Sep
0

Morning Report – FIBA World Cup – Day 4

We’re in Bilbao throughout the group stages giving you the scene on the ground here ahead of the day’s games. Emmet Ryan brings you up to speed with what you need to know.

It’s not really the morning anymore because I had to recover from my hunt for World Cup fever in Bilbao last night.

Tuesday in Group C begins with a clash of 1-1 teams as Turkey take on Ukraine. Both sides lost on Sunday night but Turkey will enter with more confidence on the back of a solid outing against the USA. For Ukraine, it will be worth keep an eye on if and how Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is used following an impressive outing for the youngster against Finland.

If last night is anything to go by, New Zealand are well relaxed for their clash with the USA as I ran into Isaac Fotu and Mika Vukona having an evening stroll around 10pm. The USA will want to start stronger than they did against Turkey and this one could get out of hand in a hurry. With NBC and CBS picking up on Mason Plumlee’s clash with a journalist here on Saturday, we might well see the big man look to make a statement in this one.

The day ends with two winners from Sunday as Finland and Dominican Republic meet in a game where the winner will surely be favoured to keep playing in Barcelona next week.

Sep
2

The hunt for World Cup fever in Bilbao

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Emmet Ryan thought his search for World Cup fever in Bilbao was fruitless, the city found redemption in the same source that has rocked Barakaldo since Saturday night.

The warnings were there. At the media welcome on Friday, the Spanish press had said the nation hadn’t warmed up to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Only two games per day are being shown live here and, with the rare exception of Tuesday, even the star-studded USA line-up is relegated to the graveyard shift on Spanish television as the rest of their games clash directly with the national team. Monday was the rest day for Group C so there were only two sensible things to do in Bilbao, sample the region’s famous cuisine and find a bar showing Spain’s game with Brazil.

The former was easy, the Basque Country has developed a strong reputation in Europe in recent years and La Vina del Ensanche didn’t disappoint but even a few helping hands on Twitter couldn’t help me find a bar for Spain’s clash with Brazil. This is Basque Country, apathy towards the Spanish team is understandable but a 45 minute walk through the heart of the city, past countless bars and three members of the New Zealand roster proved fruitless as I searched for somewhere showing the game. Half a bottle of Rioja and five beers in, I figured it was time to call it a night before finally coming across a bar near Abando metro stop with the game.

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There were 2 minutes to play in the first half and 9 people were there, 1 wasn’t even watching the game. By the time the third quarter started, it was just me and the disinterested other left. A few cops came in for coffee but whatever hope I had that Bilbao had World Cup fever had evaporated. The Spanish press were right. No-one here cared. Then, one member of the Susijengi saved the day.

Continue Reading…

Sep
0

Morning Report – FIBA World Cup – Day 3

We’re in Bilbao throughout the group stages giving you the scene on the ground here ahead of the day’s games. Emmet Ryan brings you up to speed with what you need to know.

It’s a rest day for the teams in Group C and all of the sides competing in Bilbao have opted to hold closed practice sessions.

Finland’s fans are paying for their celebrations this morning, at least that’s the scene from my flat where the two staying with me are very much the worse for wear after an historic win for the Susijengi over Ukraine on Sunday. With the party carrying on well into the early hours, the chance for a break before they play Dominican Republic on Tuesday will be appreciated.

That clash on Tuesday will present Finland with a big challenge as Dominican Republic saw off a New Zealand team on Sunday whose style isn’t all that far removed from the approach taken by the Finns. The Tall Blacks looked out on their feet at the end of that loss and will have to think carefully about how seriously they wish to take the game with USA on Tuesday with two more games to come in the subsequent days.

The USA will look to Monday as a chance to get rid of some of the rust that plagued them throughout their game with Turkey before taking the floor once again. Turkey, who delivered their best performance since the last World Cup, will be full of confidence this morning as they prepare to take on a Ukraine team that lost the psychological war with Finland on Sunday.

Aug
0

AUDIO: Mike Fratello on Finland, Turkey, and Mykhailiuk

Mike Fratello spoke with the media after Ukraine’s 81-76 defeat at the hands of Finland on Sunday. He reflected on the game and looked ahead to Tuesday’s clash with Turkey.

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BiE asked Fratello after the press conference to give his thoughts on Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, the youngest player at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and one who had a big impact on this game.

Aug
0

VIDEO: Fratello and Jeter react to Ukraine’s loss to Finland

Ukraine coach Mike Fratello and point guard Pooh Jeter react to their 81-76 defeat to Finland on Sunday at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

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Aug
0

VIDEO: Shawn Huff on Finland’s resilience to bounce backl


Shawn Huff tells the media how Finland bounced back from their heavy loss to the USA to beat Ukraine at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
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Aug
0

VIDEO: Erik Murphy praises Finnish fans after win over Ukraine


Erik Murphy gave his thoughts on Finland’s 81-76 win over Ukraine and expressed his gratitude to the Susijengi supporters while speaking to the media after the game.
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Aug
0

Morning Report – FIBA World Cup – Day 2

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We’re in Bilbao throughout the group stages giving you the scene on the ground here ahead of the day’s games. Emmet Ryan brings you up to speed with what you need to know.

New Zealand and Dominican Republic take the floor in just under an hour for the first of today’s games and the Tall Blacks know they are in for a different type of challenge. Casey Frank told reporters he expects speed to be the big threat today and how New Zealand cope with that will go a long way towards determining the result.

The mood around the Ukraine supporters is extremely cautious. Yesterday they took car of business but today’s clash with Finland is massive for both sides. Finland got demolished by the USA last night but their supporters rocked the arena all night and they could be a big factor when the teams square off later.

Finally the USA takes on Turkey tonight in a game where DeMar DeRozan and Mason Plumlee have points to prove. DeRozan was quiet for the bulk of Saturday’s win over Finland while Plumlee was irked by a question about his place on the Team USA roster last night.

Aug
5

VIDEO: Mason Plumlee wants you to know he earned his spot on the USA roster


Mason Plumlee spoke to reporters in the mixed zone after tonight’s 114-54 win for USA over Finland. One journalist asked him about the criticisms that he was on the roster because of his links to Duke and Nike. Plumlee was polite but far from delighted with the question and he gave his thoughts on the matter in the video above.

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Aug
0

VIDEO: Anthony Davis gives his thoughts on USA’s win over Finland

Anthony Davis address media in the mixed zone after the USA’s 114-54 rout of Finland on the opening day of the FIBA World Cup iof Basketball.

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