EUROBASKET HAD THE PLEASURE OF SITTING WITH VETERAN BELGIAN SPORTS JOURNALIST CHRIS KUGENER. COWERING BASKETBALL IN BELGIUM IN ALL ITS VARIOUS DIVISIONS; AND SEEING FIRST HAND THE BEST TALENT TO EVER HAVE PLAYED IN BELGIUM AS WELL AS TOP EURO TALENTS AS WELL; WE SAT WITH HIM AND PICKED HIS BRAIN ABOUT THINGS BASKETBALL; FROM BELGIUM QUALIFYING TO THE EUROBASKET 2013, TO THIS NMEW EDITION OF THE ETHIAS LEAGUE 2012-2013
EU: Chris how have you been doing? Thanks for sitting with us CK: Hi Ozell. Im fine. I hope you too. Im glad and proud to talk with you about the Belgian basketball.
EU: REALLY BRIEFLY TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE BELGIAN SIDE QUALIFYING FOR THE EURO 2013. WHO DO YOU FEEL WERE CRUCIAL PLAYERS AND HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT THEY WILL FARE? CK: Well, after the drawing, everyone in Belgium saw Poland as the favourite in Group E. Only national coach Casteels tells that Finland was probably the best team in the group. These two teams finish the qualifications before Lions. Third place of Belgium was logical when you see the games (5v, 3d) : a very nice surprise with a victory in Poland for the first game. A collective offday and important defeat in Finland, two easy victories in Antwerp vs Switzerlans and Albania. Very complicated ten last minutes vs Poland and a humiliate defeat in Switzerland give a few reason to doubt. The most accomplished game, a deserved and collective winnings vs Finland was followed by a victory in Tirana to confirm qualification. The Belgian combo-guards Tabu Van Rossom proof their skills. The absence of the center Van den Spiegel (hurted) was balanced by post Beghin and flexibility of the duo De Zeeuw Mukubu. The three M (Moors-Mwema-Muya) reinforce teamspirit, strict & strength defense and good transitions. Without big men, Belgium does an important (and beneficial) community effort. Defense was the key as usual.
EU: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS NEW EDITION OF THE ETHIAS LEAGUE TO TIP OFF IN THE COMING WEEKS? WE HAVE INTERVIEWED COUNTLESS FIGURES IN THE WORLD OF BELGIAN BASKETBALL.THAT HAVE ALL EXPRESSED A DISPLEASURE WITH THE ABILITY OF THE LOCAL PLAYERS AS WELL AS THE LACK OF DEVELOPMENT OF THOSE PLAYERS AS WELL: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? CK: Recent finalists of Playoffs BC Ostende and Spirou Charleroi will be favourite but they arent yet ready and some players have been moved. Their preparation was interrupted by injuries. Mons and certainly Antwerp Giants will be outsiders. Ethias League is a closed league with only 8 teams; 6 of them play the playoffs. A kind of apathy appears in the public and by the players. The lack of young and local players is a real problem. Two years ago, the League has launched a Belgian Development League (BDL for 16-21 years old) and some clubs give and permit to their young players to play in inferior championships. League forced teams to have minimum 5 Belgians on the playlist. The best references to promote the future rookies stills a mix between sport & education, the sport-study inside the clubs. Some teams have a tradition of sport & education. Others claim helps of public institutions and wish a real sportive policy in the country.
EU: HOW DO YOU SEE BASKETBALL EVOLVING IN THE COUNTRY, IF YOU SEE THE GAME EVOLVING OR DEVOLVING PLEASE TELL US WHY? CK: When you see regularity of the results on European Cups, it is a good reflect on an evolving. Despite lack of money for sportive education, Belgian young international teams are on the road of the progress. Weve got talent!
EU: HAVING BEEN IN THE BELGIAN GAME FOR YEARS YOU HAVE SEEN TOP PLAYERS AND CAN GIVE A MORE THAN ACCURATE ASSESSMENT OF THE BEST PLAYERS TO HAVE PLAYED THE GAME: IN YOUR OPINION WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER THAT YOU HAVE SEEN...now we know players like JR HOLDEN & CHRIS CAMPBELL HAVE PLAYED HERE IN THE PaST:...OVER THE YEARS WHO STANDS OUT TO YOU AS THE BEST PLAYER POUND FOR POUND CK: Oh Man, thats too difficult. I give you names of top-guys who play in Belgium and were a mix of impressive, decisive and percussive players for the last 35 years : Ed Murphy, John Heath, Mark Browne, Rick Raivio, Bill Varner, Kerry Trotter, Rik Samaey, Jim Stack, Russell Chapman, Terrence Stansbury, Eric Struelens, Chris Campbell, Daren Queenan, Barry Mitchell, Mirza Teletovic, Mo Finley, Ron Ellis, Mike Batiste, Ed Cota, Dexter Shouse, JR Holden, Georges Evans, Axel Hervelle, Omar Cook, Demond Mallet, Matt Lojeski, Chris Copland, to be continued in 2012-13!
EUROBASKET WOULD LIKE TO THANK CHRIS KUGENER FOR SITTING WITH US AND SHARING HIS EXPERIENCES OVER THE YEARS OF WATCHING. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS FROM HIM AND IN HIS WRITINGS FOR THIS SEASON UPCOMING. BEST SWISHES CK!!!
