Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain

Great Britain had hope at half-time but in the end, they fell yet again. George Rowland was in the Copper. Here’s his take on what happened on a big night for Iceland.

In what was a crucial game for both team’s hopes of Eurobasket qualification Iceland prevailed 69-71 in a closely run affair at the Copper Box. With GB leading by ten at half time it was a second half collapse that cost them a win that would’ve rekindled any hopes of Eurobasket qualification, while Iceland’s victory all but guarantees them a spot in next summer’s tournament.

The game was ultimately decided by two aspects, Iceland’s rebounding on both ends of the court, and the effort on both ends of the floor of the Icelandic guards, specifically Jon Arnor Stefansson and Hordur Viljhalmsson against an inexperienced GB back court.

Beginning with the guard play; Devon van Oostrum demonstrated some flashes of his brilliance in the first half, with a slick behind the back assist in transition highlighting what was probably his best half of basketball this summer. But once again for van Oostrum it seemed like it was style over substance as he struggled as he was often the only ball-handler and playmaker on court. His 5 assists were matched by 5 turnovers along with a 0/6 shooting night, as the Icelandic defenders contently dared van Oostrum to shoot, and with their improved rebounding in the second half the transition opportunities died out and van Oostrum struggled.
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AUDIO: Team GB’s Rachael Vanderwal on her move to Spain

Rachael Vanderwal in action for the UL Huskies. Pic: The Courtside Collective

Great Britain international Rachael Vanderwal is leaving the Irish women’s league after eight years to go pro with Gernika Bizkaia of Liga Femenina in Spain. We spoke to the point guard about her big move, listen below.

At 31, Vanderwal is entering the professional ranks pretty late in her career. Having won a string of league titles in Ireland, including a treble in the 2012/13 season, Vanderwal is taking a big step up here with newly promoted Gernika. You can check out some quick highlights of her in action in that treble season here.

The former Boston University Terrier, who original hails from Canada but qualifies for Team GB through parentage, helped her national squad qualify for EuroBasket 2015 earlier this summer.


Photos and reaction from Bosnia’s win over Great Britain

Mitrovic puts one up - Credit: George Rowland
George Rowland was in the Copper Box on Wednesday night to find out what the players and coaches made of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 80-67 win over Team GB. First the reaction from the visitors.

Nemanja Mitrovic (Guard/Forward-Bosnia & Herzegovina): I think we played well and accomplished our goal was here, get an important road win to start the qualification round. But we lost a little bit of concentration in the second half and we almost let it slip so we have to tighten up some of those things that we didn’t do well in the second half and prepare for these two games coming up that we have at home when Great Britain and Iceland come to us so we can get those two important wins.

Coach Dusko Ivanovic (Head Coach- Bosnia & Herzegovina-Translated by Nemanja Mitrovic): I think we got an important win tonight, with the importance that we win the next two games at home then it will really have a lot of meaning. We had some moments where we played well and controlled the game, but we also had some moments where we had an unexplained lapse, which we did not want. Part of it is due to a lapse in concentration, and the other part was the players of Great Britain playing well and putting in a great effort, playing aggressively and coming pretty close to coming back into the game.

Asked about Nemanja Gordic and his ability to run the team as a playmaker: I think Nemanja played a solid game, there were times when he controlled the game but there were also moments where he lost concentration offensively and defensively. It was fortunate that Muhamed Pasalic came after the start of training camp to help the team with that position. But in my opinion and by my standards Nemanja did not have a good enough a game and he needs to play much, much better.
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EuroBasket 2015: Bosnia overcome late rally to beat Britain 80-67

It was a mess for Great Britain from the off, and that was just the shot clock, as Bosnia and Herzegovina opened their account in the EuroBasket 2015 qualifiers with a comfortable win in the Copper Box.

Everything was going ok for Team GB until the arena’s technical issues got fixed. A scrappy opening two minutes were punctuated by an inadvertent horn and multiple issues with the shot-clock, eventually resulting in the clock tied to the TV broadcast getting switched off. That scattered stage ended with Great Britain ahead 2-1. Bosnia went in front through a Nemanja Mirotic three with 7.47 left in the first. Britain never led again.
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Iceland go all out for highlights video against Great Britain


Iceland pulled off a vital EuroBasket 2015 qualifying round victory against Great Britain on Sunday night and they delivered a highlight video to back it up. The slow-motion phantom style video, which has a cracking synth score, really kicks into gear around 1.27 in with a fumbled opening tip, then at 2.34 there’s a crossover and finish that looks sweet, and it finishes with a behind the back floater that hangs just that little bit extra inside the rim. Watch it all here:
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Eurobasket 2013: Which NBA players are in, which are out?

