EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer – Bronze Medal Match +++ Rudy gets iced, the internet rejoices +++ FIBA World Cup Preview – Group C +++ CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems take the ice bucket challenge +++ Tony Parker does ice bucket challenge but his friend can’t use a camera phone +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: Semi Finals +++ EuroBasket 2015: Wins for Macedonia, Belgium, and Georgia +++ Q&A with Alex Krstanovic on the Belgrade Trophy +++

Euroleague Qualifying Round: Galatasaray, Spirou Basket fill final two spots

Well, at least BallinEurope got one of ‘em right

In Vilnius, it wasn’t so pretty or high-scoring, but Galatasaray used a couple of scoring runs and outlasted Lietuvos Rytas to become the third TBL team in the 2011-12 Euroleague season in its first-ever bid in the big league … by the way, does this make the Lithuanian side the outright favorite to take the 2012 Eurocup title or are we still thinking Beşiktaş?

An excerpt from the league’s official writeup and highlights via Lietuvos Rytas TV follow.

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Jonas Valanciunas plays first two games for Lietuvos Rytas (yes, highlight clips included)

For all those interested – ahem, Toronto Raptors fans – no. 5 overall 2011 NBA draft pick Jonas Valančiūnas donned his #17 jersey for Lietuvos Rytas twice this week in a pair of exhibition games against Belgian side and fellow Euroleague qualifying round contenders Charleroi Spirou.

In the first day of the back-to-back games (and Valančiūnas’ 2011 debut with the club) played before a mostly empty house, L. Rytas did just enough to take the match, 70-61. Valančiūnas started for the home side and contributed seven points and a big 11 rebounds.

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Rob Meurs, NBA scout who touted Ginobili and Parker, dies at 54

Condolences to the loved ones of Rob Meurs today, who died after a road accident near Trier on Sunday night after attending the Albert Schweitzer youth tournament in Mannheim this weekend.

A Hollander, Meurs was an NBA scout for 20 years with the Golden State Warriors and most recently the New Jersey Nets, but it was with the San Antonio Spurs that he was really able to leave his scouting imprint: In 1999, he endorsed Manu Ginobili at no. 57 overall in the NBA draft and Tony Parker at no. 28 in 2001.

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Sportsbooks expecting blowout in France-Belgium AQR final

Whoa, can Team Belgium’s chances against France tonight really be as bad as the bookmakers insist?

OK, so a Belgium victory tonight in Pau would indeed be considered “the shock of the summer” and perhaps the Belgians’ win over Les Bleus required a “nearly perfect game,” but come on! What does a team need to do to impress the public at-large in generally and the punters specifically?

France is currently (because at this rate these lines might tip even further within the next five, six hours) getting 1/20 odds to take the final match of the Eurobasket Additional Qualifying Round and is an incredible 15-point favorite at Euroleague/ sponsor Sporting Bet. According to that bookmaker’s lines, an 80-65 blowout is expected.


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Euroleague qualification system to be set

Euroleague season 2008-2009 has been over for more than a month already, but who will qualify for next year’s edition of the major competition in European basketball remains unclear. The A/B/C Licensing system has been extensively discussed here at, and it looks as though Euroleague Basketball will soon come to a final decision.

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Belgium tries to qualify for Eurobasket 2009

The Belgian national team has not been crowned with much success in recent years. But a growing number of interesting talents will try to qualify for 2009 Eurobasket in Poland for the first time since 1993. Head coach Eddy Casteels has published his shortlist of 24 players that will attempt the impossible.

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Monday’s cigarettes

Monday morning, it’s time for the cigarettes that light up your week, one that will mark the start of the Euroleague quarterfinals.


Ron Harper, Dee Brown, Jay Williams confirmed for NBA Legends tour

Ron Harper, Dee Brown and Jay Williams are the first three names confirmed to take part in this November’s NBA Legends European tour.

Event organizer Geert Baeyens said there is a list of other players supplied by the U.S.-based organization NBA Legends from which he can select but are yet to be confirmed.

In a telephone call with ballineurope’s David Hein, Baeyens said the plan for the tour includes a group of between five to seven NBA Legends to team with four or five of the best streetball players in America. And that team will then play against sides made up of local legendary players.

“We already have a large group of former Belgian players interested in playing against the NBA Legends,” said Baeyens.

Baeyens could only confirm the previously reported date of November 13 with a game in Antwerp, Belgium. He hopes to add a second date in Belgium – likely in Charleroi. And he has local promoters working on confirming locations in other European countries, naming specifically Germany, Spain, England and Switzerland. Baeyens also mentioned that there are talks ongoing with Real Madrid for some former legendary players to participate.

Baeyens said the Swiss organizers had asked if it would be possible to get the 1992 Olympic Dream Team to play in the games. Offering a bit of a chuckle, he said: “That would not be very possible. First of all, you would need a huge amount of money. And Michael Jordan has said he is not interested in playing anymore and he obviously doesn’t need the money.”

The idea came after Baeyens stopped following seven years working as a promoter for the Harlem Globetrotters in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

“Having the same show year after year kills the Globetrotters. Once you have seen the show, you’ve seen the show. And the interest in Belgium became lower and lower. And in the end, it proved not really worthwhile to bring the Globetrotters to Belgium,” said Baeyens.

Looking for something else, the promoter made his first contacts in 2007 about bringing a team of NBA legends to Europe for 2008. And then after the talks stalled, he started them back up for 2009.

“I think the combination of some top NBA Legends playing their game and great street ballers bringing some spectacular dunks will make a great show. And it’s not the same as the Harlem Globetrotters, which is really more like theater on the court.”


Dennis Rodman to lead NBA Legends in Europe

Dennis Rodman is returning to Europe, this time as the main headliner of a group of NBA Legends for a European tour in November 2009.

The first planned event will take place on November 13, 2009, at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium.

And another sports Belgian sports site said organiser Geert Baeyens is hoping to get games scheduled in England, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Other players listed to participate in the NBA Legends event are Tracy Murray, Lamond Murray, AC Green, Shawn Kemp, Stacey Augmon, Norm Nixon, Darwin Cook, John Starks, Kenny Anderson, Oliver Miller, Stanley Roberts, Moses Malone, Robert Reid, Orlando Woolridge, Johnny Egan, Rodney McCray, Darryl Dawkins, Spud Webb, Dee Brown, Dominique Wilkins and Gerald Wilkins.

The second release called the event “Scottie Pippen & his NBA-Legends”. But Pippen apparently has pulled out, as the Sportpaleis website said Rodman has replaced Pippen.

Rodman will actually be making a return to Europe. He played one game for the Finnish first division team Torpan Pojat on November 6, 2005. Later that season he played three games for the English team Brighton Bears.

Rodman also played two exhibition games in the Philippines in spring 2006 along with former NBA stars Darryl Dawkins, Kevin Willis, Calvin Murphy, Otis Birdsong and Alex English.