FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer – Bronze Medal Match +++ Rudy gets iced, the internet rejoices +++ FIBA World Cup Preview – Group C +++ CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems take the ice bucket challenge +++ Tony Parker does ice bucket challenge but his friend can’t use a camera phone +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: Semi Finals +++ EuroBasket 2015: Wins for Macedonia, Belgium, and Georgia +++ Q&A with Alex Krstanovic on the Belgrade Trophy +++ Thomas Klepeisz shows you how to celebrate a winning bucket +++

Mickael Gelabale completes comeback to NBA, gets first start since 2007

Mickael GelabaleAbout five years ago, Mickaël Gelabale went down to a knee injury playing for the Seattle Supersonics. The following season, he played D-League ball. Just last month he was with Valencia BC, latest stop in 3½ seasons in Europe. Surely no one reckoned he’d be starting in the big league ever again, even when the injury-riddled Minnesota Timberwolves signed him to the first of two 10-day contracts.

No one, perhaps, except for Gelabale himself, who never gave up on the dream. As the Team France player told the Minneapolis Tribune after his signing with the Wolves in mid-January: “I [was] always thinking like that. When I was in France, I was thinking to come back. I was in Russia thinking about it. I was in Spain thinking about it.” (Actually, he omitted Croatia and Belgium there…)

Thought became reality last night for Gelabale against the San Antonio Spurs in a nicely international-flavored NBA matchup: Even with Andrei Kirilenko and Manu Ginobili not suiting up, Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, Nando de Colo, Boris Diaw, Alexey Shved, Nikola Pekovic and of course Ricky represented the non-American rolls.

Continue Reading…


Many sharks in the sea: Adriatic League 2012-13 season starts

The 2012-13 Adriatic League season tipped off this weekend with all 14 teams playing their first games. BallinEurope contributor Marko Savkovic takes a look at two teams figuring to be fighting for a top spot in the ABA table come season’s end: Partizan Belgrade and Cedevita Zagreb.

It was about time! The 2012/2013 edition of the Adriatic League promises us tough competition, has many exciting prospects to showcase, and includes some interesting newcomers with the grand prize awaiting top three teams. Be there crisis or not, let’s play ball. In BallinEurope’s first coverage of the new season in the Adriatic, we concentrate on two of the top contenders, who played each other in the last year’s semifinals: Cedevita and Partizan.

It has been said over and over again, so don’t mind us repeating it: Cedevita is a brand of instant drink enjoyed in former Yugoslavian countries. Team Cedevita’s success is in many aspects instant as well, but it’s hardly enjoyed by its competitors. By finishing second last year, and especially by defeating Partizan along the way, the team from the Zagreb suburbs has become a red hot favorite with Maccabi Tel Aviv gone.

All the right ingredients seem to be in place. The team’s core is preserved, with Marino Bazdaric, Goran Suton, Miro Bilan and Marko Car kept on board. Arriving from Galatasaray, Luksa Andric should bring more versatility to the paint.

Continue Reading…


BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™: 2012 Olympic Basketball Group A

Yeah, these guys will probably start 5-0...

Okay, with just a few hours before men’s basketball tips off at the 2012 Olympics, BallinEurope’s got just enough time for some Official Fearless Predictions™. If done properly, these things are never as easy as they look. Right, starting with Group A, then, we’ve got:

1. USA (5-0)


5. Nigeria (1-4)
6. Tunisia (0-5)

BiE’s taking Team USA to run the table for a few reasons … Continue Reading…


In Spain game, Gelabale gets monster block, ejection, possible suspension

Quel dommage! Eurobasket 2011 runners-up France are finding the road to London bumpy indeed recently. Already losing Joakim Noah throughout the 2012 Olympic Games due to injury, Les Bleus must temporarily sit Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo due to NBA-related insurance issues. And now Mickael Gelabale faces penalties from FIBA, including possible suspension for part of the ‘Games.

With France chipping away at a seven-point third-quarter Spain advantage in yesterday’s “friendly,” Les Bleus forced a turnover out of Rudy Fernandez which led to a breakaway layup for two. Gelabale, meanwhile, was confronted by Fernandez with the expected results. Gelebale was ejected from the game, necessitating a report to FIBA by the official – a report which could in turn become suspension for one Olympic match or more.

Continue Reading…


Team France roster for 2012 Olympics released: Yes, Tony Parker’s included

Vincent Collet today released his final roster of Team France for the 2012 Olympic Games. Best news for Les Bleus’ (and perhaps San Antonio Spurs’) faithful is, of course, the inclusion of Tony Parker in the roster, implying that recovery from his eye injury is meeting no setbacks.

The final twelve for France is: Continue Reading…


BC Khimki overcome Caner-Medley, Valencia to take 2012 Eurocup title, 77-68

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope this morning to the first entrant into Euroleague 2012-13, BC Khimki Moscow region, with their win over BC Valencia in the Eurocup championship game yesterday. In a possible Euroleague title-game preview – at least in terms of home bases – the Russian side topped the Spaniards, 77-68. In the consolation game, Lietuvos Rytas bagged a bronze medal in taking out Spartak St. Petersburg, 71-62.

