Keravnos Strovolou - Krasnye Krylia 51-82 The Russians of of Krasnye proved to be to strong for the Cypriots and beat them for a second time (actually thrashing them) locking once and for all their top seat in the Group B of the Eurochallenge and now the Cyprus site of Coach Yiannaras needs at least one victory in the remaining two road games so as to have some chances to qualify as the second team in the group as currently with the 2-2 record is at the second position of the group together with the Finnish Joensuun Kataja after their road win over the Romanians of Ploiesti with 80-67 to leave the Romanians winless in the group. So the most crucial game for the team of Keravnos Strovolou will take place in Finland.
So, about the game now, a catastrophic third period where the Russians of Samara with the quartet of Omar Thomas (196-F-82, college: UTEP), Nikita Balashov (207-F-91), Chester Simmons (196-G-82, college: Washington) and Aaron Miles (186-G-83, college: Kansas) in a great performance, Keravnos Strovolou was not able to defend its homw court and lost very easily since the Russians scored 24 points in the specific period while Keravnos was able to score only 11! Not only that, but the players of Keravnos got very nervous due to the very good defence by the Russians so the unsportsmanlike foul by the captain of Keravnos at the end of the 3rd period gave the chance to the Russians to end the quarter with +18 points (40-58) and actually give an early end to the game. It is worth mentioning that Keravnos scored only 8 points in the second period while another 11 were added in the third period, so in a total of 20 minutes Keravnos scored 18 points in compare to the 22 points scored in the first period where the home team outscored Russians with 22-17, after that first period the troups of Yiannaras collapsed in total.
Crocker's very low productivity game (he had 0/5 three pointers in the first three periods and 1/7 in total) together with the very bad game by Andre Owens (193-G-80, college: Houston), he ended the game with 1/4 in 2's and 1/4 in 3's and a total of 6 points and Lawrence Kinnard (202-F-86, college: UAB)'s 3/8 three pointers were gave the chance to the Russians by playing simple basketball to score nearly from all edges and their stats proved so, as Coach Yiannaras couldn't stop Nikita Balashov who was scoring with every single way. The very low performance by Trisokkas (1 point with 0/4 two pointers and 1/2 free throws), the low productivity by Maze (3/7 in 2's and 1/2 in 3's) let the Russians to develop this +31 points deficit since in the last 2 minutes the Russians succeed a 10-0 to give to the game a celebrating close. Top scorers: Keravnos: Lawrence Kinnard 11 and Julian Vaughn (205-C/F-88, college: Georgetown) 10 Krasnye: Balashov 18, Thomas 16, Simmons 10 and Miles 10.
Michelin Etha Engomis - KRKA Novo Mesto 59-74 KRKA Novo Mesto ended the last 16 hopes of Michelin Etha Engomi in the EuroChallenge as they kept their own very much alive with a 74-59 road win. KRKA was much stronger thant the visiting site who most probably will end up their European tour with a 0-6 record in the six games played in Europe this season. Edo Muric led the way with 19 points while Smiljan Pavic collected 16 and 10 rebounds in a contest that was as good as over by the end of the first quarter. Etha have struggled offensively all season and after they slipped into a 25-11 hole as early as the ninth minute of the contest, there never seemed like there would be a way back. It was a three-pointer from Pajic that gave KRKA that 14-point advantage, and it only continued to grow as the game went on. The lead reached 19 early in the third quarter when a three-pointer from Jakov Vladovic (187-PG-83) put the visitors up 53-34. Uros Lucic added 11 points for KRKA. Donte Poole (190-G-89, college: Murray St.) led Etha with 13 points while Dejan Cup (202-PF-83) had 12 and Taron Downey (186-G-82, college: Wake Forest) added 11.
Nancy Sluc - Pizza Express Apollon 87-69 A total revenge for the French over the team of the newcomer Chris Chougaz took place in Nancy and in a packed stadium of 5.000 French fans crowding for their team. The hosts used a huge first-half performance to take complete control of the game and won it at a canter. Although Apollon scored the opening five points of the game, that would be their only lead of the contest, Nancy coming to life with an 11-2 run capped by Shawn King's dunk, the first of two in quick succession from the big center. That early deficit was a distant memory by the time they ended the first quarter up 25-15, and it only got worse for the visitors with back-to-back threes from Kenny Grant making it 34-15 two minutes into the second period. When Grant split a pair of free throws to end the first half, the lead was 50-27. Nancy could afford to ease off thereafter as Apollon made minor inroads to the lead, with an 8-0 spurt cutting it to 52-40 on Brandon Brown's free throws before threes from Bingo Merriex and Nicholas Pope carried Nancy clear once more. Grant led Nancy with 16 points while Merriex had 15, Marcellus Sommerville 12 and Souleymane Diabate 11. Gerald Robinson (202-PF-84, agency: Court Side, college: Tenn-Martin) had 18 points for Apollon with Brown collecting 17, Marvin Jefferson (206-C-86, college: Idaho) and Grigoris Pantouris (190-G/F-82) 10 each
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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