This weekend will tip-off the 2012-13 season in Cyprus, one in which will see three teams participating in EuroChallenge play; reigning champions Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia, runners-ups and regular season champions Keravnos Strovolou, and Pizza Express Apollon Limassol, which entered the competition via the qualifying round. With new imports, returning stars and the added spotlight of international competition, this season has a chance to be very special. Here we will look at some of the key figures for the top teams this season.
Dragan Ceranic (212-C-76, agency: Beo Basket) (Etha): 7-0 Serbian center has had a successful and remarkably durable career over the past 13 seasons. Ceranic, who will turn 36 in December, joins Etha after playing with KAO Dramas in Greece last season where he averaged 8.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24 games. In his first season in Cyprus Ceranic will help Etha in the pick-and-roll game as well as defending the paint. Knows how to get the job done at the highest level (Euroleague, Euro Cup, EuroChallenge, Baltic League).
Tony Crocker (201-G/F-87, college: Oklahoma) (Keravnos Strovolou): Already off to a fantastic start after leading Kervanos to the Super Cup title this past weekend over Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia, the 6-7 Crocker is poised for a stellar campaig. In his third professional season, the former Oklahoma Sooner is a multifaceted scorer, able to score off the pull up and attack his man on the dribble. Very athletic, Crocker moves well without the ball and utilizes his teammates screens to get open for scoring opportunitites. In the Super Cup Final he scored a game-high 30 points for Kervanos. Professionally has played the past two seasons in Hungary and Finland, averaging 17.0 points and 19.3 points respectively.
Georgios Diamantopoulos (196-F/G-80) (Keravnos Strovolou): Back for another season in Cyprus, Georgios Diamantopoulos is a former Greek National Team representative who will team with Tony Crocker to form one of the most formidable one-two punches in the league. A 6-5 shooting guard, Georgios Diamantopoulos followed Crocker's 30 points in the Super Cup victory with 18 of his own and his experience (32) along with scoring accumen should have him at the top of the points scored charts all season.
MaJic Dorsey (185-PG-81, college: S.Indiana) (Pizza Express Apollon): Makes his European debut this season with Apollon this season after having re-written the FIBA record books last year in Mexico. As a member of Aguillas Rojas de San Juan del Rio, Dorsey on back to back games set the LNBP (top division) record with 21 assists and then the FIBA world record of 23 assists, 44 in two contests! Despite his pass-first mentality MaJic has been able to show over and over again his world-class scoring ability as well, evidenced by his 30.5ppg average for Aguillas Rojas (#1 in the league) on 53.9% shooting as he took home Latinbasket.com All-Mexican LNBP Player of the Year honors. One of the quickest players not only in Cyprus this season, but also the EuroChallenge, Dorsey is adept at finding his teammates in the right positions and keeping his defender off-balance with an array of miss-direction looks and fakes. Along with Tony Crocker of Kervanos, these two players look to be the favorites to bring home the most team and individual hardware this season. In leading Apollon to EuroChallenge group play, Dorsey led all players in the qualifying round with an 8.0apg average along with scoring 36 points over the two contests.
Prodromos Nikolaidis (201-F-78) (Pizza Express Apollon): A veteran 6-8 forward with Cypriot/Greek nationalities, who joins Apollon after spending last season with Marousi in Greece where he averaged 9.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 19 games. For his career has proven to be an exceptional shooter from long-range and will help stretch the floor for Apollon and create driving lanes for Dorsey and their wing players.
Dante Stiggers (188-PG-82, college: S.Mississippi) (Cytavision Apoel Nicosia): After establishing himself as a bona fide stud in Belarus to begin his career, the 30-year old Dante Stiggers has spent the last two seasons in Cyprus and Greece and now will be back to lead Apoel this season. The 6-2 guard who has played for the Belorussian National Team since 2010, has a quick first step and scores well off the dribble. Last season with PAOK Thessaloniki he appeared in 26 games averaging 5.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. With his experience playing in Eurocup and for in European Championship qualifications this will be a player with the talent and experience to keep an eye on this season.
Panagiotis Trisokkas (206-F/C-80) (Keravnos Strovolou): A mainstay of Kervanos, Trisokkas is a 6-9 forward/center who has played in either Eurocup or EuroChallenge competitions nearly his entire career. An efficient three-point shooter he excels on pick-and-pop situations.
