Eurocup Last 16: Ratiopharm ulm must stop Rakocevic to top Red Star

A rough week doesn’t get any easier for Ratiopharm Ulm in its inaugural Eurocup Last 16 game tonight, with the Bundesliga side playing host to Red Star Belgrade after losing an 80-78 heartbreaker to FC Bayern Munchen on the weekend.

Sport Eagle TV got a few minutes with Ulm head coach Thorsten Liebenath and player Philipp Schwethelm after the Munich game to discuss the prospects of taking on one of this season’s European success stories; naturally, the focus is on Igor Rakočević, who was good for 18.7 points per game in the first phase of Eurocup 2012-13.

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BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™: 2012 Olympic Basketball Group A

Yeah, these guys will probably start 5-0...

Okay, with just a few hours before men’s basketball tips off at the 2012 Olympics, BallinEurope’s got just enough time for some Official Fearless Predictions™. If done properly, these things are never as easy as they look. Right, starting with Group A, then, we’ve got:

1. USA (5-0)


5. Nigeria (1-4)
6. Tunisia (0-5)

BiE’s taking Team USA to run the table for a few reasons … Continue Reading…


Team France roster for 2012 Olympics released: Yes, Tony Parker’s included

Vincent Collet today released his final roster of Team France for the 2012 Olympic Games. Best news for Les Bleus’ (and perhaps San Antonio Spurs’) faithful is, of course, the inclusion of Tony Parker in the roster, implying that recovery from his eye injury is meeting no setbacks.

The final twelve for France is: Continue Reading…


Buzzer-beater of the week: Benetton’s Jobey Thomas launches a three to nip Lokomotiv Kuban, 71-70

You want a buzzer-beater? BallinEurope’s got your buzzer-beater right here, courtesy of Benetton Basket’s Jobey Thomas.

First, to set the table a bit for the thriller-capping final bucket in this week’s Eurocup match between the visiting Italian side and Lokomotiv Kuban: Benetton had trailed throughout the Group L matchup before finally putting together a 14-1 run to close out the third quarter and enter the final ten minutes up 55-53.

After some nip-and-tuck, Benetton found itself with a two-point deficit with 3.4 seconds remaining on the game clock. Taking the ball out of bounds after a timeout, Sani Becirovic appeared to have been ordered to look for a game-winning shot opportunity. (Gutsy call by coach Aleksandar Djordjevic; while common wisdom says to play for the win on the road, still. Gutsy.)

With 19 points already to his credit, Thomas broke free from his defender thanks to beautiful pick by Benjamin Ortner and found an open spot on the left side beyond the arc. Though Ali Traore came over to defend Thomas, well, just recall that old basketball axiom about never leaving your feet too soon…

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Parker, Noah, Diot lead big names filling France’s Eurobasket 2011 squad

Yeah, Noah will be there...

Twelve players and four backups have been selected to represent France at the upcoming Eurobasket 2011 tournament; gut reaction says that Les Bleus would appear to be one of the favorites to emerge out of Group B in pool play. The group competition will include Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia and Serbia.

The 12-man roster is loaded with veterans from international play and the NBA is well-represented with Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers), Boris Diaw (Charlotte Bobcats), Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Mickael Pietrus (Phoenix Suns) and Ronny Turiaf (New York Knicks). Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is listed as an alternate.

Making up la douzaine are Yannick Bokolo (Gravelines Dunkerque), Antoine Diot (Le Mans Sarthe), Nando De Colo (PE Valencia; NBA rights held by the San Antonio Spurs), Mickael Gelabale (ASVEL Basket), Florent Pietrus (Caja Laboral Baskonia), and Ali Traore (Virtus Roma).

Other replacement players include Andrew Albicy (Paris Levallois), Fabien Causeur (Le Havre) and Charles Lombahe-Kahudi (Le Mans Sarthe).

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Attendance figures, France Pro A 2009-10

The numbers are in on attendance in France’s Pro A league for 2009-10. Listed below are the 16 teams who participated in the 2009-10 edition of the league ranked by overall attendance. The number in parentheses represents the team’s rank in terms of average capacity filled.

