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Nov
0

Madrid continues unbeaten Euroleague run with dominant win over Milan


As the season heads into the winter months, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague is hotting up with some cracking games as the campaign gathers pace in Group B and C.

The showcase match for Group B came courtesy of Brose Baskets Bamberg who edged past Anadolu Efes Istanbul 88 – 86 in a thrilling game that went right down to the wire. There was only 1.3 seconds remaining on the clock when Casey Jacobsen clinched it for the winners. He scored 23 points overall and was helped by Anton Gavel who scored 17 points, Jamar Smith put 14 points on the scoreboard while John Goldsberry contributed 8 assists for Bamberg.

Efes made it difficult for Bamberg by being incredibly effective when on the offense. A scoring rate of 15-of-21 two-point shots and 5-of-7 three-pointers before halftime meant that the team took a 44-51 lead at the break as well as extending the margin to 52 – 66 midway through the third quarter. However, Bamberg didn’t give up and thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Jacobsen, the team started a 20 – 2 run that saw Bamberg lead 70 – 66 with nine minutes to go.

The lead was increased to 84 – 77, but Efes’ Kostas Vasileiadis singlehandedly brought the team back to life. The decider came at the final minute as a jumper by Jamon Gordon gave Efes a 85 – 86 lead with 6.8 seconds left. Bamberg called timeout and Jacobsen rounded off an impressive game by scoring the winning shot with only a second to spare.


The other Group B game that night saw Real Madrid continue a dominant start to its campaign by defeating EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 93 – 74 at home. The win meant that Madrid remains the only unbeaten team in the group while Milan dropped to fourth place.

Leading for the entirety of the match, Madrid were in total control thanks to Sergio Rodriguez who finished the first half on a 22 – 5 spurt, ensuring the score was 52 – 31 during the halfway mark. Nikola Mirotic scored 15 of his total 19 points in the first quarter alone, Rudy Fernandez tallied 16 points during the game, while Felipe Reyes bagged himself 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Group C saw Stelmet Zielona Gora making history by securing its first ever victory in the Euroleague by beating Montepaschi Siena 73 – 65. Led by Lukasz Koszarek and Vladimir Dragicevic, Zielona Gora stayed in contention before Przemyslaw Zamojski secured the win with 7 points in the final half minute.

Oct
0

Bamberg & Galatasaray record stylish victories on Euroleague’s opening day

The Turkish Airlines Euroleague season got underway on Wednesay with Brose Baskets Bamberg and Galatasaray Liv Hospital getting off to a flying start. Bamberg defeated Strasbourg 84–70 in what was a comprehensive victory in the Brose Arina while Galatasaray saw off Montepaschi Siena 75–84 in the Nelson Mandela Arena.

Bamberg didn’t have the best of starts, trailing 16 – 21 after the first quarter, but when Jamar Smith came off the bench, the flow of the game changed. Making his Euroleague debut, Smith scored 11 points for the German champs, consisting of two jumpers, a three-pointer and a driving layup to bring Bamberg to within 25-26. Overall, he scored 19 points during his 14 minutes on the court, an impressive scoring rate.

Also helping out in the game was Anton Gavel who added 16 points and 6 assists, Sharrod Ford scored 11 while Maik Zirbes got 10. After Smith brought the side back into contention, it was Ford and Rakim Sanders that pushed them ahead 35 – 28. The final six minutes saw Bamberg finish the second quarter with a 19 – 1 run, bringing them into half time with a 43 – 29 scoreline.

However, Strasbourg wasn’t going to go down without a fight and always tried to catch up with Bamberg. Despite a forgettable third quarter where it trailed 66 – 45, Antoine Diot and Alexis Ajinca, who was Strasbourg’s top scorer with 19 points, brought the deficit down to 69 – 56. Yet it was Bamberg’s night as additional scores from Smith and Ford saw them lead 80 – 66 with two minutes left. Romain Duport reduced the lead to 12 but it wasn’t enough to worry Bamberg who ended the game comfortably.
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Oct
0

Bundesliga: Bayern stay perfect, Mike’s Stock is falling


FC Bayern moved to 4-0 as their impressive start to Bundesliga continued while Artland Dragons claimed the scalp of Brose Baskets Bamberg.

This is what you call ideal preparation for your debut season in Euroleague. FC Bayern already had a win over fellow Euroleague side Bamberg to their name in the Bundesliga this season and continued their hot start with a 103-70 win over BC Bayreuth. Bayern had 6 players in double digits as they comfortably maintained their perfect start to the season. Malcolm Delaney wasn’t one of the big scorers, he was far too busy dropping dimes as he dished 11 assists on the day. Bayreuth were short-handed for the road trip and their eight-man rotation finally caved in the third quarter when Bayern busted the game open with a 34-16 frame.

