Feb
16

Las Dreamcheers strut stuff, show skills at Copa Del Rey

Damn straight BallinEurope’ll run these videos. Alongside this year’s top-notch hoops for which the Copa Del Rey has become world famous, the 2013 edition of the tournament featured some amazing athleticism, choreography and straight-up gorgeousness from Las Dreamcheers, a dance team made up of ACB cheerleaders.

Check out the Liga Endesa-produced video directly below for highlights from last weekend’s show-within-a-show, including what must be the world’s sexiest stewardess outfits. (Is this a preview of Turkish Airlines’ new employee wardrobes?) Good ol’ YouTube provides another compilation as well…

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Feb
21

Cup finals highlights: Barca dominates Valencia; Siena squeaks past Cinderella; PAO bests “club of filth” Olympiacos; Korac Cup final postponed

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope this morning to FC Barcelona, Montepaschi Siena and Panathinaikos, perhaps each respectively their nation’s top basketball club, for taking domestic cup titles this weekend.

In Spain, FC Barcelona showed no letup after outlasting Real Madrid in Thursday’s barnburner from the Copa Del Rey quarterfinal round and cruised through Valencia BC in the finals, 85-69. Nice to note that BiE fave Pete Mickael snagged this year’s MVP award from within a relentless and balanced Blaugrana attack.

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Jun
3

Readying for El Clásico: A look at nine series’ worth of FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Navarro knows: 10th finals matchup of Real vs. Barca

With just hours to go before the Liga Endesa championship series pitting FC Barcelona against Real Madrid in what they just had to call “El Clásico,” Spain-based Blog de Basket today takes a look at some of the great matchups for all the Spanish marbles these two have had over the years; the 2012 confrontation will mark the 10th between the two with Barca holding the slight 5-4 advantage.

Extrapolation from the Blog piece – plus lots of YouTubes, natch – follow.

These battles started in 1984, in a series ending in forfeit. After Barcelona’s Mike Davis tangled with Real’s Juanma Iturriaga and Fernando Martin resulting in an on-court altercation, league officials handed out suspensions. Iturriaga was given a reprimand only, while Davis, arguably the victim in the scuffle, received the longest suspension. Barca players were a no-show for game three in protest.

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Feb
3

National Cups: Real Madrid ends 19 years of futility; Beşiktaş, Chalon take first-ever titles; Montepaschi Siena continues dominance

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope today to a quartet of national Cup holders in Real Madrid, Beşiktaş Milangaz, Chalon-sur-Saone and Montepaschi Siena. The former three victories are set to be particularly noted in club annals: Real ended a 19-year drought while Beşiktaş and Chalon both bagged their first-ever championships in their respective national cup tournaments after each were runners-up in 2011. Below run game wraps and highlight clips.

In Spain, Madrid won their first Spanish Cup since Arvydas Sabonis was on the team with a convincing 92-74 victory over FC Barcelona on the Blaugrana home court. Twenty-three was the magic number for Los Blancos, as Madrid took its 23rd such title behind 23 points from tournament MVP Sergio Llull. An extrapolation from the Liga Endesa’s official site goes something like the following.

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Oct
15

Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar seek to join elites in 2012

Sasha? Really?

It’s perhaps the most famous Euroleague-related trivia question, and this season sees two more players in a quest to join the likes of a noted half-dozen, including some of the game’s all-time greats – would you believe that duo seeking to join this elite are named Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar?

The €20,000 question is of course, “Which players have won both Euroleague and NBA titles?” Hint: There are six in total, and two are Americans. Guess before clicking “Read More…” to test your skills – BiE’s trusting you to stay away from Google searches and Wikipedia…

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Aug
7

Career retrospective: Arvydas Sabonis, Hall of Famer

In honor of the legendary Arvydas Sabonis, the man Scottie Pippen once called “The greatest European basketball player ever to play the game,” entering the Basketball Hall of Fame, BallinEurope this morning reruns its career retrospective on the big man’s incredible career.

Quite a collection of rare Sabonis footage exists in the collective consciousness of YouTube, an ideal jumping-off point for that burgeoning bunch of basketball fans who never saw the man play or even experienced a world in which the Soviet Union exists.

Congratulations again to Sabas and thanks for the memories!

• 1979-1989 (and again from 2000-2005): Žalgiris Kaunas
From Sabonis first getting into the professional system with hometown club to courtside videocam shots of his final pro season back with his first team, this Lithuanian-language clip is loaded with rare footage.

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Apr
9

Arvydas Sabonis: A career retrospective, via YouTube

BallinEurope sends out huge, 7’3” congratulations this morning to all-time great Arvydas Sabonis, finally inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame alongside luminaries such as Chris Mullin, Dennis Rodman (whoa, that’s still weird), Artis Gilmore, Tex Winter, “Goose” Tatum, Tom “Satch” Sanders, Tara Van Derveer, Herb Magee, and Teresa Edwards.

A tribute in the form of career retrospective to the pride of Lithuanian basketball follows – in the finest fashion BiE knows: video clips! Quite a collection of rare Sabonis footage exists in the collective consciousness of YouTube, an ideal jumping-off point for that burgeoning bunch of basketball fans who’d never seen the man play or even experienced a world in which the Soviet Union exists.

Thanks for the memories, Sabas!

• 1979-1989 (and again from 2000-2005): Žalgiris Kaunas
From Sabonis first getting into the professional system with hometown club to courtside videocam shots of his final pro season back with his first team, this Lithuanian-language clip is loaded with rare footage.

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Mar
0

Euroleague playoff round hors d’oeuvres: Bits, bites and video clips

Ivanovic: Too tough for Eliyahu?

It seems like forever, but the Euroleague break is over tomorrow with the beginning of the elite eight playoff round. Today the basketball news outlets are buzzing with anticipation, and BallinEurope brings you a few bits, bites and, oh yes, YouTube clips to get those viewing muscles warmed up a bit…

• Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Caja Laboral Baskonia. The Israeli side’s home ‘paper Haaretz is taking a conservative stance vis-à-vis its team – though if any series looks like a sweep for the favorite, it’s this one – in headlining today that “Maccabi Tel Aviv faces a tough coach in Dusko Ivanovic of Caja Laboral Vitoria, maybe too tough for his own good.” This news outlet also points out that Ivanovic has twice been bounced from a Euroleague title by Maccabi: David Blatt’s 2002 team beat Vitoria in the final eight round, while Tel Aviv took the EL championship by beating TAU Vitoria in the final game of 2005.

In analyzing Ivanovic’s tactics, El Mundo Deportivo editor Jose Hueget speculates that “Lior Eliyahu, who played under Ivanovic in Vitoria last year, returned to Maccabi in part because of the coach, not just because he missed Israel.”

• FC Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos. PAO personnel are publicly relishing their roles as underdogs against favored Barca. At a Saturday press conference, Dimitris Diamantidis proclaimed that he “believes in his team,” Mike Batiste stated that he “loves challenges” and Zeljko Obradovic declared “Let’s go to battle!”

In terms of head-to-head matchups, much hype is centered on RR vs. DD, so how about a review of the last Ricky Rubio-Diamantidis clash, namely Spain vs. Greece in the 2010 FIBA World Championship?

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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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