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Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France +++ Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer – Bronze Medal Match +++ Rudy gets iced, the internet rejoices +++ 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 +++
Oct
0

Euroleague: Preview – Lietuvos Rytas vs EWE Oldenburg and Banvit Bandirma vs Telenet BC

Things are really beginning to heat up in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds as each team fights for a place in next season’s Euroleague. Tuesday saw Lithuanian side Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius defeat a resilient VEF Riga side 80-71 in Siemens Arena. They will be hosting German side EWE Baskets Oldenburg, who edged Cimberio Varese 74-79 in a tight match.

Both sides will be eager to return to the Euroleague. Rytas will want to make up for last year’s finish when it missed out on the top 16 while Oldenburg last taste of the top league was back during the 09-10 season.

Both teams will hope to continue on the momentum from their first game. Rytas will take encouragement from a strong team performance, despite needing a late triple from Omar Cook to secure the win. Cook accumulated 7 points and 7 assists throughout the match but it was Juan Palacios who was the most prolific, collecting 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while Martynas Gecevicius bagged 11 points and 8 rebounds.

EWE Baskets on the other hand had a tight finish as the two sides tied 70-70 with two minutes to go. Julis Jenkins netted 18 points off the bench while Chris Kramer’s contribution was critical, proving 15 points 5 rebouns and 5 assists throughout the game.

Wednesday night’s games were just as eventful as Banvit Bandirma saw off CEZ Basketball Nymburk 78 – 87. Keith Simmons spearheaded the Banvit attack as he scored 3 three pointers while E.J. Rowland provided 13 assists to help secure the win.

But the greatest shock came courtesy of Telenet BC, who defeated Khimki Moscow Region 79 – 90. Having been tied at 64 – 64 with a little over seven minutes left, Telenet secured the win thanks to Pierre-Antoine Gillet who scored 5 three-pointers, finishing with 16 points, while Ryan Thompson scored 19 points.

Having never been in the Euroleague before, Banvit will hope that there won’t be another shock when the two sides meet. Telenet BC, however, will be eyeing a return to Euroleague after a ten-year absence.

The sides who are unsuccessful in Thursday’s encounter will be entered in the draw for EuroCup in the last line. The draw will take place on Friday.

- Quinton O’Reilly

Mar
1

Podcast: Interviews with Per Gunther, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia; plus riffs on Rodman in North Korea, the Harlem Shake, Space Jam (P.S. Win a free T-shirt!)

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode 25 in the Taking the Charge podcast series is now available online, and in general this one reflects the wackiness of the week in basketball just gone by. So Bill Simmons’ “B.S. Report” over at Grantland is described as “a free-flowing conversation”? Co-host David Hein of heinnews and yours truly sail our own stream of consciousness this time out, touching upon diverse subjects including the Harlem Shake phenomenon, Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy in North Korea, Tim Ohlbrecht in America, the ever-interesting behind-the-scenes happenings in Greece, and, in our sports movie review of the week, the all-time classic Space Jam.

A bit of gravity – but just a wee bit – infuses the show in an interview with our first guest, Ratiopharm Ulm’s Per Günther. Günther tells us about his club (arguably one of the most notable European underdogs in 2012-13 who currently find themselves near the top of the Bundesliga table and in the Eurocup elite eight) and the prospects for Team Germany in Eurobasket 2013.

Also joining us is Sportando co-founder Emiliano Carchia, who offers some insight into the recent towering success of the European basketball-centric website.

And in the first-ever Taking The Charge promotion, earn a chance at winning a T-shirt absolutely free – tune in to find out (Don’t worry: Details are just a few minutes into the ‘cast).

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that Taking the Charge podcasts are now available through iTunes; subscribe by entering the following into the aggregator: http://heinnews.com/feed/podcast. Alternatively, the entire episode may be heard here.

Continue Reading…

Jan
0

Eurocup Last 16: Ratiopharm ulm must stop Rakocevic to top Red Star

A rough week doesn’t get any easier for Ratiopharm Ulm in its inaugural Eurocup Last 16 game tonight, with the Bundesliga side playing host to Red Star Belgrade after losing an 80-78 heartbreaker to FC Bayern Munchen on the weekend.

Sport Eagle TV got a few minutes with Ulm head coach Thorsten Liebenath and player Philipp Schwethelm after the Munich game to discuss the prospects of taking on one of this season’s European success stories; naturally, the focus is on Igor Rakočević, who was good for 18.7 points per game in the first phase of Eurocup 2012-13.

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Dec
1

Podcast: Interviews Chuck Davis, Frank Robinson; also, how the Nazi Party influenced ESPN

Episode lucky number 13 in the “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online over at heinnews.

For this week, Mr. Hein and BallinEurope were graced with the presence of a pair of American ballers set to play in the 2012-13 Eurocup Last 16 round after wins for their respective teams last night: Chuck Davis of Banvit and Frank Robinson of Budivelnik Kiev (also this year’s home of those awesome Red Foxes).

