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Quote:// 11 January 2010

By Paul Nilsen

While it may only seem like a distant spec on the horizon, in just over 18 months time Lithuania will be putting the finishing touches to their final preparations as proud hosts of EuroBasket 2011.

Even though we still have two summers to enjoy before the action starts, it is hard not to already feel flitting pangs of excitement at the prospect of heading to the only country in the world where relationships, celebrity gossip, money, politics and religion are all generally dislodged by basketball as the first topic of everyday conversation.

Having been previously described as a national obsession and even a religion itself, it is a place where basketball fanatics from countries where the sport is still developing can only dream of living. After all, who wouldn't want to talk with a stranger at a bus-stop about Macijauskas rather than Madonna?

This potentially luscious cocktail of a major basketball tournament complimented by a host population with an insatiable appetite for the game means I do worry that due to my own passion for the sport, I might not make it back home.

In fact I already feel myself being somewhat seduced by the prospect of what lies ahead. I am picturing a mystical basketball force with a gravitational pull which could make putting my suitcase on the carousel of the departure lounge in Vilnius very difficult indeed.

You see, even just being around Lithuanians when there is basketball being played becomes rather infectious and anyone inside the Spodek Arena last September would probably testify to being quite humbled and astonished by their level of commitment.

Their beloved team was not even in Katowice for the climax of Eurobasket 2009 but the hoards of Lithuania fans in the Arena didn't leave the party early. Instead, they chose to celebrate, add to the atmosphere and in the process, confirm their deservedly lofty status in the supporter stakes.

Having painted the backdrop to what promises to be a super tournament both on and off the court, its now time to delve a little deeper into some of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

I guess it is probably fair to say that when the Lithuanian Federation decided to make their bid to be hosts in 2011 they anticipated a lot of hard work lying in wait. However I suspect they didn't anticipate that this workload would be added to in quite the way it has during the last six months.

A bitterly disappointing EuroBasket 2009 campaign and the necessary post-mortem meant that the Federation were side tracked by having to both find a new coaching team and prepare their case for one of the wild card spots at the FIBA World Championships later this year.

Perhaps not surprisingly, their investment in the sport, superb historical tradition and unrivaled support made their wild card case an irresistible one and to their relief, they were handed a ticket to Turkey.

Having also appointed Kestutis Kemzura, the World Championships will now give Lithuania and their new play-caller a chance to start over and bury their EuroBasket blues of last year before they welcome their European neighbours next year.

Even the distraction of a high profile on-court failure and a wild card beauty contest wasn't going to sidetrack Federation President Vladas Garastas or his colleagues from their main goal. For this is not just about hosting the tournament - EuroBasket 2011 is about making up for an opportunity that was lost seventy years ago.

"EuroBasket 2011 is something Lithuania is waiting for a very long time." explained Garastas.

"After we won gold in 1939 at home, we had to organise the next championships. That was confirmed officially and then the Second World War broke out but now EuroBasket will finally come to Lithuania again."

"The biggest challenge of our Federation is to get ready for the tournament, to prepare everything on time and to make the event of the highest quality. We want to make EuroBasket 2011 the best in the history of this tournament."

"Lithuania has already invested 200 million Euros into the basketball infrastructure preparing for EuroBasket 2011." added Garastas.

"Some new arenas are already used and attract big crowds of basketball fans. Several others are still under construction."

When the doors of those Arenas are finally flung open at EuroBasket, you had better move quickly because there could be unprecedented demand for tickets. Lithuania has an almost unquenchable thirst for basketball at all levels and that means if you are thinking of being there, you could be holding the hottest tickets in town.

Whether it be youth or senior level, the Federation and the fans are confident they can deliver and who would argue? With one successful tournament already under their belts in 2009 and another lying in wait for later this year, everyone will be more than prepared for when the big one arrives in 2011 according to Garastas.

