Day three of the Euroleague Final Four was all about preparations for Sunday’s climax, along with Eurobasket news and an end to the action at the Soccerdome as the NIJT finishes Sunday at the O2 Arena.
All Catalan affair in the junior final
Barcelona and Joventut Badalona will meet at the Nike International Junior Tournament final tomorrow at the O2 Arena after they came top of their respective groups.
The two Catalan sides head into tomorrow’s final with 3-0 records after Barcelona beat INSEP Paris 74-55 while Badalona defeated Team China 75-62. Badalona own a slightly better points difference at +35 to Barca’s +34.
England secured their first win of the tournament to end Group B in second place. A fantastic achievement for coach Steve Bucknell and his side. They beat OKK Spars Sarajevo 78-61. Luke Nelson hit 20 points to lead the “hosts”.
Last year’s champions Lietuvos Rytas finished as the only team unable to register a win.
Olympiacos not practicing on finals day
Olympiacos coach Georgios Bartzokas announced today that his side will not train on Sunday, instead opting to relax ahead of the championship game.
It is understood that Real Madrid will undergo light training on Sunday morning.
Eurobasket 2013 press conference
FIBA Europe showcased this summer’s Eurobasket at the O2 Arena as Slovenia prepares for September’s event.
The Local Organising Committee were confident that Slovenia will host a top notch event, beginning September 4, running to the 22nd. They also stated that they are on track in their preparations.
Bits of news coming out were that tickets would be single game tickets only throughout. Tickets for the first round would go on sale on July 1, and fans in Slovenia will be able to enjoy longer opening hours for many bars and restaurants.
TalkBasket at the Fan Zone
TalkBasket visited the Euroleague Fan Zone in Trafalgar Square today, witnessing a couple of well fought-out 3-vs-3 games as a good turnout of English National League players hit the outdoor courts, despite the strong winds.
The Efes Dancers were also on hand and large queues of people [many of them English] waited to have their picture taken alongside the Euroleague trophy.
Coaching clinic a success … or was it?
The Euroleague held a coaching clinic featuring Italy coach Simone Pianigiani and former Dallas Mavericks’ General Manager Donnie Nelson.
England’s under-18 squad were used as training dummies for both coaches as they explained to the other coaches in attendance several offensive and defensive sets before asking questions.
There were worries though, as very few English coaches were on hand at the Soccerdome and Great Britain under-20 assistant James Vear, who attended was shocked by it.
“It was disappointing that there wasn’t many England coaches as it was mostly made up of European coaches here for the Final Four. The clinic itself was good, and I learned a great deal” Vear said.
The media game played in good spirits
Saturday saw members of the media, [including our own John Hobbs] show off their basketball “skills” on the O2 Arena floor.
TalkBasket played alongside our good friends from Catalunya Radio, Euroleague Adventures among others and played out a competitive, tiring but fun game, in front of a few non-playing media representatives and towards the end, the CSKA Moscow players.