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FIBA World Cup Preview – Group C +++ CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems take the ice bucket challenge +++ Tony Parker does ice bucket challenge but his friend can’t use a camera phone +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: Semi Finals +++ EuroBasket 2015: Wins for Macedonia, Belgium, and Georgia +++ Q&A with Alex Krstanovic on the Belgrade Trophy +++ Thomas Klepeisz shows you how to celebrate a winning bucket +++ Big jam by Giannis Antetokounmpo as Greece beat Slovenia +++ Two-time Euroleague winning coach close to Wakayama deal +++ This is how LeBron does the ice bucket challenge +++
May
18

The EuroChallenge Championship Curse: What of Beşiktaş’ future?

In this second piece of a two-part series, sportswriter/commentator Uygar Karaca again considers the EuroChallenge Championship Curse, with special reference to this year’s champions, Beşiktaş; unfortunately for the Eagles, Karaca feels a distressing amount of déjà vu…

In this article, I will try to answer the question as to whether Beşiktaş Milangaz fits into the framework of the “EuroChallenge Championship Curse.” Just to reminder for readers: A few days ago, I compiled a list of teams who won the FIBA EuroChallenge trophy and what happened to them thereafter. Many of these team’s fates were not very nice and unfortunately, one can fairly claim that Beşiktaş is walking a similar path.

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Nov
5

Highlights: Deron Williams in “all-star mode,” goes for 31 points in Eurochallenge win; Besiktas now 7-0

France-based Basket Europe has a brief writeup (and video highlights — but so does BallinEurope; see below the break) on locked out New Jersey Net Deron Williams’ latest success here on the Continent, describing D-Will as “en mode All Star.”

Beşiktaş Milangaz cruised past Armia in game two of FIBA Eurochallenge play as Williams was good for 31 points, including 5-of-9 shooting on threes, and six assists in the 103-82 win. Nets fans might also note that their theoretical player Sundiata Gaines turned in a nice eight-assist, three-steal performance for Armia.

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Jul
9

“It is a fact”: Bits and bites on Deron Williams, Beşiktaş, NBA lockout

With BallinEurope temporarily stationed in the USA, the business-as-usual machinations of top European clubs and preparations of national teams for Eurobasket 2011 threaten to be lost in a squall of speculation about the NBA lockout – of which amazingly little progress is being seen, by the way. And so, BiE has a few bulleted thoughts, quips and links this morning (afternoon CET time) on Deron Williams and his ilk.

• If Williams in fact does suit up for Beşiktaş Cola Turka come September, won’t he be the first Team USA team member to play in Europe since the days of the (totally awesome) Dirty Dozen? Come to think of it, Trajan Langdon and the guys wouldn’t have even been in USA colors in 1998 had it not been for … a player lockout. Hmmm…

• As for Kobe Bryant joining D-Will and Zaza with Beşiktaş, American media is all over this story despite recent (assumed impermanent) sanctions against club. Coach Ergin Ataman’s quote is getting lots of play already before much of the country even awakens this morning: “It is a fact that Kobe Bryant’s managers have contacted us.”

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Jul
19

Report: Deron Williams to Beşiktaş Cola Turka [Update: Maybe Zaza Pachulia, too?]

Beşiktaş Cola Turka, briefly known as the team employing Allen Iverson (remember him?), has reportedly agreed to terms with another, perhaps more reliable American NBA baller. Turkey-based sports news outlet NTV Spor announced today that Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets will be joining the TBL club for the 2011-12 with an out clause, should the NBA lockout end.

Williams stands to earn some $16 million with Mikhail Prokhorov’s team, should a season be played.

