We promised you first person videos with the Epson Moverio Smart Glasses at the FIBA World Cup and here you go. First up it’s Susijengi taking over Bilbao earlier today ahead of their first every match at the FIBA World Cup against the USA. We’ll take another when the fans fill the arena later tonight.
New Zealand’s Casey Frank gives his thoughts after New Zealand let a big lead go to lose 76-73 to Turkey in Group C of the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Frank talks about how the challenge of the Dominican Republic will differ to Turkey and his take on Turkey’s reaction to the Haka.
Oguz Savas was the hero as he led a late rally for Turkey to top New Zealand in Bilbao. In a game Turkey nearly threw away more than once, the Fenerbahce big man took over when it mattered to bring his side back from 12 points down and claim a win on the opening day of the FIBA World Cup. Emmet Ryan reports from the Bizkaia Arena.
After the novelty of the Haka was over and done with, New Zealand and Turkey got to work in a game that was high on pace but low on scores early. To be entirely honest, that was fine as these were two squads happy to bang into each other at will so every rebound brought the opportunity for contact. New Zealand moved into an early lead, with Tai Webster staying clear of the physical stuff to drain a couple of jumpers. Isaac Fotu, who has simply fantastic hair, tried to be clever by faking the outside pass and switching to the one-handed pass inside but in this quarter only straight-up play was delivering. New Zealand however were doing plenty of things right and Ergin Ataman was forced to call a second timeout of the quarter as the Tall Blacks led by 9 late in the first. They were good for that lead through the end of the frame.
Pooh Jeter was being hurried back to the dressing room after Ukraine’s 72-62 win over Dominican Republic but he stopped just long enough in the mixed zone to give some interesting thoughts. He did come back, the audio of his return is in our report from earlier.
It was an ugly shooting display from Ukraine in the first half the opening game of Group C at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball but their D stood strong before the calvary arrived as they defeated Dominican Republic in Bilbao. Emmet Ryan reports from the scene.
This wasn’t a pretty game of basketball that was essentially saved from being a slugfest by three minutes or so of utter dominance by Ukraine early the second half.
Oleksander Lypovy took the honours of scoring Ukraine’s first ever points in a World Cup match with an early three, Pooh Jeter quickly followed up with another and he signalled his intent with a turn to the small but vocal group of Ukrainian supporters. The nerves on both sides was obvious. Sloppy passes, lax steps out of bounds, and needles fouls. Jeter however was calm as they come, driving through the lane midway through the frame for a powerful lay-up. Victor Liz responded in similar fashion, taking a bump but making a bucket. Turnovers were frequent, most of them unforced, and Ukraine suffered the worst of it. Juan Coronado gave the Dominican Republic their first lead of the game off a quick steal but no-one was going to open this game up in the opening 10 minutes. Orlando Sanchez ensured they kept that lead going into Q2 with a jumper on the buzzer to make it 13-12 to Dominican Republic at the end of the first.
It’s just under an hour until everything tips off and the atmosphere in Bizkaia Arena is subdued. Ukraine coach Mike Fratello, whose charges are up first, passed me on my way in here and he looked focused but calm ahead of the game with Dominican Republic. Speaking with Ukrainian journalists last night, the mood was confident but with a clear awareness that the first two days here are huge. If they can start 2-0, Ukraine can start planning for Barcelona.
To do that they will also have to beat Finland on Sunday and the sheer number of Finnish fans here has to be a factor. There are 6th man Susijengi shirts dotted around the arena already with plenty of Finns knocking about outside despite their team not playing until the final game of the day.
Bilbao alone has 300 media accredited and all eyes will be on the USA in the late game. They are 37.5 point favourites tonight against Finland but don’t be surprised if they take the foot off the gas if they build a big lead.
Finally, for now, the mood regarding the host nation is far from cocky. The Spanish press here expect their side to make the final but see it as far from a fait accompli. They consider the Group A & B side of the draw to be deeper and are wary of being taken out in the quarter or semi finals.
BallinEurope is a full-time passion but not a full-time job. Our editor, Emmet Ryan, is off to Bilbao for the 2014 FIBA World Cup but the guy who runs the coffee shop next door to his day job is worried about the impact Emmet’s absence will have on business.
Last night I left my desk in the Sunday Business Post for the last time before my holidays and it caught Karl Purdy, who run the coffee shop next door, by surprise when I posted a temporary farewell from my personal account.
Left the office. I won't see it again until 16 September… getting oh so close to BASKETBALL CHRISTMAS
— Emmet Ryan (@action81) August 28, 2014
@action81 Whaaaaa! What will we do with ya?
— coffeeangel (@coffeeangel) August 28, 2014
I’m in Karl’s shop roughly four times a day and, well, he’s not sure how he’s going to cope. I had previously warned him by asking about cafes in Bilbao, Barcelona, and Madrid.
We’ve already heard the song, FIBA and Huecco released the audio version earlier in August, but now we get to see the nonsense. That hair, that beard, you have to see it too right? Huecco is actually a clone made from the DNA of Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez.
To watch all the games at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball for just €6.99, click on the banner below.
It’s a tradition here at BiE. Whenever there’s a major event in basketball, the editor steps up and put the whole site’s neck on the line. It began with Os Davis and it continues with Emmet Ryan. Here are our Fearless Predictions for the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
The normal tone of these pieces is to build you up with a series of less important picks and then get to the big one but that always seems a bit harsh on readers who don’t skip to the end. Big picks first, the rest can follow.
Winners – USA
I am more torn over the gold medal pick than I expected. Part of that is due to the US roster losing Kevin Love, Paul George, and Kevin Durant. As I wrote earlier, Durant is a bigger loss to the tournament than to his own team. Spain’s run through the prep games has been impressive and I am nowhere near as wary of their back-court defence as I was just a couple of months ago. They seem to be clicking but Coach K has a selection here that should be able to live with Spain on the inside and beat them on the outside. One thing I am certain off, if I’m right the party won’t be half as good on Sunday the 14th as if I’m wrong.
Silver – Spain
Their side of the draw looks the tougher but damn they look ready, so very ready. At full strength, I’d probably say France over them, but Noah and Parker are the type of pieces France need to win the clash of Euro superpowers. I expect to see Spain hit the floor in front of their home fans on the final night of the tournament.