"Last year we organised European U16 Championships for Men in basketball mecca of Lithuania - Kaunas. It was a huge success: all the tickets for the final game in legendary Kaunas Sports Hall were sold in a few hours. We received much positive feedback."

"The next step of preparation for Eurobasket 2011 will be the European U18 Championships for Men in Vilnius this year. All the final games will be played in Siemens Arena with its capacity of 11 000 which will be used during Eurobasket 2011."

"We still have very much work to do, but I'm sure basketball fans from all over Europe will enjoy a real basketball festival in 2011."

Enhancing their already glowing basketball reputation might be one of the primary aims of the Federation but it also takes hard work. The story of Lithuanian basketball success to date has not been down to chance. It is one of an intricate web of factors that all feed into the collective craving to have a winning National team that the country can be proud of.

The general popularity of the sport is of course a major factor and one that is often recognised first and foremost by those who look on with understandable envy. Basketball remains the kingpin thanks in part to those historical victories that form part of basketball folklore in Lithuania as well as some fantastic in-depth coverage in just about every part of the media.

Dalius Matvejevas who handles Media and Public Relations made it clear that the Federation is keen not to lose any momentum but to continue building on its existing strengths - of which there are plenty.

"There are so many different reasons for our successes."

"As well as the popularity and the support of the fans, we also get some exceptional attention from the government which is important."

"Equally we feel that we have a productive general management system since while we are a small country, we still have a development system of autonomous associations."

"This makes for building a quality infrastructure. We have spent a lot of resources investing in making sure that we have well organised training processes, well educated coaches and good local competition systems."

"With so many talented kids engaging in programmes and with local clubs we can make sure that we have a good selection system that takes advantage of this vast net of schools and clubs."

It is hard to argue with Matvejevas on any point and I know that if I do decide to put down roots in Lithuania I might just try my equivalent of the ‘City Of Love'. Forget Paris or Venice - my true love means heading for Kaunas. A place where I will never be short of a team to be involved with since this incredible basketball city has more than 250 teams - and that's just the men.

With clear development pathways, the domestic leagues at a higher national level in Lithuania are full of young and hungry players. Those players are now no longer blinkered into moving to a College in the States but are now ready to utilise the resources being handed to them on home soil. In the last three years alone, the rate of young talents departing across the Atlantic has fallen by a staggering seventy percent.

There are a number of dedicated basketball schools and academies across the country and where they are not funded by Government, the Federation steps in. Much of the work is underpinned by a detailed basketball curriculum.

Along with a vast array of other initiatives, it is evident that hosting EuroBasket 2011 is indeed a major coup for Lithuania but also the mere centrepiece gem of an already jewel-encrusted basketball crown.

What strikes me most about the Lithuanian Federation is that resting on their laurels simply isn't an option. Not just because of their own desire to continually improve and evolve as a Federation but because they almost quite literally have an entire nation intently watching their every move.

Make no mistake - being a custodian of basketball in Lithuania is more than just a job.

In Part Two we get the views from the media, the fans and from some of those charged with achieving EuroBasket success on the court for Lithuania.
Quote: // 18 January 2010

By Paul Nilsen

If winning accolades off the court is a no-brainer due to the passion of the fans, it's a very different picture on the court for Lithuania as they finish picking through the wreckage of their EuroBasket 2009 performance and start to focus on the road ahead.

Shorn of many stellar names, most supporters headed to Poland expecting it would be more difficult than normal to challenge for medals. Few however anticipated just how badly the usually slick and entertaining Lithuanian express would be unceremoniously derailed.

Having since secured a wild card spot for the FIBA World Championships later this year and with 18 months to re-shape a team to be proud of when the rest of Europe descends on Lithuania for EuroBasket 2011, the hopes of the nation now rest firmly on the shoulders of Kestutis Kemzura.

