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Author Topic: § EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments News & Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket  (Read 547245 times)
Posts: 77

« Reply #7 on: Jul 31, 2011, 03:42:18 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

FIBA clears NBA players to play abroad during lockout

FIBA has confirmed it will approve the transfer of players under contract with the NBA deciding to play for clubs of FIBA affiliated leagues during the on-going lockout.

During a lockout NBA players who continue to be under contract with an NBA team are free to play anywhere they want, whether for their national teams and/or for club teams.

If an NBA player requests to play for a club of a FIBA affiliated league, the NBA will not object but will state that the player will have to return to his NBA team as soon as the lockout ends. Consequently, FIBA will deliver a letter of clearance subject to the receipt of a declaration signed by the player, stating that he will return to his NBA team when the lockout is over.

“As the world governing body for basketball, we strongly hope that the labour dispute will be resolved as soon as possible, and that the NBA season is able to begin as scheduled,” said FIBA Secretary General and IOC member, Patrick Baumann.

“In view of our role to promote basketball worldwide, we support any player wishing to play the game, wherever and whenever. We do so while obviously taking the interests, rights and obligations of all parties into account,” he added.

“We are delighted to see that, in spite of widespread doubts related to the lockout, National Teams competing in this summer’s Olympic Qualifiers will be able to count on the participation of most of their NBA stars.”

Any NBA player deciding to play during the lockout, does so at his own risk, notably if he sustains an injury.

FIBA has stated that it is up to the clubs to decide whether or not they shall sign a waiver clearing them of any responsibility towards the player in case of injury and other reasons preventing him from returning to the NBA and from fulfilling his obligations vis-à-vis his NBA team.

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« Reply #6 on: Apr 09, 2011, 06:48:51 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

Here come the batmen!

At the beginning of the third quarter of the Euroleague quarter-final decider between Real Madrid and Power Electronics Valencia on Thursday night, an 11th player entered the game.

A bat began to dart this way and that, dipping as low as eye level for the players.

The ball flew through the air, but so did the bat.

Valencia's players might have believed that was a good sign for their team because the bat is the symbol of their city.

There are bats on manhole covers in Valencia, above the town hall, on team shirts - everywhere.

What they may not have realized, though, is the affinity Madrid's players have with that winged creature.

"That's our lucky bat," Clay Tucker said.

"We practiced with bats all week long.

"Once the bat came, I told everyone we were going to win."

So, while Manu Ginobili swatted a bat to the court while playing for San Antonio last season in an NBA game and earned the nickname Batman, there was no chance of his Argentina teammate, Real Madrid point guard Pablo Prigioni, doing the same.

Maybe the bat just wanted to be a part of history because Madrid wrote a famous chapter in theirs by beating Valencia 66-58 on Thursday to win the five-game series, 3-2, and reach the Final Four.

The last 10 minutes were something you won't soon forget, but would like to.

It was ugly.

Like an NFL game at Soldier Field in Chicago on a bitterly cold Sunday in January, it was a defensive struggle with the last period ending 8-7 in favor of Madrid.

All that mattered for Madrid was their victory.

It had been 15 years since the famous club had reached the Final Four.

The coach everyone expected to take Madrid to Barcelona was Ettore Messina, but he upped ship and left after a home demolition at the hands of Montepaschi Siena at the end of the Top 16.

The loss didn't impact Real Madrid in the standings as they had already clinched top spot, but Messina rightly pointed out that if fans are going to spend time and money to watch the team play, they deserve the best the players have to offer and against Montepaschi that night, maybe they hadn't given their best.

Messina's departure could have done two things.

It could have sent the club into a tailspin, or helped unify the players and fans, which is what he said he hoped would happen.

As the 3-2 series triumph over Valencia suggests, Messina's exit did the latter.

It brought everyone closer together.

"Messina's a great coach," said Tucker, one of the players left stunned by the coach's departure.

"He's a great person on and off the court and you can't take anything away from that.

"He made the decision to walk away from the team and we couldn't do anything about that.

"We respected his decision.

"But it did help us mentally in coming together as a team.

