Aug
1

Basketball World Cup of Beer: Quarter Finals – Part 2

BWCB Opening Ceremony
We are in the latter stages of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer. It began with 24 beers, one for each of the nations in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Now we’re down to the elite eight. It’s time to find out our first two semi-finalists.

Here are your match-ups on day two of the quarter-finals:
Ozusjko (Croatia) vs Admiral Benson (France)
Al-Ahram Stella (Egypt) vs Old Harbor Kofresi Stout (Puerto Rico)

It’s time to turn 4 into 2…
Continue Reading…

Aug
2

FIBA World Cup Preview – Group B

ante-tomic-croatia-fiba-world- cup
We’re going group by group with what you need to know to enjoy the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Today we’re looking at Group B.

The teams
Argentina
Qualified: Third place at the 2013 FIBA Americas championship. No Manu Ginobili in this team and while still a threat to make the knockout stages, there are a long shot for medal contention.

Croatia
Qualified: Fourth place at EuroBasket 2013, a good, organised outfit, likely to run into trouble at least once in group play but certainly in with a shot at a medal if they get the right draw.

Greece
Qualified: Wild card recipients after a disappointing 11th place finish in EuroBasket, they travel to Spain weakened by the absence of Vassilis Spanoulis and Kosta Koufos.

Philippines
Qualified: Making their first appearance at the big one since hosting in 1978, the basketball mad nation qualified as silver medal winners at the 2013 FIBA Asia championship.

Puerto Rico
Qualified: Silver medal winners at 2013 FIBA Americas championship, a capable outfit and one that will see anything less than the second round a failure.

Senegal
Qualified: After taking third place in 2013 FIBA Africa championship, Senegal was suspended by FIBA over fabricating the ages of players in the World Under 19 championships. That suspension was later lifted and they’re heading to Spain.
Continue Reading…

Aug
0

Basketball World Cup of Beer: Round 2 – Part 1

BWCB Opening Ceremony
We’ve reached the knockout stages of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer. The 24 nations from each of the nations in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball are each represented by a beer. Now only 16 remain. Today we’ll see 8 of those become 4 in our first set of second round match-ups. Here are the pairings.

Zajecarsko (Serbia) vs Ozujsko (Croatia)
Admiral Benson (France) vs Quilmes Cristal (Argentina)
8 Wired Superconductor DIPA (New Zealand) vs DOA IPA (Mexico)
Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA (USA) vs Volfas Engleman Rinktinis (Lithuania)

Now to find our quarter finalists…
Continue Reading…

Aug
1

Basketball World Cup of Beer – Group B

BWCB Opening Ceremony
We continue the first round of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer with Group B today. After France cantered to top spot in Group A yesterday, here’s hoping for a higher standard of competition.

On second thoughts, don’t get your hopes up too high. Today we’re going through Group B and, ummm, well at least there are no non-alcoholic beers this time. Here are the six beers vying for four spots in the knockout stages…
Continue Reading…

Aug
0

Coach Weldon gives his final thoughts from FIBA Europe U18s

James Weldon UL Huskies
James Weldon, who has coached UL Huskies to the last three Irish women’s titles, was in Konya for FECC and the FIBA Europe Under 18 men’s championships. After the conclusion of the tournament on Sunday evening, we asked Coach Weldon for his final thoughts on the competition.
Continue Reading…

Aug
0

Highlights: Croatia take bronze, Finland promoted at FIBA Europe U18s


Croatia won the bronze medal match at the 2014 FIBA Europe Under 18 men’s championship with a 75-71 win over Greece. Much like their semi-final with Serbia, the Greeks didn’t lack grit but Croatia had too much quality in the end. Marko Arapovic had 24 points and 16 rebounds and Dragan Bender had 14 points and 10 assists for the victors.
Continue Reading…

Aug
1

Highlights: Turkey stun Croatia 74-67, Germany promoted

Turkey will get their shot at winning back-to-back FIBA Europe Under 18 men’s titles after beating Croatia 74-67 in front of 7,000 fans in Konya. A win for Turkey against Serbia on Sunday would make it the first time since 2011 that the same nation won the Under 20 and Under 18 titles in the same year along with the first time a nation won back to back Under 18 crowns since Yugoslavia in 1986 and 1988.

James Weldon, in town for the FECC had the best take on this one:
Continue Reading…

Aug
0

Get to know Dragan Bender

16 year old Dragan Bender has taken social media by storm with his impressive displays for the Croatian national team at the FIBA Europe Under 18 men’s championships. Bender spoke to FIBA earlier this week and it’s worth watching before Croatia take on Turkey in today’s semi-finals.

Bender, who has a 7 year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv with a NBA out after 4 years, is 2.11m tall and has averaged 15.1 points 11.3 rebounds and 4.4 assits per game in these championships.

For another view on Bender, check out BiE’s interview with Coach James Weldon who saw the Croatian sensation in action earlier this week.

Aug
0

Highlights: Croatia beat Spain 80-55 in FIBA Europe U18s

It was close for a half and a little bit into the third quarter but when Croatia took over, they really took over. Spain were just 32-27 down at the half and 36-33 behind early in the third before falling away in the face of an offensive onslaught from Croatia. In the end Croatia ran out 80-55 winners with four players with double-doubles.

Jul
4

Serbia and Croatia make statements at FIBA U18s

It’s nearing the business end of the FIBA Europe U18 men’s championships and two teams stood out above all on Wednesday.

Serbia and Turkey were locked in a tight battle for most of their clash in Konya before the Serbs stepped up a gear in the second half to beat the hosts on a convincing 82-62 scoreline. That win secured top spot for Serbia in Group F, with Turkey having to settle for second. Spain and Greece booked their passages to the knockout stages with wins over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Croatia however remain the team to beat in these championships. Italy gave them a good test in the battle for top spot in Group E but, as has been the case throughout this tournament, they had to lean too much on the Mussidori. Federico Mussini and Diego Flaccadori accounted for 38 of Italy’s 65 points with no other Italian player breaking double digits. Croatia’s greater depth proved telling in the second half, as even on a quiet (by his standards) day for Dragan Bender they were able to score at will. Marco Arapovic had his third 20 point game of the tournament as Croatia eventually coasted to victory 81-65.
Continue Reading…