Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France

BWCB Opening Ceremony
After three weeks, there’s only one thing left to decide. We started with 24 beers, one for each of the nations in the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Now, we find out who takes the title in the final of the Basketball World Cup of Beer.

It’s the USA vs France in the decider. Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA vs Admiral Benson. Before we find out who wins, let’s take a look at their paths to the final.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA (USA)
Group: Topped Group C
Second round: Beat Volfas Engleman Rinktinis (Lithuania)
Quarter Final: Beat 8 Wired Superconductor (New Zealand)
Semi Final: Beat Little Creatures Pale Ale (Australia)

Mont Salève Admiral Benson IPA (France)
Group: Topped Group A
Second round: Beat Quilmes Cristal (Argentina)
Quarter Final: Beat Ozusjko (Croatia)
Semi-Final: Beat Old Harbor Kofresi Stout (Puerto Rico)

And now, the final battle…
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Tony Parker does ice bucket challenge but his friend can’t use a camera phone

France and San Antonio Spurs star point guard Tony Parker did the ice bucket challenge for ALS. Unfortunately his friend needs to work on his camera phone etiquette. Dude, when filming you have got to turn your phone.


Basketball World Cup of Beer: Quarter Finals – Part 2

BWCB Opening Ceremony
We are in the latter stages of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer. It began with 24 beers, one for each of the nations in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Now we’re down to the elite eight. It’s time to find out our first two semi-finalists.

Here are your match-ups on day two of the quarter-finals:
Ozusjko (Croatia) vs Admiral Benson (France)
Al-Ahram Stella (Egypt) vs Old Harbor Kofresi Stout (Puerto Rico)

It’s time to turn 4 into 2…
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Basketball World Cup of Beer: Round 2 – Part 1

BWCB Opening Ceremony
We’ve reached the knockout stages of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer. The 24 nations from each of the nations in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball are each represented by a beer. Now only 16 remain. Today we’ll see 8 of those become 4 in our first set of second round match-ups. Here are the pairings.

Zajecarsko (Serbia) vs Ozujsko (Croatia)
Admiral Benson (France) vs Quilmes Cristal (Argentina)
8 Wired Superconductor DIPA (New Zealand) vs DOA IPA (Mexico)
Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA (USA) vs Volfas Engleman Rinktinis (Lithuania)

Now to find our quarter finalists…
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Oh no you didn’t! Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks the nation of France

Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterand, Gerard Depardieu, you call all feel this right? This was nascent anger from the Greek Freak tonight. Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks, did this for the Greek national team against France tonight in a FIBA World Cup warm-up game.


FIBA World Cup preview – Group A

We’re going group by group with our preview of what you need to know to enjoy the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

The teams:
Qualified: One of four wild cards in the tournament, Brazil had a nightmare Tournament of the Americas…mainly because they knew they were getting a wild card so didn’t send a strong team to Venezuela.

Qualified: Silver medal winners at FIBA Africa Championships, this is Egypt’s sixth appearance at a World Championship or World Cup.

Qualified: Winners of EuroBasket 2013, France finally got over the Gasol shaped hump last autumn.

Qualified: Winners of the FIBA Asia Championships, Iran will be playing in their second World Cup after going 1-4 in group play in 2010.

Qualified: Serbia took the last automatic qualification place at EuroBasket with a 7th place finish, Serbia finished fourth at the 2010 tournament.

Qualified: As hosts Spain qualified automatically but they also got the third spot at EuroBasket 2013.
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Basketball World Cup of Beer – Group A

BWCB Opening Ceremony
It’s time for the first round of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer. The format is simple, every nation in the FIBA World Cup is represented by a beer, most of which have been selected by you the BiE faithful. We’re running each of these beers off in a tournament to decide which nation heading to Spain has the best beer.

Today it’s Group A. We will grade the six beers from the six nations with the top four progressing. First, we’ve got to take you through the six beers…
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Limoges have use feeling all 1993 again

CSP Limoges secured a return to Euroleague by taking the Pro A title in France. Emmet Ryan is feeling awfully nostalgic about the former kings of European hoops returning to the top level.