"With that happening, it prepared us for this (five-game series) and we were ready to get through it."

The man that deserves a lot of credit for Madrid reaching the Final Four is Emanuele Molin, Messina's longtime assistant.

Instead of leaving with his boss and good friend, Molin told Madrid he wanted to finish the job that Messina had started.

"It was a very strange situation for him," Tucker admitted.

"Messina and Molin had been together for what, 20 years?

"The one thing about Molin stepping in and taking his place, we kept the same system.

"Had another coach come in, it probably would have taken us a little bit more time to get used to it.

"So we were fortunate to have Molin step in."

One other thing that saved Madrid is the passion that exists at the club.

Madrid basketball is historically important, and you felt that during this entire five-game series.

They won two of the three games at the Caja Magica and also came from behind and won Game 3 at Valencia.

Everyone was at Game 5 on Thursday night, including club president Florentino Perez and football superstar Ronaldo.

The most important figures, though, were the banner-waving, drum-beating Madristas.

They created an awesome, ear-splitting atmosphere.

It was loud, intimidating.

The noise was continuous and gave the Madrid players a lift.

There were also the journalists of Madrid, some of whom Messina took a parting shot at when he left the club.

There were hugs in the mixed zone because those journalists had seen the basketball team play second fiddle to Barcelona for so many years.

"It made a huge difference," Tucker said.

"The fans really came out and supported us.

"We packed the house tonight and like you said, that ugly fourth quarter got us through."

At least one aim has been accomplished for the season.

Madrid has ended their long spell without a Final Four appearance.

"With the way this club is, and the surrounds, I'm amazed they haven't been to the Final Four in such a long time," Tucker said.

"But every team goes through a stretch where they don't get any championships, in the Super Cup or the ACB or getting to the Final Four.

"Now that we've got past that stage, it's up to us to go and try to win the Final Four."

Jeff Taylor from FIBA

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Posts: 69

« Reply #5 on: Mar 30, 2011, 07:08:27 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

Tucker sees how coaches come and go

If Real Madrid guard Clay Tucker has learned anything the past few weeks, it's that coaching is a volatile profession.

The 30-year-old guard watched one of the best coaches in Europe, Ettore Messina, walk out the Madrid door at the beginning of the month and on Monday, Tucker’s friend and former University of Wisconsin-Green Bay coach, Bruce Pearl, was fired by the Tennessee Volunteers.

Players come and go, and so do the men that lead them.

Pearl, who turned the Vols into one of the best teams in the SEC, endeared himself to his players and students at Tennessee with a gung-ho attitude that was impossible to dislike.

More than anything, he got people excited about men’s basketball at Tennessee, a school best known for a powerhouse football program and a rich tradition in women’s basketball.

Handed the reins five years ago, Pearl went 145-61 with Tennessee.

He made headlines off the court, too.

Pearl, with his players, once showed up at a women's basketball game with his body painted orange.

For that night, Pearl was like any other fan on the Tennessee campus, rooting on women’s coach Pat Summitt and her nationally ranked team.

Pearl was known for something else after big wins.

He’d charge into the locker room and high-five his players.

Pearl was immortalized at Tennessee in a video that shows him running into the locker room after one big win when and ripping off his shirt and doing an Incredible Hulk imitation before hugging his players.

"Bruce is probably any player's ultimate dream coach," Tucker said.

"He's into the game, he brings energy.

"He's never negative no matter what the situation is.

"He keeps the team positive."

Pearl knew his stuff during the game, too, according to Tucker.

"On the X's and O's, he's perfect," Tucker said.

"He scouts like no other coach.

"He can tell you any out-of-bounds play that a team is going to run for a last-second shot, or early in the shot-clock.

"But for me, he's best at motivating his team to get ready to play."

Tucker thinks Pearl will be working again soon.

"It all depends on what his buyout was," Tucker said.

"I'm sure if something good comes along, he'll step up and take it."

If it was uncomfortable watching Pearl be shown the door by Tennessee, Tucker was much closer to an unexpected turn of events at Madrid.

