LIVE BLOG from Berlin: Wednesday, May 11
LIVE BLOG from Berlin: Thursday, May 12
Coaches Clinic: What a learning experience!
The 2016 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four International Coaches Clinic started with a lecture by MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick. He is one of the three coaches that will share their knowledge at the clinic this weekend, along with Sergio Scariolo and Mike Brown in addition to personal trainer Brandon Payne. Patrick started his lecture comparing basketball to fugu, a dish made of pufferfish that must be carefully prepared to remove its toxic parts and avoid its poisonous parts. "It can be poisonous, but if you cook it the right away, it is great," Patrick said. "Basketball is great if you stay away from the poisonous things". He stressed the importance of sharing information with other coaches and made everyone give a round of applause to the young players working at the clinic - from Berlin-based clubs DBV Charlottenburg, TuS-Lichterfelde and Stahnsdorf - before making them sweat, as his lecture was about full-court pressure and team defense.
Coach Brown followed Patrick by talking about an entirely different issue: offensive post spacing and double-team reactions. Asked about how European and American coaches share information, Brown offered a very good example of mutual collaboration. "I came over here when I was head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers a couple of times to see Ettore Messina, see his training camps when he was coaching CSKA Moscow. I actually hired him when I was head coach of the Lakers as a coaching consultant, and that led him to catching on with Coach Popovich in San Antonio. There are a lot of European coaches in the NBA right now and I think it will be interesting to see in the future if the gap gets even closer."
The clinic will finish on Saturday, in what promises to be a learning experience for a lot of coaches, such as Rodrigo Pastore, head coach of German second division squad Chemnitz 99ers. "We want to get as many concepts as we can, the experience of other coaches to put it into practice at our level, which sometimes is very different than theirs," Pastore said. "Going to clinics and visiting coaches to see them work is a big part of what we do, it is very important, as well as on-line clinics. I can't wait to see all the lecturers this weekend. It is important to listen to coaches who are at the highest level."
Berlin - Friday, May 13, 16:35
Fan Zone opens to much fanfare
The Turkish Airlines Euroleague Fan Zone is living up to expectations as the perfect complement to the games themselves. Located at Berlin’s centrally located Alexanderplatz, the Fan Zone gives visitors the special feeling of game day long before the gates open for the semifinals at Mercedes-Benz Arena. The Efes Zone is an ideal setting to start one’s day with a morning coffee or to relax with a mid-afternoon drink. Euroleague Basketball’s family of sponsors are sprawled out around the Fan Zone with booths to play games, win prizes, purchase souvenirs and much, much more. The area is hopping now with the One Team Legends Session and Exhibition Game underway featuring all eight Final Four Ambassadors. Make sure to be part of history by sharing your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #F4GLORY and stopping by the Final Four Mosaic to see your pictures woven into a giant Euroleague-themed image. Fenerbahce fans are certainly making their presence felt in song and colors and there were also several members of players’ family checking out the action when the Fan zone first opened, though the largest cross section of fans appeared to be locals eager to check out the giant party that erupted in the heart of the German capital. Come on down now to feel the Final Four excitement!
Berlin - Friday, May 13, 11:15
The night so many of us have impatiently waited for, the semifinals at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, is here. But there is still action all over Berlin today before the big stage lights up for the first game at Mercedes-Benz Arena. The Turkish Airlines Euroleague Fan Zone opens at 11:00 CET at one of the most famous squares in Europe, Alexanderplatz. At any given time until is closes at 22:00 CET, the Fan Zone will be rocking with three-on-three tournaments, one-on-one games, slam dunk contests, three-point shootouts, games featuring sports stars and celebrities, charity events, skills competitions, cheerleaders, dancers, DJs, music and much, much more. From players and legends visits, merchandising spots, interactive activities for kids and Euroleague fans, regular performances by the official cheerleaders of the Final Four and a series of different skill games, the Fan Zone will have something for everybody.
Another highlight is the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four International Coaches Clinic. Three elite coaches - Sergio Scariolo, Mike Brown and John Patrick - and a star personal trainer, Brandon Payne, are set to share their knowledge with the attendees throughout the weekend. Scariolo, Brown and Patrick are scheduled to lecture on Friday, with some 200 coaches, from aspiring juniors eager to learn more to accomplished coaches, are registered to attend the clinic at Sporthalle Schoeneberg. Elsewhere, action goes on at the ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT with four more games: U18 FC Barcelona Lassa vs. U18 Mega Bemax Belgrade at 09:00 CET, U18 INSP Paris vs. U18 Zalgiris Kaunas at 11:00 CET, U18 Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade vs. U18 ALBA Berlin at 13:00 CET and U18 Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius vs. U18 Real Madrid at 15:00 CET. All games are at the SportForum.
Then come the main events: At 18:00 CET, CSKA Moscow faces Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in the first-ever All-Russian showdown in Final Four history. At 21:00 CET, Fenerbahce Istanbul goes against Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz in another never-seen-before showdown at this level. Doors are set to open at 16:00 CET and Final Four ticket holders have been advised to get to the arena well in advance of the start of the games in order to ensure they can get through entrance check-points and procedures smoothly to be in their seats on time for tip-off. When the dust settles after two very intense games, only two teams will be standings in this battle for Final Four glory.
Berlin - Friday, May 13, 09:15