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Serbia and Croatia make statements at FIBA U18s +++ Coach James Weldon gives his thoughts on Dragan Bender +++ Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role +++ Vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey up for auction +++ Ireland announce select squad for Luxembourg friendlies +++ We really need you to nominate beers +++ Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover +++ Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp +++ Ireland end famines with two slices of Danish bacon +++ Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++
Jul
0

Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role

Sarunas_Jasikevicius
Sarunas Jasikevičius, one of the most decorated players in European basketball history has formally announced his retirement.

It feels like Saras has been a veteran for ages and that’s probably because he has been. At 38 he’s finally hanging up his kicks to work as an assistant coach with Zalgiris Kaunas, with whom he won the Lithuanian title this past season, in the LKL and Euroleague.
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Jul
0

Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

It’s an accident of birth to some degree, actually several, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk will be all over our screens when he suits up for Kansas but with no live feed from the FIBA U18 European championships B Division the Ukrainian is taking care of business in Sofia this week.

Niall McDermott of The Courtside Collective has been charting the Irish team’s progress at the tournament and they ran into Mykhailiuk and Ukraine on Sunday. In this guest post, McDermott explains why the guard is something of a mystery…
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Jul
0

Ireland end famines with two slices of Danish bacon

Normally we are really fair and balanced on this site. This has not been a normal day.

When I got up this morning, Ireland hadn’t won a competitive men’s Under 18 international since 2007 or a competitive women’s Under 18 game since 2008. In simple terms, it’s easy for me to be neutral because my nation hasn’t exactly been a powerhouse internationally since…well since the game was invented.

Arguably the best day in our less than fantastic history got under way at 10am CET today when the Under 18 men took the floor against Denmark in Sofia. Sean Flood scored 19 points and had 4 assists while Oisin Kerins grabbed 12 boards and scored 6 points as Ireland won the opening game of the FIBA Europe Division B champopnships 66-61.

The women’s Under 18 squad had already suffered four defeats in their Division B tournament before hitting the floor against Denmark at 19.15 CET in Timisoara, Romania. The game was evenly balanced going into the third quarter before the Irish blew it right open. With a 9 point lead going into the final frame, our account on Twitter was really looking the opposite of neutral.

Having fallen away against Ukraine on Wednesday night, Ireland didn’t let up against the Danes to take the win 63-50.

Jul
0

Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery

jamont_gordon

Jamont Gordon’s season with Galatasaray came to an early end when he tore his ACL. Now the former CSKA Moscow, Cibona, and Bologna player is looking to prove he’s ready to come back and be a force in Europe. BallinEurope caught up with 2013 TBL Finals MVP to find out how his efforts to get back on the hardwood are going.

BallinEurope: What was the toughest part of being out injured with a torn ACL?
Jamont Gordon: Not being able to be on the court and play the game I love was tough. Also not being able to help my teammates in the games.

BiE How has your recovery been going? Do you feel like you’ve got your strength back?
JG: The recovery has been tough but I’ve made great strides. I’m getting strong and stronger every day. When the season starts I will be 100 per cent.

BiE: Have you or your agent heard from any clubs yet?
JG: Yes I have heard from a bunch of different teams. Right now it’s about finding the right situation and the right fit.

BiE: Do you miss playing for Galatasaray?
JG: I will miss my brothers. We accomplished a lot. Good luck to all of my former teammates.

BiE: What do you think you have to prove to convince teams to give you a shot?
JG: I’m sure most teams want to see if I can regain my explosiveness and my strength. When I do come back I will show that I am better player than I was before I got injured.

Gordon has released a video charting his progress which shows the work he is putting in to be ready to contribute again.

Jul
0

FIBA Europe Under 20 final highlights and top plays

An exciting FIBA Europe Under 20 men’s championship came to a conclusion on Sunday with Turkey taking the the title. Check out the highlights of their 65-57 win over Spain below.

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Jul
0

VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy

This is a great find by the crew over at Project Spurs, a 14 minute video of Ettore Messina explaining his philosophy on coaching basketball

Yeah, when he opens with comparisons to an orchestra you just know this is going to be good. Then when he gets on to discipline a clearly rights free version of The Godfather theme starts playing. Within four minutes it gets unnerving because anyone familiar with Messina gets shocked by just how chilled he is…this was filmed during his CSKA days and he seems content, how does that happen?