Some truly candid and excellent insight into playing hoops through Europe – the two have played in a dozen countries combined – run throughout both talks. Davis may be most well-known among international basketball fans for his two tours with the unheralded, Cinderellaesque Team Azerbaijan. Check what Chuck has to say on the controversial subject of naturalized players in international play…

Robinson began his professional career after finishing with Cal State Fullerton in 2008 with Union Olimpija and has since moved around The Continent a bit with eyes always on the Euroleague prize. Robinson also contributes to the “Taking the Charge” cause with a couple of musical tracks that Jerel Blassingame and he freestyled together during their mutual time at Asseco Prokom.

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Nov
0

Dunk of the week: Marko Keselj shows driving skills against Würzburg

Here’s a nominee from BallinEurope for dunk of the week. Check out this slam from Marko Keselj in the third quarter of Valencia BC’s emphatic 97-64 Eurocup win over s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg last night.

What makes this jam particularly ridiculous is the sheer amount of floor space Keselj runs in driving this one home – so call it a road trip. Taking a cross-court pass out well past the arc, the young Serb first blows past Alex King and then posterizes Jason Boone for good measure … truly this is “machaca y vuelve loca.”

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Jul
1

Twenty years ago today: Champions in Europe and USA, 1992

In celebration of certainly still the most significant year in international basketball history, BallinEurope today begins the “Twenty years ago today” series in which we’ll peer back in time through the lens of YouTube to that era of morphing European national teams and Dream Team dominance.

In the wake of that Greatest Basketball Team Ever Assembled, much of the 1991-92 professional seasons themselves get the short shrift in the history books, but some quite interesting stuff was nevertheless happening on the Continent.

• The Euroleague boasted a cliffhanging thriller in Partizan Belgrade vs. Joventut Badalona. Badalona brought Harold Pressley (with averages of 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per EL game) and Rafael Jofresa, while the Black-and-Whites boasted local products Predrag Danilovic and Aleksanda Djordjevic. It was the latter who’d deliver the European championship to the storied franchise for its first and, to date, last such title ever.

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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
1

Jonas Kazlauskas vs. Dusan Ivkovic: Euroleague history will be made

It’s a trivia question with an expiration date – and that date is tomorrow. To wit: “Which head coach holds the record for longest time between Euroleague titles?”

For the next, what, 26 hours or so, the answer is “Alexander Gomelsky.” Most well-known as the Team USSR coach, the Naismith/FIBA Hall of Famer took the Euroleague title in 1960 with ASK Riga and would return to take the championship with CSKA Moscow in ’71.

But this year’s matchup of CSKA and Olympiacos automatically changes that. Featuring coaches Jonas Kazlauskas and Dusan Ivkovic, the record will be rewritten at tomorrow night’s Euroleague championship. Kazlauskas was handed an all-star lineup with Moscow this year to return to his first EL Final Four – never mind the championship game – since 1999; in that season, he brought a Žalgiris squad which included the likes of George Zidek, Thomas Masiulis, Saulius Štombergas and Tyrus Edney to the top.

And though Ivkovic has been more of a presence in Euroleague play since the 90s, the coach’s title drought is even longer than that of Kazlauskas, having taken the championship with Olympiacos back in the Reds’ only triple crown season of 1997.

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May
4

Revealed: The EuroChallenge championship curse

(image courtesy Hurriyet Daily News)

Yes, but *should* they be celebrating?

Winning the EuroChallenge title is a good thing, right? After all, it’s typically the first Continental trophy to display on the mantelpiece and the champions label wins the club to right to play in the more prestigious (and more big-bucks) Eurocup competition the following season.

Well, Uygar Karaca may convince believers otherwise. In the first of a two-part series for BallinEurope.com, Karaca flips through the pages of recent EuroChallenge history to reveal the success – or lack thereof – championship clubs have experienced directly following a title bid. Hint: It’s pretty bleak stuff after 2004. Sorry, Beşiktaş

Winning a competition, especially on the Continental level, is a great achievement. However, titles come with a price. When success exposes players to the market, for example, clubs with better offers take the stars away. Alternatively, in order to get a trophy, clubs sometimes spend more than they can afford, which triggers the process of eventual financial collapse.

In this article, I tried to see whether winning the FIBA EuroChallenge tournament signals brighter days for the club or rather indicates a peak with the way forward pointing downward. Continue Reading…

Apr
2

BC Khimki overcome Caner-Medley, Valencia to take 2012 Eurocup title, 77-68

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope this morning to the first entrant into Euroleague 2012-13, BC Khimki Moscow region, with their win over BC Valencia in the Eurocup championship game yesterday. In a possible Euroleague title-game preview – at least in terms of home bases – the Russian side topped the Spaniards, 77-68. In the consolation game, Lietuvos Rytas bagged a bronze medal in taking out Spartak St. Petersburg, 71-62.

Game highlights and official writeup of the final match follow.

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