Messina, with Madrid having qualified for the Euroleague quarter-finals, decided to leave the team after a heavy home defeat to Montepaschi Siena in the Top 16.

"It was shocking,” Tucker said.

“He came into the locker room after the game we'd lost here and told us.

"But we've moved on. We have to play as professionals and do our job."

Emanuele Molin, Messina’s long-time assistant, was put in charge of Madrid for the rest of the season.

Tucker did not go into the Valencia series in the best of shape.

He was hurt in Madrid’s weekend defeat to Unicaja Malaga but played through the pain barrier and appeared in both games.

Tucker winced on more than one occasion in Tuesday’s game.

“I was in terrible pain the other night, but it's no excuse,” he said.

“It's a physical sport.

“I tried to fight through it and help the team get the win. We got the win on Tuesday but we came up short the second time.”

On Thursday night, Valencia bounced back from the 71-65 defeat and won 81-75.

The two games against Valencia at the Caja Magica have reinforced Tucker’s belief that he is playing basketball at a very high level, a fact that might not be appreciated back in the United States.

A native of Ohio, Tucker said: “People back home don't understand how real basketball is in Europe. And in my opinion, it's a lot more serious.

“They take it more seriously than NBA basketball.

“In the NBA, they play 82 games and a lot of guys don't play until the fourth quarter of some games and then they really pick it up.

“And a lot of teams don't pick it up until play-off time.

“Here, every game counts. You have to bring it every game or you can come up short like we did today.”

Madrid and every one of the teams in the Euroleague quarter-finals are in the same situation.

Each best-of-five series is knotted at 1-1.

Tucker knows it’s going to be a real dogfight the rest of the way.

"Valencia is a great team,” he said.

“They struggled at the beginning of the year.

“They switched coaches (dismissed Manuel Hussein and appointed Svetislav Pesic), found their stride and they're playing excellent basketball on both ends of the floor.

"We knew coming in that they were going to give us their best shot. They did, they came out successful and now it's our time to go to Valencia to try and steal a game there.”

Games 3 and 4 will be played in Valencia TODAY and Thursday.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA

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Posts: 98

« Reply #4 on: Feb 02, 2011, 04:09:16 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

The draw for EuroBasket 2011 maps out tough routes to medals and Olympics

The draw for EuroBasket 2011 took place at the National Drama Theatre in Vilnius on Sunday evening with tournament hosts Lithuania being drawn in the same group as Spain.

With only two automatic Olympic places and three to four Olympic Qualifying spots on offer, a top five or six* finish will be essential for any team with Olympic ambitions.

But making it beyond the first round, from which only the top three of each group qualify, will be a challenge in itself for some of the countries with big ambitions and strong basketball pedigrees.

Group A looks especially daunting, with defending Champions Spain drawn alongside World Championship silver and bronze medallists Turkey and Lithuania.

Great Britain, who should now be able to count on at least two NBA stars, are seen as the dark horse in the group, while Poland and an additional qualifier complete the lineup.

Some have already singled out group A as the 'group of death', but the strength of European basketball is such that none of the other three groups will leave respective players, fans and coaches particularly comfortable.

Some of the most talented young players in World Basketball will be on show in group B, with Serbia, France and Germany headlining the show.

Israel, Italy and Latvia will provide stiff competition, and will hope to do more than just battle it out between them for the fourth and final second round ticket.

Group C has a distinct regional flavour to it, with all but the as yet unknown qualifier hailing from the Balkan peninsula.

European heavyweights Greece are joined by Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia with the second of the three additional qualifiers completing the lineup.

Russia and Slovenia look to be the heavy favourites in group D where they are joined by Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia and Ukraine.

The Additional Qualifying Round will be disputed by Finland, Hungary and Portugal.

*The number of European Olympic Qualify places will be three if Great Britain are awarded an automatic place in London, otherwise it will be four. The decision will be made by the FIBA Central Board on 12-13 March 2011.

