Dec
0

2012: The year in Euro-centric basketball highlight clips

What say we close out 2012 with a whole bunch of highlight clips? BiE knew you’d be willing. Tomorrow, a list of the most popular BallinEurope stories of the calendar year will be running, but today comes an attempt to encapsulate the past 365 days in European hoops, YouTube style.

From Ibaka’s blocks to the return of Ricky Rubio, from a stunner in Istanbul to a double miracle in Italy, from the US to the Continent and back again, BallinEurope’s got your highlights right here… Continue Reading…

Jun
3

Besiktas 80, Anadolu Efes 76: The BallinEurope review of a triple-crown season

Besiktas introduces Deron Williams: It seems like so long ago...

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Beşiktaş Milangaz, who capped a fascinating whirlwind run last night with an 80-76 victory over Anadolu Efes in game six of the TBL championship series. The Black Eagles may add the trophy to their Turkish Cup and FIBA Eurochallenge title in 2011-12, certainly the most successful – and among the most bizarre – seasons the club has ever experienced.

Beşiktaş’ season, like any power in club hoops, began in the summer. All they did to top last year’s high-profile signing of the ultimately marginal Allen Iverson was ink Deron Williams, a franchise guard at his peak, to the biggest contract in European basketball with an NBA out-clause when the player lockout was to be settled.

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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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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
4

FIBA EuroChallenge: Mensah-Bonsu, Erceg, Arroyo lead Beşiktaş to 91-86 win, championship title

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Beşiktaş Milangaz, winners of the 2011-12 FIBA EuroChallenge title with a 91-86 victory over Elan Chalon last night. The win represents not only advancement to Eurocup play for 2012-13, but also Turkey’s second-ever European club championship: An Efes Pilsen side led by Conrad McRae, Petar Naumoski and Ufuk Sarıca ultimately hoisted the 1996 Korać Cup.

BiE fave Pops Mensah-Bonsu earned MVP honors – and the sobriquet of “Mr. Double-Double” – with a monstrous 26-point, 20-rebound effort in the final match.

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Apr
0

Report: Maccabi Haifa hires disgraced former Syracuse coach Bernie Fine

Despite some sordid (and reportedly not exactly consistent) allegations against him, former longtime Syracuse University assistant coach Bernie Fine has found employment in Israel. Marc Stein of ESPN is this morning reporting that Fine has been hired by Maccabi Haifa BC as a consultant to the team. The decision is expected to be announced today.

Fine, whose professional career in basketball coaching goes back to 1970, ultimately specialized in working with big men for Syracuse. Notable names emerging from his tutelage include Rony Seikaly and John Wallace, the latter of whom European basketball fans may recall from his season with Panionios. The coach’s resume also includes a World Maccabiah Games title earned in 1993 with that tournament’s Team USA squad.

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Feb
2

Bundesliga roundup: Bayern Munchen snaps road losing streak; Artland Dragons slain; Tibor Pleiss, Brose Baskets put on show for OK City Thunder scouts

Bauermann, Bayern "Almost crushed by snowball"

From the land of Dirk – Nowitzki and Bauermann, that is – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball. Read on to find out about Bayern Munich’s win on the road (finally); Artland Dragons’ ignominious first quarter against Ratiopharm Ulm; and Tibor Pleiß’ performance for Oklahoma City Thunder scouts.

All is well and good in the southern German metropolis Munich as FC Bayern finally snapped their road losing streak while Artland Dragons coach Stefan Koch was left dumbfounded with his team’s embarrassing start to the top showdown with ratiopharm Ulm. Oh, and Brose Baskets cruised to another win – by 34 points, despite giving 42 minutes of playing time to three Germans 21 years and younger.

Bayern Munich boss Dirk Bauermann was considering bringing in a sports psychologist to talk his players through their nine-game losing streak in the BBL. But Bayern finally unloaded the 5,000-pound gorilla from their back with an 82-72 victory at Phoenix Hagen – Munich’s first road win since beating BG Göttingen on October 15 – to improve their BBL road record to 2-10.

“The relief could be seen on the players. It was pretty crazy in the locker room and the mood on the bus afterwards was superb,” Bauermann told the Abendzeitung daily after the win, which improved Bayern’s record to 13-11, good for seventh place.

“The snowball had gotten so big that it almost crushed us to death. But now the losing streak is over with,” added Bauermann, whose team would have dropped out of the playoff ranks with another defeat.

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Feb
1

TBL roundup: Bandirma Kirmizi stuns Fenerbahce Ulker; Morrison, Pops star for Besiktas; Galatasaray holds on to third place

The Turkish Basketball League, rapidly becoming the most competitive European basketball league, saw a number of key games go down this weekend to tighten things up some at the top of the table. While TBL teams gained much international attention for signing big-name NBAers, e.g. Deron Williams, Sasha Vujacic, Ersan Ilyasova, Mehmet Okur, etc., during the NBA lockout period, BallinEurope reckons they should be more recognized for the excellent parity ruling over Turkish basketball. Might the reign of the twin Euroleague powers Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahçe Ülker be waning?

After the weekend’s action, the top five on the TBL table stayed put, but a stunning upset handed to Fenerbahçe by last-place Bandirma Kirmizi locks the defending league champions in the fifth spot for at least a couple more weeks. Read on for brief writeups on key games, video clips and a look at the standings – just be sure to keep those scorecards at the ready as the league heads into the homestretch; you’ll need ‘em…

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Jan
1

Besiktas’ future so bright, Pops has to wear shades

Check out the fashion Team Britain’s Pops Mensah-Bonsu sported in a Eurochallenge game for Beşiktaş Milangaz against BK Pardubice. Perhaps Pops forgot his Abdul-Jabbar goggles or there was a problem with the lighting … in any case, the Eagles won the game, 78-70, for its seventh consecutive victory in the competition.

As a tweet from Mensah-Bonsu’s former club CSKA Moscow rhetorically asks, “How does he score?

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Jan
1

Adam Morrison debuts for Beşiktaş; Eagles win, 85-75; Seattle still pining

First Allen Iverson, then Deron Williams, now Adam Morrison. The former Zag first suited up for Beşiktaş Milangaz yesterday after landing that club’s seemingly mandatory reserved roster spot for an NBA name player. Morrison only saw less than 10 minutes of action in his new side’s 85-75 victory at Antalya, going for two points and two rebounds in that span.

Morrison began his 2011-12 season with Red Star Belgrade (a.k.a. Crvena Zvezda Beograd), with whom he notably achieved a 15.5 ppg average on just under 48% overall shooting in Adriatic League play – highlighted by his 30-point explosion against Union Olimpija – while winning over Red Star fans’ hearts.

No video appears readily available for post at the present moment, but below runs a recent upload from YouTube user CosmicEgg88 reminding us that Seattle is still pining for Morrison – and professional basketball for that matter…

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