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International Roundup: EuroLeague is underway


EuroLeague kicks off with enthusiasm today. Plus, I learned last week that a lot of these games are being streamed online. Yes, you too, can watch Tiago play.

Tiago Splitter -- Caja Laboral -- ACB

Caja had two games last week. The ACB played their "especial jornada" mid-week. Caja bests Bilbao Basket 85-76 in the first game. It's a good thing I was watching this game, otherwise, I would have thought Tiago was crap. He had 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. But,-- I point this out over and over in the game thread -- his teammates missed open shot after open shot. He easily could have had 8 assists.

In the weekend game, Caja rips Meridiano Alicante 75-57. Tiago's numbers were much more impressive with 18 points and 6 rebounds.

Next for Caja Laboral is Xacobeo Blu:sens. However, they start their EuroLeague tomorrow at 1:30 with a game against Lottomatica Roma.

I also stumbled on this Interview with Tiago Splitter on the EuroLeague site.

Highlights of the Caja victory over Bilbao Basket

Highlights of the Caja victory over Alicante

Nando De Colo -- Valencia -- ACB

Valencia's Especial Jornada wasn't so special. They got drubbed by Barcelona 87-62 and it wasn't really even that close. At one point, Barcelona was up 60-30. SpurNando got some buckets in the extended garbage time to end with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. I watched a fair amount of this game. I'm not sure what to think of him just yet. He's not crazy athletic or crazy fast, so if he wants to make it to the NBA he will have to be crazy crafty AND a crazy good shooter. He's not there yet. I could, however, see him being a nice complementary guard to George.

In their weekend game, Valencia got the 'W' with a 79-63 pantsing of Blancos De Rueda Valladolid. Nando led the team with 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. His shooting numbers were good as he went 7-12 from the field and 6-7 from the line.

Up next for Valencia in the ACB is CB Granada. It should be broadcast here on Sunday at 4:30 am.

Highlights of the drubbing by the stacked Barcelona team

The pantsing game

Bad news for Valencia yesterday in their EuroCup qualifying game. They got bludgeoned by the Dutch squad Deux Mons-Hainaut 78-63. Nando again had 21 points. He also added 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 9 turnovers. Yes, 9 turnovers. They play again next Tuesday. I think the winner of the series is based on point differential for the two games. Valencia had better bring an ass whipping down on the Deux or they will be playing in the EuroChallenge and not the EuroCup. Big drop in competition there and I would like to see Nando playing the better teams.

Eric Dawson -- Mitsibishi Diamond Dolphins -- JPL

I have last week's box scores from Eric in the games they split. Last week's box scores part 1 and Last week's box scores part 2. In part 2, Eric has a 3-20 game. In part 1, Eric had a solid 25 points and 14 rebounds.

This past week, his team dropped both games to Toyota, 92-75 and 85-79. However, Eric only played 15 minutes in the first game and did not play in the second game.

James Gist -- Unknown

Still no data on James. Sheez.

Robertas Javtokas -- BC Khimki -- Russian League

Khimki started their Russian League with a 78-71 win over St. Petersburg. Here's the box score. Good luck. You'll have to trust me that Robertas had 11 points and 9 rebounds.

I don't know anything about St Petersburg the team. This is what I know about the city:

I like these guys. Not my favorite song by them, but I think it kind of captures an image.

Random Stuff

In the great names category, the French team Joueurs has Tommy Gunn. (I'm such a jackass. Joueurs is French for player. He plays for Poitiers.)

Tony's Asvel Basket gets off to an 0-2 start in the French league before picking up their first win in a 90-66 beating of Strasbourg. This isn't too good for a team kicking off their EuroLeague season today at 11:45 against Zalgiris.

Could it be our man? Slavko Vangelis playing for Vanoli Gruppo Triboldi Cremona

Viktor Sanikidze in Legabasket in Italy. I believe the Spurs still have his rights. Former draft pick Romain Sato Legabasket in Italy also. I don't believe the Spurs still have his rights.

What's up with that whole EuroLeague basketball thing and the EuroCup and EuroChallenge?

This isn't definitive. This is what I think I know and is subject to correction and actual knowledge.

EuroLeague is the top level and has been around for 50 years. They have more recently added EuroCup (which was the old ULEB, I believe) and very recently (like maybe in the last year or two) have added EuroChallenge. The level of competition is EuroLeague then EuroCup then EuroChallenge.

All three divisions are populated by the best teams from the European domestic leagues. Here is a full list of those leagues from the EuroLeague site (this is where I go to find the previous weeks scores). There are boatloads of them.

The top 24 teams are in the EuroLeague. They hav 4 6-team groups and they play each team in their group twice. 10 games. One game per week. The top 4 teams from each group make it to the next round. They are then placed in 4 4-team groups and again play each team twice. The top 2 teams from each group advance to the round of 8. The round of 8 is a best of three series. The final four teams then play in a Final Four format. One game to advance, 3-day party. It's crazy, but it's EuroLeague.

Prior to the start of the EuroLeague season, 8 teams played for 2 spots in the EuroLeague. The 6 losers end up in the EuroCup. Those 6 teams joined 18 already decided teams. There are also 16 teams (Nando's Valencia is one of these) playing 8 head-to-heads to see who qualifies for the final 8 EuroCup slots. That's 32 total teams in EuroCup. I don't know how their regular season works because I haven't followed it yet. There are still things to learn this year.

The 8 losers of the EuroCup qualifying end up in the EuroChallenge. I know even less about the EuroChallenge. I wasn't even aware it existed until late last year when reading Nando's draft profile at Draft Express. For monitoring player development, you want your guy in the tougher EuroCup.