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Tour of Champions: Basketball Champions League winners Iberostar Tenerife and their spread ball screen twists.

In this series, beginning with Iberostar Tenerife, we will examine some signature tactics of various league champions.

Powered by an exquisite Spread Ball Screen Offence, Iberostar Tenerife claimed the inaugural Basketball Champions League crown in April.

Coach Txus Vidorreta’s offence features immaculate spacing and places a premium on design. The basic spread ball screen spacing stretches the defence from sideline to sideline. The spacing of Tenerife’s offence is depicted below:

Player 5 in the diagram above, most often Georgios Bogris, initiates the offence with a ball screen. The purpose of the ball screen is to disorganize the defence and to create an advantage for the offence.

It is evident when watching Tenerife, that Vidorreta believes the advantage should go to the ball handler. Tenerife’s screeners automatically “twist” the ball screen if the ball handler’s defender dips under the screen thus neutralizing any advantage the ball handler may gain.

The ball handler simply maintains his dribble then uses the rescreen.

Vidoretta (now headed to Valencia) wants his guards (most often Marius Grigonis and Davin White) to attack downhill with an advantage. Therefore when screeners read that the defender has slid under the screen, they automatically “twist” into a rescreen. The goal is to induce the on-ball defender into going over the top of the ball screen. Thus the guard can penetrate the defense and either score or collapse the defence opening passes to shooters.

Below we see Fran Vazquez “twist” a ball screen forcing the defender to go over the second screen. This results in a basket for Grigonis. It is only after the twist forces the on-ball defender to go over the ball screen that Vazquez rolls the rim.

Tenerife’s belief in the ball handler attacking with an advantage is so strong that they will often “twist” several times. The on-ball defender may not ever go over the screen but continuing to twist may enable the ball handler to turn the corner with an advantage nonetheless.

Below Borgis twists twice before Rodrigo San Miguel has an advantage he is able to exploit for a drive.

Twisting the screen reflects the belief that if no advantage has been gained then no advantage has been gained! Twist and try again with an angle that induces the on-ball defender over the top.

Vidoretta’s roster featured attacking guards, intelligent screeners and skilled shooters. It is from this platform and simplistic approach based on creating and using advantages that his squad claimed the first ever Basketball Champions League title.

More video on “twisting” the ball screen: