Home of Basketball Fri, 22 May 2015 22:45:52 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 China and Philippines emerge as FIBA World Cup front-runners Fri, 22 May 2015 17:43:13 +0000 FIBA have announced that either China or the Philippines will host the 2019 World Cup after the two nations were revealed as the remaining candidates left in the running.

It will mark the first time since 2006 that FIBA’s flagship event will be staged in Asia as the last two World Cups have been hosted by European countries [Turkey, 2010 and Spain, 2014].

FIBA will announce their decision during a two day meet in Tokyo on between August 7-9.

The bidding for the 2019 World Cup was always likely to land in Asia after the roaring success of the 2006 world championship in Japan and then the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Asia’s gain means another loss to the Americas, as they miss out on a bidding spot for the 2019 world event once again marking 17 years since they last host the tournament.

For the Oceania continent, they are still waiting to host the FIBA World Cup for the very first time.

Twitter reaction and brief analysis:

The Philippines are overwhelming favourites amongst the basketball fans to win the rights to the 2019 FIBA World Cup despite China having better infrastructure and facilities for world class basketball events.

While the Philippines’ promotion of the World Cup would never be denied due the incredible popularity of the sport there, actually hosting the tournament that will feature 32 teams and have hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world will pose a problem to the nation due to various safety measures.

There are mass police and security shortages in the Philippines plus the transport system, with the exception of the capital Manila needs a vast amount of work.

Something you don’t get in China.

It will interesting to see what the developments will be in the next few months.

Information on the Philippines obtained by local Pilipino residents living in the author’s home town. 

]]> 0
Liga Endesa round up (week 31) Fri, 22 May 2015 11:04:31 +0000 After this week things will be much more clearer as the Liga Endesa confirms its playoff and relegation spots in the strongest basketball league in Europe.

Bbut there are few spots left to be determined in the final regular season games next week.

Barcelona got up to the second place on the table after their big 74-61 win in Unicaja. Barcelona known for their shooting ability scored 10 threes this time and that was they key of their victory. DeShaun Thomas led Barcelona with 12, and Fran Vasquez was the only one in double figures for Unicaja with 11.

Barcelona can still lose the second seed next week if they lose in the final game of the regular season and Unicaja wins.

Zaragoza lost a big game in Gran Canaria 85-67 as a win would have kept their hunt for the last playoff spot open, that Laboral Kutxa is holding at the moment.

Stevan Jelovac was the only one who kept Zaragoza in the game with 21, but awful shooting from the three point line (4/17) was too much.

Also Gran Canaria hitting 15 threes helped a lot to achieve this win. Eulis Baez hit 5 of them and led the hosts with 19 points.

We now know that Fuenlabrada is the first club to be relegated to the second division after Tenerife blew them out at home with 99-74 win.

The game was tied at halftime, and Fuenlabrada showed signs of life, but they had no chance to win after they lost third quarter by 20. Fuenlabrada played bad basketball throughout the year and will play in the second division next season.

Javier Beiran had 18 for the hosts and Andy Panko had 24 for the visitors.

Elsewhere around the league Bilbao edged out Valencia 78-73, Rio Natura got a road victory against MoraBanc Andorra 74-65, Joventut crushed Murcia 77-54, Sevilla achieved a big win in Gipuzkoa 67-69 and Manresa is still in the league for now as they won a must win game against Movistar 81-75.

In Wednesday’s late game Laboral Kutxa took advantage of a post-championship hangover as they secured a playoff spot after a big 94-81 win over Euroleague champions Real Madrid.

]]> 0
Daily Gossip, Thursday 21/5/15 Thu, 21 May 2015 21:28:20 +0000 Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry has an answer to the critics [journalists] that have called for kids to be banned from the podium during press conferences.

Well, it isn’t exactly a direct message, rather Curry introducing the media and indeed the the world to his two-year-old daughter Riley.


New York Knicks general manager Phil Jackson does not have the stomach to take Latvian youngster Kristaps Porzingis according to the New York Daily News.

With the Knicks picking fourth in this year’s NBA Draft, and the projected top three of Karl Anthony-Towns, Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell expected to be snapped up. What will the Knicks go with?

