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 +++ EuroBasket 2015: Wins for Macedonia, Belgium, and Georgia +++

Economic reality hits Netherlands; national team defunct through 2014

On the evening before a meeting of domestic league officials, the Netherlands’ basketball federation announced that the country would not be fielding a men’s national team or a U20 squad in international competition for next summer and in 2014.

The reason? What else but money?

The NBB reported that a debt of €400,000 (over $510,000) has been run up by the club over the past two years; the austerity measures were further blamed on the lack of Netherlands’ clubs’ prestige internationally and the fact that no club could afford to play in pan-European competitions in 2012-13.

All women’s programs, men’s youth basketball and wheelchair teams will continue unimpeded.

Team Netherlands has not qualified for the men’s Eurobasket tournament since 1989.

Thanks to Gideon van der Hijden of Netherlands-based Basketball Plus for the tip!

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Eurobasket 2011 Power Rankings: First take

As just nine days remain until Eurobasket 2011 tips off in Lithuania, BallinEurope today takes a look back at the performances of the two dozen teams slated to compete in the big tournament and deploys some good old power rankings – and lotsa highlight clips from friendlies and tourneys played throughout The Continent.

Once again, a reminder to readers: These ratings are based only on how the teams are trending and are no indication of prognostication for Eurobasket. (The BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ will be released soon enough…)

1. Spain – Yes, they lost to Lithuania in the grand opening of Kauno Arena, but BiE is sticking with Team Spain in the top spot. As defending Eurobasket champions, this team is chasing history and public perception has them on the rise, i.e. “El rival de España en el Eurobasket es España.” Plus, the side got back on track in tournament warmups, dispatching Slovenia on Sunday despite shooting 2-of-10 on threes and under 66% (21-of-32) from the free-throw line.

2. Greece – What controversy? Team Greece is up to their old tricks in European play – with or without Ioannis Bourousis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis – going 3-0 at the BEKO Supercup tournament over Turkey, Belgium and Germany; earning a like mark against Russia, Israel and Poland in the European Basketball Tour 2011 in Cyprus; and finishing 2-1 in the Trofeo Tassoni against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Italy and Poland. This is an interesting Greek team, with more of an emphasis on speed than in recent years, but they look just as good early on.

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FIBA U16s: Soluade, Team England continue amazing run into semis

BallinEurope received a brief email from an enthusiast of Morayoninuoluwa “Mo” Soluade, currently starring for Team England in the B Division of the FIBA U16 European Championship.

“Check out Mo Soluade with a triple double tonight against the Netherlands,” the missive implored. “He is someone to watch with real potential.” Unfortunately, since video of the game is sadly lacking on the interwebs at present – c’mon, FIBA folks, learn to love your YouTube account – we’ll have to make due with a box score, which incidentally also indicates that Soluade added four steals to his line of 11-10-11.

The Netherlands game was a bit of a novelty for other reasons in addition to being Team England’s fifth consecutive win in this tournament; official national team website England Basketball notes that “Incredibly, England never took a free-throw in a game where the Dutch were called for just five fouls, but 52 percent floor shooting and a rebounding margin of 43-36 proved the difference.”

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A real jam goin’ down: Welcome to the EuroJam

The most interesting basketball tournament happening in Europe before Eurobasket? Check out an event called EuroJam 2011 going down August 12-14 in Almere, Holland.

As what is slated to be the first in a series of Europe-based international tournaments, EuroJam will feature six men’s teams and two women’s teams to play over the three days of the event, which also promises an entire “Sport Experience” for fans and professionals.

Competing on the men’s side of the bracket will be national teams from Georgia, Israel and the Netherlands; this quartet will be joined by the Villanova University squad. The women’s “tournament” actually consists of two games pitting the Netherlands’ team against the Boston College Eagles.

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