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 +++ Thomas Klepeisz shows you how to celebrate a winning bucket +++

Jackson: “It’s all business”


BallinEurope’s Emmet Ryan caught up with CSKA Moscow’s Aaron Jackson at Thursdwy’s practice in Milano to get his thoughts on Friday night’s big game.

“Since we got here it’s all business. This year we communicated much better about the pressure [on us]. We knew who had pressure but we didn’t communicate well. Now we know the people on the team feeling pressure and we let them know we have their back,” Aaron Jackson of CSKA Moscow told

Jackson made the comments at Thursday’s practice session before Friday’s Euroleague semi-final with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Jackson said talk of coach Ettore Messina possibly leaving CSKA for the NBA hadn’t distracted the team.

“He’s still 100 per cent focussed on the team and on what we need to do to win. He’s been really professional in dealing with the rumours he had bern hearing and he’s doing a really good job.”

Jackson said that going the full five games with Panathinaikos and closing the series out in Moscow would stand to his side this weekend.

“That was an elimination game, there was a lot of pressure, we were playing against a legendary team with legendary players. It was just a tough battle going through that series and it showed that, as a team, we can stick through it together,” said Jackson.

“My job is to just do whatever it takes, whatever coach needs me to do. I keep it simple and I’m real proud. It would be real sweet to end it with a championship this weekend.”

For regular updates of all the action in Milan, follow BallinEurope on Twitter.


San Antonio Spurs beat CSKA Moscow 95-93 In Overtime

Much like their previous game against the Timberwolves on Monday, CSKA Moscow’s second U.S. tour match went into overtime again, but unfortunately, it was San Antonio Spurs who came out on top 95-93 in a thrilling finish.

The former two-time Euroleague champions fought well and almost clinched the game, but were undone by a Aron Baynes tip-in scored with only 0.5 seconds remaining in normal time.

Baynes came off the bench and added 12 points to the team’s overall tally, keeping them in the game. However, it was Manu Ginobili led the scoring for the Spurs, securing 14 points, five rebounds and four steals in the game, while Patty Mills added 14 points as they opened their preseason.

While the result was disappointing for CSKA, the team had a lot to be positive about as Jeremy Pargo scored 20 points while Sonny Weems accumulated 16 points over the course of the match.

For the majority of the game, it was the Spurs who held the advantage as they led 51-49 at half-time. By that point, Ginobili had added 11 points with three steals and one turnover. The Spurs had led by as many as 10 points during the second quarter, but CSKA reduced the deficit thanks to a 57 percent scoring rate. In comparison, The Spurs were shooting 48.7 percent.

As the third quarter went underway, the two sides tied twice at 51-51 and 61-61, but the Spurs began to pull away by scoring 15 straight points thanks to Danny Green to make it 76-61. Aaron Jackson ended CSKA’s drought from the line, but another Mills basket meant that the Spurs led 78-61 going into the final quarter.

Those at the AT&T Center would have been forgiven for expecting a straightforward finish, but CSKA has other ideas as they rediscovered their shooting form. The comeback began with a three-pointer from Pargo, before an offensive rebound by Kyle Hines led to another three-pointer by Vitaly Fridzon.

Once that happened, CSKA roared into life as they scored 17 points without reply, giving them a 82-85 lead. The Spurs fought back and it was Baynes’ last gasp contribution that leveled the two sides 86-86, keeping the Spurs in contention.

Overtime proved to be just as dramatic and Mills scored seven more points during this period. As Fridzon secured a triple for a 92-93 lead with 24.1 seconds to go, the Spurs called timeout, got the ball to Mills and he scored a three-pointer to make it 95-93.

With only 11.2 seconds left on the clock, CSKA called timeout and got the ball with Khryapa for a jumper to tie it. However, it bounced out meaning that it was San Antonio’s victory.

- Quinton O’Reilly (@qoreilly)


Steals, slams and rejections: Top 10 plays of the 2012-13 Euroleague season

Okay, below runs the highlight clip European basketball fans traditionally look for this time of year – namely, the Top 10 Plays of the past Euroleague season. And while BallinEurope just as traditionally questions the pecking order of these things, BiE’ll have to admit the big ‘league pretty much nailed it this year right up to no. 1.

