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Friday, 18 September 2009 23:18

                                      SPAIN VS FRANCE--A ONE SIDED RESULT 

The 2 most anticipated quarterfinal games of Eurobasket 2009, were Spain vs France, which had 15 players with NBA ties involved in it, and Greece vs Turkey (Enough Said). The Spaniards jumped on France early, getting in fastbreak mode, after establishing a dominant Pau Gasol down low. The French had no answer for Pau as he shot 11-13 from the field and scored a game high 28 points. The only player from France, that did not look like he was sleepwalking was Ronny Turiaf, who had 12 points shooting 6-9 from the field, but he fouled out trying to contain the longer Gasol. Spain was flying in the passing lanes, with Navarro, Ricky Rubio, and Rudy Fernandez (who led them with 6 steals) causing havoc to the French offense. When Ricky Rubio is in fast-break mode, he is an NBA highlight package, finding his 3 point marksmen (Navarro and Fernandez), on the wings for open looks and Pau Gasol for trailer play dunks. Tony Parker had a tough shooting day (1-8), for only 6 points. You have to get physical with Spain early, as Serbia did, to take Spain out of the front running pace they love to be in, orelse it is a long day for the other team.     In the other anticipated matchup, with Greece vs Turkey it was a very slow and physical pace in the 1st half with Greece settling for 3 point misses late in the shot clock, as Spanoulis was passive in his play, not attacking the defense as he normally does. Even though Greece dominated the boards, the half ended Greece only up 3 at 29-26. The 3rd quarter went back and forth, with Greece only up 1 after 3 quarters at 47-46. NBA player Hedo Turkoglu, who has been struggling this entire Eurobasket, and was being shut down by Antonis Fotsis and Giorgios Printezis, started getting hot with 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and after he hit a 3 pointer with 2:23 left to make it 63-57 Turkey, it was Spanoulis taking over as he set up Zisis (14 points) and Printezis (6 points), for back to back 3's, giving Greece a 65-63 lead with 18 seconds left. It was Ender Arslan, who had a great drive, on a mitchmatch with Fotsis to tie the game at 65-65 at the buzzer. In the overtime it was Euroleague champion teammates, Fotsis and Spanoulis who took over, with Spanoulis hitting 2 big 3's and Fotsis controlling the boards (13 in game). After some bad turnovers by Greece, Turkey had a 3 pointer miss at the buzzer ,and Greece held on 76-74 in a Classic Game. Greece qualifies for the 2010 World Championships in Turkey. For their reward they get a high flying deep Spanish team, that Greece has had trouble with in recent years. With this B version of the Greek team , it is almost a dream to beat Spain, without more help for Spanoulis with his regular veteran teammates.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2009 00:49
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 22:33

It was Spurs draft pick Nando Decolo, who hit the buzzer beater versus Greece and not Spurs star guard Tony Parker, on a fadeaway, turnaround jumper to give France a 71-69 victory and 1st place in Group E of the qualifying round. France used mostly a European lineup and not the household known names that play in the NBA, such as Tony Parker, Ronny Turiaf, Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum. Athletic Euroleague forward Alain Koffi, who last year played for LeMans, battled down in the paint against larger men, Ioannis Bourousis and Baby Shaq Shortianitis, as Koffi scored a game high 14 points for France to go along with 6 rebounds. French head coach Vincent Collett had veteran French league point guard Aymeric Jeanneau and 20 yr. old youngster Antoine Diot of Lemans, running the point and letting Tony Parker rest his legs for the knock-out stage of the tournament. With Parker on the bench for the last possession, it was 22 yr. old French league MVP, Nando DeColo who took and made the big shot. The French were just quicker to loose balls in the 1st half and used athletic wing guard Yannick Bokolo (who reminds me of a poor man's Leandro Barbosa), to fly up the court for fastbreak layups and he also hit a big 3, late in the game as Greece made their comeback. The Greeks main problem in their 2 straight loses is they miss Dimitrios Diamantidis who hit clutch 3's in past tournaments and they are missing their main creator, Theo Papaloukas who lives for these big game situations. Theo ,just would get Bourousis and Baby Shaq easy dunks, and Zisis along with Fotsis would have that extra millisecond to size up their 3's. Spanoulis is more of a shake you off the dribble creator, that looks to score 1st and sometimes get's caught in the air for turnovers. Greece needs Zisis (0-3) and Fotsis (1-7) both to hit from 3 point range or else Spanoulis is asked to do too much with the ball. Spanoulis did all he could to keep Greece alive, hitting  four 3's for the game and 2 clutch ones in the last minutes of the game to tie it up at 69 , as Ronny Turiaf played the last Greek possession like Jameer Nelson did in the NBA finals against Derrick Fisher, not closing out on the 3 point line at Spanoulis. France won the game but for their victory they get a hot shooting Spanish team as the 1-4 matchup and Greece plays their rivals on the court as well as in politics ,Turkey as the 2-3 matchup. This young Greek squad got their best match-up ,as Spain has had great success against Greece in recent history and Slovenia has a more veteran and deeper team. So one more win against Turkey, and Greece makes next years World championships ,with a B team just like Argentina did in Puerto Rico 2 weeks ago. The other 1-4 matchup is Slovenia and Croatia and the other 2-3 game is Russia vs. Serbia led by emerging star point guard Milos Teodosic.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 September 2009 01:20
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Welcome to EuroJohnBball.com          

