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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 +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
Nov
0

Madrid continues unbeaten Euroleague run with dominant win over Milan


As the season heads into the winter months, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague is hotting up with some cracking games as the campaign gathers pace in Group B and C.

The showcase match for Group B came courtesy of Brose Baskets Bamberg who edged past Anadolu Efes Istanbul 88 – 86 in a thrilling game that went right down to the wire. There was only 1.3 seconds remaining on the clock when Casey Jacobsen clinched it for the winners. He scored 23 points overall and was helped by Anton Gavel who scored 17 points, Jamar Smith put 14 points on the scoreboard while John Goldsberry contributed 8 assists for Bamberg.

Efes made it difficult for Bamberg by being incredibly effective when on the offense. A scoring rate of 15-of-21 two-point shots and 5-of-7 three-pointers before halftime meant that the team took a 44-51 lead at the break as well as extending the margin to 52 – 66 midway through the third quarter. However, Bamberg didn’t give up and thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Jacobsen, the team started a 20 – 2 run that saw Bamberg lead 70 – 66 with nine minutes to go.

The lead was increased to 84 – 77, but Efes’ Kostas Vasileiadis singlehandedly brought the team back to life. The decider came at the final minute as a jumper by Jamon Gordon gave Efes a 85 – 86 lead with 6.8 seconds left. Bamberg called timeout and Jacobsen rounded off an impressive game by scoring the winning shot with only a second to spare.


The other Group B game that night saw Real Madrid continue a dominant start to its campaign by defeating EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 93 – 74 at home. The win meant that Madrid remains the only unbeaten team in the group while Milan dropped to fourth place.

Leading for the entirety of the match, Madrid were in total control thanks to Sergio Rodriguez who finished the first half on a 22 – 5 spurt, ensuring the score was 52 – 31 during the halfway mark. Nikola Mirotic scored 15 of his total 19 points in the first quarter alone, Rudy Fernandez tallied 16 points during the game, while Felipe Reyes bagged himself 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Group C saw Stelmet Zielona Gora making history by securing its first ever victory in the Euroleague by beating Montepaschi Siena 73 – 65. Led by Lukasz Koszarek and Vladimir Dragicevic, Zielona Gora stayed in contention before Przemyslaw Zamojski secured the win with 7 points in the final half minute.

Nov
0

Budivelnik & Nanterre record historic Euroleague victories on Halloween Night


The third series of games in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague got underway on Halloween night, but instead of frights and scares, it was a night filled with thrilling matches and shocking victories as the season gathers momentum.

Budivelnik Kiev had a night to remember as it became the first Ukranian team to win a game in the Euroleague. It thumped Partizan NIS Belgrade 74 – 69 at home in a hard fought game.

The result means that both teams are tied in Group A, each holding a 1 – 2 record. It was Darjus Lavrinovic who gave Budivelnik the edge as he provided 22 points and 8 rebounds while DaJuan Summers and Ricky Minard scored 15 and 10 points respectively. The game was also memorable for a thrilling second quarter where impressive scoring from both sides saw the half end 44 – 42

Both teams have their work cut out if they want to catch up with Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, who currently top the group. The Turkish side remain unbeaten in Group A as it thrashed CSKA Moscow 86 – 60. The hosts provided in style thanks to contributions from Bojan Bogdanovic and Bo McCalebb.

For Moscow, it was its worst loss in 16 years, meaning that the team will want to put it behind them soon when they face FC Barcelona next week.

Barcelona is another team that’s looking to forget last night as it lost to JSF Nanterre 67 – 71 at home. The game gave the French champions’ its first victory in the Euroleague and made them the first French team to win in Palau Blaugrana in more than 17 years, the last team being Asvel Basket back in 1996.

Nanterre secured the upset in the final 28.8 seconds when free throws by Victor Sada tied both sides at 67-67 before Je’Kel Foster secured the win with a layup. Juan Carlos Navarro of Barcelona had the chance to level both sides but missed from downtown at the buzzer.

The final game of the night came from Group B as Zalgiris Kaunas defeated Strasbourg 88 – 64, making it a debut to remember for Kaunas’ new head coach Saulius Stombergas.

The Lithuanian champions hit an impressive 14 triples on only 22 attempts, and was helped by Martynas Pocius who got 7 of 9 from downtown, while scoring 23 points and contributing 5 assists in only 24 minutes. The night was also notable for Sarunas Jasikevicius as he became the seventh player in history to score 300 three-pointers, scoring 13 points off the bench.

Oct
1

Podcast: Featuring interview with Indiana Pacers director of international scouting Pete Philo

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #59 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

Co-host David Hein and BallinEurope’s Os Davis have a good one for the NBA fans out there, particularly those backing the Indiana Pacers. Joining us as guest on the show is new Pacers director of international scouting Pete Philo. Philo brings an impressive resume to the club which not only includes a nice stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a talent scout, but also an executive position with China’s national program and status as cofounder of the Eurocamp youth program in the 1990s.

