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BiE’s official Irish awards ballot +++ Joakim Noah wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year +++ Swee’ Pea makes the cut – Reaches Funding Target +++ The Dish – Too Rude for Masai Uijiri +++ The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++
Oct
0

ADRIATIC LEAGUE: DARIO COOLS BUT CIBONA ROLL, KRKA BEAT PARTIZAN

Cibona Zagreb moved to 2-1, Cedevita stayed perfect, and Krka topped reigning ABA Liga champions Partizan in round three.

The biggest result of the weekend in the ABA was Krka’s 60-52 win over Partizan. The Slovenian outfit returned to the Adriatic league on the back of a four year dominant stretch in its domestic league and moved to 2-1 for the season by claiming a major scalp in round three. In a game where offence was, to put it kindly, below par it was Krka who delivered more consistently. Their 38.7 per cent shooting coupled with a 6-3 advantage from three point land was enough to overcome an awful 29.8 per cent night from the field for Partizan. Edo Muric had 17 points and 8 rebounds for Krka while Malcolm Ray Armstead contributed 13 points, 5 assists, and 5 boards. Joffrey Lauvergne had a double-double for Partizan, with 13 points and 12 rebounds, but the support and accuracy wasn’t around him to make it count.

That loss for Partizan means Cedevita is the lone unbeaten side in the ABA after just three rounds. Miro Bilan had 16 points and 5 rebounds, all on the offensive end, in a 77-63 win at Zadar. Jusif Nurkic chipped in 15 points and 4 boards while Nolan Smith had 16 points and four boards. Smith, the former Duke Blue Devil, is one of two players to reach the Final Four on Cedevita’s roster. Goran Suton, ex Michigan State, had a good night on the boards with 6 rebounds for the Zagreb club. Zadar leaned far too much on Ive Ivanov, who led the team in scoring (16), assists (4), and rebounds (4).

Krka’s win meant they continue to go in the opposite direction of Slovenia’s Euroleague club Union Olimpija. The Ljubljana outfit lost 60-58 at Siroki to drop to 0-3 and sit at the bottom of the ABA.

Dario Watch

It was a quiet enough outing for Dario Saric in round 3 but Cibona Zagreb still picked up the win with a convincing 87-63 victory over Szolnoki Olaj. Saric had 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists for Cibona in the win. Four players scored in double digits for the Zagreb team. Jerel Blassingame had 14 points and 9 dimes while Andrija Zizic had 15 points and 12 boards. Cibona got far more work done as a team on the offensive end with a 23-10 advantage overall in assists.

Dec
0

Video: Dario Saric’s debut with Cibona Zagreb

While embeddable Adriatic League game clips are somewhat hard to come by through traditional online methods, the folks at the ABA have nicely provided entire game clips on their official website.

As noted by BallinEurope, Dario “The Next Big Thing Out of Croatia” Saric debuted for 2012-13 on Sunday with Cibona Zagreb in the storied club’s win over Euroleaguers Cedevita. European basketball fans and NBA mock draft addicts will certainly want to watch for no. 9 in the video; despite an 0-of-5 mark on threes, Saric contributed eight points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal in a nice display of his array of skills.

The full game may be seen here, while below runs a sliver.

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Dec
3

Monday Hangover: Žalgiris Kaunas impressive again; Saric’s 2012-13 debut; Goldsberry’s Bizarro Buzzer-Beater of the Week

Goldsberry, who won for losing

Damn, BallinEurope watched a lotta sports this past 72 years: Euroleague games, highlights, quarters here and there, a VTB United game, three hours of late-Sunday night NFL football, two sports-related films for upcoming Taking The Charge podcasts … life is ball games … and especially basketball, but unfortunately BiE watches almost nothing live and compresses most viewing into the weekend.

So no further ado: Three quasi-brief impressions from the bigger games, done up bullet-style.

Žalgiris: Ever interesting, ever relentless. BallinEurope’s recommended EL game of the week was Žalgiris Kaunas at Emporio Armani Milano. Žalgiris, with its slight vulnerability shown lately, needed to make a statement in this game in BiE’s opinion. Don’t worry Greens men and women: After this game, your guys will be sure to move up in the BallinEurope Euroleague power rankings

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Oct
61

Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

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Oct
2

Many sharks in the sea: Adriatic League 2012-13 season starts

The 2012-13 Adriatic League season tipped off this weekend with all 14 teams playing their first games. BallinEurope contributor Marko Savkovic takes a look at two teams figuring to be fighting for a top spot in the ABA table come season’s end: Partizan Belgrade and Cedevita Zagreb.

It was about time! The 2012/2013 edition of the Adriatic League promises us tough competition, has many exciting prospects to showcase, and includes some interesting newcomers with the grand prize awaiting top three teams. Be there crisis or not, let’s play ball. In BallinEurope’s first coverage of the new season in the Adriatic, we concentrate on two of the top contenders, who played each other in the last year’s semifinals: Cedevita and Partizan.

