For those who missed ‘em, BallinEurope runs below the official wrapups from last night’s Eurocup Qualifying Round games. Tonight, the first leg finishes with Artland Dragons hosting Gran Canaria 2014 and Spartak St. Petersburg playing at Etha Engomis’ house.
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.
When Mike Fratello arrives to head up his national team coaching gig in Ukraine, he won’t see too many familiar faces beyond Sasha Volkov. Volkov played for the Czar’s Atlanta Hawks for a couple seasons way back when; unfortunately, Volkov hasn’t actually played ball at any level since year 2000. Coupled with the fact that Fratello hasn’t coached at any level since washing out of Memphis in 2006 and, wow, the television guy is facing lots of unknowns.
Here’s to thinking Fratello will rely on past experience to guide his new team. His historical preference for grind-it-out defense is sure to mesh well with a big, physical Team Ukraine; the side is also blessed with lots of shot blocking at its disposal. Will the Czar be imagining past glories as he trains in Europe? To when in the past will he look while watching his players in the present? BallinEurope looks at some potential role models for Eurobasket 2011.
• Serhiy Gladyr
Current team: Basquet Manresa
Scouting report: “Gladyr is a 6’5” shooting guard with nice athletic ability … What makes Gladyr intriguing is his shooting: He’s one of the better pure shooters in the draft. His shooting numbers are not overwhelming (36% on three-pointers), but he clearly has a sweet-shooting stroke … [at 19 years old, he] already shows the ability to drill shots coming off screens. … He’s not strictly a shooter thanks to his athleticism and good ball-handling. Pretty nice handle where he loves to use his left hand, and has an effective crossover dribble. Did have some issues when trapped on pick-and-rolls … had some issues in general when a second defender approached him … Solid rebounder for a 2-guard … Sergiy is a pretty good athlete by Ukrainian League standards, but how he rates as a NBA athlete is hard to gauge. If he was a Top 10 scorer in Spain or Italy then I’d feel more assured of his potential.” (The Painted Area, June 2009)
What he’s doing in 2010-11: So now Sergiy is 21 and, while averaging 9.1 points per ACB game – second-highest on his team to Uros Slokar – doesn’t put him onto Spain’s top 10 scorers list, BiE thinks The Painted Area must be pleased with Gladyr’s progress. It seems Gladyr’s three-point shooting still underwhelms, as he averages 1.6-for-4.7 shooting beyond the arc per ACB game, good for right around – you guessed it – 35%. Nevertheless, the future looks bright for this Ukrainian; could an NBA draft selection be in his future…?
Role model: Dan Majerle, who Fratello himself may barely remember, as Deadly Dan played just a single season with the Cavaliers and started only 15 times. Like Majerle, Gladyr is noted for his ball-handling skills and is particularly difficult to stop (or to stop from shooting) anywhere on the floor if single-covered. As Majerle is today one of the relatively unsung heroes of those Charles Barkley-led Phoenix Suns teams of the 1990s, so would a sharpshooting Gladyr should Team Ukraine surprise.
As you’ve probably heard, former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov resigned last week under duress. But it seems that citizens of Russian capital don’t have many reasons to be worried: The new sheriff is already in town! Of course, we’re speaking here about Dusko Vujosevic, Partizan’s proven “miracle worker,” who recently coached CSKA in his first official match.
After a few minutes into the VTB United League opening match, the situation didn’t look bright at all for Vujosevic’s side as Lietuvos Rytas took a quick 10-2 lead at the start of the match. However, after this uncharacteristic start, Vujosevic took a time out, and things turned out all right: CSKA played better from minute to minute right through to the fourth quarter, when the Red Army were almost unstoppable.
Along with the Euroleague draws for the 2010-11 season, yesterday also saw the release of the matchups in the EuroCup qualifying tournament bracket. Sixteen teams start in the qualifiers, with eight winners of two-game series advancing to the EuroCup regular season.
The matchups are:
Besiktas Cola Turka vs. Deutsche Bank Skyliners
Hapeol Migdal Jerusalem vs. Belgacom Liege
Aris BSA 2003 vs. PBC Lukoil Academic
Gran Canaria 2014 vs. KK Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje
BC Azovmash Mariupol vs. Entente Orleanaise
BC Spartak vs. PAOK BC
Benetton Basket BWin vs. Apeol Nicosia
Dynamo Moscow vs. Cedevita Zagreb
Games one will be played on September 29, with home and visiting teams switching roles for a second game on October 6.
Time for a BallinEurope.com primer on the fifth group of the eight FIBA EuroChallenge divisions: Group E, home of the best teams from Siberia and Romania — plus perhaps surprise 2009-10 national champions from Belgium and Ukraine, too. Read on!
To torment and tease those of us – and by “those of us” here, i mean “every Euroball fan” – who can’t wait for the Euroleague, Eurocup, and FIBA EuroChallenge championship draws set for Wednesday at 1pm CET, FIBA Europe and Euroleague yesterday released the names of the participating clubs in the three competitions.