Via New York Daily News:

If Jackson is taking into consideration the long-term stability of the Knicks franchise – which, granted, is an oxymoron – the proper course of action may be to draft a young player. Towns, Okafor and Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell are expected to be the top three players selected. That leaves point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who played in China last season, Duke small forward Justise Winslow, Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein and 7-foot-1 Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks are not entirely sold on Winslow, and Jackson might not have the stomach to draft Porzingis into the New York market. If it comes down to Mudiay and Cauley-Stein, there are several factors that need to be considered. With Jackson committed to his triangle system, he may be less inclined to select a point guard even though the Knicks certainly have a need at a position that is dominating the league…However, Jackson has told several associates that he admires Cauley-Stein, an athletic big man who has drawn favorable comparisons to Chicago’s Joakim Noah, a former Defensive Player of the Year and All-Star. Last summer, Jackson traded Tyson Chandler to Dallas and later said the Knicks need to find a player who does the things that Chandler does. That’s Cauley-Stein. Kentucky big men have fared well in the NBA, and Cauley-Stein would be an upgrade to a weak Knicks front line. Is he an All-Star? Maybe. A future MVP? That may be reaching just a bit. But a star is out there somewhere. Jackson coached some of the biggest stars in NBA history. And now the Knicks need him to find one“.

]]> 0
Relive the 2015 Euroleague Final Four timelapse Thu, 21 May 2015 16:40:01 +0000 The 2015 Euroleague Final Four is now bound for the record books.

But what an incredible Final Four it was, as Real Madrid ended a twenty-year drought to become European champions for the first time since 1995 by beating Olympiacos in the championship game.

Relive the moments in this masterful timelapsed video of the weekend in Madrid.

]]> 0
Getting to know a Euroleague sponsor: What is the VTB Arena? Thu, 21 May 2015 16:18:28 +0000 An excellent relationship has been built between Euroleague Basketball and the VTB Arena, for the last three years as the venue has sponsored European club basketball’s premier competition as it readies itself for a grand opening in October 2017.

But what exactly is the VTB Arena? It was a question that had been asked by many people throughout the Final Four in Madrid last weekend when a huge promotional poster of the multi-purpose location was placed in the media work room plus adverts shown on the Barclaycard Center big screen, above the court.

Due to open officially in October 2017 after numerous delays, the VTB Arena, built in the center of the Russian capital of Moscow’s urban district is set to be the world’s ultimate entertainment venue, a title currently held by the O2 Arena in London as they see over two million people through their doors for events every year.

And with the way it is publicised, the VTB Arena, located in Moscow’s supposed heartland should comfortably exceed the average of two million members of the public that travel to North Greenwich every year.

Simple breakdown of the VTB Arena

The $750million arena will feature a 12,000-seat indoor venue, suitable for ice hockey and basketball games. It is said that the Dynamo Moscow basketball team will play its home games there.

The venue also features a 27,000-seat football stadium which is the feature’s centrepiece. The ground can expand to 40,000 exclusively for the 2018 FIFA World Cup if chosen as one of the venues.

There is also an office and retail complex, extensive underground parking facilities. Plus a state-of-the-art, five-star hotel, four office buildings, several apartment blocks, conference centre and sports academy for Dynamo.

What will the Euroleague be interested in? 

Once in operation, the VTB Arena will be a hopeful candidate to host the 2018 Final Four, according to a senior Euroleague official. And it makes sense to stage the showcase event at an arena that has sponsored the competition for three years, so 2018 would be a perfect time.

But to be fair, Moscow’s soon-to-be-premier facility will stage the Final Four at some stage. After all this exposure, it’s the least the Euroleague could do.

Will it rival the O2 Arena in London? 

The VTB Arena will eventually overtake the O2 Arena and become the world’s busiest venue.

As it was so eloquently put by the architects of the arena, Manica Architecture:

“The project’s ambition is to create an urban oasis – a prestigious, but public space in the spirit of health and sports will rule. It is a place of entertainment, a center of attraction and meetings in a unique environment where traditions are masterfully combined with modern, 21st-century features, where family values, green environment and optimism prevail.” 

They are well on their way.

]]> 0
Daily Gossip, Wednesday 20/5/15 Wed, 20 May 2015 21:36:46 +0000 Golden State Warriors’ MVP Stephen Curry recently made headlines … well, he actually didn’t, but his daughter Riley certainly did.

If by some divine miracle you haven’t seen it, take a look.

Now while that can be considered “cute”, “entertaining”, however you want to look at it, the media that sit through these press conferences, ask the questions, take down notes in order to meet deadlines so that you, the audience can read what’s happening in the NBA.

There are a few members of the NBA beat-writing community that have spoken out to Curry’s decision to take his daughter with him and have said that it is unprofessional.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Skip Bayless and Ramona Shelburne have been the big three to criticise Curry’s choice to bring two-year-old Riley to the podium, although the latter has said that Riley was cute and it would be difficult to challenge the player to take their children away so that both the journalist and player can focus on their work.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul has brought his son to press conferences in the past.

What do you think?


Duke standout Jahlil Okafor wants to go to the right team. And isn’t sure if he should be selected as the first pick.