Having assembled his coaching staff, the recently appointed play-caller didn't waste any time in tackling the thorny question of whether now is the time for a revolution. A weight of opinion in the country that has demanded the blooding of young players but Kemzura isn't willing to jump in with both feet. Acutely aware of the expectation and responsibility he has, he is wisely taking his time before outlining his blueprint for the future.

"There is much talk about bringing more youth into the team." explained Kemzura.

"I've always said that age can't be the main criteria when choosing a team. You can't just bring in a player only because he is young."

"The average age of the Lithuanian National Team was quite young already last year. Off-course we will watch young players and some of them might receive invitations to the training camp of the National Team."

He added "I want the best and most motivated players on my team. All our players can play well in 2011 but still lots can happen in terms of form or injury."

"Expectations are always very high in Lithuania and the whole country is waiting for this tournament. Lithuania, as always, will aim very high. We will need to qualify to the Olympics and aim higher."

The approach that Kemzura appears to be taking early in his tenure is one of caution and building a rapport with all of his potential players - whether they end up being handed a vest or not.

He has already travelled around Europe to talk to the big name players such as Jasikevicius and Kaukenas. While seemingly steering clear of ultimatums, he apparently preferred to talk broadly with the players about how they were feeling and what they thought about general issues such as the Wild Card situation. Nevertheless, getting the pair back on board seems to be a realistic possibility and one that will excite most fans.

Debate continues to rage in Lithuania as to how the team should be moulded for the next two tournaments and it will certainly be fascinating to see how the team that lines up in Turkey this September for the World Championships compares to the one that walks out 12 months later on home soil.

In an ideal world, Lithuania would of course have an effective and attractive balance of established stars and exciting young players. Unfortunately nothing is certain in basketball and that means a difficult job ahead for Kemzura and the coaching team.

So what exactly do people in Lithuania think of his appointment? Lithuanian Vilius Leškys is the man behind web-site and he believes the general populous are backing Kemzura to get the job done - even if he wasn't necessarily everybody's first choice.

He said, "There are different opinions about the coach. I think it can be said that majority of the fans think Kemzūra was the right choice since Jonas Kazlauskas was not available."

"Kemzūra is liked because of his professionalism and devotion to basketball while others strongly believe that Kurtinaitis would have been a better choice. This is based on his results with Rytas last season as well as what he managed to get out of the team this year despite having very low budget."

"On the other hand, Kurtinaitis was a part of coaching staff which led Lithuania to the failure in Eurobasket 2009 but then again, Kemzūra's recent results with the club and national team are not exactly inspiring either. So even though part of the fans are complaining a little about the appointment of Kemzūra, he has the support of themajority - including me."

Some of those people who remain sceptical in respect of Kemzura do appear to have been pacified a little since he named his three assistant coaches earlier this month. Valdemaras Chomicius, Robertas Kuncaitis and Donaldas Kairys all seem to have been given the thumbs up.

When it comes to the big conversation of which players should be included in the squads between now and EuroBasket 2011, Leskys feels that there is much still to be decided and that the argument over youth and experience is one that still needs to be tackled.

"There seems to be a strong opinion that the likes of Mindaugas Lukauskis for example should not be called up to the National Team any more because of their age and limited skills and that would open the door for the young players."

"I think the ones that are considered by the fans as potential additions to the national team are Gecevičius who is having a breakthrough season, Motiejūnas and Seibutis. Some also want to see Janavičius in case Jasikevičius doesn't play."

"Then again, some fans also want to see Macijauskas returning even if he's not in top form. Macas himself is not so optimistic and claimed the National Team doesn't need players in poor shape."

Rather than focusing too closely on the potential protagonists themselves, perhaps deep down its positive outcomes that fans of Lithuania are now interested in. Most people won't mind being proven wrong in the verbal battles over who should play if the war is won on the court and Lithuania get back to winning ways.

When questioned as to what the supporters crave the most after the reality check of what happened in Poland last year, Leskys response was simplicity personified.

