Krasnye Krylia Keravnos Strovolou 79-74 The best feasible result for the team from Strovolos took place in Russia (Krasnie Krylia's home court in Samara) since the home team won at the end with the poor +5 the Cyprus site. The Russian power house got some serious trouble from the Americans of Keravnos Strovolou but finally due to the great performance of Chester Simmons and Nikita Balashov in the scoring part and Aaron Miles in the organizational part gave the victory to the home team. Chester Simmons has scored 24 points for Krasnye Krylia who claimed a 79-74 win over their Cypriot guests, Keravnos, in their opening EuroChallenge Group B fixture on Wednesday evening. Simmons starred for the home side, pulling his team out of ruts at decisive moments. Trailing by six points late in the opening half, Simmons hit a three-pointer, before adding the first five points of the second half to hand the home team the momentum. When Simmons again hit from outside early in the final quarter, the lead for the Russians was out to 14 points (68-54), but thereafter they went cold from the floor, allowing Keravnos to fight back to be within four points, 74-70, on a Julian Julian Vaughn (205-C/F-88, college: Georgetown) and-one play, with the clock showing 3:19 remaining in the contest. Julian Vaughn shared top scoring honors for the guests with 16 points alongside Antonio Crocker. He also picked up 12 boards whilst Crocker had eight. However, with Simmons making one from the charity stripe before following it up with a jump-shot soon after, the buffer was back out to seven points and the home team would not be threatened again On six-for-eight shooting from the field, youngster Nikita Balashov provided the main scoring support for Simmons, ending the game with 15 points and six rebounds. Aaron Miles had 11 assists and six points. Keravnos head coach Panagiotis Yiannaras stated the following: "First of all, congratulations to Krasnye Krylia. Each time we try to win, we prepared well for this game, watched videos to see the strongest points of Krylia. We played bad in the third period, two players got three fouls, another one was badly injured, and also Damjanovic could not come because of visa problems. We missed some open shots at the end of the game - and we lost it."
KRKA Michelin Etha Engomis 100-73 In the Group A game, 2011 EuroChallenge champions KRKA made easy work of their season opener in Novo Mesto defeating Cypriot side Michelin Etha Engomis with 27 points difference and a final score being 100-73. Edo Muric led all scorers with 20 points and Domen Lorbek had 19 for the Slovenians, while for the Cyprus site top scorer was the British international point guard Ogooluwa Adegboye who ended the game with 16 points. Four players scored in double figures as the 2011 EuroChallenge winners KRKA Novo Mesto won their Group A opener 100-73 in an easy night out since the Cyprus champions of Michelin ETHA are far behind in quality and techniques. Edo Muric led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds; Domen Lorbek had 19 points; Jakov Vladovic collected 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists; whilst Jure Lucic had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Slovenian hosts. Ogooluwa Adegboye paced the guests from Cyprus with 16 points while Akida Mc Lain added 12 points and six rebounds in the loss. KRKA opened an early 10-2 lead and it grew to 10 points (14-4) before ETHA trimmed the gap to 15-11. But the hosts were ahead 24-13 after one quarter. The Slovenia side was clearly in control and did not let ETHA into the game with Lorbek draining a three for a 15-point cushion and later back-to-back baskets to make it 42-28. Taron Downey ended the first half with two consecutive long balls to cut the deficit to 46-37 at the break. Novo Mesto used an 18-6 run in the third quarter to open a 64-45 lead to regain the dominance. The advantage was 71-53 after three quarters. The guests would only get to within 17 points in the fourth quarter while the lead grew to 27 points. Taron Downey scored 11 points and 5 assists, while Akida McLain added 12 points and 6 rebounds as no other player from the Cyprus site reached the double digits The Cyprus clubs Head Coach Kyriakos Adamou stated that "Participation in this competition is very important for us. We have a young team this season, for most of the players this is their first appearance on such a level. We don't have a lot of time to practice. Although we're not happy with the score, because difference was very big, this game was important for us. We'll try to be better in the future."
Pizza Express Apollon Sluc Nancy 65-81 SLUC Nancy used a 14-0 run over nearly six minutes in the fourth quarter to pick up a strong 81-65 road victory over Pizza Express Apollon in Group G play of the EuroChallenge. Bingo Merriex paced the French guests with 17 points and 8 rebounds while John Linehan scored 13 points and Mouloukou Diabate scored 11 points and 6 assists. Apollon led by 13 points in the second quarter but could not hold on despite 25 points and 8 rebounds from Brandon Brown. Brown scored 10 points as the Cypriot hosts jumped ahead 15-6. The home side still led 19-15 after one quarter. Apollon appeared in control of the game with a 9-0 run to start the second period for a 28-15 lead. But Merriex scored seven points and Linehan and Marcellus Sommerville each nailed three-pointers in a 20-9 Nancy run and the Apollon lead was only 37-35 at halftime. The hosts had regained a 44-37 advantage but a 12-2 Nancy run gave the guests the lead 49-46. And Linehan nailed another triple before Abdel Sylla's dunk just before the third quarter buzzer for a 57-52 Nancy cushion. Apollon were within 60-58 with 8:36 remaining but the French defense shut down the hosts until the 2:39 mark and Nancy decided the game with a 14-0 - thanks to five points from Nicholas Pope. Brandon Brown was the top scorer of the game with 24 points and dashed down 8 rebounds but these were not enough for the Cyprus site. Marvin Jefferson followed from a long distance with 11 points while no other player from Apollon scored double digits. Apollon Head Coach Akis Konstantinou stated the following: "The game was decided in the last quarter due to the fact that our players got quite tired. During the last six minutes we lost our concentration and made a lot of mistakes. As a result an opponent of Nancy's level took the advantage and went ahead to win the game."
