Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France +++ Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ 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 +++

The Dish: No wild cards here

Fenerbahce are in free fall while the Greens and the Blaugrana served up another gem. Take your mind off the FIBA World Cup for a minute and take in this week’s edition of The Dish.

The top two in Group E squared off in the OAKA and at half-time it looked like the Blaugrana would stroll out with an easy W. Fortunately, the fixture Panathinaikos vs Barcelona rarely serves up such straightforward fare. Dimitris Diamantidis nailed a huge three at the end of the third and we were all set for a grandstand fourth quarter. And then…nothing. In a frame low on offence, Barcelona did enough to get over the line with reasonable comfort, the Greens go down 56-63 at home.

Had this group started out differently, we’d be talking about that result as a game the Greens could really have done with winning. Instead the team in crisis is coached by the man who brought four Euroleague titles to the Athens club. Fenerbahce were first hand witnesses to EA7 Milano establishing their playoff credentials. Linas Kleiza dropped 26 for Fener but they got nothing from the bench and that lack of support cost them on the road. Fenerbahce are now bottom of Group E, two games back in the playoff race after just five games.
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Bundesliga roundup: Brose Baskets streak snapped at 15; Predrag Krunic canned; Artland Dragons staggering

From the land of Dirk – Nowitzki and Bauermann, that is – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball. Read on to find out all about Fraport Skyliners reminding Brose Baskets of that losing feeling; EWE Baskets Oldenburg’s dismissal of former championship-winning coach Predrag Krunic; and Bayern Munich blasting past road-weary Artland Dragons, who cling to the no. 4 spot in the standings.

Mark it up as the proverbial good loss later in the season, but two-time reigning German Beko BBL champions Brose Baskets Bamberg were handed their third L of the season with Fraport Skyliners winning 76-68 at home to snap the league leaders’ 15-game winning streak.

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Weekly roundup of Germany’s Beko BBL; plus Tony Gaffney’s sick halfcourt shot

Via the Shameless Plug Department, BiE advises readers looking to catch up on German basketball to check out BallinEurope contributor David Hein’s weekly English-language roundup of Bundesliga play – replete with highlights, natch.

Featured this week are blurbs on Brose Baskets Bamberg’s nice run, Bayern München’s abysmal road play and a sick shot from halfcourt by Tony Gaffney of Telekom Baskets Bonn to beat the 24-second clock. O, what the hell: That one BiE’ll run directly below…

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ACB preseason: Unicaja Malaga, Lucentum Alicante, Caja Laboral take cups; Gran Canaria bows out in Germany

The 2011-12 ACB season may not have tipped off yet, but the Spanish league’s teams were nevertheless busy in preseason games this weekend. Below, BallinEurope briefly rounds up the action.

• A bunch of regional tournaments went down this weekend in Spain, including the Lliga Catalana semifinials. In this tourney yesterday, reigning Lliga and ACB champions FC Barcelona handled Lleida Basquetbol, 81-64, in their semifinal match; Boniface N’dong went for 18 points in the win.

On the other side of the bracket, Joventut survived a scare from hosts Assignia Manresa to take the 90-87 victory, thanks to a barrage of 14 three-pointers. Former Gonzaga University/KK Zadar guard Micah Downs was the game’s high scorer, with 20 points in Manresa’s losing effort.

The Lliga Catalana final will be played tonight at 8.45pm CET (2.45 EST).

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NBA stars playing in Europe: What are the odds…?

You know Tony's coming over...

First, BallinEurope would like to a couple more American players to The Continent, as Milwaukee Bucks second-round draft pick Jon Leuer has signed with the Bundesliga’s Frankfurt Skyliners to play during the NBA lockout and undrafted Colorado State University forward Andy Ogide has joined the ranks of LEB club Breogán.

But as the BiE schadenfreudometer works overtime, the Euroleague Transfers Table loads up with NBA names (Hello, Mr. Farmar and bienvenue to you, Monsieur Batum!), and the working assumption currently figuring the big league to be playing an abbreviated schedule in 2011-12 at best, BallinEurope admits that he’s becoming spoiled about new news on NBA players jumping the Atlantic to play ball here.

And so, without too much hard fact recently on NBAers, marquee or otherwise, making said leap, BiE today presents odds on some players rumored to be plying their wares in Europe soon. Readers should note that these odds are offered at no bookmaker service and are completely arbitrary (which is to say mostly made up).

Dirk Nowitzki: 3/5. The incredible story of the Bayern München basketball club’s resurrection to primacy would be made complete by signing Dastardly Dirk, hero of the 2011 NBA Finals.

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European Vocation: Early fallout from NBA lockout

The NBA fan’s nightmare came to pass yesterday with the expiration of the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players, the concomitant announcement of a player lockout, and fresh new fear that professional basketball in 2011-12 might not even happen in the ‘States.

BallinEurope’s gut reaction, at least on a visceral Eurocentric level? Cool! Bring on the empty stadiums and bring in the players to Europe! Whisperings since 2010-11 tipped off had some top clubs claiming to be stockpiling cash for NBA players should the lockout happen; combine this awareness with the desire for some of these guys to, you know, just *play* somewhere, America’s loss could truly prove to be The Continent’s gain – at least after the 2011 FIBA Eurobasket tournament, for which, not so incidentally, the NBA may also have a profoundly negative affect.

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Germany: Bamberg-Berlin game two tonight (watch it on YouTube!)

With NBA Championship game four in the books, German basketball fans can turn their attention back to the home country where game two of the Bundesliga final will be played tonight between Alba Berlin and 2010-11 Euroleague team Brose Baskets Bamberg. At stake in the series, aside from the actual title itself, is automatic qualification into next season’s edition of the big league.

In game one, Bamberg pulled away from Berlin to defend home court, 90-76, after pulling away behind some big shots by Brian Roberts in the third quarter to open up a double-digit lead. Kyle Hines was huge for the ‘Baskets with 15 points, six rebounds and four blocks.

Happily, the BBL and the Sport 1 television network have discovered the power of YouTube; tonight’s Bamberg Brose Baskets at Alba Berlin game may be seen on the video channel. Click here to watch the game live at 7pm CET (1pm EST) tonight.

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