In a game for the 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which just ended, the Hellenic NT managed to lose the game from the theoretically weaker team of Nigeria and will not participate in the Olympic Games this coming August in London. The result of the game which just finished was 79-80 with the victory by the Nigerian NT which is now having two games and two chances to participate in London's Olympic Games.
The man of the game was undoubtedly but unfortunately not a player either from the winners (Ike Diogu (208-F/C-83, college: Arizona St.) 17 points and 10 rebounds) or from losing site (Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82) 25 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists) but was the lord of the match the main referee of the game the Slovenian Matej Boltauzer and his assistant referees, the Algerian Nachid Messaoudi and the Australian Bradley Jon Giersch who did everything they could to eliminate the Greek NT with the most obvious being the blind eyes in the last phase of the game when Vassilis Spanoulis was clearly fouled by Derrick Obasohan (198-F-81, college: Texas Arlington) but the obvious foul was never called so the history will simply write that the Hellenic NT will be absent from the Olympic Games.
About the game now, which was a derby from the very beginning the Nigerians prove to be a tough nut for the Greeks as they were following from a close distance nearly all the first period with the final bit finds both the team's starting from scratch as the 21-21 was the result of this first period.
The second period was much better for the Hellenic NT as with VSpan and Bourousis in a great shape were able to reach the maximum difference by the end of the first half with the Nigerians being much better in the rebounding area but not steady at all in the offensive duties. The result of this first half was 42-30 with the Greeks being much better and more solid in their offensive skills. Papanikolaou, Bourousis and Spanoulis were the top men for the Greek NT while Diogu and Al-Farouq Aminu (206-F-90, college: Wake Forest) with his older brother Alade Aminu (210-C-87, college: Georgia Tech) were the top men for Nigeria
The third period though was an absolute nightmare for the Greeks as they kept losing their free throws (ended the game with the 12 missing shots) while the Nigerians with very tough defense by Aminu brothers and Diogu cut the deficit to as little as two with the third period finally ending with 56-50.
The heart breaking fourth quarter was the worst for the Greeks and the best for the Nigerians who saw their team two minutes before the end of the game to getting the lead initially with one and then with three points as the battle of the rebounds was totally for the Nigerians with the Greek centers not being able to compete their opponents in the rebounding area.
The top scorers for the two teams:
Greece: Spanoulis 25, Bourousis 18, Printezis 10
Nigeria: Diogu 17, Dagunduro 14, Aminu 13 and Oguchi 10
There are many talks and discussions which will follow this game but the fact is simply one Greece lost and Nigeria won, whatever the Greeks feel is pointless as the referees decide and they simply judged that no foul has been made in the most crucial point of the game.....
Was this "gray" decision due to the general situation with Greece financially?? Who knows......
Yesterday night (30.05.2016) was one of the worst nights for the European basketball as one of the top players of the last decade, decided to retire [read more]
Yesterday night (30.05.2016) was one of the worst nights for the European basketball as one of the top players of the last decade, decided to retire. Dimitris Diamantidis or else 3D or else triple D, the most altruist player in the European courts EVER, the player who won three Euroleague titles, nine Greek league and ten Greek cup titles, two Euroleague final four MVP Awards, four all-Euroleague first team selections, as well as a record of six Euroleague Best Defender Awards and being the only player to have earned all four pre-mentioned Euroleague end of season distinctions, even more so in a single year (2006-20017) will no longer wear his uniform as a player.. The 36 years old ex international guard decided to retire and without him European basketball will not be the same..
For 12 consecutive seasons worn the green jersey of Panathinaikos , being the epitome of how the game is suppose to be played. Diamantidis has won several individual trophies since joining Panathinaikos, such as the Euroleague Best Defender six times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), the Greek League MVP six times (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014), and the Euroleague Final Four MVP twice (2007, 2011). Diamantidis was also named the 2007 Mister Europa, the 2007 Greek Athlete of the Year, and the MVP of the Greek Cup in 2009 and 2016. He was named the Euroleague MVP in 2011.
3D was born on the 6th of May, 1980 in Kastoria. At the age of fourteen, Diamantidis started his youth career with his home team in Kastoria, where he remains until the summer of 1999, at the age of 19, Diamantidis began his professional career when he transferred to Iraklis Thessaloniki (where his talent and his basketball IQ were obviously much higher than the average), he became a starting player at his second season in the team and he helped to bring Iraklis back to the top teams in the Greek league, and by 2003, he had emerged as an all-around star in the Greek League winning the Greek League MVP award in the same season.. The Giannakopoulos family saw that and they didn't lose time as in the summer of 2004 3D became a member of Panathinaikos. He immediately became the leader of the team, even though the all mighty Alvertis Fragiskos was a member of the team, 3D was not the absolute scorer like Alvertis, but he was the one to do all the jobs in the court, something that was not usual up until the time he appeared in the Greek basketball scenery.
