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Sep
0

Podcast: Lotsa Eurobasket, including interviews with Mike Fratello, Alexis Ajinca, Robertas Javtokas, more

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #53 (or perhaps that should be “Volume II, Episode 1”) of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

With co-host David Hein “enjoying” the Eurobasket 2013 tournament going down the stretch live in Ljubljana (that “enjoying” is in quotes because we know for a fact that the man’s working like a dog over there), the focus is all on the Continental tournament.

The final round tips off today in lovely Slovenia and we’ve got four short interviews for your listening pleasure with one representative from each of the first four games: Check out the ‘cast for words from young Team Serbia sensation Vasilije Micic; Les Bleus former Charlotte Bobcat Alexis Ajinça; the Czar Himself and current Team Ukraine mastermind Mike Fratello; and Robertas Javtokas of Lietuva.

Naturally, we couldn’t resist the change to offer some Official Fearless Predictions™, including what must be the world’s first championship-game prognostication for Eurobasket 2015.

In our sports movie review of the week segment, we’re looking at an HBO production from 1995 (also known as that time when HBO wasn’t yet HBO) centered on a Rucker Park classic, Rebound: The Legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault.

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.

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Jul
1

Podcast: Featuring interviews with FIBA U19 World stars Exum, Okafor, Micic, Krestinin, Milunitov

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #43 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

In this week’s edition of the ‘cast we put the proverbial bow on a notable FIBA U19 World Championship with a half-dozen interviews (they’re brief, we swear) that Mr. Hein recorded amid writing up the Prague games for the FIBA folks.

Pitching in their two cents on subjects such as the competition itself, the future (particularly intriguing for Team Australia’s Dante Exum, who’s facing a decision of colleges if any at all and new BallinEurope fave Vasilje Micic, about to try and crack the national team roster for Serbia) and Dario Saric are Exum and Micic; Team USA’s Jahlil Okafor and assistant coach Shaka Smart; Denis Krestinin of Lithuania; and Team Serbia’s Nikola Milunitov.

And invariably, there’s other basketball and sports patter on “Taking the Charge”… Hein and yours truly mentally dispose of Dwight Who, praise the offseason moves of Olympiacos, and wonder about Zalgiris Kaunas dropping its affiliation with the VTB United League for 2013-14.

The sports movie up for review this week is The Damned United, a fantastic 2009 British production about if-not-mad-at-least-a-bit-tweaked genius football manager Brian Clough and his odd spell with Leeds United for 44 days in the mid-1970s. See it if you care at all about soccer/football, sports or really good dramas.

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.

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Jul
3

Team USA takes FIBA U19 Worlds, 82-68; Vasilje Micic with assist of the night

Congratulations from BallinEurope this morning go out to Team USA, which took the FIBA U19 World Championship title in finishing an undefeated romp through the tourney by taking care of business against Serbia last night, 82-68. Kudos, too, to Team Serbia and Lithuania, who did European basketball proud by taking the other two spots on the podium, the latter outlasting Australia in a 106-100 consolation-game barnburner.

BiE also loves FIBA’s “Assist of the [Championship] Game” nod given to Vasilje Micic. Micic’s fancy move to the basket has him finding center Doko Salic under the hoop for a (relatively) easy two and what would ultimately be Serbia’s biggest lead of the game at 9-4…

Official FIBA writeup and full official highlight clip follow. Continue Reading…

Sep
13

EuroBasket 2013 draw seedings: Some thoughts

Exactly what the title says then – BallinEurope takes a look at the seedings for the EuroBasket 2013 draw and riffs a bit. As we know, the six groups from which the final divisions will be comprised look as follows.

No. 1 seeds: Spain, France, Russia, FYR Macedonia

No. 2 seeds: Lithuania, Greece, Slovenia, Great Britain

No. 3 seeds: Italy, Croatia, Germany, Montenegro

No. 4 seeds: Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Bosnia & Herzegovina

No. 5 seeds: Georgia, Belgium, Latvia, Turkey

No. 6 seeds: Czech Republic, Serbia, Israel, Sweden

Mulled-over reactions follow.

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Sep
46

What’s wrong with team Serbia? Coach Duda’s confession

Those who tuned into David and Davis’ podcast over at heinnews this week and/or have been reading the rants posted on BallinEurope on Milos Teodosic’s play in the recent FIBA EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers know that BiE fears something is amiss in Serbia. BallinEurope’s contributing writer from over there, Marko Savkovic, today tells us that head coach Dušan Ivković attempted to address some of the issues dogging his Team Serbia yesterday. Did Duda succeed in his explanation? You be the judge…

Team Serbia walked a very thin line last Tuesday, narrowly escaping elimination from EuroBasket 2013. Three days later, its coach Dušan “Duda” Ivković faced the press.