What were you doing in 1993? I was 12 so not a whole lot but it was a different time. This was pre-Euroleague, back then the top level competition in Europe was the FIBA European League and it looked rather different to the competition we know today. All but three teams (Partizan, Badalona, and Treviso) had to play through qualifying rounds before progressing to the regular season. Limoges began their journey to the European title in the second qualifying round, where they disposed of England’s Guildford Kings 143-129 on aggregate. And right away we’ve found a team Limoges beat that doesn’t exist anymore, the Kings went bust in 1994 and professional hoops didn’t return to Guildford until the Heat were formed in 2005. Amongst the notable teams that joined Limoges in the regular season were Bayer Leverkusen (currently in Germany’s second tier), and RC Mechelen (went bust in 1995).
The regular season back then consisted of two groups with 7 in Group A and 8 in Group B. Limoges went 7-5, good enough for second behind PAOK. Those interested in a touch of history will be interested to know that Panathinaikos didn’t make it to the top flight that season. The quarter finals saw PAOK beat Pau-Orthez, Limoges take down Olympiacos, Real Madrid beat Bologna, and Treviso beat Pesaro all in best-of-three game affairs.

The SEF was home to the Final Four that season with Limoges knocking off Real Madrid 62-52 and Treviso beat PAOK 79-77. This set up a final between a French team and an Italian team. Just let that sink in for a moment. These were different times. Limoges took the title with a 59-55 win in the final, ending the European season in mid-April.
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EuroBasket: Parker, France, finally get the best of Spain

It took overtime, it took Tony time, but France finally got the best of Spain. Now they move on to the final of EuroBasket 2013.

Drama does not mean quality. There were extended periods of fantastic basketball when France played Spain on Friday night. There were equally lengthy spell where the play was horrid. Overtime certainly fit the latter but it followed a fourth quarter of breathtaking ball. After quietly riding to the top of the scoring charts in this tournament, Tony Parker finally made his presence felt when his country needed it most.

In 37 minutes of play Parker exorcised the demons that plagued French basketball, due largely to the Spanish golden generation. Most of them were there and delivering. Marc Gasol had 19 points and 9 boards but he also gave the ball up 6 times. Rudy Fernandez landed alley-oops at the business end of the game, en route to 17 points. Jose Calderon was there in body but he left his shot in the locker room.

Parker however would have to carry most of the load on his own. Nicolas Batum was awful. Alexis Ajinca made some bonehead plays. Boris Diaw and Florent Pietrus gave support inside but for France to win, and avenge 2011 and 2012, it would take something memorable from Parker. In the fourth quarter, it was Tony time. The San Antonio Spur brought France level and then in front. It wasn’t just a momentary spark. The most gifted French baller who ever lived scored 32 and collected 6 rebounds. Like Gasol he had turnover problems but not enough to take him off the floor.

Then came OT. An utter mess of poor offence. Spain struck first, France moved ahead, and then the errors came. It looked like we’d have Sergio Rodriguez and Parker squaring off for five minutes of drama but hero-ball is badly over-rated. The victory would come down to who made the fewest mistakes. Victor Claver’s air ball was one too many for Spain.

So for the third time in their history, France advance to the final of EuroBasket. In 1949 they lost to Egypt in Cairo. Two years ago it was Spain. This time around they face Lithuania. Third time lucky won’t be easy. On paper this isn’t a contest but Lithuania’s depth and organisation means they a far from a straight forward opponent. On the inside they can hurt France. From the outside they have a bunch of options with chips on their shoulders. Parker will be ready. He needs his team mates to be too.


EuroBasket Power Rankings: Spain rise to the top

Just in time for today’s semi finals to prove us completely wrong, here’s our updated Power Rankings for EuroBasket 2013 after the quarter final round.

1. Spain. It’s a what have you done for me lately business and nobody has done more than Spain. They leap Croatia on the back of an utter rout of Serbia.

2. Croatia. A second quarter spurt against Ukraine gave the Croats a decisive lead that they never gave up. This team has now won 8 straight.

3. Lithuania. Total coin toss between Lithuania and France following the quarter finals, the Lithuanians greater consistency in round two means they stay ahead for now.
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