Dijon, which finished last in the regular season, will be relegated to the Pro B division for the upcoming season.

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Six NBA, three ACB, nine Pro A players among Team France preliminary roster

Joakim'll be there

Vincent Collet has named 18 players to his Team France preliminary roster, including six from the NBA, three from Spain’s ACB and nine from French Pro A ball; in fact, five players played 2009-10 with Pro A championship finalists Le Mans and Cholet.

Representing the NBA is quite an impressive core – even without Tony Parker and Rony Turiaf – that includes Team France regulars Joakim Noah and Boris Diaw in addition to NBA up-and-comers Rodrigue Beaubois, Nicolas Batum, Alexis Ajinca and Ian Mahinmi.

All three of the past Pro A MVP winners are on the squad as well in Nando De Colo (2008), Alain Koffi (2009) and Ali Traore (2010); Traore is one of two Euroleaguers on the list, along with Orleans’ Ludovic Vaty. Prospective NBA draft pick Kévin Séraphin was also among the chosen, as were Valencia teammates Florent Pietrus and Nando De Colo.

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Recapping the Semaine des As final on the ‘Tube

In France this weekend, La Republique’s two Euroleague teams met in the finals of the Semaine des As tournament, with Asvel Basket overcoming the hometown crowd and turning away Entente Orleanaise, 70-69.

Unfortunately, video coverage of this game is sparse and so, unless you were geared up with a nice fat satellite dish or, you know, actually living in France, you probably caught precious little of this action. The official LNB website carries only a French-language writeup of the game and no video, but BiE managed to cobble up a few clips for your recapping pleasure.

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Fantasy tips from the Euroleague boss: Week six

Hello everyone, this is Javier Gancedo, as always from Euroleague Basketball. Well, well, well … the regular season has reached its halfway mark and there are only a few underpriced players in the SportingBet Fantasy Challenge. In other words, the real competition starts now. People won’t play to accumulate credits, but will have to analyze games, opponents, previous matchups … It’s a brand new game already, and this is where I hope to keep improving.

My team (one of the 10 I manage … yes, I have to make sure nobody can have 11), Meet the Boss, scored 134.3 points and made it to the Top 10 at the BallinEurope Invitational Challenge. I am 60 points away from the top spot and competition is quite good so far. pavleiz leads the standings and his team has more points that any of my 10, so I am aware he’s difficult to beat.

Anyway, like I said, there are a few underpriced players left – Matt Walsh is one of them, but I promise not to use him this time after what happened last week – and I am going for them. I have a lot of credits, as many as 686.5, but I hope to hit 700 before I start thinking on changing my overall strategy. Still, there are some bargains impossible to overlook. So let’s start looking at my team, which looks pretty weird due to having so many moneymakers.

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Fantasy tips from the Euroleague boss: Week five

The Boss says: Keep Matt Walsh this week

The Boss says: Keep Matt Walsh this week

Hello, everybody, this is Javier Gancedo from Euroleague headquarters once again. Hope you all enjoyed the Euroleague break; it’s good for us to have a week off so early in the season. I had the chance to start doing features for the Final Four page. When the Final Four page is launched, there is one tell-all interview with a basketball legend in particular that will shock you!

Life is good here in Barcelona: Euroleague basketball is back, Christmas is just around the corner, and my team Cajasol won five of its last six games. We needed, like, 25 games to get that fifth win last season. I’m heading down to Fuenlabrada for our road game on Saturday. People may wonder why, being in the Euroleague and talking to a lot of great players and coaches, I chose to be a Cajasol fan. Well, first of all, I am from Sevilla – and proud of it! And second, you are what you are: Once a Cajasol fan, always a Cajasol fan.

Anyway, enough is enough – Let’s start with the Fantasy Challenge. I had to give may team much thought this week, even though I haven’t traded yet: I always do that while writing this column. It’s all about game philosophy of accumulating more money or trying to find underrated superstars. I didn’t expect to be playing for money for so long, but I decided to do so one more time; therefore I will trade players that I think are already overrated and go for moneymakers.

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