He claimed "I believe fans just want to see the good old Lithuania again with attractive offensive basketball."

It is sentiment echoed by Tomas Breiva, a fan of Lietuvos Rytas living in Vilnius whose desire to look forward with both relish and optimism seems typical of the current mood amongst supporters I spoke to.

"I think we are just eager to show the last EuroBasket tournament was a misunderstanding."

"I am sure our team still has all the talent needed to win and achieve the highest places. You can simply look at the impressive performance of Lithuanian players in Euroleague."

"So, with perhaps more concentration on the desired goals, more optimism and with more energy, we are already halfway there."

"I highly support Coach Kemzura and our players and have no doubts that next time our team will shine."

One player who would love to be tasked with trying to grant the wishes of the Lithuanian public and bring back the good time again is Jonas Maciulis, a rising star who is determined to stake his claim for a place having been part of the team that misfired so badly last September.

Perhaps summing up the mood of an entire nation, the excitement of the Kaunas native was palpable when he underlined just what EuroBasket 2011 means to him and his fellow countrymen.

"It will be a great chance for Lithuania to show how we can organise big basketball events."

"Fans will be able to enjoy basketball of the highest quality and Lithuanian fans will have an advantage because they will not need to travel anywhere to support our National Team."

"This will be the first European basketball championship in Lithuania since 1939, so it will be a big challenge for us."

"It will definitely be a big honour for me if I get a chance to play on that team and to try to win a title in front of our own fans!"

With so much attention being placed on Eurobasket 2011 it would be easy for the Women to be overshadowed and that is one thing that the Federation are determined to avoid.

It is a message that Media and Public Relations Manager Dalius Matvejevas is keen to push and he was quick to stress that from grass roots to National Team level, the Federation is making strides.

Lithuania have some challenges that they are addressing with exciting plans in place for the next few years to raise the profile of the Womens game.

"It is true that girls do not tend to play basketball as much as boys in Lithuania." explained Matvejevas.

"For example out of 7,000 players of school age, there are 402 teams but only 83 are girls."

"This situation is now being addressed and we have an exciting programme of Womens basketball promotion we are ready to roll out soon."

"Our biggest hope is for the Womens basketball centres we have and will continue to set up right across the country."

"We have been running a centre in Marijampole for two years already and earlier this season we were thrilled to open another in Kaunas."

He added, "We won't stop there because there is also another almost ready in Siauliai and there are plans for centres to open in Vilnius, Panevezys and Klaipeda too! This is a very important partnership for us with the Lithuanian Sports Academy."

Far from having to wait to see the fruits of their labour, the Federation is hoping their young players can emerge as early as this year.

"Girls from the centers will be a base of our this years U16 National Team for the summer. We have had success in the past as we were crowned U18 European champions in 2008."

"We just need more girls to follow in the footsteps of other great young players like Petronyte and Rinkeviciute."

"Of course at National Team level we have to appoint a new coach and make sure we qualify for Eurobasket Women 2011 in Poland!"

Without doubt there are still so many questions to be answered and not least on the playing side of things. Nevertheless, it would appear the Federation, the Government, the players, the coaching team and indeed the entire population of this basketball heartland are now all gearing themselves up for what lies ahead.

Yes, there are some basketball obstacles to be overcome but they do say that love conquers all - and if there is one place in the world where basketball and love go together, it's definitely in Lithuania.
Quote:Lithuania on schedule for Eurobasket 2011

Lithuania in the winter is cold. How cold? Try -16 in Kaunas on Monday afternoon.

Even for those that are used to it, a cold snap can make you feel like pulling the covers over your head and spending the day in bed, but that's not how things work in Lithuania, especially when it comes to basketball.

Last week representatives of FIBA Europe, including Secretary General Nar Zanolin, learned first hand that the heat generated by the country's love of basketball has kept preparations for EuroBasket 2011 on schedule, in spite of the weather.