Jul
2

The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague

Euroleague-Maccabi-Win

Week by week, day by day, we try to forecast the ‘must-watch’ games in the Euroleague Regular season for 2014/15. If you are feeling particularly evil, feel free to bookmark this and come back to mock us after Week 10.

The rules here are pretty simple. I get to pick one game for each night of Euroleague play this year except for Round 10 where I pick one for each group as the dates aren’t decided yet. Priority on how it will affect qualification placing trumps clash of big clubs, and I need to avoid reverse fixtures wherever possible. Let’s do this.

Round 1
16 October – Valencia vs Olympiacos
I was tempted to herald the return of Limoges here seeing as they are taking on the reigning champs but this is a game between an established power in Olympiacos and a team that won EuroCup last season and is trying to establish itself as a legitimate third force in Spain.

17 October – Fenerbahce vs Olimpia Milano
On the one hand we have a team that enters every year with a heap of expectation and tends to under-perform. On the other a team that exceeded expectations, fell away in spring, and just about managed to take its domestic title. Fener have reloaded, as per usual, Milano appear to have done the opposite. This game could set an early tone.

Round 2
23 October – CSKA Moscow vs Maccabi Elektra Tel Aviv
Because, well, duh.

24 October – Limoges vs Cedevita Zagreb
Eugh this was a tough day to call and not because of an abundance of hot match-ups. Limoges make their home return to EL action, Cedevita should prove interesting and a road win would be big for them here.
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Jul
4

Until it matters, it won’t matter

Kevin-Durant-Team-USA
The FIFA World Cup is over, the FIBA World Cup is seven weeks away. Whereas the former near guaranteed shocks and surprises, Basketball fans can only hope we avoid a predictable tournament in Spain.

The FIBA World Cup of Basketball has tremendous potential but it’s hard not to be a little worried. Player drop outs keep leaking out as the off-season staggers along. Save for Spain and Lithuania, because it’s Lithuania, and a handful of others it’s hard to guarantee teams will bring their strongest possible rosters. International hoops, while adored by fans, simply doesn’t get the commitment of its soccer counterpart.

Team USA’s provisional roster is a good indicator of how much of an opt-in event this is for stars. Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA MVP, is there, so too are Derrick Rose and James Harden but after that the top names have opted out without much consternation. A NBA contract, the NBA season, is just that much further ahead in the order of priorities. Part of Rose’s motivation for playing indeed is to get some real game-time to get his career back on track next season. This is far from a NBA problem. It’s not the NBA’s fault that it is, by a considerable distance, the top priority for players. That’s on FIBA and the national federations.
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Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Alessandro Gentile

Alessandro-Gentile-2014-NBA-Draft
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, we’re providing quick refreshers on each of the European players hoping to hear their names called. Next up is Alessandro Gentile.

Alessandro Gentile
Position: SG/SF
Draft Express Rank: 61
Draft Express Projection: Undrafted
Nationality: Italy
Club: Olimpia Milano
Season: Quarter finals of Euroleague, currently in Italian league finals with Milano.
Notable personal honours: 2011 Italian league best player under 22

Bear in mind: Gentile logged heavy minutes in Euroleague this year for a Milano team that over-achieved. Psychologically he’s ready for the NBA, whether his game is up to it is another question.

So how good is he? Well he was plenty impressive at EuroBasket:

Jun
0

Better know a Euro – Ioannis Papapetrou

ÐÁÐÁÐÅÔÑÏÕ  ÏËÕÌÐÉÁÊÏÓ - ÉÊÁÑÏÓ  PAPAPETROU  OLYMPIAKOS - IKAROS (BASKET LEAGUE 2013-2014)
With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday we’re giving you a quick refresher on each of the Europeans hoping to hear their names called. Next up, Ioannis Papapetrou.

Ioannis Papapetrou
Position:SF
Draft Express Rank: 56
Draft Express Projection: 57 to Indiana Pacers.
Nationality: Greece
Club: Olympiacos Piraues
Season: Runners up in Greek league and Cup, went out of Euroleague at the quarter final stage, won the FIBA Intercontinental Cup.
Notable personal honours: N/A

Bear in mind: Papapetrou isn’t going anywhere for at least the next two seasons and that’s probably best for his development. At Olympiacos he’ll get plenty of experience against top class opposition. Essentially he could enter the NBA around the same time as if he had stayed the full four years at Texas only with three seasons against a higher class of opponent.

So how good is he? Here’s his highlights from Adidas EuroCamp: