Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France +++ Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ 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 +++

Coppa Italia preview: Can anyone stop Montepaschi Siena?

February will see Turin playing host to the Coppa Italia, a grueling four-day tournament featuring Italy’s top eight teams. With the matchups now determined, BallinEurope’s man in Italy, Enrico Cellini, provides a brief preview of the competition.

The first half of Serie A season is over and the table is set for a little appetizer to the final playoffs. In Turin, from February 16th to 19th, the top eight teams of the 2011-12 season’s first half will play each other in elimination games to conquer the Coppa Italia, the second-most important national trophy and litmus paper of each team’s ambitions.

The teams and matchups are as follows.

Montepaschi Siena (1) vs Banco di Sardegna Sassari (8)
EA7 Milano (4) vs Canadian Solar Bologna (5)
Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro (2) vs Umana Venezia (7)
Bennet Cantù (3) vs Sidigas Avellino (6)

Will this be an opportunity for Montepaschi Siena to reassert its dominance after a few unexpected losses or a chance for rampant new challengers to prepare for an assault on the throne?

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One of us: Benetton Treviso fans loving Brian Scalabrine’s success

Whether you know him as Scal, Mr. Hustle or the White Mamba, Benetton Treviso fans recognize new signee Brian Scalabrine as “one of us” – and with good reason. The former Boston Celtic is enjoying a banner year with the Eurocup side and has established himself as a bona fide team leader in Serie A play. BallinEurope’s man in Italy, Enrico Cellini, takes a look at the phenomenon.

It is something of an informal tradition for Italian basketball fans to sing songs and chants to support their teams during basketball games, and a very short while passed before fans of Benetton Treviso dedicated a personal chant to Brian Scalabrine. They immediately opted for “Scalabrine uno di noi!” (“Scalabrine is one of us”).

Scalabrine is paying back his new fans’ warm welcome. On Sunday, he was decisive in the Treviso’s victory against Cantù: despite scoring only six points (though with only one missed shot; Scal was 2-of-3 in the game), he grabbed 15 rebounds, dished three assists and provided plenty of smart plays that do not go in the statistics. In the previous match against Avellino, Scal accounted for 18 points with eight field goals out of ten attempts.

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Revisiting the odds: Which NBA players will come to Europe for 2011-12?

Deja vu in our future?

After another couple weeks of speculation, hype and quotage, it’s time for BallinEurope to revisit the odds: specifically speaking, the odds on NBA players coming to play ball on The Continent in 2011-12. Once again, should note that these lines are offered at no bookmaker service and are completely arbitrary (which is to say mostly made up).

Kobe Bryant: 1/5 if you believe Claudio Sabatini, 1/1 if you’re a bit more stoic. The Kobe-to-Bologna soap opera storyline continues into this weekend with the Virtus head ever more publicly confident that the Los Angeles Laker will in fact be playing ball in Italy this season – at least for a month.

Most recently, Sabatini announced that he had reached an agreement with Bryant’s agent Rob Pelinka vis-à-vis a 40-day deal that would have Kobe playing 10 games in Milano colors. Something seems a bit amiss with this announcement, however, as the team is not playing in any pan-European competitions in 2011-12, and thus is on a once-a-week schedule. (Maybe. More on this below.)

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