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The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
Sep
0

Open Thread: Eurobasket Group F gets under way

The second day of action in stage two sees the Group F teams take centre stage. Here’s the docket for today and our picks.

Finland (1-1) vs. Croatia (1-1) – 14.30

Greece (0-2) vs. Spain (1-1) – 17.45

Slovenia (1-1) vs. Italy (2-0) – 21.00

The bookies favour Croatia (-4.5), Spain (-6.5), and Slovenia (-3.5). BiE’s power rankings stirred some controversy as we rated all six Group F teams in our top eight of the tournament so far. Two of these teams however aren’t going to be hanging around. In terms of need, Slovenia knows an early start is big so I’m going with the home team to win. Spain’s number looks about right and I like them too. Finland and Croatia looks made to go down to the wire. I’m picking Croatia but to win by less than the bookies say.

Give us your picks in the comments.

Jun
2

Real Madrid tops FC Barcelona for first Spanish title since 2007; Reyes MVP, Jasikevicius with flashback performance

BallinEurope sends out congratulations this morning to Real Madrid, which closed out a most successful season by taking the decisive game five of the Liga Endesa championship series, 79-71, in yet another “El Clasico”-level thriller. The title represents Los Blancos’ first ACB championship since 2006-07; though title is Real’s sole trophy this season, the win plus a Euroleague runner-up bid has to add up to the club’s finest run since Juan Antonio Corbalán was running point in the early to mid-1980s.

Felipe Reyes was named MVP of the Liga Endesa finals; Reyes turned in yet another efficient performance in game five, contributing 14 points and drawing a whopping seven personal fouls in under 21 minutes of playing time.

Reyes’ show (not to mention the actual win) overshadowed an incredible individual game from Sarunas Jasikevicius, as the old guy played like he’d tapped into his personal 2005. After going just 191 seconds in Madrid’s game four loss, Jasikevicius constantly got/created easy open looks in his under-19 minutes for a huge 23 points on 6-of-9 overall shooting and 8-of-8 from the line.

Unfortunately for the Blaugrana, aside from Joe Ingles’ excellent night, Barcelona shooters could managed just 7-of-33 success overall, including an 0-of-11 mark beyond the arc. (On the other hand, Saras and Ingles did make for one heckuva highlight clip…)

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Jun
10

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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May
0

Crisis in Spain: Player strike averted, ACB playoffs to continue as planned

Phew, that was close…

Typically, it’s a bad sign when a sports page follows up a headline story with a photo like this:

(image courtesy Marca.com)

However, good news from Spain is the order of the day today, as ACB officials have announced that at least a temporary agreement is in place to avert a player strike scheduled to begin today which would have halted the Spanish League’s basketball playoffs from continuing further.

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May
1

Podcast: Interview with Team Spain U19s head coach Luis Guil; review of The Last Boy Scout; gobs of basketball talk

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #36 of the weekly “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online and, if you think the end of the Euroleague season means a paucity of subjects to discuss, well, you don’t know BallinEurope and heinnews once we get started…

At center is an interview with current Team Spain U19s/former Murcia head coach Luis Guil. Guil, who’s tutored the likes of Ricky Rubio, Sergio Rodriguez, Victor Claver, Sergio Llull, Carlos Saurez, Xavier Rabaseda and Alex Abrines among others, tells us about his highs and lows coaching youth hoops plus what he sees as a big Spanish export market for coaches worldwide.

Beyond this, any number of basketball-centric topics are on the radar, including the NBA Draft lottery; those awesome San Antonio Spurs; an incipient player strike in Spain; VTB United League, German Bundesliga and TBL playoffs; and, inevitably, upcoming FIBA tournaments.

And from the We Watch These Things So You Don’t Have To Department is our sports movie review of the week. This time, it’s the distinctly non-epic Bruce Willis flick of 1991, a.k.a. the year American professional football died, The Last Boy Scout. (See below for the wonderfully over-the-top loopy opening scene and ignore the rest. It’s for the best, really…)

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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May
0

Podcast: Talking Euroleague Final Four, Liga Endesa with Jeff Taylor; also lamenting the Lakers, reviewing ESPN 30 for 30 doc “From Elway to Marino”

Taking the Charge podcast seriesAnother week, another “Taking the Charge” podcast. Available now through heinnews or iTunes, it’s once again lotsa talk on European basketball and other sports.