"We had a very thorough visit," commented Zanolin.

"We visited arenas and hotels, met with the local authorities as well as the office of the Prime Minister. We have all assurances that the facilities will be ready on time, so we're very pleased."

"We're looking forward to continued cooperation with the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, and have the utmost confidence in their ability to deliver the best EuroBasket ever."

The visit also saw the venues for Europe's premier basketball competition finalized, with Alytus, Klaipeda, Panevezys and Siauliai chosen as Preliminary Round venues and Kaunas and Vilnius the host cities for the final two rounds.

The host cities status as such will be contingent on the meeting of certain standards ahead of the event.
Quote:[size="3"]Eurobasket 2011 dates announced[/size]

Eurobasket 2011, which will be hosted by Lithuania, will take place through September 3-18. The city in which the home team will play its group stage games will be announced in Septmeber 2010. Host cities will be Alytus, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Panevezys, Siauliai and Vilnius. Group stage games will be played in Alytus, Klaipeda, Panevezys and Siauliai.

The draw for Eurobasket 2011 group stage will be held in January 2011 in Vilnius. First tickets will go sale in March 2011.

So far three out of six arenas are open that will be hosting Eurobasket 2011 games. Those are Cido Arena (Panevezes), Siauliai Arena (Siauliai) and Siemens Arena (Vilnius).

It is expected that final will take place in Zalgiris Arena (Kaunas) which is expected to be opened at the end of the year. The capacity of the new arena will be around 15,000.
No beer in arenas during Eurobasket2011! Scandal...
[quote name='Black Urum' timestamp='1288015378' post='25834']

No beer in arenas during Eurobasket2011! Scandal...


Good. I wouldn't like to see drunk Lithuanian dregs fighting against Serbian dregs in BB arenas... Not to mention Greek dregs VS Serbian dregs...
Does it happen often in Lithuanian arenas? If so, why it is allowed in local games?

I think it's disrespect to local culture. Not to mention that beer is expensive, arenas could make some nice profit. Not to mention the most important, I'm a huge beer fan, so anything done to restrict it, goes against my ideology.

As for Serbs and the rest of Balkan animals, you better pray that there is no group consisting of two or more of Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Bosnia or some Lithuanian towns will get a nice "facelift", beer or no beer.
No problems at all except Žalgiris and Rytas games and same games of "Sakalai" because they have a strong basis of ultras. Speaking about economics I think beer could be equally productive and vice versa <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> Anyway, pubs will be opened after the games...
[quote name='straight forward' timestamp='1288182120' post='25869']

No problems at all except Žalgiris and Rytas games and same games of "Sakalai" because they have a strong basis of ultras. Speaking about economics I think beer could be equally productive and vice versa <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> Anyway, pubs will be opened after the games...


Drinking after the game is unpredictable. If your team loses you might not feel up to it and go to bed, on the other hand you might want to forget and get pissed, so you'd drink more.

Also drinking after will not make the game better, as you know things look better and more attractive after drinking, so one must drink BEFORE so the games look better.

That's what my philosophy is anyway.
Quote:[Image: %7B57A374F3-CE62-4399-A834-3B43E9C4D2A7%7Dbig_h.jpg]

FIFA referee Howard Webb was born in Rotherham, England in 1971.

He is widely considered to be one the best referees of his generation, having achieved in 2010 the unique feat of refereeing both the biggest match in club football, the Champions League Final, and the biggest match in international football, the World Cup Final, in the same year.

Howard Webb visited with to talk about EuroBasket 2011, Great Britain's chances in Lithuania and basketball in the UK in general.

FIBA Europe: Basketball does not normally get too much exposure in the UK, so how were you introduced to the sport?

Howard Webb: "I have to admit to being a bit of a novice with regard to basketball, but over the last year or so I have started to get really hooked on it.