Keravnos Strovolou (Division A) confirmed in their roster 31-year old domestic ex-international power forward George Theocharides (203-85). He has played there for the last four seasons. In 21 Division A games he had just 2.1ppg and 2.1rpg last season. He helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. Quite impressive season as he was named to Cyprus League All-Star Game. Theocharides' team won Cyprus Supercup in 2013. He also represented Cyprus at the Qualific... [read more]
Keravnos Strovolou (Division A) confirmed in their roster 31-year old domestic ex-international power forward George Theocharides (203-85). He has played there for the last four seasons. In 21 Division A games he had just 2.1ppg and 2.1rpg last season. He helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. Quite impressive season as he was named to Cyprus League All-Star Game. Theocharides' team won Cyprus Supercup in 2013. He also represented Cyprus at the Qualifications to European Championships Division B 2011 six years ago. His stats at that event were 3 games: 2.3ppg, 1.3rpg. Theocharides has played previously for another Cypriot team Frederick Achilleas Kaimakliou.
Keravnos Strovolou manage to renew the contract of the top performer of the team last season, as the Cyprus international forward Nikolaos Stylianou (198-F-88, college: W.Texas A&M) renewed his contract for another one year with Keravnos Strovolou. Stylianou at his first season in Cyprus after quite many years in the Greek league was awesome and the most solid player of the Strovolos team. The 28 years old experienced forward had some initial discussion with a couple of Greek clubs but th... [read more]
Keravnos Strovolou manage to renew the contract of the top performer of the team last season, as the Cyprus international forward Nikolaos Stylianou (198-F-88, college: W.Texas A&M) renewed his contract for another one year with Keravnos Strovolou. Stylianou at his first season in Cyprus after quite many years in the Greek league was awesome and the most solid player of the Strovolos team. The 28 years old experienced forward had some initial discussion with a couple of Greek clubs but the discussions were quite slow and he decided to play for another season with the Strovolos jersey.
Coach Livadiotis after this transaction and having in mind that the team is nearly ready for the coming season keeping most of his players, he will have the time now in quite better terms to find the best feasible players in the remaining two positions as his target will most definitely be the PF and the C position.
Other than that, Keravnos renewed also the contracts of Theocharidis and Neofytou and it has basically ended the roster's design in the local player's aspect.
Keravnos and Coach Leivadiotis do work on a different level at this stage as the only other team which closed its roster is only the champion team of AEK Larnakas. These two teams seems to be ahead of all the other teams in the Cyprus basketball reality in terms of organisation and management.
Tony Weeden (183-SG-83, college: Chicago St.) former player of Keravnos Strovolou (Cyprus-Division A) gave an interview: Why you decided to be a pro player. I decided to become a basketball player because its the one thing that felt natural to me. The one thing that I enjoyed doing and the one thing that helped me get through any tough time in my life. Basketball is just my first love so I wanted to make a career out of it. Everybody says you should enjoy your work so thats just what Im... [read more]
Tony Weeden (183-SG-83, college: Chicago St.) former player of Keravnos Strovolou (Cyprus-Division A) gave an interview:
Why you decided to be a pro player.
I decided to become a basketball player because its the one thing that felt natural to me. The one thing that I enjoyed doing and the one thing that helped me get through any tough time in my life. Basketball is just my first love so I wanted to make a career out of it. Everybody says you should enjoy your work so thats just what Im doing.
There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not come soon.
With so many people fighting for the same jobs and guys taking less money, its hard for you to not jump at the first offer because you never really know whats coming next. On top of that you have to make sure the situation and style of play is right for you to be successful in and that makes it even harder. The offseason brings a lot of mixed emotions with the nervousness and excitement of where this games takes you next. I just feel like I know my worth and Im confident because of the time I put into the game and you usually get what you put in. But I live by faith so Im sure everything will turn out ok.
Which was the best game you had in your career so far?
Thats tough to say for me because I have a few that I feel like could be considered my personal best. But if I had to choose a recent one it would be the last game I played in the 2013-14 season in Cyprus. A 39pt 4ast 4reb game is one that you remember just because you feel like everything you imagine when your in the gym alone is happening. It just felt like all the decisions I made happened to be the right ones.
Tell us your strong point and your weakness in your game.
Im the type of player that is never satisfied so I would say I could work on my whole game overall. I feel like you can never stop getting better. My strong points are that Im a tough hard nose guard that applies pressure and can shoot the ball really well along with being shifty and being able to create.
Which player was the hardest opponent to play against?
If I had to pick a player that I stood out to me, it would be Brandon Heath. I say him because he was a player that was pretty much the main reason we lost in the finals in Bulgaria 2013-14 season. He just flat out got it done scoring and making his teammates better.
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