It has been said over and over again, so don’t mind us repeating it: Cedevita is a brand of instant drink enjoyed in former Yugoslavian countries. Team Cedevita’s success is in many aspects instant as well, but it’s hardly enjoyed by its competitors. By finishing second last year, and especially by defeating Partizan along the way, the team from the Zagreb suburbs has become a red hot favorite with Maccabi Tel Aviv gone.

All the right ingredients seem to be in place. The team’s core is preserved, with Marino Bazdaric, Goran Suton, Miro Bilan and Marko Car kept on board. Arriving from Galatasaray, Luksa Andric should bring more versatility to the paint.

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May
8

Euroleague 2012-13: An attempt to deduce the composition (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

At least this much is clear...

Yesterday, the basketball-centered bit of the Twitter universe was centered in two real-life locales: New York City and Barcelona. Topics in play were the falling of ping-pong balls in New York City and Euroleague’s incipient decision on the construction of Euroleague 2012-13. Hopefully, BallinEurope will get something together on the former later, but for now, BiE’ll attempts a quick look at the roster of teams for the upcoming season.

The three-year A-licenses are currently under review, but you gotta figure Caja Laboral Baskonia, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahçe Ülker, CSKA Moscow, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Montepaschi Siena and Žalgiris Kaunas are in. Asseco Prokom Gdynia is in the second year of its license, making them the 12th of the 24 teams.

Also up for review is Unicaja Malaga. While Spain is still even officially considered *the* best domestic or regional league in Europe (more on this momentarily), the big league could certainly defend a yanking of the license based on the team’s bottom-half finish in the Liga Endesa and consistently better recent performance by Valencia BC.

Virtus Roma is the only original A-license team to have been removed from the EL roll call, getting its placement in Euroleague ball “suspended for having finished in the bottom half of its national competition.” Unicaja might easily find itself on the Eurocup level for 2012-13; let’s just say a *lot* of things would have to happen to even get the team into the EL qualifiers.

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May
8

Who needs the Adriatic League?

With the recent announcement that the 2011-12 champions won’t in fact be seeking a second go-around in the Adriatic League and hard economic realities facing many Serbian and Croatian clubs, BallinEurope contributor Marko Savkovic today asks the hard question about one of Europe’s most prestigious associations.

Something is always up in the Adriatic League. After Maccabi Tel Aviv informed the league about its decision not to participate in next year’s competition, sportswriters started looking for a replacement but one announcement caught everyone’s attention: ULEB, it seems, has considered cutting number of teams entering the competition directly to just two. Therefore, whoever finishes third will go to qualifications. If agreed upon, this decision will become effective beginning in the 2013-14 season.

This is yet another blow to a proud basketball nation, since Belgrade powerhouse Partizan has failed – once again – in its efforts to receive a Euroleague’s “A” license.

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Nov
0

Parting shots, part one: Okur throws dagger; Splitter near double-double; D-Will’s jersey retired (no, really)

A few players returning to the NBA made expected final appearances with their European clubs last night as the mass departure to the ‘States begins. BallinEurope runs down a handful of individual performances from Adriatic League, Eurocup, and FIBA Eurochallenge games.

• Big shot of the night, NBA-related or no, was certainly Mehmet Okur’s three-point dagger to give Turk Telekom the 83-81 win over Pinar Karsiyaka. Reports FIBA Europe in part: “With Turkish basketball still talking about the 50-point explosion by Okur’s former Utah Jazz teammate Deron Williams for Beşiktaş last week, Okur capped another solid performance with a long-range shot that gave the Ankara team an 83-81 triumph on Tuesday.

“Utah Jazz big man Okur, like New Jersey Nets guard Williams, is to soon head back to the United States following Saturday’s announcement that the lockout is set to end this week.

“Okur had 14 points and 10 rebounds in Izmir against Karsiyaka. … His free throw had given Turk Telekom an 80-79 advantage with 31 seconds to go, but Karsiyaka went back out in front when Alper Saruhan landed a jumper.

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Nov
0

Eurocup tips off 10th season with Spartak v. Cedevita, Asvel v. Valencia, five more

Happy 10th birthday, Eurocup! The Continent’s no. 2 club competition will tip off season no. 10 tonight with seven matches, definitely highlighted by the showdown between Tony Parker’s Asvel Villeurbanne against a Valencia Basket side bringing in a lineup which includes Victor Claver and A.J. Ogilvy – not to mention Team France’s Nando de Colo and Florent Pietrus.

Official press release on the giddy night and highlight video from last year’s Unics Kazan-Cajasol final runs below the break.

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Oct
0

Eurocup Draw completed, groups announced

The EuroCup draw for groupings went down at 1pm CET today; below the break, BallinEurope runs the results of said draw. Information in parentheses indicates last year’s finish in domestic league play. So how’s your team’s group looking…?

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