Left-handed 3D was playing with the same ease, in three positions (point guard, small forward and shooting guard) and won 22 titles in total while he has best statistical record in Euroleague in most of the statistical divisions, being the top performer in the European courts in the 21st century! He has the all-time Euroleague leading position in total assists, steals, and performance index rating with some of them being very difficult to reach in the years to come. Diamantidis had with Coach Obradovi one of the most successful collaborations between a player and his coach in the history of European basketball. As a member of the Greek national team, 3D won a EuroBasket title in 2005; anchoring a defense that allowed 59.7 points per game and scoring a buzzer beater three-pointer that sealed the fate of the semifinal against France, he was voted as a member of the All-EuroBasket Team. In 2006, he played a pivotal role in a FIBA World Cup silver medal campaign, with Greece stunning Team USA in the semifinal and Diamantidis leading the tournament in steals. He was a key factor in Greece's historic 101-95 victory against Team USA in the semifinals, stunning the likes of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. The defeat suffered by the United States team is the only one during Mike Krzyzewski's era (2005-), as the latter has an undefeated record since then, in all major international competitions. On the basis of his myriad achievements, his leading role in the success of Panathinaikos and the Greek national team, he was named Mister Europa Player of the Year by Italian sports magazine Superbasket in 2007.
He has a fun club which comes all over the globe and is among the most known figures in the European Basketball, a person who's totally different in and out of the court as his superior and legendary performances in the court has nothing to do with the man, the citizen Dimitris Diamantidis, a low profile young family man On the 1st of April, 2016 he has received the Euroleague Basketball Legend award being the second Greek player after Theo Papaloukas back in 2013. As demonstrated by numerous game-changing actions in crucial situations, Diamantidis is considered to be one of the biggest decision makers and clutch players in European basketball history.
3D is the idol and the symbol of many players allover the globe, many players that want to look alike him, play like him and have the same passion and skills like him, his is and will be a total legend of the European Basketball.
The global basketball is losing in the same season two of its few legends as after Kobe Bryant, Dimitris Diamantidis has been added (as of yesterday) in the retired player's list!!
The new head coach Ettore Messina announced the preliminary squad for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, when Italy will play in Turin to earn a spot for Rio 2016. This the list of 24 players for coach Messina: Awudu Abass (199-SF-93, agency: Players Group) (Acqua Vitasnella Cantu) Pietro Aradori (194-SG-88) (Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia) Andrea Bargnani (213-F/C-85) (Free Agent) Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) (Sacramento Kings) Bruno Cerella (194-G/F-86, agency: Players Group) (EA7 Armani Mi... [read more]
The new head coach Ettore Messina announced the preliminary squad for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, when Italy will play in Turin to earn a spot for Rio 2016. This the list of 24 players for coach Messina:
D'Tigers Aiming for Glory in Rio 2016 - May 7, 2016
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The Nigerian national basketball team, D'Tigers are aiming to reach greater heights at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero scheduled to begin on Friday, August 5, 2016. It will be recalled that the D'Tigers recorded a feat by being the only African nation to ever qualify for the Summer Olympics through the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2012. D'Tigers beat the world elite teams of Lithuania and Greece to reach the Olympics proper. However, due to several factors,... [read more]
The Nigerian national basketball team, D'Tigers are aiming to reach greater heights at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero scheduled to begin on Friday, August 5, 2016. It will be recalled that the D'Tigers recorded a feat by being the only African nation to ever qualify for the Summer Olympics through the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2012. D'Tigers beat the world elite teams of Lithuania and Greece to reach the Olympics proper. However, due to several factors, D'Tigers went on to set the worst record in the history of the Olympics as they were thrashed 156-76 by the all conquering Dream Team of the United States of America. The Dream managed just one victory over fellow Africans Tunisia to end up in 10th position at the end of the basketball event. Immediately after the London Olympics, the Nigeria Basketball Federation under Tijani Umar rang changes in the technical crew as well as the playing personnel and there was positive result as the D'Tigers emerged champions of Africa in 2015. Ahead of the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship in Tunisia, the NBBF replaced Ayo Bakare with a foreign tactician, Will Voigt (agency: Warren Sports International ) while some players were also dropped from the team. The move to sign the former Head Coach of Bakersfield Jam in the National Basketball Development League was a tactical one as he has coached two players that represented Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics - Diogu Ikechukwu (204-C/F-83, college: Arizona St.) and Alade Aminu (210-F/C-87, college: Georgia Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) while he was in the D-League. Courtesy of: dailytrust.com.ng
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