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Oct
1

Podcast: Examining Euroleague week one, predicting week two, speaking with Kenan Sipahi, boxing with robots

Episode #58 (alternatively “Volume II, Episode 6”) of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

So you may have heard about the wacky Euroleague thing starting last week and tipping off another slate tonight. David Hein and BallinEurope’s Os Davis weigh in on the week one results, 18-year-old wunderkind/EL debutant Kenan Sipahi of Fenerbahçe Ülker appears in brief interview form, and o boy you bet Official Fearless Predictions™ are dispensed.

The sports movie review of the week focuses on the pleasantly surprisingly good Academy Award-nominated (for visual effects, but still) Real Steel, a story of a down-and-out dude, his estranged son and their massive fighting robots.
Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Oct
0

San Antonio Spurs beat CSKA Moscow 95-93 In Overtime

Much like their previous game against the Timberwolves on Monday, CSKA Moscow’s second U.S. tour match went into overtime again, but unfortunately, it was San Antonio Spurs who came out on top 95-93 in a thrilling finish.

The former two-time Euroleague champions fought well and almost clinched the game, but were undone by a Aron Baynes tip-in scored with only 0.5 seconds remaining in normal time.

Baynes came off the bench and added 12 points to the team’s overall tally, keeping them in the game. However, it was Manu Ginobili led the scoring for the Spurs, securing 14 points, five rebounds and four steals in the game, while Patty Mills added 14 points as they opened their preseason.

While the result was disappointing for CSKA, the team had a lot to be positive about as Jeremy Pargo scored 20 points while Sonny Weems accumulated 16 points over the course of the match.

For the majority of the game, it was the Spurs who held the advantage as they led 51-49 at half-time. By that point, Ginobili had added 11 points with three steals and one turnover. The Spurs had led by as many as 10 points during the second quarter, but CSKA reduced the deficit thanks to a 57 percent scoring rate. In comparison, The Spurs were shooting 48.7 percent.

As the third quarter went underway, the two sides tied twice at 51-51 and 61-61, but the Spurs began to pull away by scoring 15 straight points thanks to Danny Green to make it 76-61. Aaron Jackson ended CSKA’s drought from the line, but another Mills basket meant that the Spurs led 78-61 going into the final quarter.

Those at the AT&T Center would have been forgiven for expecting a straightforward finish, but CSKA has other ideas as they rediscovered their shooting form. The comeback began with a three-pointer from Pargo, before an offensive rebound by Kyle Hines led to another three-pointer by Vitaly Fridzon.

Once that happened, CSKA roared into life as they scored 17 points without reply, giving them a 82-85 lead. The Spurs fought back and it was Baynes’ last gasp contribution that leveled the two sides 86-86, keeping the Spurs in contention.

Overtime proved to be just as dramatic and Mills scored seven more points during this period. As Fridzon secured a triple for a 92-93 lead with 24.1 seconds to go, the Spurs called timeout, got the ball to Mills and he scored a three-pointer to make it 95-93.

With only 11.2 seconds left on the clock, CSKA called timeout and got the ball with Khryapa for a jumper to tie it. However, it bounced out meaning that it was San Antonio’s victory.

- Quinton O’Reilly (@qoreilly)

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

Sep
3

And now comes the hard work

September 2013 will go down as the biggest period of change in this site’s history. Now that big step has been taken, we’re asking you to help us make the site better.

Don’t worry these state of the union type columns won’t be a regular feature on BiE. It’s just the right time to speak to you, our visitors, and ask you for feedback.

The turnaround from Os being editor to me (Emmet, hi nice to meet you) taking charge happened quicker than either of us expected and I’m happy to say we’ve handled it smoothly. Os has enjoyed taking a break and jumping in at the deep end of European basketball was exciting for me. The timing was pretty epic as the busiest weekend of the year for me on my other site just happened to directly coincide with the final weekend of EuroBasket. This is what my girlfriend had to deal with today.
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Sep
2

Greetings from your new editor

Is change weird and scary? Well maybe but don’t worry, it won’t be this time.

Before I introduce myEmmet Ryan, new editor at Ballineurope.comself, let me assure all readers of one thing: Os isn’t leaving. The man who has been the voice of Ballineurope.com for the past five years will still write regularly for the site just less often than he used to. That means you can still listen to him on the Taking the Charge podcast, Os will still find ways to bring the cinema of the 90s into European Basketball, and pretty much whatever else he wants to do he will. He’s the editor emeritus, he’ll stick around.

Now that’s done, hi everybody I’m Emmet Ryan and I’m the new editor here at Ballineurope.com. Right, now to explain why an Irishman is now at the helm of a site dedicated to European basketball. Considering we abandoned our national team a couple of years ago and have only a handful of players in the professional ranks, although some have great stories, Ireland isn’t exactly the place you expect to find a writer dedicated to the hardwood.

For the past 15 years I’ve been working as a journalist/blogger with a bunch of papers and websites and finally went fully committed to running my own sports blog, Action81.com, in 2010. The site is much more long-form based than most and that includes our basketball coverage. Covering European basketball on a day to day basis was always of interest to me but my existing site simply wasn’t the right fit as the balance of news and features would really look out of place there.

