Dec
0

2012: The year in Euro-centric basketball highlight clips

What say we close out 2012 with a whole bunch of highlight clips? BiE knew you’d be willing. Tomorrow, a list of the most popular BallinEurope stories of the calendar year will be running, but today comes an attempt to encapsulate the past 365 days in European hoops, YouTube style.

From Ibaka’s blocks to the return of Ricky Rubio, from a stunner in Istanbul to a double miracle in Italy, from the US to the Continent and back again, BallinEurope’s got your highlights right here… Continue Reading…

Oct
2

Monday hangover: It’s all about Fenerbahçe Ülker

BallinEurope had planned this second edition of the “Monday Hangover” to take a wide look at events in Euroleague play and top European domestic leagues, but the headlines vis-à-vis Continental basketball have been dominated by Fenerbahçe Ülker…

Talk about your roller-coaster weeks: The Istanbul side entered Euroleague week two as the vogue choice for a 2013 Final Four bid before suddenly confronted with a few obstacles on the way through the season. Take a look at a tumultuous four days in Fenerbahçe’s existence.

Thursday: Passport-gate begins. After the team’s charter flight lands at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, Romain Sato is detained on charges of traveling with a forged passport. While Sato is spending just about 24 hours in custody, rumors that the forward could be extradited to the Central African Republic, Sato’s country of origin, arise.

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Jun
3

Besiktas 80, Anadolu Efes 76: The BallinEurope review of a triple-crown season

Besiktas introduces Deron Williams: It seems like so long ago...

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Beşiktaş Milangaz, who capped a fascinating whirlwind run last night with an 80-76 victory over Anadolu Efes in game six of the TBL championship series. The Black Eagles may add the trophy to their Turkish Cup and FIBA Eurochallenge title in 2011-12, certainly the most successful – and among the most bizarre – seasons the club has ever experienced.

Beşiktaş’ season, like any power in club hoops, began in the summer. All they did to top last year’s high-profile signing of the ultimately marginal Allen Iverson was ink Deron Williams, a franchise guard at his peak, to the biggest contract in European basketball with an NBA out-clause when the player lockout was to be settled.

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Jun
1

Besiktas 81, Anadolu Efes 55: Hawkins leads, Pops dunks – plus 3D fan vid

Hours before the Boston Celtics were putting the Miami Heat on the brink of elimination, Beşiktaş Milangaz was doing the same to 13-time national champion Anadolu Efes in whupping the Euroleaguers, winning 81-55 at the Black Eagles’ nest.

In short, Beşiktaş destroyed on the boards, beating the disheartened Anadolu 40 to 20 in the stat. David Hawkins put in a monstrous 23 points on 9-of-12 overall shooting, while “Nana Yaw Dwene Mensah Bonsu” (Pops!) contributed a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds including five offensive … ah, let’s just cut to the chase. BallinEurope knows what you want. The game brief will continue in a moment, but now, the YouTube highlight dunk of the night…

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May
3

Pops the tops: Mensah-Bonsu leads Besiktas to win, produces fantastic highlight clips

Pops, there he goes again

Now that leagues are heading into their championship homestretch, the crème de la crème in Europe is tending to rise to the top – perhaps none more so than BallinEurope fave Pops Mensah-Bonsu. (And yeah, BiE has heard of that Vassilis Spanoulis guy, but run with yet for a moment.) Not only did Pops earn FIBA EuroChallenge Final Four MVP honors in leading his Beşiktaş Milangaz to the title there, he’s also ripping up the competition in Turkey.

In game one of the TBL championship series with Anadolu Efes, Pops was again at the forefront in an 82-75 victory at Efes’ place: Team Britain’s leader was good for a big 18 points on 7-on-9 shooting plus seven rebounds and three blocks in the match, game highs in the first and last stat while second only to teammate Erwin Dudley in boards.

Pops was clearly no. 1 in the intangible excitement factor, however, once again displaying his effortless “Blake Who?” leaping ability on a pair of poster-perfect jams. And since a YouTube is worth 10,000 words, BiE’ll go straight to the clip.

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May
8

Euroleague 2012-13: An attempt to deduce the composition (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

At least this much is clear...

Yesterday, the basketball-centered bit of the Twitter universe was centered in two real-life locales: New York City and Barcelona. Topics in play were the falling of ping-pong balls in New York City and Euroleague’s incipient decision on the construction of Euroleague 2012-13. Hopefully, BallinEurope will get something together on the former later, but for now, BiE’ll attempts a quick look at the roster of teams for the upcoming season.

The three-year A-licenses are currently under review, but you gotta figure Caja Laboral Baskonia, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahçe Ülker, CSKA Moscow, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Montepaschi Siena and Žalgiris Kaunas are in. Asseco Prokom Gdynia is in the second year of its license, making them the 12th of the 24 teams.

Also up for review is Unicaja Malaga. While Spain is still even officially considered *the* best domestic or regional league in Europe (more on this momentarily), the big league could certainly defend a yanking of the license based on the team’s bottom-half finish in the Liga Endesa and consistently better recent performance by Valencia BC.

Virtus Roma is the only original A-license team to have been removed from the EL roll call, getting its placement in Euroleague ball “suspended for having finished in the bottom half of its national competition.” Unicaja might easily find itself on the Eurocup level for 2012-13; let’s just say a *lot* of things would have to happen to even get the team into the EL qualifiers.

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May
18

The EuroChallenge Championship Curse: What of Beşiktaş’ future?

In this second piece of a two-part series, sportswriter/commentator Uygar Karaca again considers the EuroChallenge Championship Curse, with special reference to this year’s champions, Beşiktaş; unfortunately for the Eagles, Karaca feels a distressing amount of déjà vu…

In this article, I will try to answer the question as to whether Beşiktaş Milangaz fits into the framework of the “EuroChallenge Championship Curse.” Just to reminder for readers: A few days ago, I compiled a list of teams who won the FIBA EuroChallenge trophy and what happened to them thereafter. Many of these team’s fates were not very nice and unfortunately, one can fairly claim that Beşiktaş is walking a similar path.

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Mar
0

Topsy-turvy Turkey as Galatasaray pushes Anadolu Efes down the TBL table

Strange days indeed in Turkey … just three days after Galatasaray and Anadolu Efes were bounced from Euroleague play, the TBL standings have become nearly unrecognizable; for the first time in probably forever, clubs named “Efes” or “Fenerbahçe Ülker” do not appear in the top two on the Turkish league table after Galatasaray’s 74-65 win at their former Euroleague mates – while dumping Ilias Zouros to an overall 0-2 mark as head coach of Efes.

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Feb
3

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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Feb
3

Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Beşiktaş vs. Banvit today in Turkish Cup final

Today sees the culmination of the Turkish Cup with a stunning finals matchup between Beşiktaş Milangaz – who took out Euroleague Top 16 side Galatasaray on Thursday – and the TBL’s fourth-place Banvit.

Key to the former’s success in reaching the Cup match was BallinEurope fave Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who contributed an insane double-double in the semifinals of 18 points and 19 rebounds – and so on the occasion of another gold star on Pops’ CV, below runs the FIBA official website’s recent piece profiling Team Britain’s glue guy as the 2012 Olympics approach.

And for no real reason other than sheer awesomeness, directly below is Pops throwing down a few jams – talk about your rim-rockers…

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