Yes, Israel was beaten fairly convincingly on Tuesday evening. If it hadn’t been for a couple of late three-pointers from Guy Pnini, Omri Casspi’s strong 1-on-1 display and some staunch 4th quarter defense, Serbia would have won by a margin far greater than 19 points necessary to finish second in the group. Belgrade’s Pionir Arena welcomed home team’s rise from the state of complete disarray into which it had fallen in after its disgraceful loss to Estonia. Yet the smiles and cheers were those not so much confidence or gratitude, but of relief. Relief for a nation which – you have to compare – 10 years ago celebrated its last world championship.

On Friday, coach Duda spoke to the press.He accepted part of the blame for the team’s abysmal showing in the EuroBasket qualifiers, but also argued that “we [Serbia] are not a team going about to disgrace our nation.”

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Sep
30

Estonia wins, 88-81: Again, Team Serbia? Again, Milos Teodosic?

What can be said about the Estonia-Serbia game that hasn’t been already? Once again Serbia gave up a halftime lead; once again the team was forced to try and dig out of a fourth-quarter hole; once again the lack of communication on offense was evident (Would you believe just five total assists?); and once again Milos Teodosic self-destructed in the fourth quarter

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Sep
22

Montenegro 72, Serbia 62: Déjà vu from Guess Who in fourth quarter

“It. Uh … it … it happened again.”
“It? It? It? No! No, Billy! What the f*** is it, it, it? There is no it! It is you! You happened again!”
– dialogue from White Men Can’t Jump

Until the 2013 Euroleague Final Four then, for which CSKA Moscow is already Fearlessly Predicted™ to appear, Milos Teodosic will be represented by the green dude at right. Yep, it happened again last night.

As though programmed lately to self-destruct at the sound of the fourth-quarter buzzer, Teodosic began the 31st minute with his first statistically-recorded bad pass of the final 10. To his credit, Good Milos was briefly seen in the 34th and 35th, with proper awareness on defense to net him a pair of rebounds that led to two time-killing Team Serbia possessions and reduction of Montenegro’s lead to just three at 59-56 – capped by Dusko Savanovic’s jumper with the assist by Teodosic.

Maybe it was the substitutions, then, but before you could say “Hulk smash,” Bad Milos had thrown the ball away twice more for a final quarter stat line of 1-of-2 shooting, two rebounds, one assist and three TOs in under eight minutes. In total, Teodosic’s cumulative stats through seven EuroBasket qualifiers are as follows.

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Sep
9

Good Milos vs. Bad Milos: Is Teodosic the problem for Team Serbia?

The two sides of Milos Teodosic

The increasingly good Bball Headlines reported on a little high-profile commentary from the peanut gallery recently, quoting former Team Serbia head coach Zoran Slavnic in singling out Milos Teodosic as central to the current team’s woes in EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers.

“Some of the players that I called up to the national team for the first time five years ago have not made any progress. One could say they have even declined. I am very disappointed with the game of Milos Teodosic as well as with his behavior. His game doesn’t involve his teammates even if he is the most creative player in Europe of the past ten years.

“It is really amazing that his [coaches have] failed to teach him his role on the team and to play as a point guard. He is the main culprit in the recent losses and is still behaving very irresponsibly. He is the best point guard in Europe, but he hasn’t shown it in the national team.”

But can Teodosic, the former European Player of the Year, Euroleague MVP and FIBA World all-tournament member, really deserve such blame for Team Serbia right now? Come to think of it, does Team Serbia actually have great problems? Okay, so they failed to qualify for the Olympics from a tough EuroBasket 2011 crowd. And right now they’re no mighty Montenegro, the 6-0 side Serbia faces in Podgorica tonight.

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Aug
15

Eurobasket 2013 qualification round bullets – plus Official Fearless Predictions™

With 13 games to play tonight in the EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round, BallinEurope takes a quick look around the blogosphere regarding a few subplots, storylines and players to watch. We’ll do this in the time-honored tradition of the ESPN TrueHoop Network, i.e. bullet-style.

● Some in the Spurs Nation were enthused with Davis Bertans’ play for Team Latvia against Romania and Adam Hanga for Hungary generally.

● Team Israel’s Yogev Ohayon is playing like he did in high school

● …while Guy Pnini “defended his performance” in the first three games by nailing a clutch three in his side’s upset of Serbia, though the woeful shooting continued with a 1-of-5 line.

● After Jonas Jerebko, Detroit Pistons fans will also want to keep an eye out for Slava Kravtsov, described as “dominant” for Team Ukraine against Hungary – after all, team executives are.

● Speaking of Jerebko, *still* no word on whether he’ll be suiting up for tonight’s home game against Bulgaria, but Team Sweden head coach Bradley Dean asserts that “we have no excuses and we don’t want any.”

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Aug
1

Montenegro 73, Serbia 71: A star is born as Ivanovic hits buzzer-beater three

How do you quiet one of those notoriously airplane-loud crowds in Belgrade? Eighteen-year-old Nikola Ivanovic, showing poise beyond his years, had the answer to that riddle on Saturday in Team Montenegro’s Eurobasket 2013 qualifying round game against Serbia. To cap the stunning upset victory, Ivanovic calmly launched a near-halfcourt three, struck gold and instantly utterly silenced a stunned Serbian house.

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