Update: A few hours after NTV Spor reported this story, the website added that the Atlanta Hawks’ Zaza Pachulia, too, would “in principle” be suiting up for the Eagles in ’11. And Besiktas coach Ergin Ataman has now gone on record as saying that Williams would be a bigger coup for Turkish basketball in terms of star power than that Iverson guy…

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Jan
4

Iverson, Besiktas blue-chippers not enough against Efes Pilsen, 85-83 (OT)

Say what you want about the European extension of Allen Iverson’s basketball career, the man can still play. Unfortunately, an utter lack of depth ultimately killed Beşiktaş Cola Turka and Ergin Ataman’s coaching debut with the Turkish club against Euroleague side Efes Pilsen Istanbul last night, 85-83 in overtime.

Iverson played a sliver under 40 minutes, going for 17 points on 6-of-11 overall shooting plus an impressive eight assists. Beşiktaş’ other blue chips turned in good-to-excellent games, with Cevher Ozer (27 points, 11-of-18, seven rebounds) the top dog, A.J. Ogilvy (7-of-12, 18 points, 14 boards) continuing as the double-double machine in the Iverson Era; and Mire Chatman (5-of-11, 10 points, six rebounds) solid.

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Jan
7

The Top 100 Teams in Europe: Now with new formula!

You have commented and BallinEurope has heard. Thanks in large part to the proddings and machinations of a somewhat indignant Y. (BiE’s man in Lithuania), we’ve reworked the formula to determine the official Top 100 Teams in Europe list.

Not to go into any boring detail, but Y. was kind enough to install somewhat arbitrary weighting for every domestic league in Europe. (In all seriousness, who can say that Polish basketball is 16% better than, say, Estonian hoops?)

We also agreed that the most glaring problem with the previous rankings were the rewards given to certain teams from Lithuania and Ukraine who have played, in some cases, multiple times more games than those in countries with “Superleague Basketball”-formatted leagues, e.g. Croatia and Serbia. After much wrangling and number-crunching, a way was finally found to create a reasonable weighting system for those team playing lots of garbage games.

The formula surely still isn’t perfect, but this week’s edition may come a bit closer to the reality of these teams’ current standing in the wider picture of European basketball: Though BiE’s own subjective no. 1 (Maccabi Tel Aviv) may be a bit low on this table, the fact that the top 21 in the rankings are all Euroleague squads bodes well, as does the presence of 23 EL sides in the top 25 – go ahead, guess which of the two dozen didn’t crack the quarter-century.

In any case, enjoy the new and (already) improved BiE Top 100 Teams in Europe rankings! (All figures based on games played through Wednesday, January 5, except VTB United League games to be calculated later.)

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Mar
0

The Frank Euroleague Roundup: Top 16, week five

Scariolo: No, really, i can explain everything...

Scariolo: No, really, i can explain everything...

With one more week of Euroleague play to go before the field of viable contenders officially shrinks again, Ball in Europe contributor Francesco Cappelletti wraps the round that was in the big league. In this week’s roundup, Signor C. laments Montepaschi Siena’s fate, Sergio Scariolo’s precarious position and the reason Olympiacos might yet give Barca a workout before all is said and done (Hint: It starts with “Linas” and ends with “Kleiza”).

Group F focus
Oddly, the group which could have been in doubt until the buzzer of Week 6 suddenly has two qualified teams after five weeks: These are Real Madrid and Maccabi Tel Aviv, teams which will meet next Thursday at Palacio Vistalegre to define a first place currently in possession of the Israeli side for their 81-76 victory of February 4.

Montepaschi Siena was shocked by a 43-point fourth quarter scored by Alan Anderson and teammates. OK, take out the final (meaningless) 10 points, and 33 remain on the back of the Italian champions. How was this possible? MPS had recovered during the third period thanks to big hearted Terrell McIntyre and bad offensive decisions from previously unstoppable Doron Perkins, but, I mean, if you play with six men (seven minutes of nothing for Nikos Zisis in crisis, Ksistof Lavrinovic plagued by back spasms), and you enter the final fraction with a 3-point advantage at Yad Eliyahu, well, you know your destiny.

