For The Continent, quite a bit of important basketball action went down this weekend. In the ‘States, the best of Team USA faced off against the world in the Nike Hoop Summit game; in Spain, arguably the two best women’s teams on the planet meet for the FIBA Euroleague Women final; the German domestic league awarded its cup; and another titanic battle with predictable finish went down in Barcelona. (Yes, there will be Ricky Rubio highlights.)
• In El Classico, a.k.a. FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid – which this season is beginning to turn into La Pesadilla Grandes for The Whites – Barcelona again overcame by the deceptively close score of 78-73. Since Baskonia took care of fifth-place Cajasol, 78-65, Madrid finds its sole possession of second place on the ACB table gone.
As for the highlights, has the Human YouTube Clip added another weapon to his ridiculous arsenal? Check out Rubio *rejecting a freaking shot* at 29 or so seconds in. Also for Rubio fans, check out the sequence beginning at about 1:17 which starts with an alley-oop off the glass and ends with a graven Ettore Messina looking like he’s watching the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls out there.
• All right, BiE said he wouldn’t talk about the Nike Hoop Summit until Wednesday due to the limited availability of game footage for those who couldn’t catch it live; after checking out the match, well …
(“Spoilers” follow; all those who don’t wish to know about the game should go on to the next entry.)
Look, BiE doesn’t often get a chance to say “I told you so.” Seriously, BiE had nailed two predictions in the past calendar year: Team Serbia over Spain on opening day of Eurobasket 2009 and that Roko Ukic would be returning to European ball before the end of this season. That’s it.
But – and please forgive the rampant gaucheness here – this is what BiE commented going into the ‘Summit: “Mark BallinEurope’s words here: [Enes] Kanter will end up being *the* talk of this summit.”
And shazam! All the young Turk did was shoot 13-of-21 from the floor for 34 points to go with his 13 rebounds, breaking the records for field goal attempts, field goals made, and even Dirk Nowitzki’s scoring record of 33 in the game – and all this in *just 24 minutes of court time.*
View the awesomeness below. You’ll be seeing this dude in the NBA, in, what, 2012, probably? Enjoy him this fall, University of Kentucky fans!
Incidentally, Team USA won the game, 101-97, behind Harrison Barnes’ 27 points and a furious comeback effort.
• Just about as dominant was Diana Taurasi in the FIBA Euroleague Women final four this weekend. In the two games for Spartak Moscow region – a.k.a. The Best Women’s Basketball Team Money Can Buy – Taurasi went for a combined 66 points. See Diana dominate and go for 37 against UMMC Ekaterinburg in the semi-final below. (No, BiE has no idea why the sound is missing from the EL Women’s game videos.)
Behind Taurasi, Spartak overcame hometown Ros Casares and a record-breaking crowd of 7,800 by a score of 87-80, once again frustrating the perpetual bridesmaids of this tournament: The pride of Valencia basketball has now reached the final four just twice in eight consecutive years of Euroleague Women play, finishing second on both occasions.
• Finally, there was the Beko BBL Cup Top Four tournament. The final came down to Deutsche Bank Skyliners and Brose Baskets Bamberg; summarizes the league’s official site: “In a thrilling final 40 minutes, head coach Chris Fleming’s team defeated the hosts before a capacity crowd of 5,002 at Frankfurt Sports Hall, 76-75 (halftime score 43-32). For the Bambergers, it was the second Cup triumph since 1992.
In the consolation game, Eisbären Bremerhaven took apart BG Göttingen, 90-65.
Unfortunately for YouTube junkie-types – and here at all BallinEurope, we should *all* be YouTube junkie-types – the BBL has utterly dropped the roundball on providing any sort of video highlight clip, whether on the official website or on video-sharing ‘sites. Is no follower so inspired?
Here’s, um, a clip of, um, some of the Göttingen Violets’ fans raising the roof in Frankfurt…