National Cups: Real Madrid ends 19 years of futility; Beşiktaş, Chalon take first-ever titles; Montepaschi Siena continues dominance

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope today to a quartet of national Cup holders in Real Madrid, Beşiktaş Milangaz, Chalon-sur-Saone and Montepaschi Siena. The former three victories are set to be particularly noted in club annals: Real ended a 19-year drought while Beşiktaş and Chalon both bagged their first-ever championships in their respective national cup tournaments after each were runners-up in 2011. Below run game wraps and highlight clips.

In Spain, Madrid won their first Spanish Cup since Arvydas Sabonis was on the team with a convincing 92-74 victory over FC Barcelona on the Blaugrana home court. Twenty-three was the magic number for Los Blancos, as Madrid took its 23rd such title behind 23 points from tournament MVP Sergio Llull. An extrapolation from the Liga Endesa’s official site goes something like the following.

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Recapping the Semaine des As final on the ‘Tube

In France this weekend, La Republique’s two Euroleague teams met in the finals of the Semaine des As tournament, with Asvel Basket overcoming the hometown crowd and turning away Entente Orleanaise, 70-69.

Unfortunately, video coverage of this game is sparse and so, unless you were geared up with a nice fat satellite dish or, you know, actually living in France, you probably caught precious little of this action. The official LNB website carries only a French-language writeup of the game and no video, but BiE managed to cobble up a few clips for your recapping pleasure.

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Issa out for Semaine des As

This just in from French-language Basket News: Vichy, the last team to qualify for the Semaine des As tournament, will have to compete in that competition without its key player Dounia Issa, who reportedly is suffering from torn ligaments in his hand.

In perhaps his best statistical season in Pro A, Issa is averaging 9.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in 2009-10 for a 20.8 efficiency rating. No date has been set for Issa’s return.

Vichy takes on defending Semaine des As champions Le Mans on Friday.

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Bad week for Dixons continues as Bobby released from Asvel Basket

In a move called “intriguing” by mainstream French media, Asvel Villeurbanne has released American guard Bobby Dixon. After logging just one half-season with the Euroleague squad, Dixon was cut just two days before the Semaine des As tournament, despite his success in the 2009 Semaine with champions Le Mans.

Aymeric Jeanneau’s play had steadily eaten into Dixon’s playing time (and ultimately cost him the starting spot) throughout the season. Dixon had been notching his worst LNB stat line since leaving Troy State University for France in 2006 with just 11 points per game, three assists per game and three-point shooting of just 33%. His Euroleague play was little better at 11.5 ppg and 3.1 apg.

Asvel management promised that “we have solutions” even in the wake of the Dixon release. Indeed, because Dixon is no longer with the team, his void clears a roster space for U.S. player Curtis Borchardt, who figures to be ready to play by mid-March.

As Le Figaro mused, one only wonders what this team’s chemistry might have been like in the autumn with Jeanneau in the starting spot… Continue Reading…


Short and late Monday’s cigarettes

A little delay and not much to say today about the cigarette stories. Enjoy, however…


Monday’s cigarettes

Here we go for another round of Monday morning cigarettes!

  • Always a beauty, the ACB has come up with the best plays of the most spectacular players of the season so far. And no surprise here: The top 3 is composed of Sergio Llull, Quinton Hosley and Marcus Haislip.
  • How to come back from a 16-point deficit against TAU Ceramica Vitoria.
  • A preview of the Semaine des As, the French version of the Copa del Rey.
  • An interview with former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and Indiana Pacer Travis Best, who plays now for Air Avellino in Italy.
  • After the arrival of Tony Parker as shareholder in ASVEL Villeurbanne, French basketball media discuss how supposed future French National Team coach Vincent Collet reacts when he’s the boss of TP for the nationals while working as Parker’s employee at ASVEL.
  • Sometimes, European basketball fans talk about the lesser media coverage of the Euroleague in their respective countries and envy the all-around marketing machine of the NBA. But what happens these days around All-Star Day makes me think we have Euroleague coverage sufficient enough for me, because who cares if Allen Iverson cut his hair?????? I read at least four reports about that story in the few RSS feeds I subscribe to. When will the Euroleague follow and talk us about Igor Rakocevic’s newest haircut? I can’t wait…
  • With the FMP City of Belgrade Tournament, 6 of the 8 participants to the Nike International Junior Tournament are known. Admitted to the event, organized during the Final Four in Berlin, are Kalise Gran Canaria, Montepaschi Siena, Lietuvos Rytas, Unicaja Malaga, FMP Zeleznik and Hemofarm Vrsac. Additionally, two teams will be determined by a wildcard playoff.