Germany’s other Euroleague team, Brose Baskets Bamberg, isn’t enjoying the hot start of their Bavarian neighbours. The reigning Bundesliga champions dropped to 2-2 on the season after losing 71-68 at Artland Dragons. Brandon Thomas chipped in 14 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists for Dragons in the win.

ratiopharm Ulm is fast becoming one of the favourite teams of Ballineurope, mainly because they post highlights of their games promptly after they have finished. Unfortunately for Ulm, being in our good books counts for squat and they went down 77-74 at home to Telekom Baskets Bonn. Cameron Long’s 0 for 7 day from deep didn’t help the home side out but Per Gunther was an impressive 4 of 5 from three point range. Inconsistency was the undoing of Ulm, even Gunther had a horrible day on the inside, and they eventually succumbed to a more efficient Bonn team.

We never meant to have a Mike Stockton watch on these pages but after featuring the Ludwigsburg player last week, we simply have to follow up and see how he got on at the weekend. Stockton and his MHP Riesen team got stuffed in Berlin, losing to Alba 83-52. Stockton had 6 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, but 6 turnovers in the loss. David Logan starred for Berlin with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Oct
0

Germany: Bayern contain Stockton, Bamberg rolls, Ulm squeeze it out

It was a busy night in the Bundesliga and FC Bayern maintained their perfect record with a comfortable 95-71 win at Ludwigsburg.

Bayern didn’t stop Mike Stockton but they managed to contain the new favourite son of Ludwigsburg. Stockton scored 12 points, picked up 3 rebounds, and had 3 assists but this was well short of the crazy numbers he put up in his first two games at his new home. Bayern’s variety of options was on full display as 6 different players scored in double digits. Malcolm Delaney led the way with 18 points, 7 dimes, and 5 boards, but his was just won of several impressive showings from the Bavarians on Wednesday night.

Brose Baskets Bamberg rebounded from their weekend loss to Bayern with a crushing 85-62 win over Walters Tigers Tubringen. Darmir Markota had 8 boards and 6 assists while scored 22 points and dropped 5 dimes in a dominant home display by the Bundesliga champions.

The was a thriller between s.Oliver Baskets and ratiopharm Ulm. Despite strong starts to both halves, Ulm couldn’t shake the Wurzburg club and the battle went down to the closing stages. On a night where free-throw shooting was iffy, it was Ulm that held its nerve at the line to hang on for an 81-80 victory.

 

 

 

Oct
0

Bundesliga best bits and Bayern vs Bamberg highlights

Good morning. Want to see what happened in the Bundesliga in Round 2? Here’s the Top 10 plays and game highlights from FC Bayern’s 84-74 win over Brose Baskets Bamberg as well as ratiopharm Ulm’s 87-47 shellacking of Bremerhaven.

Unsurprisingly, a big play from FC Bayern’s win makes the Top 10 list but it isn’t top of the pile.

Nothing is won in October but the mental boost from beating Bamberg won’t be lost on FC Bayern. Just check out the excitement down the stretch in these highlights.

ratiopharm Ulm utterly routed Bremerhaven on Sunday. This was a laugher but check out the cool tribute by Ulm fans at the start.

Oct
0

Germany: First blood for Bayern between Bundesliga big guns

The first round of Basketball Bundesliga in Germany pitted the league’s two Euroleague participants against each other in the Audi Dome and it was FC Bayern who came out on top 84-74 over Brose Baskets Bamberg.

It’s that time of the year where every game is begging to be over-analysed and the Bundesliga served up the perfect match-up for such a purpose. FC Bayern, whose hype has only grown over the summer with their admittance to Euroleague, struck first blood over reigning Bundesliga champions Brose Baskets Bamberg with a 10 point win in Munich’s Audi Dome.

The home side took the lead from the off against Bamberg, moving to a 9 point advantage by the break, but the reigning champions were back on level terms as the game entered the final frame. Chevon Troutman and Nihad Djedovic came up big for the home side with 14 points each as they pushed for the finish down the stretch. Casey Jacobsen’s 17 point contribution wasn’t enough to take the W for Bamberg. Bayern win to move to 2-0. Please remember, it’s very early in the season.

Artland Dragons overcame an ugly day from the field to sneak a 67-66 win over Alba Berlin. The Dragons managed to shoot just 36.5 per cent compared to a more palatable 41.3 from Berlin but it was success from deep and on the board that pushed the home side over the line. Anthony King was in fine from with 15 points and 11 boards in a game-leading display for Artland Dragons.

EWE Baskets Oldenburg didn’t let the sting of their exit from the Euroleague Qualifiers affect them back in domestic action. Oldenburg eased to a 72-63 win at Skyliners Frankfurt, getting back on track after falling at the second hurdle in Vilnius. Ricky Paulding hit four three-pointers en route to 18 points for Oldenburg with Nemanja Aleksandrov providing ample support with 11 points.

Due to their participation in Vilnius, this was Oldenburg’s first game of the season and they are one of six teams with perfect records at this early point. In addition to Bayern and Dragons, Phantoms Braunschweig, Ludwigsburg, and Phoenix Hagen all moved to 2-0 to start the 2013-14 season. The number of perfect records will go down by at least one on Wednesday as Ludwigsburg host FC Bayern in the mid-week round of games. Bamberg are also in action on Wednesday as they host 0-2 Tubringen. Alba will have to wait until Saturday to try and pick up their first win of the year when they host Ludwigsburg at the O2.

Mar
2

Zalgiris loses to Minsk, drops to 2-6 in tight European-league games; what is happening in Kaunas?

