With Qualifying Round victories achieved by Cibona Zagreb, Lietuvos Rytas, Alba Berlin and Belgacom Spirou – and BallinEurope congratulates each potential Euroleague team for surpassing this first step – four other games go off tonight.
For your amusement and edification, then, BallinEurope presents a collection of highlight clips, quotes, previews and notes for of games played and to be played … and we’re doing this TrueHoop Network-, i.e. bullet-, style. Enjoy the games!
• A decent English-language preview of tonight’s BC Khimki Moscow region-PGE Turów game is up on the former club’s official website, though BiE suspects the Thomas Kelati quotes went from English through Polish on their way back to English.
A representative sample: “The upcoming meeting with Turow certainly arouses in me only positive emotions. … Nicely to meet with former partners and coaches. But I understand well that it’s just emotions and wonderful memories. At the court there will be fight. I defend the colors of BC Khimki and will do everything for our victory and going further.”
Sure, it’s understandable, but perhaps something was lost in the translation of the translation.
• The serious underdogs of Turów, meanwhile, assure fans that they “Won’t lay down” for the former Euroleague side.
• A Czech-language version of an interview with CEZ Nymburk head coach Ronen Ginzburg has the interviewer asking, “[The Euroleague Qualifying Round games are] played at the very beginning of the season. Is it a little strange when one of the highlights of the season will come before the team’s regular schedule?”
While Ginzburg quickly defers into talk about “an honor just to be here,” the coach does state that “this game should be one of the highlights of the season.”
For an American, such tournaments – particularly a one-game knockout competition to determine qualifiers – are one of the outstanding oddities of European basketball. Although BiE wonders if the NBA will have to adapt this format for the 2011-12 “season” … it would at least put the Charlotte Bobcats fans out of their misery early. And the end result can’t be any weirder than the 1999 final featuring the Ewing-less New York Knicks versus the San Antonio Spurs.
• Naturally, Lietuvos Rytas fans have been dutifully posting videos in the afterglow of their team’s victory over Buducnost Podgorica; directly below are the red-and-black-centric highlights.
• For those of you who only have eyes for Jonas Valanciunas, this one compiles his nice 11-point, eight-rebound, two-assist, one-steal performance against the Montenegrin side – a measure of revenge for the bouncing handed his Team Lithuania at the hands of FYR Macedonia in the Eurobasket quarterfinals, perhaps…?
• A quasi-inspirational promotional for the virtues of Asvel Basket fandom appears on the French club’s website, but just two questions: When did Asvel Basket ever “rule the world”? And is the team mascot’s jersey number really 69?
• Before tonight’s game, surely the most important event of the week in Galatasaray land was the visit paid to the club by Kobe Bryant earlier in the week. No word on whether a contract offer was made or if Kobe is willing to play in TBL ball this season…
• Here’s Lucca Staiger in the post-game press conference after Alba Berlin’s 82-60 immolation of BiE fave VEF Riga.
• And how about a fight song? Here’s Lietuvos Rytas’: