr Mishula three at the end of the first saw the sides go in level at 13-13.

With Asik having opened the path in the first frame, Oguz Savas charged right through early in the second to push Turkey back in front. Inefficiency however was hurting both sides offensively and it all had the feeling of a game that was waiting to get going, with only 5 minutes until half time. The reintroduction of Asik brought the spark Turkey needed. Already getting work done defensively, he continued to test the Ukrainian interior. Still, it was a balanced affair on the whole at the half with Turkey holding a narrow 26-25 lead.

Continue Reading…

Sep
0

Morning Report – FIBA World Cup – Day 4

We’re in Bilbao throughout the group stages giving you the scene on the ground here ahead of the day’s games. Emmet Ryan brings you up to speed with what you need to know.

It’s not really the morning anymore because I had to recover from my hunt for World Cup fever in Bilbao last night.

Tuesday in Group C begins with a clash of 1-1 teams as Turkey take on Ukraine. Both sides lost on Sunday night but Turkey will enter with more confidence on the back of a solid outing against the USA. For Ukraine, it will be worth keep an eye on if and how Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is used following an impressive outing for the youngster against Finland.

If last night is anything to go by, New Zealand are well relaxed for their clash with the USA as I ran into Isaac Fotu and Mika Vukona having an evening stroll around 10pm. The USA will want to start stronger than they did against Turkey and this one could get out of hand in a hurry. With NBC and CBS picking up on Mason Plumlee’s clash with a journalist here on Saturday, we might well see the big man look to make a statement in this one.

The day ends with two winners from Sunday as Finland and Dominican Republic meet in a game where the winner will surely be favoured to keep playing in Barcelona next week.

Sep
2

The hunt for World Cup fever in Bilbao

THWCF5
Emmet Ryan thought his search for World Cup fever in Bilbao was fruitless, the city found redemption in the same source that has rocked Barakaldo since Saturday night.

The warnings were there. At the media welcome on Friday, the Spanish press had said the nation hadn’t warmed up to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Only two games per day are being shown live here and, with the rare exception of Tuesday, even the star-studded USA line-up is relegated to the graveyard shift on Spanish television as the rest of their games clash directly with the national team. Monday was the rest day for Group C so there were only two sensible things to do in Bilbao, sample the region’s famous cuisine and find a bar showing Spain’s game with Brazil.

The former was easy, the Basque Country has developed a strong reputation in Europe in recent years and La Vina del Ensanche didn’t disappoint but even a few helping hands on Twitter couldn’t help me find a bar for Spain’s clash with Brazil. This is Basque Country, apathy towards the Spanish team is understandable but a 45 minute walk through the heart of the city, past countless bars and three members of the New Zealand roster proved fruitless as I searched for somewhere showing the game. Half a bottle of Rioja and five beers in, I figured it was time to call it a night before finally coming across a bar near Abando metro stop with the game.

THWCF1

There were 2 minutes to play in the first half and 9 people were there, 1 wasn’t even watching the game. By the time the third quarter started, it was just me and the disinterested other left. A few cops came in for coffee but whatever hope I had that Bilbao had World Cup fever had evaporated. The Spanish press were right. No-one here cared. Then, one member of the Susijengi saved the day.

Continue Reading…

Sep
0

Morning Report – FIBA World Cup – Day 3

We’re in Bilbao throughout the group stages giving you the scene on the ground here ahead of the day’s games. Emmet Ryan brings you up to speed with what you need to know.

It’s a rest day for the teams in Group C and all of the sides competing in Bilbao have opted to hold closed practice sessions.

Finland’s fans are paying for their celebrations this morning, at least that’s the scene from my flat where the two staying with me are very much the worse for wear after an historic win for the Susijengi over Ukraine on Sunday. With the party carrying on well into the early hours, the chance for a break before they play Dominican Republic on Tuesday will be appreciated.

That clash on Tuesday will present Finland with a big challenge as Dominican Republic saw off a New Zealand team on Sunday whose style isn’t all that far removed from the approach taken by the Finns. The Tall Blacks looked out on their feet at the end of that loss and will have to think carefully about how seriously they wish to take the game with USA on Tuesday with two more games to come in the subsequent days.

The USA will look to Monday as a chance to get rid of some of the rust that plagued them throughout their game with Turkey before taking the floor once again. Turkey, who delivered their best performance since the last World Cup, will be full of confidence this morning as they prepare to take on a Ukraine team that lost the psychological war with Finland on Sunday.

Sep
0

VIDEO: Steph Curry “We knew our defensive pressure for 40 minutes would wear on them”

Stephen Curry spoke about how the USA’s strength on defence proved a key factor in overcoming Turkey on Sunday night. Curry also looked ahead to Tuesday’s opponent, New Zealand, who he said would bring energy against the USA.

493x80

Sep
1

VIDEO: Anthony Davis “We didn’t come out ready to play”

Anthony Davis spoke to the media after the USA’s win over Turkey on day 2 of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Davis said he was frustrated by his first half performance and that drove him to be more aggressive after the interval. He also spoke of how USA didn’t come out “ready to play” and that they can’t afford to do that if they want to win the gold medal.

493x80

Sep
0

VIDEO: James Harden “We had the will but we weren’t focused”

James Harden spoke to the media about what he described as the USA’s sluggish first half performance before their win over Turkey on Sunday at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Harden praised the effort of Kenneth Faried and spoke highly of his former team mate Omer Asik.

493x80

Sep
0

VIDEO: Kyrie Irving “We buckled down in the fourth quarter”

Kyrie Irving spoke about what the USA did to turn things around in the second half and pick up the win over Turkey on Sunday night at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

493x80