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« Reply #3 on: Aug 03, 2010, 09:37:35 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

London 2012 Olympics the goal for GB as Luol Deng
returns in EuroBasket qualifiers

Luol Deng, having been prevented from appearing in the warm-up matches by an insurance dispute with the NBA and the Chicago Bulls, finally reappears for Great Britain tonight as they kick off their qualifying campaign for the 2011 European Championships against Hungary in Szolnok.

Luol Deng will return for Great Britain's basketball team against Hungary in the Eurobasket qualifiers that will determine whether the team plays at

Deng, who averaged nearly 18 points and six rebounds a game for the Bulls last season, last appeared for Great Britain during their successful EuroBasket 2009 qualifying campaign but was forced to miss the finals in Poland with a stress fracture of the leg.

His reassuring presence is timely because Great Britain face a tricky qualifying tournament, playing eight matches in the next three weeks with home and away fixtures against Hungary, Ukraine, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Macedonia.

GB go into the tournament without the injured or resting trio of Joel Freeland, Rob Archibald and Andrew Betts who have been outstanding in recent seasons while the debut of the Detroit Pistons' Ben Gordon has been delayed again after he failed to recover from ankle surgery.

On a more positive note Pops Mensah-Bonsu has been able to attend the training camp and warm-up matches and a clutch of Britain's most promising talents - Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Ashley Hamilton, Justin Robinson, Dan Clark and Ogo Adegboye - are about to get an extended campaign to prove their worth.

"We still have a strong squad and it's the best opportunity some of the young players will ever have to step up and become part of that Olympic dream," said coach Chris Finch. "We have nucleus of players who have been on the programme for the last three years or so and the new talent coming in can provide fresh impetus. They played with a lot of excitement in our warm-up games.

"If we had everybody available I would say we would be strong favourites to qualify automatically - certainly we would be the scalp others would looking for - but it's probably a bit more even now. We have got a big job to do but I am enjoying the way things are coming together."

"I'm not the slightest bit worried by the interesting road trips we have. We have lived on the road for the last three years, it's part of what we are and we have produced some very good performances and results under pressure in hostile arenas. I see that as a positive."

For every other team sport at the London 2012 Olympics Great Britain have been granted an automatic right to field a side but basketball's world governing body FIBA are making life as difficult as possible for the new kids on the block.

In fairness there are probably 15-20 teams who fancy they might just have a shout at a medal in the 12-team Olympic tournament so a place in the competition is highly prized and not given away lightly.

FIBA have already moved the goalposts once, however, going back on a previous assurance that reaching last year's European Championship Finals in Poland would be deemed sufficient evidence of Great Britain's "competiveness". There, weakened by injury, they lost all three games in a 'Group of Death' but did lead world champions and subsequent European champions Spain with less than three minutes to go. GB were nothing if not competitive.

"We need to know that the basketball family in the UK has a clear view of where it wants to go when the Games are finished," said FIBA secretary Patrick Baumann recently. "How is the game going to be structured? What are they going to be doing over the next four to eight years to make themselves competitive with other nations? If these things come together, there's no reason why GB should not be at the Olympic Games."

Which all seems a bit beyond FIBA's brief. This is the Olympics, not the world championships which is their fiefdom. And the last time the Olympics was held in a non Basketball nation - South Korea in 1988 - the hosts were included from the off and aquitted themselves with honour in both the men's and women's competitions.

Finch is well aware of the bigger picture. "We have got three plans running concurrently. There is the 2010 plan - qualify for the European Championships and secure Olympic inclusion. There is 2012 itself and our target of a quarter-final place and then there is 2016 and beyound when we want Great Britain to be genuine medal contenders in all major competitions."

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Great Britain Eurobasket 2011 qualification fixtures

Aug 2: Hungary v GB (Szolnok)
Aug 8: GB v Macedonia (Northumbria University, Newcastle)
Aug 11: Bosnia-Herzegovina v GB (Novi Grad)
Aug 14: GB v Ukraine (Birmingham NIA)
Aug 17: GB v Hungary (Birmingham NIA)
Aug 23: Macedonia v GB (Skopje)
Aug 26: GB v Bosnia-Herzegovina (Liverpool Echo Arena)
Aug 29: Ukraine v GB (Dnipropetrovsk)

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