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Feb
3

The Frank Euroleague roundup: Top 16, week four

Not this year

Not this year

The critical week four of Euroleague Top 16 action is in the books, but Ball in Europe’s man in Italy, Francesco Cappelletti, is still musing on the shifts ‘n’ events thanks to these eight games. This week’s frank roundup wishes Panathinaikos bye-bye, gives mucho deserved props to Pini Gershon, and bestows an “accolade” upon Zabian Dowdell. Read on!

Goodbye Panathinaikos
Before this week, it seemed nearly impossible that Panathinaikos would put itself again on the road to the playoffs. The evidence for the Greens’ struggle weren’t in the numbers which still didn’t damn the defending champions, but somehow it was all in the body language, the play expressed by a group which showed complacency and an unwillingness to fight, to get their hands dirty.

Maybe Zelimir Obradovic thought his men would have woken up when it counted; instead, even against Regal FC Barcelona, into an in-and-out game whose content must recall for Mike Batiste and his teammates remember not-so-faraway times, PAO looked like the same squad devoid of motivation, tactical themes, and unselfishness that appeared during the first phase. FC Barcelona simply had to stay close to the Greens until the final moments, when it was cleared which was the real united group and which was a jumble of overpaid men – though not overrated, be careful – unable to unify.

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Jan
0

The Frank Euroleague roundup: Top 16, week one

Lima had Khryapa schooled

Lima had Khryapa schooled

Which team has already clinched a Euroleague Final Four spot? Who’s most to blame for Panathinaikos’ loss? What did Ergin Ataman do wrong? And why did Aito Garcia Reneses pull Cesar Augusto Lima with seven minutes to play? These questions are answered – OK, not that last one: That one’s a real riddle for the ages – in this week’s Euroleague roundup by Francesco Cappelletti. Read on for full illumination.

Don’t be surprised
No Aleks Maric at OAKA, no prolems for Partizan Belgrade. Panathinaikos was stunned by the Serbians at the end of a game that coach Dusko Vujosevic interpreted correctly.

Counting on deep rotations and a physicality to balance Pana’s, Partizan played slowly and strength-oriented to protect the paint while alternating between man-to-man and zone defenses: a prime reason why Nikola Pekovic was not, as predicted, game MVP in a match he should have dominated near the basket against a faux center like Lawrence Roberts and a scheming Slavko Vranes. Instead, Roberts scored 12 points and added 10 rebounds, while Vranes blocked four shots to stay on court for 31 minutes while not preoccupied by the Greek frontline.

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Jan
0

Euroleague Top 16 draw: The Frank take

The Euroleague Top 16 group draw was orientated, due to the guidelines, well before it started. So, while Group G and Group H were fixed, it remained to see where Maccabi Tel Aviv and Efes Pilsen Istanbul would be directed: to the Barcelona-Panathinaikos group or the Real Madrid-Montepaschi gang. The two teams went into the latter’s, making Group F the toughest of Top 16.

Welcoming Partizan Belgrade and Maroussi BC are Regal FC Barcelona and Panathinaikos – especially the Greens, because in Catalunya they’re fearless until they play like they have since the beginning of this season – who are today thanking God in helping them avoid two teams with Top 16 traditions and rosters not to be underestimated. Further, Zelimir Obradovic’s squad has the fortune of playing four home games: The team shares the OAKA venue with Maroussi BC.

Nevertheless, to Sarunas Jasikevicius and his teammates, Partizan recalls that painful elimination in the 2007-2008 Top 16, when the defending champions were beaten in the final game by the Serbians in a burning Pionir Arena. This time, with Aleks Maric in the paint for Nikola Pekovic, the date Panathinaikos must underline is March 4th, when Barça flies to Belgrade in the second week of Top 16 competition, an undoubtable advantage: The dynamics of Group E dynamics will still be in flux and the Spanish side must be focused to prevent a win they could strongly regret later.

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