BallinEurope and heinnews this week host Jeff Taylor, Spain-based writer for Basketball World News and FIBA.com. With Spain as the main item on the chat menu this week, we analyze the revitalized and rolling Real Madrid and possibly hurting FC Barcelona’s chances going their matchup next week. We also take a brief look at Spain’s Liga Endesa, including props to recently rechristened Laboral Kutxa, and the inevitable far-out speculation about Eurobasket 2013.

Yeah, BiE laments the Los Angeles Lakers’ demise for the final time this season and wonders if there is a Plan B in place, should the Busses not re-sign Dwight Howard. (Hint: It seems doubtful.)

Finally, for the sports movie review of the week, we do up the recently broadcast 1983 NFL Draft-centric from Elway to Marino, another strong entry in “Volume II” of ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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Mar
2

March Madness a la Europe, Part I: Walk-ons, bench guys, standouts

OSU's Della Valle: It's gotta be the hair...

OSU’s Della Valle: It’s gotta be the hair…

The easy way to introduce a piece like this: Are you ready for March Madness? But of course that’s a rhetorical question as – despite the morphing NBA playoff picture and the Euroleague Top 16 round homestretch – the basketball world’s attention turns to the U.S. college game.

Fans of international ball will be pleased to note the distinct foreign accent in the 2013 NCAA Tournament: 47 of the 60 sides with spots clinched in the competition list non-U.S. players on the roster. And while Canadians and Australians (including three on Albany and two with Luc Longley’s alma mater the University of New Mexico) lead the bunch, 18 European players remain on tourney team rosters.

Below runs a brief look at the first half of Europe’s representatives in the big bracket; with the other nine set to play for one of three tournament teams, BallinEurope will pay particular attention to these guys in an upcoming article.

First up: The two guys listed on rosters who will not see action. Notre Dame’s Eric Katenda (France) announced this summer that he was ready to get onto the court for the Fighting Irish after suffering a freakish potentially career-ending eye injury while still officially a recruit. Unfortunately, this comeback story has only a bittersweet ending thus far: While coach Mike Brey has stated that Katenda’s scholarship will be honored, the Frenchman did not suit up for the team this season.

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Mar
7

Yes! ACB releases new Pops Mensah-Bonsu highlight video!

It’s about time we got a fresh Pops Mensah-Bonsu highlight video … On the happy occasion of Pops’ return to European courts with Cajasol Sevilla for the final six games of the season, the Liga Endesa official website reminds us of Pops’ great moments on Spanish hardwood during stints with CB Granada and DKV Joventut Badalona in 2008.

The BallinEurope fave hasn’t seen action since the summer due to a knee injury taking him out of the 2012 Olympic Games just after finishing 2012-13 in fantastic fashion with Beşiktaş.

Video of representative hops by Pops (plus the occasional nice play on defense) runs below…

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Feb
0

Mario Hezonja slams home Dunk of The Weekend, compiles one-game highlight reel

The NBA All-Star What Contest? Over in the ‘States, basketball superstars created highlight-reel clips while facing little opposition … so forget canned exhibitions (especially Flight White’s sad showing) and check out a show most missed: Croatian wunderkind Mario Hezonja submitted the dunk of the weekend with an incredible one-handed finish to an alley-oop pass from fellow youth-ball player Joan Creus in FC Barcelona’s 67-66 squeaker of a LEB Gold league victory over Leyma Basquet.

The 17-year-old Hezonja went on to put in a game-high 17 points, most of which were highlight-worthy. See the man-among-boys for yourself below — and remember the name.

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Feb
16

Las Dreamcheers strut stuff, show skills at Copa Del Rey

Damn straight BallinEurope’ll run these videos. Alongside this year’s top-notch hoops for which the Copa Del Rey has become world famous, the 2013 edition of the tournament featured some amazing athleticism, choreography and straight-up gorgeousness from Las Dreamcheers, a dance team made up of ACB cheerleaders.

Check out the Liga Endesa-produced video directly below for highlights from last weekend’s show-within-a-show, including what must be the world’s sexiest stewardess outfits. (Is this a preview of Turkish Airlines’ new employee wardrobes?) Good ol’ YouTube provides another compilation as well…

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