Happy Monday, everyone. To get that week started right, BallinEurope has compiled a healthy-sized video play list at which you may goggle over morning coffee. From all corners of Europe (and Portland, Oregon) came the action last week as the barrage of title-awarding begins on The Continent.
• First up: BiE offers congratulations to Žalgiris Kaunas, who took the Baltic Basketball League title over VEF Riga, 75-67. Tadas Klimavicius was the stud for the “Green White Boys” with a team-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds; Trevon Hughes was game high scorer, contributing 16 for Riga as well as five boards.
The BBL is infuriatingly short on video coverage – even on YouTube – but, um, here’s a swell clip of some rabid fans in that distinctive mode of European basketball…
• In losing to Riga the previous day, Lietuvos Rytas would not be granted a chance to avenge its recent loss to LKL rivals Žalgiris in yesterday’s final. The Lithuanian side did take the BBL third-place game, however, upending BK Ventspils, 84-80.
• And here’s a performance from Riga’s cheerleaders, just because.
• Congrats are also due Halcón Avenida, which bagged the FIBA Euroleague Women’s title yesterday. With the 68-59 defeat of Sparta & K, the Russian club’s four-year reign of the big league’s champions ended. Check out Halcón closing things out below – Spanish basketball announcers rule, by the way – followed by a few words from captain Silva Dominguez, who put in 16 points.
• Even if BiE didn’t habitually include an ACB highlight clip among such compilations, this one would still made the grade: Real Madrid 77, FC Barcelona 72, read the score, and the rivals are now tied for first atop the ACB table at 23-5. Whoa, what’s up with Barça lately? BiE’s still mulling that one over and promises to get back to you on it.
• Incidentally, Gran Canaria’s Jaycee Carroll chased up last week’s 32-point performance – then a career best – with 35 points against DKV Joventut in Jornada 29. Do they actually say “¡Ay carumba!” in Spain? If they do, they were this weekend in Badalona…
• Here’s a brief clip from Saturday night/Sunday morning’s Nike Hoop Summit; unfortunately, no action from Europe’s top player in the game, Mateusz Ponitka:
• And BiE told you Bismack Biyombo was gonna blow up, explode in online popularity, go viral and whatnot after his triple-double performance in the ‘Summit game. YouTube contributor NetScoutsBasketball is calling the toast of Congo “a world sensation” already, and why not?
• Biyombo got to do a post-game presser as well; check out how his coach praises the big man for wanting to … practice. He’s talking about practice.
• Though most will remember the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 as that of Dennis Rodman’s entry, BiE will naturally always recall Arydas Sabonis’ induction. (The summary on Sabas starts at right around 1:40 in the video below.)
• Speaking of European greats, this swell retrospective on 40 years of Croatian player-cum-coach Rusmir Halilović’s career was posted this week.
• …as well as one on Žalgiris club history.
• Not only did Woody Paige give props to British basketball on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” a short while back, he also registered one of the flubs of the week with his description of that special relationship between coaches and fans. Note to those studying English: There is a big difference between “discourse” and “intercourse.” And yes, Paige is reportedly a native speaker.
• An extensive interview with D.J. Strawberry by the ever-reliable Erildas Budraitis runs over at RealGM; well-worth reading, it also gives BiE an excuse to run an old highlight clip plus a truly ill happy-smiley kinda bit from back when Strawberry had a cup of coffee with the Phoenix Suns.
• In these days when Chris Kaman can join a national team based on matrilinear connections, it seems odd that longtime Efes Pilsen great Petar Naumoski, a Macedonian who played under the Turkish sobriquet Namık Polat whilst with the Istanbul team, never even thought about getting with Team Turkey in the 1990s.
So says the former Nash-like guard in this morning’s Zaman; see “Naumoski: It never occurred to me to wear national team’s jersey.” Also see the rare video in which Eurosport recaps Naumoski leading Efes Pilsen to the 1996 Korač Cup title; the below clip of the Turkish side’s 76-68 over Stefanel Milano includes bonus sightings of Ronaldo Blackmon, Dejan Bodiroga and Conrad MacRae.
• Finally, the Euroleague PR department is excited about the Final Four … are you?