When Os announced he was looking to pass on ballineurope.com I was excited because it meant this I could cover the game the way I wanted ensure that one of the most important blogs covering the sport in Europe could continue to grow.

So what can you expect? Well the power rankings are here to stay and we’ll be posting our first set tomorrow to rank the Eurobasket teams from 1-24. There’s already a minor shock here, I didn’t expect to rank Great Britain above 24th, they’re all but guaranteed 16th at the absolute worst.

Starting Thursday we’ll have an about last night round-up covering Eurobasket’s closing stages through to the finish. In terms of daily updates we’ll be focussing on Europeans playing in the NBA, in our creatively name Eur-NBA slot which will be a round-up of what Europeans did the previous night in NBA action. Likewise we’ll do quick hits round-up pieces after every day of Euroleague action.

News updates are just part of the plan here. We have many plans for features to bring something meatier to your day. Os has plans to do a Monday morning column which should get you off to a good start in your week. Throughout the Euroleague season I’ll regularly chime in with features and we’re going to get more original video on the site too.

So hopefully that’s convinced you that ballineurope.com is in safe hands. Now I want to ask you to help out. Got a tip? Get in touch. Want to write for us? Get in touch. Want to highlight an article you think is cool somewhere else? Most definitely, get in touch. Ballineurope.com has been the gateway site for me to the Euroballinbloggosphere. This site is going to keep acting like that.

Our content isn’t the end point, it’s where you start. To open more eyes to the great work out there, we need tips. Even if you are plugging your own piece, get in touch. Hell, especially if you are plugging your own piece.

Jul
0

Shuffling pre-threepeat, Russians in Brooklyn: Last week’s five most intriguing Euroleague (and one NBA) acquisitions

All right, now things are getting interesting. Euroleague rosters are falling into place with top names signing with clubs that leave BallinEurope stretching the imagination – thinking about Papanikolaou outfitted in the Blaugrana here – and most of the prime pickups in the NBA have chosen their destinations for 2013-14. (Except … except … what about Nikola Pekovic and that $50 million deal? What is happening in Eurowolves land?)

Regardless of poor Peks’ situation, player movement kept things interesting for European basketball devotees even if no actual club games are being played. BiE took special notice of the following moves last week.

• Kostas Papanikolaou to Barcelona and
• Mirza Begic to Olympiacos. So the Reds want to threepeat, huh? Well, they’ll have to do so with quite a different look; the losses of Papanikolaou and Kyle Hines while adding Mirza Begic and Bryant Dunston means swapping two guys who played above their height for, well, actual height – not to mention opening up a barrage of questions. Could we really see a downshift in tempo in Piraeus? Does management expect to improve in rebounding, in which Olympiacos was third-best in the 2012-13 Euroleague? How much more court time will Stratos Perperoglou see? And how important can former Harlem Globetrotter Brent Petway be?

Intriguing stuff indeed, but what about that shiny new Blaugrana acquisition? The not-quite 23-year-old (his birthday’s next week) joins a roster that includes La Bomba, Marcelinho Huertas, Ante Tomic and up-and-comers Alex Abrines, Mario Hezonja and Marko Todorovic – in short, a lot of weaponry in the arsenal. More is needed in the backcourt with no more Pete Mickael and who-knows-what-Erazem-Lorbek-will-bring, but BiE’s picks Barca to be among the big league’s top-scoring sides in 2013-14.

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Jul
1

Podcast: Talking Euroleague, NBA transactions, Lithuania basketball

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #44 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

This week’s podcast pays homage to the axiom that, when in doubt about what to talk about in European basketball, simply go to Lithuania. And who better to discuss Team Lithuania’s chances in Eurobasket 2013, Linas Kleiza’s release from the Toronto Raptors, Zalgiris Kaunas’ exit from the VTB United League and such topics than Lithuania Basket’s Simas Baranauskas? Few, we think. (Spoiler: Simas is “cautiously optimistic” about Lietuva in the Slovenia tourney.)

Hein and yours truly also bring the speculation and chatter about recent moves and events in European ball and abroad, touching on Kostas Papanikalaou staying with prospective threepeaters Olympiacos; Richard Hendrix staying in his niche on Eurocup champs Lokomotiv Kuban; the success of Milwaukee Bucks draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo in the FIBA U20 European Championship tournament; Andrei Kirilenko taking a pay cut to join the Brooklyn Nets (which is clearly about kickbacks and not pursuing an NBA title ); Bogdan Bogdanovic eschewing those same Nets for another turn with Fenerbahçe Ülker; and Bobby Brown attempting to crack the New York Knicks roster.

All this and our sports movie review of the week, the so-bad-it’s-marvelous Jean-Claude Van Damme flick Double Team co-starring none other than Dennis Rodman and Mickey “The Wrestler” Rourke. Ever wonder why The Worm has had to resort to bizarre forays into North Korea for HBO in order to stay in the entertainment biz? Rodman brazenly putting his acting “chops” in this flick will explain all. And remember: Offense gets all the glory, but defense wins championships…

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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