Game highlights and official writeup of the final match follow.

Continue Reading…


Fearless Predictions™: Lietuvos Rytas v. Galatasaray, Spirou Basket v. CEZ Nymburk

Songaila: Best hope for Galatasaray upset?

Just enough time to get in a couple of Fearless Predictions™ before the final two teams to participate in Euroleague 2011-12 are determined, BallinEurope thinks … So let’s get to it!

Lietuvos Rytas vs. Galatasaray Café Crown Galatasaray looked impressive in dispatching Asvel Villeurbanne (O, Tony Parker, où êtes-vous?) and putting up 93 points, the highest total registered in qualifying round games thus far. Better yet, the high-profile additions to the already solid Turkish team’s roster appear to be working perfectly: Jaka Lakovic and Darius Songaila contributed a whopping 40 points combined in the win.

Continue Reading…


Spain 98, France 85: Behind Pau Gasol, Navarro, Ibaka, Spain makes it back-to-back titles

Big congratulations this morning go out from BallinEurope to Team Spain, which defended its European title in besting France in the 2011 FIBA EuroBasket championship game, 98-85.

Particularly brilliant in this final match was Serge Ibaka, who provided five blocks and smothering defense off the bench. Five Spaniards scored in double figures, with tournament MVP Juan Carlos Navarro following up his 35-point barrage against FYR Macedonia with 27, including 12-of-12 from the free throw line, against the French. Pau Gasol put in 17 points to go with 10 rebounds and Jose Calderon also added 17 for the victors.

High scorer for Team France was Tony Parker, with 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting. Nicolas Batum, who many saw as key to Les Bleus’ success in the game, managed just 10 points including a 2-of-8 performance from three-point land. Boris Diaw contributed 12 to go with seven assists.

With the victory, Spain becomes the first team since Yugoslavia of 1997 to repeat as European champions and only the second back-to-back title winner in the post-Soviet era.

Named to the all-tournament team along with Navarro were Parker, Pau Gasol, Bo McCalebb of FYR Macedonia, and Andrei Kirilenko of Russia.

In the bronze-medal game, Russia held off those lovable dark horses of FYR Macedonia, 72-68. These two teams will join Lithuania and Greece in the Olympic qualifying tournament next year, while Spain and France have sealed their bids for the 2012 Games.

The official FIBA writeup follows the break; and if you’ll excuse BiE, a bit of a break may be in order…

Continue Reading…


EuroBasket 2011: Notes, quotes, clips and Fearless Predictions™ for France vs. Spain

Hard to believe it’s almost over … after 19 days of intense basketball competition, the 2011 EuroBasket championship game features a matchup at least a few — including BallinEurope’s U.K. guy Sam Chadwick; props! — had forecast as the outcome. Spain seeks to defend its title against a star-laden France playing in its first-ever title match. (Though France has bagged one silver medal in this tournament, this came in the very strange 1949 edition of the tournament, in which no knockout stage was held.)

BallinEurope runs some notes and posts some clips in preparation for tonight’s match; for Official Fearless Predictions™ on this one and the bronze-medal game between FYR Macedonia and Russia, scroll all the way to the bottom.

Continue Reading…


EuroBasket power rankings, post round one edition

The 2011 FIBA EuroBasket tournament gets things started again today, after the 12 advancing teams get in a couple days’ worth of hard-earned rest. With the dust now settled, BallinEurope takes a look at how the dozen sides look going into the second round of play (numbers in parentheses represent each team’s win-loss record brought forth into Groups E and F); and yes, BiE is bracing for the inevitable barrage of criticism forthcoming from fans of Greece, Slovenia and Turkey…

1. France (2-0) – Les Bleus had their sights on nothing less than taking this thing when the tournament began and pretty much brought an all-star game to do so (luckily for them, La Republique could foot the bill for insurance on five locked out NBA players). With Tony Parker going for 23.2 points per game through five – second-high in the first round after Luol Deng, who was forced to do it all for the thin British squad – and Joakim Noah grabbing 7.8 rebounds per, these guys have proven to be the class of EuroBasket thus far, bringing a big one-game advantage into Group E.

2. Russia (2-0) – In nipping Slovenia in the final game, 65-64, Russia capped the first round of play with the fewest points allowed in the tournament so far at 64.2 points per game – albeit against perhaps the tournament’s weakest group. No matter: David Blatt’s outstanding defensive game plans combined with speedier play and some great individual performances on offense (Vitaly Fridzhon leads all players at 12-of-18 three-point shooting to fight for the unofficial tournament deadshot award with France’s Mickael Gelabale and Serbia’s Marko Keselj; Andrei Kirilenko’s putting in 16.4 ppg) make Russia one of the scariest teams remaining – particularly if they can show the clutch play as against Slovenia.

Continue Reading…