Welcome to EuroJohn Bball, My website will give a daily update, on my home page, of international basketball players in the better leagues all over the world. I will deal mostly with European leagues such as the Spanish ACB league, the Greek A1 league, the Italian Lega A league, The Russian A Superleague, the French league, and the Turkish league. Those are the top 6 European leagues in my eyes. I will have a video section showing players in Europe that have become stars in years past ,or are still playing on Euro-league rosters, that are ready to help an NBA roster right away, and not wait on the progress of the 18 to 21 year old prospects, playing on junior teams that are glorified every June at the NBA draft, but have not accomplished even close to what the five year veteran players of the tough Euro-league have. My other pages will be European players, NBA players, College players, Reebok Eurocamp, Nike Hoop Summit, Euro-league and Eurobasket pages. My European page is a list of European players, playing on European teams, that have the talent to be looked at by NBA teams, when they bacome free-agents. These players I deal with, in most cases have developed their games in their mid 20's and although they might not have been drafted out of the Reebok Eurocamp, they have surpassed many of the young Europeans that were drafted. My NBA page will be a list of NBA players from European nations, breaking down their strengths and weaknesses. My college page will have a list of local Philadelphia college players and a list of national college players playing in Europe, talking about their future opportunities. My Euro-league page will break down the regular season of the best overall league in Europe. My Eurobasket page will summarize the tournament, going on in Poland in September, and give you a team by team preview of the favorites. My Reebok Eurocamp page talks about ,how maybe too much is put into 3 days of pick up ball, as opposed to games in tough leagues, as a measure of where a player is drafted. My Nike Hoop Summit page shows different players that have competed in an international all-star game of select international stars and U.S high school stars. Overall it is ashame that real basketball fans of the NBA did not have the pleasure of seeing the greatness of Dejan Bodiroga or Nick Galis, but with this website I hope to make NBA fans aware of great players in other parts of the world such as Vassilis Spanoulis, Lior Eliyahu, Ioannis Bourousis, Brad Oleson and many more, that when they become free-agents, should be looked at more strongly by NBA teams and not worry that they are in their late 20's.        

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 September 2009 22:36
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Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:40

The preliminary round of Eurobasket had some great play from a deep Greek squad in Group A, and also saw the surprising dominance from a Turkish team led by youngster Ersan Ilysova and veteran Hedo Turkoglu in Group D. France also went undefeated, but did not show the dominance, of a team with so much talent level. Also in Group D, defending Eurobasket champs, Russia held their own without the stars of 2007, J.R Holden and Andrei Kirilenko. Group C had the surprise of the tournament so far, as Serbia with Milos Teodesic got physical with Ricky Rubio of Spain and did not let Spain's free-flowing, speed -mode offense get out on the wings, to get their usual wide open looks at 3's. Instead it was a total dominant effort by Serbia having a hand in all the Spanish players faces. Rudy Fernandez being out of game 1, also helped the Serbian's. The choice of so many smallish guards on the Spanish bench, and a young Victor Claver at forward also has hurt the favorites of Eurobasket 2009, by not having enough size on perimeter defense. In their 2nd game against Great Britain, it became a nail biter ,as Eurobaskets greatest upset of all-time almost took place, with Great Britain holding the lead in the final minutes, but Spain pulled through for a tough victory. Game 3 saw Spain hold on against a tough Slovenian team 90--81. The 90 point game is too fast a pace for the Slovenian squad, they need to abuse the Spanish team in the post, to get open looks from the outside in a half-court type of game.  The home team Poland has played well in preliminary play going 2--1 ,infront of the home fans. Maciej Lampe and Marcin Gortat have done what is expected of the 2 best players on the team, also with David Logan playing well in their tough 3 man attack. Michal Ignerski is the wildcard player that has given Poland a major lift, and with the home crowd behind them, his consistent scoring could mean problems for Spain in the second round, unless they step up their lackluster effort.  Statistically the talented Lior Eliyahu of a dissapointing Israeli team was the leading scorer of the preliminary round, wiith the heavyweight names of Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Ersan Ilyasova, Vassilis Spanoulis, Maciej Lampe, Marcin Gortat and Ioannis Bourousis being  the top players of the 1st 3 games.  The second round has good matchups of Greece vs France, Spain vs Turkey, and Spain vs the home team of Poland.  Ultimately the deeper teams will show their power, as the tougher matchups occur in an exciting tournament for hoop junkies like myself.   

Last Updated on Monday, 14 September 2009 23:12

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