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Oct
0

Super-brief Fearless Predictions™ for tonight’s Euroleague games

Sure, BallinEurope should quit while ahead, having nailed the outcome of the opening-day CSKA Moscow-Žalgiris Kaunas game exactly, but hey: Brains are overrated.

With a bit of time left before the 6pm CET (noon EST) tipoff of Montepaschi Siena at Unics Kazan, BiE offers the following Official Fearless Predictions™: Siena wins away by five; Fenerbahçe Ülker squeaks past Caja Laboral Baskonia by one point in OT; Bennet Cantù bags its first Euroleague win in defeating SLUC Nancy by four, despite Nicolas Batum’s night-high 30 points; and Galatasaray pulls off the upset at Asseco Prokom in a high-scoring affair that the Turkish side wins by 10.

Right. The insults may begin now. Enjoy the games!

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Oct
7

Euroleague 2011-12: BallinEurope Official Fearless Predictions™ – in haiku form!

Right, then: It’s finally time. The top professional basketball league in the world (Now that bears some thinking about now, dunnit?) tips off its 2011-12 regular season tonight as Žalgiris Kaunas hosts AK47-armed, Teodosic-toting CSKA Moscow.

Almost as anticipated as the actual Euroleague opening game is of course another round of BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™ for the season. (Yeah, surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.) In a shameless ripping off of an homage to BiE’s favorite regular column on anything in any media, namely ESPN.com’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback – it’s true; BiE is a closet (American) football junkie – BallinEurope presents the first-ever Euroleague regular-season predictions in haiku form.

So without further ado … to the Fearless Predictions™!

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Oct
2

CSKA Moscow-Zalgiris Kaunas: The history, the highlight clips

Though CSKA Moscow and Žalgiris Kaunas have never met on a opening day before, this matchup of perpetual Continental powers makes for an appropriate inauguration for the 2011-12 Euroleague season.

Since the 2001-02 edition of the big league, both sides have appeared in Europe’s top basketball competition, building up something of a rivalry (albeit a bit of a one-sided one) over the past ten seasons over eight EL meetings and a handful of others in various pan-European competition.

On this opening day, BallinEurope takes a brief look back at previous clashes between these two clubs.

• In the modern era, things began for these teams in 2003-04. That memorable season saw Arvydas Sabonis suiting up for Žalgiris for a third go around and bagging the league MVP award despite his advanced age of 39 and the Lithuanian side’s bouncing from the Top 16 round.

CSKA would meet Žalgiris in week seven of the old 14-game pool-play format that season; the old warrior Sabonis played limited minutes in battling a flu bug, yet still went for 19 points and eight rebounds. (See video below for an admirable display of Sabas’ range and general dominance – who’d’ve known he was virus-laden?) Moscow emerged as winners anyway, with J.R. Holden unstoppable from outside and Marcus Brown, he who would a few years later become Kaunas’ favorite adopted son, each putting in 21 points for CSKA in the fast-paced 90-81 victory.

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Oct
2

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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May
2

Greek Cup final set for Sunday; Greece playoff schedule P.O.’s Bobby Brown

Just in case you were wondering, there will in fact be a 2011 Greek Cup awarded after all. Those two monster clubs, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, will meet on Sunday to award the prize after months of delay and some strange behind-the-scenes decision-making. (Surely BallinEurope’ll be posting video of the typical fan shenanigans on Monday, so stay tuned…)

The event arrives at quite an interesting time for the teams, as both are set to tipoff their semifinal playoff series on Wednesday. Panathinaikos hasn’t been on the court since last Sunday’s Euroleague championship win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, while one can imagine Olympiacos’ greatest challenge to keep up their 28-game winning streak this season may be Father Time himself: The Reds haven’t played a game since vanquishing Kolossos Rhodes on May 4.

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May
11

List of 2010-11 European Champions: Return from Barcelona edition

BallinEurope apologizes for the recent two-day drought of content in an attempt to catch up on “the day job” since returning from the Euroleague Final Four tournament. To (hopefully) make up for this dearth a bit, and in honor of Panathinaikos’ stirring win in the big league, BiE today presents an updated version of its List of 2010-11 European Champions.

See below for a roundup on the current situation in regular seasons and/or playoffs in the Continent’s domestic leagues. This list will be updated whenever possible.

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Apr
4

List of 2010-11 European Basketball Champions

With most leagues drawing to a close and playoffs beginning – not to mention champions already crowned in Albania, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and a few regional leagues – BallinEurope returns its “List of European Basketball Champions.”

At present, only the above-listed domestic leagues have shut down for the summer; BiE supplies information on the current situation in the others’ regular seasons and/or playoffs. This list will be updated whenever possible.

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Feb
2

Top 100 Teams in Europe: After the cups, then what? Edition

The dust – and in Germany, the glass – has settled on a week of Cup tournament action throughout The Continent, so it’s time for BallinEurope to crunch the numbers in compiling the weekly Top 100 Teams in Europe list.

But, ran the first question, what relative weight should be prescribed for these games for national bragging rights? Should there just be a bonus for winning the big enchilada and perhaps ending up Cup runner-up? How much of national tournaments are mostly about pride and how much should a winning team be credited for beating an all-too-familiar-opponent? And how to keep the Copa del Rey winner from clinching the number one spot for the rest of the season?

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Feb
4

February Madness: Rounding up the cups, serving up some highlights

Can it all be over so quickly? February Madness peaked this weekend in Europe, with several domestic cup tournaments being played out and celebrations aplenty. BallinEurope this morning provides a rundown of the action – and, naturally, video clips. Without further ado, then, let’s look in on the insanity.

• To no one’s surprise, Spanish superpowers FC Barcelona and Real Madrid indeed met in the Copa del Rey final with La Blaugrana overcoming their rivals playing on their home court, 68-60. Check out, as the league’s official website, says a collection of clips including “Alley oops terribles de [Boniface] N’Dong y [Fran] Vázquez, mate furioso de Clay Tucker, D’Or Fischer que pone el candado a su aro … ¡Mucha diversión en la Final!”

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Jan
0

Kalev/Cramo scores big upset, nice poster dunk

Europe’s dunk of the week may well be the posterization that went down in perhaps Europe’s upset of the week, namely BC Kalev/Cramo’s 77-70 VTB United League win over Euroleague side Asseco Prokom on Wednesday night.

To make matters worse for the Polish side, Ratko Varda (and Prokom’s entire half-court D, essentially) was caught completely flatfooted by speedy Gert Dorbek. Check out the video below: You can’t really blame the defense too much for not seeing this one coming…

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