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Apr
3

France’s Livio Jean-Charles leads World Team to 112-98 shootout win, first back-to-back victory since 1999 [Highlights]

Those squeezing in viewings of the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit game between NBA playoff matches yesterday not only saw quite the shootout featuring world-class talent but also a bit of history: In upping their all-time record to 5-11 against Team USA with the 112-98 win, the World Select Team earned their second back-to-back win ever in the competition and first repeat since 1999.

The big news individually speaking was ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne’s Livio Jean-Charles, who overshadowed his more headline-grabbing teammate Andrew Wiggins of Canada, with a huge 27 points and 13 rebounds. (For the record on this day, Jean-Charles is currently projected as a #36 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft over at Draft Express; surely this guy’s stock will be rising before the Day…) Team World overcame fierce performances from prospective Duke Blue Devil Jabari Parker (22 points) and Kentucky Wildcat-to-be Julius Randle (19 points, eight rebounds).

But without further ado – To the highlight clips!

Oregon Live put together a “top 15 plays of the game” clip for your debate perusal – No, one second thought, BiE’ll go with “debate”. How did Rondaé Hollis-Jefferson’s insane pickpocket steal of and follow-up jam on Mouhammadou Jaiteh only land at no. 10, for example? For another, how did Randle’s reverse baseline dunk get beaten by Dante Exum’s circusy and-one? In any case, see for yourselves…

Here’s a more styled game-highlight compilation put together by BallisLife which puts the emphasis on the individual, showing how the showcase features of the ‘Summit…

And major props to the always excellent Euroleague Adventures, for their excellent job video-recording *everything* in the leadup to the game. A couple samples from their post-game work run below – there’s Jean-Charles described (correctly) and the should’ve-been-game MVP, followed by Team Russia/Triumph Lyubertsy’s Sergey Karasev on “Being a Sharp Shooter”. BiE seriously urges you to check out ELA’s massive cache of clips from the Nike Hoop Summit as well – right here.

Congratulations again to the World Select Team on the victory; we’ll leave with a Tweet, perhaps a suggestion for success to future Nike Hoop Summit squads: Maybe it’s all about the bonding…

Continue Reading…

Jun
39

2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Preview: Team Russia

With the lengthily-named 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men tipping off in Venezuela on Monday, BallinEurope takes some time this week to catch up on the four European squads in the running for a trip to London and reckon on a brief assessment of each’s chances in the competition. First up is Russia, the Continent’s representative in qualifying group C.

Extended roster: Semen Antonov (BC Nizhny Novgorod); Sergey Bykov, Maxim Grigoryev (Lokomotiv Kuban); Sasha Kaun, Viktor Khryapa, Andrei Kirilenko, Anton Ponkrashov, Alexey Shved, Eugeny Voronov, Andrey Vorontsevich (CSKA Moscow); Sergey Karasev (Triumph Lyubertsy); Timofey Mozgov (Denver Nuggets); Sergey Monya, Vitaly Fridzon, Dmitry Khvostov (BC Khimki Moscow region); and Artem Yakovenko (Unics Kazan); head coach David Blatt (Maccabi Tel Aviv)

How they got here: Last year in Lithuania, the only team that could stop the Russian juggernaut was France. Les Bleus used a single 8-0 run in the third quarter and a career game from Nicolas Batum (19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks) to squeak past the theretofore undefeated Team Russia in the semifinals.

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Apr
0

BC Khimki Moscow region: In 15th anniversary year, on the verge of lucky three

In the leadup to the 2011-12 Eurocup Final Four tournament beginning on Saturday, Eurosport Turkey basketball commentator Uygar Karaca contributes a series of previews on the remaining quartet entitled “Four Teams, Four Stories” to BallinEurope.

Today, the final chapter of the series is devoted to BC Khimki Moscow region. With VTB United League and Russia Cup titles already in the club’s recent history, will they finally break through with a pan-European championship? Karaca seems to think so…

BC Khimki Moscow region is a relatively young club on the international basketball scene. However, they improved themselves quite rapidly: Coming from the same line of teams such as Avtador, Ural Great, UNICS and Lokomotiv Rostov which presented themselves as alternative powerhouses to CSKA Moscow, Khimki managed to earn a Russian Cup in 2008 and the VTB United League title in 2011. The missing trophy from the shelf is a pan-European prize. The team came close in 2006 against Joventut and in 2009 against Rytas with losses in the Eurocup finals both years. The hosts hope to be third-time lucky on their home court.