Isaac Wells (203-F-85, college: Arkansas St.) (Cytavision Apoel Nicosia): A bruising 6-8 power forward out of Arkansas State, Wells is in his first season with Apoel after having played previously in Italy, Switzerland and Bulgaria. Wells brings a high-level of energy and takes pride in his efforts on both ends of the floor.
The first official game of the season found the champions to add another trophy in their series, as the team of Coach Linos Gavriel beat quite easy APOEL of the Greek Coach Jimmy Koustenis with 92-75 proving from the early beginning that things may stay the same for another one season [read more]
The first official game of the season found the champions to add another trophy in their series, as the team of Coach Linos Gavriel beat quite easy APOEL of the Greek Coach Jimmy Koustenis with 92-75 proving from the early beginning that things may stay the same for another one season. AEK Larnakas with the most expensive roster of the league having in its roster an amazing duet, Tore Jamal Thomas and Alexis Harris show no mercy and especially after the 21st minute they took the lead and never watch back. The score in the second time was 52-30!! APOEL begun the game very well but somewhere in the middle of the game the strength and passion from Koustenis players was not enough to compete the furious champions who had three players in double digits and another three very close to the double digits, while Coach Gavriel use his 11 out of 12 players (only the veteran Garcia remain at bench) splitting the time quite balanced while he saw Alexis Harris being in an amazing shape scoring 20 points with nearly perfect stats, dashing down 4 rebounds, sharing 2 assists and gaining three fouls remaining in the court the longest than all his team-mates
Correcaminos ink Ryan McCoy, ex Apollon - 3 days ago
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Correcaminos UAT Victoria (LNBP) agreed terms with 29-year old American point guard Ryan McCoy (183-79kg-87, college: La-Lafayette, agency: Haylett Sports). He played last season at Apollon in Cypriot Division A. In three games he had 8.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 4 [read more]
Correcaminos UAT Victoria (LNBP) agreed terms with 29-year old American point guard Ryan McCoy (183-79kg-87, college: La-Lafayette, agency: Haylett Sports). He played last season at Apollon in Cypriot Division A. In three games he had 8.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.3apg and 1.0spg. The previous (2015) summer McCoy was tested by Gaiteros in Venezuela LPB where in 5 games he recorded 12.2ppg, 4.2rpg and 3.8apg in 2015 season. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team made it to the Dominican Rep. LNB Semifinals in 2014. McCoy was also voted Latinbasket.com All-Venezuelan LPB 1st Team in 2014. He is quite experienced player. McCoy has played also professionally in Uruguay (Olimpia), Dominican Republic (Leones de Santo Domingo), NEBA (Houston Xperience), Mexico (Gansos) and ABA (Sugar Land L.). He attended University Louisiana at Lafayette until 2010 and it will be his seventh season as a professional player. On McCoy:
True point guard with great upside. Excellent ball handler with great court vision. Looks to pass first, but can knock down the deep ball. Plays solid perimeter defense. Excellent speed. Doesn't shy away from crashing the boards. Strong work ethic.
Keravnos Strovolou (Division A) confirmed in their roster 27-year old American forward Jake O'Brien (206-100kg-89, college: Temple, agency: HMS). He played there last season. In 20 Division A games he had 11.2ppg, 6.7rpg and 1.0apg. O'Brien helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com Cyprus League All-Imports Team and 2nd Team. The previous (14-15) season he played at Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in German B... [read more]
Keravnos Strovolou (Division A) confirmed in their roster 27-year old American forward Jake O'Brien (206-100kg-89, college: Temple, agency: HMS). He played there last season. In 20 Division A games he had 11.2ppg, 6.7rpg and 1.0apg. O'Brien helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com Cyprus League All-Imports Team and 2nd Team. The previous (14-15) season he played at Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in German BBL where in 23 games he recorded 7.0ppg and 3.1rpg. O'Brien's college team won AEC Tournament in 2011. He has played previously professionally in Ukraine (Zaporizhya) and D-League (Northern Arizona Suns). O'Brien attended Temple University until 2013 and it will be his fourth season as a professional player.
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