Via SI:

I don’t know if I should go No. 1,” Okafor told SI Now host Maggie Gray in an interview that will air Wednesday. “I don’t care. I just want to go to the right environment for me and the right team. I think the hype about No. 1 is more for the fans.”


Ousted Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks is likely to skip coaching this year, with the priority being his family. And at 49-years-young, who can blame him?

Brooks is reportedly looking at some broadcasting opportunities during his time off.

Via Yahoo! Sports:

Former Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks plans to pass on interview chances with theDenver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans and appears inclined to sit out the 2015-16 season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Brooks, 49, wants to coach again but plans to take the year to look at television opportunities and reconnect with his family living in California, sources said.

]]> 0
Greek Basket League play-offs (round 1, game 3) Wed, 20 May 2015 12:31:03 +0000 Panathinaikos- Kolossos Rhodes 100-70

Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos quite easily and got the ticket for the Greek Basket League semi-finals. Pappas was absent but it did not stop the home team from taking a 24-15 lead, having Batista in great shape. Cooper entered the court and alongside Mavrokefalides helped his team get to the half time in front 51-31.

All they had to do for the rest of the game was too keep attacking the way they did, and despite Batista’s minor injury, they did so, forcing Kolossos to give up the game by the end of the 3rd, 72-45. The closing quarter did not offer many things, except the fact that coach Manolopoulos used many youngsters to rest his starters. MVP was Mavrokefalides with 16 points and for the eliminated side, Waters scored 18.

P.A.O.K.- A.G.O.Rethimno 75-62

The opening quarter was close since PAOK could not find his way to the basket, 15-13. However Bremmer stepped up, gave his side some offensive boost, while on the other end, their defensive efforts were intense to hold AGOR back. The half time score was 43-29.

The visitors attempted to reduce the margin and have a chance, but the shots made behind the arc in crucial moments, allowed PAOK to maintain momentum and reach the 30’ mark leading 61-44. The away team could not try to recover again and naturally they got eliminated, despite Kalampokis heroics with 14 points and big all-around help. MVP was Bremmer with 19 points.

Aris- A.E.K. 79-68

Aris fans over flooded “Nick Gallis Hall” to boost their team to the victory over AEK and promote to the next round of the play-offs. The visitors tried to silence the opponent fans and so they did shooting with 10/13 field goals to get in front 19-24. Aris fans then reacted by throwing various objects inside the court, forcing the restart to delay 20 minutes. After that, AEK lost their pace and as a result the home side overtook and got control of the match with the precious help of Mourtos and Charisis on both ends of the court. 38-36 was the score at the break.

Freethrow totals was a big problem for AEK and a quick 10-0 run from Aris in the middle of the 3rd, created a 12-point margin (53-41), and even when the visitors balanced the game, the 3rd quarter ended with “Kitrinomauroi” leading 59-50. It was clear that Sakota’s team was under heavy pressure. Mostly because they committed many turnovers allowing LaMarcus Reed to skyrocket their lead to 17, 67-50. At that point AEK could not react and gave up to the game, wasting a good chance for a tight clash with Olympiacos (most possibly) in the semi-finals. However they can be confident since it was only their first season in Greek Basket League after a long time, and it was an absolute success.  Top scorer and MVP for Aris was Vezenkov but Charisis and Reed helped a lot too. For the defeated team, Sakota had 19, while Mensah- Bonsu was disappointing again with 8 points and 4 turnovers.

]]> 0
If They Want To Keep Their Pick – The Heat Will Have To Stay In The Top 10 After The Lottery Wed, 20 May 2015 06:18:00 +0000 Alonzo Mourning spent his playing days pushing through injuries, hard fouls, charges, and the limitations of his body to do whatever was necessary to help the Miami Heat succeed.

Now Mourning will be representing the Heat on Tuesday at the NBA draft ahead of Western Conference Finals Game 1 (which will pit the Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors).

Mourning won’t be able to use his determination and grit to influence the outcome this time. Yet for the Heat, which had a rough 2014-2015 season, they’ll need everything they have to either keep their Number 10 pick or move upwards in the draft, if they can.

This year their pick is tied up with the sign-and-trade deal involving LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which they completed some five years ago. Then, they signed away 2 first-round picks, 2 second-round picks, plus the right to trade first-round picks back in 2012 in order that James could get a longer and somewhat more lucrative contact.

The deal also gave Miami salary cap flexibility for signing on more players. They’d made a similar deal for Chris Bosh with the Toronto Raptors; that one also cost them draft picks.

The rules have changed since then, of course. Back then players were able to force teams into sign-and-trades, and team president Pat Riley says that’s what happened in 2010. While “we would gladly do it again,” he observed, the cost was high — 4 first-round picks.

