• Weirdness and excitement in Spanish basketball? You bet! BiE recalls that this was about the time last season when Real Madrid’s season turned shaky and FC Barcelona began pulling away for top seed bragging rights in ACB play. While Madridistas may be feeling a little déjà vu today after a heartbreaking 69-68 overtime loss at Unicaja Malaga, Real hasn’t lost quite the same way ever.
Check out a final 45 seconds of the contest for some wild twists in turns mostly featuring Jorge Garbajosa vs. Pablo Prigioni. First Garbajosa blocks a Prigioni shot on the baseline, followed by the Argentine redeeming himself with a four point-sized three-pointer but unfortunately leaving nine on the 24-second clock with a two-point lead.
In response, Garbajosa nails a quick three on the next trip down the floor: 66-65, Unicaja, but with 26.6 seconds still remaining, plenty of time remained for heroics, namely Prigioni’s. Pablo controlled the ball to do his best Kobe Bryant impression, running down the clock before taking and making a three that made his first look like a layup to give Madrid a 68-66 lead.
Four seconds remained, but Unicaja had Terrell McIntyre. And in the aftermath, the color commentator loses voice and mind. No really. Witness the breakdown below – and some insane basketball.
As for the color man, he’ll probably be okay in the end. After all, there were concerns for the man’s mental health last year when Rafa Martinez snuck in a three for a Valencia upset of FC Barcelona – as pointed out by In The Game Basket on Twitter…
• BiE offers congratulations today to Juventus, 2010-11 Baltic Basketball League Challenge Cup champions. Official BBL writeup and celebratory video follow.
(BBL.net) – Juventus have comprehensively won the second leg of the BBL Challenge Cup first place playoff, defeating KK Kaunas 89-72 to be crowned 2010/2011 Challenge Cup champions.
Taking a six-point advantage into game two after winning the first leg Juventus never looked in any real threat, even when Kaunas staged a comeback in the third quarter, keeping in mind that Kaunas not only had to win but needed to do so by more than six points.
Juventus rushed out to a lead early in the match to be comfortably leading 29-17 at the end of the opening quarter. Kaunas slightly overcame their shock in the second quarter, showing more fight and compete strongly in the lead up to halftime. However, it was of little consequence to the overall score line with Juventus continuing to do it easy at halftime (48-31).
Kaunas came out firing in the second half to be back within six points (50-44) with just over four minutes played in the second half. The game would remain close throughout the remainder of the third quarter with Kaunas trailing by just nine points (64-55) going into the final ten minutes.
However, this was as close as they would come to challenging for the match as Juventus came out firing in the final quarter, dampening any plans Kaunas had for a famous late comeback.
Gediminas Maceika led scoring in the winning with 14 points. Arunas Vasiliaukas was next best with 13 while Aurimas Kieza and Marius Prekvicius chipped in with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Rokas Uzas starred off the bench for KK Kaunas leading all scoring with 22 points.
• From the In Case You Missed It Department, the Euroleague offered up a few videos this week in lieu of actual games; be sure to check out the dandy below entitled “Euroleague impossible shots” which actually lives up to the hyperbole with some nigh physics-defying stuff, starring among others Dimitris Diamantidis, Martynas Gecevicius, J.R. Giddens (Remember him?), Sinan Guler, Loukas Mavrokefalides, Martynas Pocius (who proves he can toss up a mean three in addition to his remarkable flight achievements), and especially Sergio Llull, who fairly well walks on air in Jordanesque fashion on the #2 play of this video.
• Speaking of impossible shots – and because, what the hell, this one should go viral – here’s a full-court shot taken while sitting. (Now BiE’s a bit skeptical that the court involved is regulation length, but who cares? This one’s still pretty nice.
• Meanwhile, as most b-ball fans in America were watching NCAA tourney games and European devotees were catching key domestic games, this is the sort of hoops going down in Hampshire, Illinois yesterday. Worst basketball variant ever?