Turkish Airlines Euroleague
June 19, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
Thursday, April 30, 2009
While it's true on one count that as soon as a game tips off, especially at a Final Four, every single player is focused entirely on the space between the two baselines, there were more than a few who stopped and took a long first look around o2 World when they first walked into it at official practices on Thursday. And they were duly impressed. "This is the perfect arena to host such a big competition like the Final Four, where a big crowd can fit and feel good," CSKA Moscow forward Viktor Khryapa said. "I am not taking about players. We get here, see the court and focus on our games, but about fans. They are the main thing. When they come to an arena like this, they enjoy and want to come back. Clubs and basketball organizations needs to build arenas like this to get better, so that fans can enjoy a game in many ways, coming alone or with their families." Perhaps even more revealing were the gushing comments of the players from Regal FC Barcelona, who are the only Final Four qualifiers to have played at o2 World already this season. "It is an impressive arena," Barcelona center Fran Vazquez. "I had already played against Alba Berlin here this season and such an arena makes you want the competition to start right away."
POSTED BY: FRANK LAWLOR, Berlin on Thursday, April 30 @ 20:43 pm
If there was any person saying hello to the most journalists, players, opponents, coaches and just everybody at pre-game practice on Thursday - and enjoying the experience as if this was his first Final Four - it had to be CSKA assistant coach David Vanterpool. Not only did Vanterpool play a huge role as a player in helping CSKA win its first Euroleague title in 35 years back in 2006, but he also made it to the Final Four with Montepaschi Siena in 2004. By the number of people who stop Vanterpool to say 'What's up, David?', you would think he played in every country in Europe. Vanterpool joined CSKA's coaching team last summer, with the ambition to learn from one of the best bench bosses in Europe, Ettore Messina. Whether he is advising J.R. Holden, feeding Nikos Zisis three-point passes, testing new low-post moves with Erazem Lorbek or joining Coach Messina to discuss the latest tactics, Vanterpool is as active as an assistant coach as he was as a player. He is also opening an interesting path for elite American players in the Euroleague - the chance to carry on being involved in the competition from the bench. If you have the chance to meet him, don't miss it. Vanterpool is already an essential character in each and every Final Four.
POSTED BY: JAVIER GANCEDO, Berlin on Thursday, April 30 @ 20:17 pm
Meanwhile, over at the Velodrom arena, not far from o2 World, the best juniors in Europe started playing for their own continental title on Thursday in the NIKE International Junior Tournament, and they were attracting a crowd. The two Spanish teams in the eight-team tournament, Unicaja and Gran Canaria, flew in large groups of family and friends for the occasion, as Montepaschi Siena of Italy also did. The first two games were marked by big comebacks, with Gran Canaria and Lietuvos Rytas being down most of the game before winning. The gym had at least 1,000 spectators, an unofficial record for the tournament's first day. Bigger crowds can be expected over the weekend. Entrance is free to see the best juniors in Europe. The crowd included some well-known spectators such as Khimki Moscow Region and Spanish national head coach Sergio Scariolo, former Alba Berlin great Marko Pesic, former European stars Henning Harnisch, Arturas Karnisovas, Sarunas Marciulonas and Detlef Schrempf, not to mention AEG executive Andrew Messick. Tournament sponsor Nike was represented by a group of executives headed by its director of global basketball, George Raveling. Nike's sponsorship and the collaboration of Berlin Basketball Federation assures a memorable weekend both for the young players on the court and the growing legion of fans and scouts who follow them.
POSTED BY: VLADIMIR STANKOVIC, Berlin on Thursday, April 30 @ 19:41 pm
The sometimes straight-faced Ettore Messina, head coach of CSKA Moscow, was the one that provided the lightest moment at Thursday’s opening press conference at o2 World. The moment began when well-known Greek reporter Vassilis Skountis began asking a question in Greek. Messina, who initially fumbled to put on the headset needed to hear a translation into English. Messina then asked Skountis to begin his question again. To Messina's surprise, Skountis simply asked his question in English. Taking off the headset now, the CSKA boss reacted in mock indignation. "You see, this is the Greeks’ strategy," Messina deadpanned, "to make me look stupid, so I get frustrated and don't concentrate well tomorrow and we lose the semifinal." A couple hundred media members all laughed together, some with a delay as they awaited the translation.
POSTED BY: FRANKIE SACHS, Berlin on Thursday, April 30 @ 19:11 pm
If there is one kind of supercharged feeling to see the best Euroleague Basketball players take the court for the biggest games of the season at the Final Four, there was another, equally strong emotion at work Thursday as some of the same stars brought joy to the faces of young cancer patients in Berlin. Their visit to the Children's Cancer Station at the Virchow Hospital in Berlin was all about putting an hour's worth of smiles on those young faces. But it was just as clear that the stars themselves got just as much of a great feeling out of the chance to put competitiveness aside for humanitarianism on the day before the Euroleague semifinals. "First of all, we are human beings like everyone else," Panathinaikos veteran Kostas Tsartsaris said after he and 10 other stars joined local legends Ademola Okulaja and Patrick Femerling in giving gifts and chatting with about 25 children who were mostly confined to their wheelchairs and even strollers. "I like to be next to these kids in their difficult times and forget about basketball for awhile and give them some joy. I think we did that, that they enjoyed themselves, and I certainly did." It was clear when the players entered the ward where the children were waiting amid a festive decoration with their families that the visitors impressed, first and foremost, for their size. It was just as clear when they left that the Euroleague players were even more impressed by the courage of the littlest people in the room. "It's an honor for us," Nikos Zisis of CSKA said. "It's nice for me to see these children with problems and give them a moment of joy, some presents, a little hug."
POSTED BY: FRANK LAWLOR, Berlin on Thursday, April 30 @ 15:14 am
Thursday, April 30, 2009
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Regal FC Barcelona
NIKE International Junior Tournament
SEMIFINALS, May 1:
3RD PLACE, May 3:
FINAL, May 3:
FINAL FOUR TEAMS
REGAL FC BARCELONA
2008-09 ALL-EL TEAM, MVP
FINAL FOUR SLIDE SHOW