Ksistof doesn’t get it either…

The conversations BallinEurope has with peers in the European basketball blogosphere lately tend to drift toward one team: Žalgiris Kaunas, the hardest luck team in Euroleague basketball.

No, wait, strike that. Let’s start over.

The conversations BallinEurope has with peers in the European basketball blogosphere lately tend to drift toward one team: Žalgiris Kaunas, a team that, in spite of a roster chockfull of experienced talent, simply cannot close out games and fall apart in the clutch.

It’s one of the two, anyway. Or maybe not: Perhaps we can lay the blame at Joan Plaza’s feet (though expectations going into the season were long) or on the subpar refereeing (which might be stretching things a bit considering the sum total of questionable calls in game seven of the Euroleague Top 16 round worked out in the Greens’ favor).

Maybe the front-office issues and lack of payment to players have been overwhelmingly distracting (as Marko Popovic told heinnews and BiE in a recent Taking the Charge podcast interview, “We made a deal at the beginning of the season that this team would stay together until the end of the season, no matter what happens. Hopefully people are going to recognize the way that we play for this club, the way that we show on the court and hopefully the financial status is going to change. We are just focused on the court. Of course we hear the rumors going on around the club but we are trying to be focused, which is not easy, I gotta be honest…”

Maybe it’s none of the above, some of the above, or all of the above. But with Žalgiris now looking at a 4-6 record after another heartbreaker to Real Madrid last week, Lithuania’s remaining representative may have already bad-lucked itself out of a Euroleague playoff spot after starting out at a strong 8-2 clip. An examination of crucial moments may give some insight into the Bizarro equivalent of last season’s Olympiacos squad. Or perhaps not.
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Feb
2

Tim “Der Nächste Nowitzki” Ohlbrecht moves up to Houston Rockets, to become eighth-ever German NBA player

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Tim Ohlbrecht, who has made the jump to the NBA in signing with the increasingly interesting (and increasingly European-spiced) Houston Rockets – and whoa, are some Germany-based news outlets excited.

In reporting on the contract, which has the former Frankfurt Skyliners/Telekom Baskets Bonn/Rio Grande Valley Vipers big man locked in with Houston through this season plus a club option through 2014-15, Bild labels Ohlbrecht “der nächste Nowitzki” while getting positively giddy about the possibility of the 24-year-old matching up against Dirk (and sidekick Chris Kaman) when the Rockets face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Der Spiegel meanwhile quotes recently-hired Team Germany head coach Frank Menz as stating that he was “impressed by Tim’s development in the U.S., particularly [in athleticism],” noting that “It shows great will and ambition to [get to the NBA] the hard way, through the D-League.”

Less than a week ago, Ohlbrecht’s agent Tyler Glass informed Sportando that his client had turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics; in hindsight, this appears quite the shrewd move by Glass, who perhaps knew of the much more attractive offer from the playoff-contending Rockets.

After four seasons with Giants Leverkusen and Brose Baskets Bamberg, Ohlbrecht declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft back in 2010, but his name went uncalled. He returned to the German Bundesliga thereafter to play with Bonn and Frankfurt in turn before reentering the Rockets system this season with the D-League Vipers; his stat line there includes marks of 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. And since 2008, Ohlbrecht has played summers with Team Germany.

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Feb
0

Podcast: What’s up in Kaunas and Bamberg? Interviews with Marko Popovic, Bamberg scouting director Brendan Rooney

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #23 — a belated 50th birthday gift to His Airness, then — in the heinnews/BallinEurope-coproduced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online.

David Hein and yours truly feature two interviews this time out, fortuitously timed in the wake of last week’s Brose Baskets Bamberg-Zalgiris Kaunas cliffhanger. First up is Marko Popovic, Zalgiris’ hero in the game for, as coolly as ice, sinking three consecutive free throws with literally 0.0 left on the clock in overtime for the Greens’ win. Popovic speaks candidly on the off-court transactions affecting Zalgiris’ play particularly in the Euroleague Top 16 round and about Team Croatia’s chances in the FIBA Eurobasket 2013 tourney.

Also joining us for some jibber-jabber is Bamberg scouting director Brendan Rooney, who not only tells us exactly what his job is and how a St. Louis native ended up in Germany, but also sheds some light on his team’s woes in the big league this season.

Finally, our sports movie review feature this week is a good ol’ double feature — though both flicks are only marginally related to sport. We look at the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock classic “Strangers on a Train” and the Strangers-inspired “Throw Momma From the Train” starring high-profile Los Angeles Clippers fan Billy Crystal back in 1987.

This entire episode of “Taking the Charge” may be downloaded here. Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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Feb
1

Sharrod Ford and company present the Harlem Shake (Brose Baskets Bamberg On the Bus Remix)

A disappointing and anti-climactic Euroleague loss to Zalgiris Kaunas last week may prove that this year’s Brose Baskets Bamberg are no Globetrotters, but they still show a little bit of Harlem. Check out Sharrod Ford (native of Washington, D.C.) leading his squad in a brief go at that Harlem Shake. Guess those bus rides in Western Europe can get long…

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