"I was first introduced to the professional game when I was with another football official, Mr Mike Dean, who himself is a high class official from the UK in a hotel and I was introduced to a FIBA referee, named Roger Harrison, who himself officiated at EuroBasket 2009.

"We spoke at great lengths about officiating and the differences between the two sports."

FE: Do you follow basketball in general and the Great Britain team?

HW: "Since being introduced to the sport I have been to a lot of professional basketball games and I watch my home town team, the Sheffield Sharks, while I also watch European games on the TV.

"When I was told the GB team had qualified for the EuroBasket this year I was well impressed and I believe the women have qualified as well for their EuroBasket in Poland.

"It's a very proud moment for all involved with the sport in the UK."

FE: Great Britain were drawn in a very tough Round 1 Group in EuroBasket 2011.What do you think are their chances in this group and what are their strengths against these powerhouses of European basketball?

HW: "The team have a tough draw opening with a game against the hosts, Lithuania. It's never easy in any sport playing the hosts in their own back yard.

"Then the following day it's Turkey, who finished second in the World Championship last year and then the reigning European Champions Spain.

"The other two games are against Poland, which is winnable, and against a qualifier which is yet to be decided.

"To advance to the next stage we need to finish in the top three, which is going to be tough, but I believe we can qualify.

"We will need to get a big scalp in the first round though."

"Having watched some games in both the UK and Europe, when I was away officiating Champions League games, the main difference to me is the size and quickness of the overseas big men.

"Great Britain have some very athletic players but size may be problem for us. We have great shooters in Nate Reinking, Andrew Sullivan and of course our NBA players."

FE: You have officiated the most important match in world football, a World Cup final, and you regularly officiate Champions League and Premier League matches. What do you think are the main differences between a football match and a basketball game at the top level? In football you have to deal with a huge field and 22 players, your basketball colleagues have a much smaller court and only 10 players but then every detail, even a fraction of a second can decide the fate of a game. Does this make officiating these two sports something completely different?

HW: "Having spoken to Roger (Harrison) on numerous occasions there are a lot of similarities between officiating the two sports. We both feel pressure for sure.

"In football there are a lot more TV cameras trying to prove you got a decision wrong or right. I like the way officials in basketball deal with conflict and dissent from players and coaches.

"The knowledge of the game and fitness of both sets of officials is a must as we both have to be in the correct place to make the correct call.

"We both have to have presence and good management skills. Having watched the basketball officials during the games, I have seen they are very dedicated and generally respected wherever they go, as we are in FIFA.

"Basketball is a lot quicker than football so therefore harder to see infractions committed."

FE: If all goes well, Great Britain will field in EuroBasket 2011 their arguably best squad ever. Yet top players like Luol Deng are far from being household names in the UK. Do you think/expect that a success in Lithuania might reverse the trend and what would it take for the media in the UK to pay a similar level of attention to basketball as that in the rest of Europe?

HW: "I was surprised of how much basketball there was on the TV in Europe, as in the UK we have very little if any in the media.

"If we are to move to become a force in Europe/World basketball this needs to change especially with London 2012 just around the corner.

"I know from speaking to Roger that the quality of players is not as good as has been in previous years, this may be due to no TV so therefore no sponsors to put money into the sport as they get less in return for their investment.

"I would think apart from basketball followers nobody else knows who our team is in the UK, which is quite sad as we all know who Michael Jordan and David Beckham are."

FE: Are you going to follow Eurobasket 2011, watch any games? What would you deem a success for team Great Britain in Lithuania?

HW: "I hope I get to the chance to watch the EuroBasket on TV or online and I wish Great Britain all the best for the summer.

"As I said, to get in the second round is tough, but I believe we have a good enough team to do this and then who knows, as in the football World Cup last year a few good teams went home early and before you know it you are playing for a medal."

FE: Who is/are your favourite basketball player(s) and which famous football player would you compare him (them) to (past or present)?