Because it’s never too early to start looking ahead to Eurobasket 2013 – wait a minute, there’s only 11 weeks left until tipoff? Definitely not too early, then, to take a look at the formative rosters for the big Continental tournament.

While only a few national teams (Croatia and Lithuania among them) have released preliminary rosters at this point and a few major leagues still playing (Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, etc.), we can at least deduce which NBA players will or won’t be playing. After all, the rosters of 93.3% of NBA teams have finished their 2012-13 season – and the Miami Heat have no Europeans!

Below is a rundown of each team and the status of their potential NBA players. A few high-profile draft choices and rights-owned guys expected to jump over soon are also peppered in, along with links to appropriate sources. If you find/hear of anything relevant to the list, please comment below.
And we’ll do this group by group…

Group A
Belgium –
no current NBA players

France – Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is out for ’13 but hints he’ll be back in the future.

Ten days ago, based on a L’Equipe report, website Catch-and-Shoot described Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)’ Eurobasket status as *très incertain*, and after another punishing NBA season seems unlikely.

No official word on Nicolas Batum (Portland), though the Trail Blazers reportedly be “watching Batum’s injury” this offseason. Perhaps some discouragement is forthcoming…?

France-based media outlet Figaro reported back in May that Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers) and Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers) would play; this may have been speculation based on prior results, but Turiaf’s presence on Les Blues for this tournament has been on coach Collet’s mind for a while.

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Luol Deng to David Cameron: “Basketball is too valuable to be chucked away”

Luol DengLess than a year after endless wrangling with FIBA and the International Olympic Committee to get Team Britain into the 2012 Olympic Games, governing body UK Sport seems fit to impart some slashing of the national basketball budget – this despite pressure from FIBA going into the London Games that an automatic bid for the men’s national team would be granted only with assurances that British basketball had some viable future.

An eleventh-hour debate on the basketball-funding question is slated for tonight and will be led by Conservative Party MP Stephen Mosley; an online petition created by Sam Neter of Britian-based Hoops Fix self-explanatorily called “Get UK Sport to Fund British Basketball” has over 11,650 “signatures” as of this writing.

Perhaps no one is taking the upcoming cuts more seriously than Chicago Bulls/Team Britain star Luol Deng, however. Deng today fired off a 1½-page open letter to British prime minister David Cameron in hopes of essentially saving the national program in the runup to the 2016 Olympics; the just-this-side-of-vitriolic text runs below.

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BBL Wrap: Durham-Newcastle rivalry continues; resurrected Heat roll; Cheshire Jets still slumping

From Britain, Sam Chadwick brings us a wrapup of BBL action over a weekend which saw the BBL Championship continue while the Glasgow Rocks and Manchester Giants battled it out to advance to the BBL Cup Quarter Finals…

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British Basketball League wrap: Wolves beat Eagles with 43-point fourth Q, now top table

There’s a new leader in the BBL after last weekend’s action, as the Worcester Wolves got to celebrate Christmas early in defeating the Newcastle Eagles. BallinEurope’s Sam Chadwick runs down his list to separate the naughty from the nice over this past weekend below…

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British Basketball League wrap: Newcastle stays undefeated, makes Cup final; Bill Cole goes for 34 and 15 in Cheshire loss

The plot thickens in the 2011-12 edition of the British Basketball League … BallinEurope’s man in the UK, Sam Chadwick, summarizes last weekend’s action while making us wonder if anyone in the BBL can beat Newcastle…

The first weekend of December saw some great basketball in the BBL including a thrilling Cup second leg between the Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders as well as three games decided by five points or less.

The second leg of the BBL Cup Semi-Final took place on Friday with the Eagles booking a place in the final with a 71-63 win over the Leicester Riders. The Eagles were led by a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double by Andrew Thomson; 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists by Charles Smith helped while Joe Chapman added 13 points to go with three rebounds and one assist. Cameron Rundles, Andrew Sullivan and Ayron Hardy combined for 42 of the Riders’ 63 points: Cameron finished with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists; Sullivan had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists; and Hardy contributed 12 points and six rebounds to offset five turnovers.

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