Said top play comes from the Olympiacos-Real Madrid final and justifies (BiE believes) this media partner’s vote for EL Final Four MVP in and of itself. As BiE always says, when an audible collective gasp swamps the press section, you know you’ve got a moment for the ages…

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Aaron Jackson on one-and-done tournament style

Talk about your focus. It was evident at media day that CSKA Moscow’s Aaron Jackson couldn’t wait to get down to the business of prepping for his team’s Euroleague Final Four game against Olympiacos. Nevertheless, he elaborated for about 20 seconds on the prospect of facing his highest-level one-and-done tournament game since his days at Duquesne…

EL 2013 FF banner468x60

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Teodosic watch: Milos clutch in win over FC Barcelona; CSKA Moscow displays awesome arsenal

Teodosic: Hero again

Going into last night’s Euroleague-closing match against FC Barcelona, Ettore Messina and CSKA Moscow seemed to have deduced the solution to Milos Teodosic’s fourth-quarter woes dating back to the 2012 Final Four tournament: Simply blow out opponents so that no clutch play is required.

In hindsight, this game mathematically meant little: Thanks to the week 5 blowout induced by Barça, CSKA faced the nigh-impossible task of winning by 22 points against the EL-undefeated Spanish side. Revenge blowout or no, however, it was quickly obvious that both teams came unwilling to go into the ‘League break with a loss.

And so going into the fourth quarter, CSKA faced its first true crunch-time test since October. As per BallinEurope tradition, BiE reports Teodosic’s stat line through the first 30 minutes as a bit of a mixed bag: 3-of-4 overall shooting, five rebounds, three steals and five TOs.

Messina sat his starting point guard for the fourth quarter’s first 6½ minutes; despite a couple bursts of nifty transition ball by CSKA, with 3:32 remaining and Ante Tomic sinking two free throws, the Red Army had fallen a point further behind since the fourth-quarter opening.

Then in came Milos. Continue Reading…


How much will the CSKA Moscow budget be? (Plus, official statement from club)

For a brief while, the collective imagination of Twitter’s European basketball region was captured by rumors of the CSKA Moscow budget for 2012-13. Naturally, it’s no news when the Big Red Machine spends large sums wheeling and dealing in the off-season, but the rumored figures this year are pretty damn mind-boggling.

CSKA has already been rumored to be in the hunt for many of the prospective names on the big market, most recently Aaron Jackson, who may or may not actually be leaving Gescrap Bilbao Basket after two seasons there. Then there’s Andrei Kirilenko, on a three-year contract with an NBA out clause, who has dropped enough teases about possibly staying with the team to keep folks interested and club accountants nervous.

In any case, Ervinas Spūdys of Lithuania-based yesterday tweeted that “According to VTB United League’s numbers, next year’s CSKA budget will be 44 mln. euros, Khimki’s – 18,5 mln. euros.

Retorted Savaş Birdal of Euro-Step, “Open letter to CSKA Moscow: If you are going to buy the Euroleague title, at least pay the necessary taxes first.”

To put these numbers into perspective (sort of), one list of budgets for Euroleague clubs in 2011-12 follows.

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Highlights: Gescrap Bilbao Basket annihilates Real Madrid, 93-69

The sickest thing about Gescrap Bilbao Basket’s 93-69 crushing of Liga Endesa rivals Real Madrid in Euroleague play last night? Well, there were a lot of sick things about it, actually. Like the 34-14 score in favor of the home side after one quarter. Like how Bilbao started on a 13-of-14 shooting spree. Like how as a team they finished at 66.0% overall shooting, including a ridiculous 72.9% (27-of-37) on twos.

BiE’ll say no more, because this should be seen to be believed. Highlight clips (including one of those compelling Koyaaniqatsiesque time-lapse videos of arena preparation) and official Euroleague game writeup follow.

(Euroleague) – Gescrap Bilbao Basket sent a message that echoed all around the Euroleague by downing Real Madrid 93-69 in front of a sellout crowd of over 9,000 fans in Bilbao, Spain, on Wednesday. Gescrap and Madrid are tied for second place in Top 16 Group F each with a 2-2 record. Gescrap, however, got the tiebreaker advantage if both teams remain tied at the end of the Top 16 and will advance to quarterfinals if it beats Montepaschi Siena at home and Unicaja Malaga downs Madrid in the Spanish capital.

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Shocker in Spain: Real Madrid falls to Bizkaia Bilbao, 80-72

Congratulations this morning go out from BallinEurope to perhaps the underdog of the year, as Bizkaia Bilbao Basket has advanced to the ACB final by defeating Real Madrid in game four of their semifinal matchup, 80-72.

The club which had never won a playoff game going into 2010-11 dispatched the Euroleague Final Four squad and no. 2 overall seed in Spain with fast-paced play and some nice perimeter defense, holding the Madridistas to just 9-of-25 shooting from the arc. Despite shooting just 41% overall, Bilboa was led by Aaron “Ajax” Jackson (17 points, six rebounds) in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a 14-2 run to close out the game and series.

Bizkaia BB will meet defending ACB champs FC Barcelona in the finals. Highlight clip runs below.

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