HW: "Favourite players in basketball would have to be from the early days. Michael Jordan reminds me of Pele, who could also do incredible things with a ball.

"In present day basketball I like Pau Gasol, who plays for the LA Lakers and Spain."

FE: If we were to fly you to Lithuania on the eve of the EuroBasket Final to officiate the game, what would you need to pull it through? You would only have 24 hours to prepare!

HW: "If you were to fly me to Lithuania to officiate the Final I would have to read some of the rules for sure, but I do know some of them and I would probably hope I would be in three-man crew with Alan Richardson and Roger Harrison!"
Quote:Anyone who is even remotely interested in basketball knows that Lithuanians love this sport and it's the most popular sport in the Baltic country. The latest example of how passionate Lithuanian fans are about basketball came a couple of days ago.

Latvia (northern neighbours of Lithuania) hosted FIBA U-19 World Championship during the last couple of weeks. Although youth tournaments usually do not attract huge crowds there was one exception.

Only two teams had large amounts of supporters in arenas during group stage games - hosts Latvia and Lithuania.

However, when the final stage of tournament moved to Arena Riga which can fit more than 12,000 fans the hosts were worried that it will be empty. Lithuanian U-19 team led by Jonas Valanciunas went all the way to the final and the amount of coming fans from Lithuania just kept growing.

Lithuania was set to face Serbia in the title game and there was no question who will have more supporters since almost 8,000 Lithuanian fans bought tickets in order to cheer for their team in the final. The fans weren't disappointed as Lithuania won 85-67.

Arena Riga was sold out just like Siemens Arena in Vilnius last year for the FIBA Europe U-18 final. Latvian journalists made a video about Lithuanian fans which gives a glimpse of what to expect in Lithuania later this summer during EuroBasket 2011.
TalkBasket is giving the fans a chance to find out anything regarding the Eurobasket, that they don't know and would like to find out...

Quote:[color="#454545"][size="4"]Got a Eurobasket question that you want answered? Keep reading...[/size][/color][color="#454545"][size="4"]

[size="4"]TalkBasket's own John Hobbs feels the time is right to break his silence and give the Talkbasket Podcast a new lease of life. Which means that dreaded English accent will return.[/size]

[size="4"]But John wants you faithful TalkBasket readers to come up with the questions again. Following the success of our Euroleague open forum, we are opening that forum again - but this time - we have Eurobasket on the agenda.[/size]

[size="4"]So, if you have a question that you want to ask, then email John at:[email=""][/email] or you can Tweet the Talkbasket Twitter page. Just make sure you use the hashtag: #EBQ[/size]

[size="4"]Six questions will be picked will be picked at random.[/size]

[size="4"]The man that will be answering your questions is commentator and owner of Basketball World News, Jeff Taylor.[/size]


[color="#454545"][size="4"]The deadline for questions is 7th August 2011.[/size][/color]

So, remember!

[color="#454545"][size="4"]email John at:[email=""][/email] or you can Tweet the @TalkBasket (or @johnswisshobbs) Twitter page. Just make sure you use the hashtag: #EBQ[/size][/color]

[color="#454545"] [/color]

[url=""]Fans prepare Cido Arena for EuroBasket[/url]

[Image: cido_arena_flag.jpg]

[quote name='Black Urum' timestamp='1314180040' post='32926']

[url=""]Fans prepare Cido Arena for EuroBasket[/url]

[Image: cido_arena_flag.jpg]


Nice idea.It's looks like Olympiacos arena.With tracks.And kilometers from court <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/baby.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Baby' />
I can see at least 1000 blue seats right next to the court... and it's new, so better than SEF.
[url=""]Finland goes in group C![/url]

[url=""]Finland and Portugal book final two slots[/url]

[url=""]TB Pod #23: EuroBasket 2011 is near[/url]

It's worth listening to our latest PodCast!
TB Special:

[url=""]Eurobasket Rankings: Part 1 (positions 19-24)[/url]

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