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Feb
4

Euroleague Power Rankings: Do-or-die Week Edition

The key word in week three of the 2011-12 Euroleague Top 16 round: Blowout. The closest game was decided by eight points (Bennet Cantù 82, Maccabi Tel Aviv 74) and the average match showed a 16-point differential as certain teams (CSKA Moscow, FC Barcelona, Montepaschi Siena) asserted their superiority, a couple of sleeping giants (Olympiacos, Panathinaikos) stirred, and two (Unicaja Malaga, Emporio Armani Milano) firmly established themselves as this stage’s busts.

Going into tonight’s games four, nothing has changed within the elite, though mid-pack much jostling for position may be seen. With the group leaders all in excellent position to at least solidify a strong hold on a semifinals berth, this could prove to be a make-or-break week for no fewer than those nine sides in the scrum.

The key word for week four, then, in BallinEurope’s estimation: Injuries. The ‘bug is truly hunkering down amid some Euroleague teams, and one could build a pretty decent roster from those who are out, questionable or hampered this week. Potential difference-makers who will be sitting include, among others, Viktor Khryapa (CSKA); Ante Tomic (Real Madrid); Omer Onan, Marko Tomas (Milano); Kerem Gonlum, Ermal Kuqo (Anadolu Efes); Steven Smith (PAO); and Shawn James (Maccabi Tel Aviv).

Below run another edition of the BiE power rankings as we enter this decisive week. Once again, please note that these rankings are an indicator of how teams are trending, with some consideration given to play in other leagues and heavy emphasis on Euroleague results.

Without further ado, then, onto the rankings! Go ahead, you can guess the first four, surely…

Continue Reading…

Dec
3

Nenad Kristic is back in the NBA

According to ESPN’s Chad Ford and Draftexpress, Nenad Kristic is leaving Russia and Triumph Lyubertsy. And since the story even ran on ESPN last night, it seems to be more than just a rumor. Sources say that GM Sam Presti of the worst NBA team so far, the Oklahoma City Thunder, is making this move to bring Nenad back to the NBA.

According to the hoop, Kristic will pay back all the money he received so far from Triumph in order to get out of his contract.

Triumph is probably tanking the season with this move, since they are already eliminated from the Euro Cup, and the Russian Cup is well behind their expectations.

Nov
10

Crisis reaches Russia – Delfino refuses to play

Our contact in Russia has informed us about some major development in Russia. According to him, the global financial crisis is having a direct effect on the Russian basketball. If you really think about it, it just makes sense and critics of high-paying Russian investors are finally proven right.

He also explains why Russia is having problems:

Much depends on the value of the dollar. If the oil prices keep dropping – the ruble (Russian currency) will fall. It is expected that the ruble will fall. From there, everything will get worse. Many Russian basketball contracts are in dollars, but sponsorship of the clubs and salaries is in rubles, meaning the clubs will have to pay more money to their players.

If you take a look at the sponsors and their stocks, it is obvious what clubs will or already have problems.

CSKA Moscow, Dynamo, Khimki, Triumph Lyubertsy and CSK VVS are not paying salaries right now. While CSKA and Dynamo are just going through long delays, Khimki’s and Triumph’s situations are much worse. The CSKA women’s team is on the edge of bankruptcy: Its main sponsor sold his business and the new owner does not want to have any relationship with the club.

But that does not mean that CSKA will have any problems with players, though there has been a delay to payment of more than a month. CSKA CEO Andrey Vatutin said that there are difficulties, but the main sponsor of the team, Norilsk Nickel, has assured it would continue to fully meet its financial obligations. It is not clear why CSKA has problems, because Norilsk Nickel stocks have not fallen significantly for the year.

There are more problems with Khimki and Triumph: Yesterday, Carlos Delfino refused to go to play in the third quarter. Head coach Kestutis Kemzura said that he doesn’t want to see a player ignoring his instructions.

I am sure Carlos doesn’t want to see his team not paying him, either.

•••••

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