Victories for Ostende and Charleroi in Champions League - 2 days ago
On the seventh rond of the Champions League BC Telenet Oostende and Proximus Spirou Charleroi realised handsome victories. After the first round the Belgian champion and Spirou Charleroi count 3 on 7 and remain in the running for qualification for the second round. BC Oostende (group D) won 82-70 (halftime 46-39) from the Croatian Cibona Zagreb. Proximus Spirou Charleroi (group E) won on the road and with 74-79 (31-36 halftfime) at Hungarian champion Szolnoki
Telenet Oostende-Cibona Zagr... [read more]
On the seventh rond of the Champions League BC Telenet Oostende and Proximus Spirou Charleroi realised handsome victories. After the first round the Belgian champion and Spirou Charleroi count 3 on 7 and remain in the running for qualification for the second round. BC Oostende (group D) won 82-70 (halftime 46-39) from the Croatian Cibona Zagreb. Proximus Spirou Charleroi (group E) won on the road and with 74-79 (31-36 halftfime) at Hungarian champion Szolnoki Telenet Oostende-Cibona Zagreb 82-70 Telenet Oostende: Walden 10, Mwema 0, Keselj 5, Gillet 13, Salumu 7, Katic 10, Boukichou 20, Djordjevic 1, Kuridza 6, Kesteloot 3, Newbill 7 Quarters: 25-17, 21-22, 12-18, 24-13 Szolnoki-Spirou Proximus Charleroi 74-79 Spirou Proximus Charleroi; Libert 21, Fusek 1, Iarochevitch 8, Lambto 0, Marnegrave 4, Harris 5, Richardson 0 , Gaudoux 2, Bowman 15, Shepherd 16, Kemp 3, Schwartz 4 Quarters: 16-25, 15-11, 24-20, 19-23
Tony Gugino (ex Liege) joins Phoenix Galati - 2 days ago
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CS Phoenix Galati (Liga Nationala) agreed terms with 30-year old American power forward Tony Gugino (207-96kg-86, college: Hillsdale). He started the season at betFIRST Liege Basket in Belgian Euromillions League. In 7 games he had 9.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.9apg, 1.3spg and 1.0bpg this season. The last season Gugino played at Rilski in Bulgarian NBL where in 33 games he recorded 13.0ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.3apg and 1.4spg. He helped them to win the cup and make to league semifinals. Quite impressive seaso... [read more]
CS Phoenix Galati (Liga Nationala) agreed terms with 30-year old American power forward Tony Gugino (207-96kg-86, college: Hillsdale). He started the season at betFIRST Liege Basket in Belgian Euromillions League. In 7 games he had 9.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.9apg, 1.3spg and 1.0bpg this season. The last season Gugino played at Rilski in Bulgarian NBL where in 33 games he recorded 13.0ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.3apg and 1.4spg. He helped them to win the cup and make to league semifinals. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com Bulgarian League All-Imports Team, Honorable Mention and to the All-Star Game. Gugino also played 6 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 12.7ppg, 7.8rpg (#3 in the league), 1.2apg and 1.2spg. Gugino has played previously professionally in Switzerland (Monthey, Massagno and Boncourt) and Bulgaria (Yambol). He attended Hillsdale College until 2009 and it is his eighth season as a professional player.
Ubel's double-double lands him Player of the Week award - 5 days ago
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25-year old power forward Brandon Ubel (209-F/C-91, agency: Pensack Sports) had a very impressive game in the last round for Brussels and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 10. He had a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds, while his team beat Aalstar (#4, 6-4) 88-81. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. Brussels is placed at 3rd position in Belgian league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this sea... [read more]
25-year old power forward Brandon Ubel (209-F/C-91, agency: Pensack Sports) had a very impressive game in the last round for Brussels and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 10. He had a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds, while his team beat Aalstar (#4, 6-4) 88-81. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. Brussels is placed at 3rd position in Belgian league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Brussels will need more victories to improve their 6-3 record. In the team's last game Ubel had a remarkable 62.5% from 2-point range. It's his second year at Brussels and it's hard to imagine this team without him. University of Nebraska graduate has very impressive stats this year. Ubel is in league's top in points (9th best: 14.7ppg), rebounds (8th best: 6.3rpg) and averages solid 66.2% FGP.
Second best performed player last round was Seth Tuttle (203-F-92) of Limburg United. He is American forward in his first season at Limburg United. In the last game Tuttle recorded impressive 13 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Of course he led Limburg United to another comfortable win 93-75 over slightly higher-ranked Leuven (#9, 3-7) being unquestionably team leader. The game was between two teams which are definitely not main contenders for the title. Limburg United is still at the dead bottom 10th position. 8 lost games are too many comparing to just two victories Limburg United managed to get this year. Tuttle is a newcomer at Limburg United and quickly became one of team's most reliable players.
Third place about best performers goes to John Tofi (203-C/F-84, agency: Pensack Sports) of Aalstar (#4). Tofi showcased his all-around game by recording 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the last round. Despite Tofi's great performance Aalstar lost 81-88 to #3 ranked Brussels. But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates especially in such crucial game. The last thing Aalstar needs is to lose another game like this one. They lose more and more distance to the top teams. Their record is 6 victories and 4 lost games. Tofi has a great season in Belgium. After 10 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 15.6ppg (6th best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Jason Clark (188-G-90) of Antwerp - 28 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Codi Miller-McIntyre (190-G-94) of Leuven - 25 points, 2 rebounds and 7 assists 6. Domien Loubry (186-PG-85) of Brussels - 18 points, 4 rebounds and 9 assists 7. Jordan Swing (198-F-90) of Limburg United - 13 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists 8. Vincent Simpson (185-PG-88) of Liege - 20 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists 9. Wesley Channels (190-PG-88) of Kangoeroes - 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists 10. Pape Badji (208-F/C-92) of Kangoeroes - 15 points and 7 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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