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.
During the 6th week Keravnos Strovolou (who's currently in the first position of the league after six games with a 5-1 record) dominated at all edges and got a small revenge from Paralimni is the team of Coach Papadopoulos was the one and only to force the Strovolos team (during the first round) to suffer their only (until now) defeat in the competition. The final score 43-75 says it all!! Coach Livadiotis troops remembered very well what has happened in their home court a month ago and w... [read more]
During the 6th week Keravnos Strovolou (who's currently in the first position of the league after six games with a 5-1 record) dominated at all edges and got a small revenge from Paralimni is the team of Coach Papadopoulos was the one and only to force the Strovolos team (during the first round) to suffer their only (until now) defeat in the competition. The final score 43-75 says it all!! Coach Livadiotis troops remembered very well what has happened in their home court a month ago and were very focused from the first to the last minute of the game leaving no space for a second surprise to E.N. Paralimni. Obviously there is a long distance between the two teams and this shown from the early stage of the game as the first period ended with 8-20 for the host team followed by a new triple score at the end of the first half with 8-24 with Keravnos leading the game already with 16-44 giving an early end to the game. Coach Livadiotis had the chance to use players that didn't have sufficient time in the previous games while he used many youngsters and rookies such as Panagiotis Markou (189-G-96) who played 24 minutes having 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 turnover in all around performance from the talent from Limassol, while minutes were received by the youngster Orestis Andreou (188-F/G-98) (in 5 minutes he scored 3 points, 2 steals, 1 assist and 1 turnover) and another 3:30 minutes by another talented youngster, Pavlos Stavrinidis (202-G-99) (3 points and 1 rebound)
The third period was a simple routine for the players of both the teams for different reasons, E.N. Paralimni tried to minimize the loss but it was obvious that the psychological factor was not with them, the 11-17 of the period is once more showing that they had scoring issues as only Jarvis Ray was scoring being also the top scorer but the only player on double digits (17 points, 6 rebound, 2 assists, 4 steals and 2 turnovers) and none of his team-mates scored more than 7 points (Kevin Thomas). On the other hand, Keravnos Strovolou who played this game without two of its starters (Stylianou and Abukar remain on bench) played control basketball with Terell Parks (204-C/F-91, college: W.Illinois) being the MVP of the game and the top scorer in his top performing game with Keravnos jersey, The American power forward ended the game with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1, steal, 1 block shot and 2 turnovers in a bit less than 25 minutes in action)
The fourth period where everything was ended E.N. Paralimni "beat" Keravnos youngsters with 16-14 and the final result became official. With another great organizational performance by Barker who ended the game with 12 assist (5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 turnovers in 25:25 active minutes) and the "soldier" O' Brien who remain on court for 27:38 minutes recording another double-double figure with 11 points, 10 rebounds, followed by Ross who recorded 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 4 turnovers in nearly 34 minutes... E.N. Paralimni is recording now a 3-3 being in the 4th spot with a +2 from the last two teams on the board..
The other two games of the week were characterized by the "easy" victory of APOEL over the champion team of AEK Larnakas with 89-77. APOEL's MVP was Akeem Wright (200-F/G-84, college: Kansas St.) who ended the game with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 5 turnovers, followed by the very good Murphy Burnatowski with 15 points and 3 rebounds, while on the other hand, AEK for another game without its basic center Primoz Brezec was an easy task for APOEL, Coach Gavriel saw only Torey Thomas (178-PG-85, college: Holy Cross) trying for the best and nobody else stood with gatts on the derby, Thomas ended the game 17 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, followed by Harris's 12 points and Trisokkas 11 and that was it... APOEL balanced it's record with AEK but bypassed the Larnaka team since the +12 deficit it's giving to APOEL at this stage the second spot. Both teams have a 4-2 record.
On the third and final game of the sixth week, the history recorded the easy win of ETHA Engomis over the weird team of Apollon Limassol with 86-61 (Maxie Esho's another great performance with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists, followed by Walket's same performance with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists) were the night's major factors, while from Apollon only Raines tried who ended with another double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Jermaine Marshall who ended the game with 15 points, were not enough to help their team to succeed something better than another easy loss with 25 points deficit... ETHA is currently on the sixth position recording the same with APollon Limassol as both the teams have an 1-5 record.
JDA Dijon Bourgogne (ProA) is close to sign 31-year old Cypriot international power forward Anthony King (206-110kg-85, college: Miami, FL) who played last time at Gaziantep Basketbol in Turkey. He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. In 32 BSL games he recorded 6.8ppg and 4.4rpg last season. King also played 14 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 7.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.7apg and 1.1bpg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Artland Dragons in German BBL. In 26 games he ha... [read more]
JDA Dijon Bourgogne (ProA) is close to sign 31-year old Cypriot international power forward Anthony King (206-110kg-85, college: Miami, FL) who played last time at Gaziantep Basketbol in Turkey. He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. In 32 BSL games he recorded 6.8ppg and 4.4rpg last season. King also played 14 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 7.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.7apg and 1.1bpg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Artland Dragons in German BBL. In 26 games he had 9.3ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.3apg and 1.0bpg. King also played 10 games in Eurocup where he got 12.8ppg, 5.6rpg and 2.2apg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team made it to the Bundesliga Semifinals in 2012 and 2014. King was also voted Eurobasket.com All-German Bundesliga 3rd Team in 2014. He represented Cyprus at the Qualifications to European Championships 2017 this year. His stats at that event were 6 games: 9.7ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 42.9%, FT: 69.6%. King has played also professionally in Greece (Aris), Cyprus (Etha) and Germany (Deutsche Bank Skyliners). He attended University of Miami, Florida until 2008 and it will be his ninth season as a professional player. The scouts decsribe him following way:
Gives the team an additional scoring threat in the post as well as rebounding... physical performer who doesn't mind mixing it up down low... gives the team added toughness in the paint.
Received Cypriot passport in June 2012.
Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Division A) inked 26-year old American guard Baden Jaxen (190-82kg-90, college: N.Carolina), formally know as Dexter Strickland. He played most recently at Moncton Miracles in Canadian NBL. In 43 NBL Canada games he averaged impressive 15.9ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.5apg and 1.5spg last season. A very good year in his career as he was selected to USBasket.com All-NBL Canada 3rd Team. He attended University of North Carolina until 2013 and it will be his fourth season in... [read more]
Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Division A) inked 26-year old American guard Baden Jaxen (190-82kg-90, college: N.Carolina), formally know as Dexter Strickland. He played most recently at Moncton Miracles in Canadian NBL. In 43 NBL Canada games he averaged impressive 15.9ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.5apg and 1.5spg last season. A very good year in his career as he was selected to USBasket.com All-NBL Canada 3rd Team. He attended University of North Carolina until 2013 and it will be his fourth season in pro basketball. Jaxen's game is described as:
More a combo guard that a PG now, but has an excellent playmaking ability that can grant him a bright future. Has great personality, with willingness to take clutch shots. Also, he is a tough player who can defend well.
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.