Miami’s pick in 2015 is “top 10 protected”, which means the team will have to either keep their spot or move upward in the draft, or see their pick go to the 76s in order to fulfill the trade obligation. If Miami does make a choice in this year’s first round, their 2016 pick will stay top 10 protected. If by then they still haven’t forwarded a pick to Philadelphia, by 2017 it will be unprotected.

Both the team and fans with Miami Heat tickets are hoping their luck will take a turn for the better — and sooner, rather than later. As they finished with the league’s 10th worst record, their lottery chances are 91% of remaining locked to spot number 10. They have 11 of 1001 4-number combinations in the lottery, so their odds of winning it are 1.1 percent. For No. 2 pick their chances are 1.3% and for No. 3, 1.6%.

The four teams in the lottery that have a better record than Miami have a lower chance of jumping over them by moving up to a top-3 draft spot, and this would also mean forfeiting the pick to Philadelphia.

NBA teams aren’t allowed to trade future 1st-round picks in adjacent years, but Miami could deal their pick this year if they keep it. But, that rule would also restrict them from making deals with 1st-round picks if they keep their pick this year. The reason is that they traded two of their 1st-round picks in a three-team deal back in February which brought them Goran Dragic.

That, among other reasons, is plenty of reason for Miami to try and hit a home run with their pick this time around if they keep it. There may not be many opportunities to improve their roster using the draft in the next few years, and their trade chips in the future may not be quite so valuable.

]]> 0
Daily Gossip, Tuesday 19/5/15 Tue, 19 May 2015 21:56:53 +0000 With the Euroleague Final Four in progress, we felt it necessary to rest the Gossip column, but it’s back with a bang.

The Western Conference Finals begin in the early hours of tomorrow with the Eastern Finals to follow, but for the teams that have had completed their seasons, the road to next October starts.


Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio has been reportedly thinking about a trade, even when he signed a new four-year extension on his contract, worth $55million.

In a column for NBA Insider, Chad Ford wrote that if the Timberwolves will select Emmanuel Mudiay, then they may consider the idea of trading Rubio.

Hower, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, these trade requests aren’t so strong anymore after the point-guard signed the extension.

Wolfson adds that Saunders budged on $55M because he knew he could trade the contract if ever need be.


Kentucky coach John Calipari will not be the latest NCAA coach to make the NBA move, after turning down the vacant New Orleans Pelicans job and opting to stay at the Wildcats.

Via his Facebook page, Calipari said: “Even though Anthony and Tyreke are in New Orleans, I have no interest in coaching the Pelicans or any other coaching position. I have a great job and I’m happy at Kentucky.”

]]> 0
Metta World Peace to stay in Europe next season Tue, 19 May 2015 19:23:30 +0000 Metta World Peace went to his daughter for advice and she hasn’t steered him wrong since.

“Cantu asked me to come to Italy to reach the playoffs,” World Peace said. “I spoke with my daughter first, and she said ‘why not? just play’. So I decided to become an Italian League player.”

And after an unsuccessful stint in China, the former Los Angeles Laker and New York Knick forward, who moved to Cantu in March has decided to stay in Italy for another season.

The terms of a possible contract extension have not been finalised however, despite both wanting the same thing.

Speaking to Italian website Sportando, World Peace has said that he is enjoying his brief time so far with Cantu, realising a wish of playing in Europe after spending three unsuccessful months in China.

“Basketball is not only NBA,” he says. “You can play basketball all over the world. I’m happy to be here and I love Italian basketball. Therefore, I’m thinking to play basketball again in Europe next year.”

Metta World Peace makes Cantu debut. © MARTA COLOMBO/BASKETINSIDE

Metta World Peace makes Cantu debut. © MARTA COLOMBO/BASKETINSIDE

World Peace has been an NBA champion, an NBA All-Star plus he’s won numerous defensive and rookie awards. He wanted something new.

“At the beginning of the season I had a few offers from the NBA but I decided to go to China,” World Peace explained. “I spent three months, then I went back to the U.S. to stay with my children. I was working out in Los Angeles when Federico (Italian agent) informed me about the chance to go to Italy.

“I always wanted to play in Europe and I [got] it done. I like European basketball because is a team basketball.”

For years, World Peace grew tired of the style of basketball perceived in the NBA. The majority of teams adopt isolation style, where all round Europe, the style of play is more methodical, more team-based.

For World Peace, that’s how basketball should be.

The New Yorker averages 15.3 points and is slowly getting his shooting percentage back after a poor number in China. He’s been hitting at around 48 percent, which is something that he will be happy with.

Though Cantu are mid-table in Italy, unable to catch runaway leaders EA7 Milano, World Peace feels at ease finally.

Looks like this move was no publicity stunt.

]]> 0