Without a doubt, the most surprising team this season in the NBL has been BC Kolin. At 12-2 on the season, the team currently sits among the leaders of the league and is led by forward Richard Field. In his first full-season in Kolin, Fields, a Michigan native, leads Kolin in scoring (15.1ppg) and rebounds (6.4rpg). However as evidenced by our interview, the teams success is largely a collective effort as Head Coach Predrag benacek has created an atmosphere where all players have an important role and can maximize their talents within the team system. After spending the first three seasons of his career in Iceland, Fields is now helping lead Kolin into uncharted prominence in the NBL. With a heavyweight schedule coming up in December, the team will face Pardubice, Prostejov and Nymburk in three of their next four games, the opportunity is there for this club to show that they belong and will stay among the best teams in the league this season.
Q. This is the fifth-year the club has been playing in the top division and your start has been the best ever. At 21-2 on the season, what are the thoughts and emotions of the team heading into the second half-of play? A. We are just taking it one game at a time, I am happy to be in this position which no one around the league expected us to be. We obviously want to finish in the top six. For an automatic playoff spot. So that is really are main goal going into the second half.
Q. What has been the key to the team's success so far? A. I believe its all about chemistry; we all get along very well and all are focused on the most important thing which is winning. Nobody is looking to fill the stat sheet for their own individual goals. Another reason is our coach, he allows everyone to play their game within the team structure.
Q. For you personally, your start has been very impressive. What were some of the reasons you decided to come back to Kolin and how has the experience been since you arrived last year? A. One the reason is my coach (Predrag Benacek), he is what we as Americans call a players coach. What that means is that he allows you to play your game, which allows you to play and feel more freely on the court. He allows us to play basketball and doesn't have us feeling like we are robots in the games. Another reason is I only played a half a season last year, because I started the in Iceland I wanted to play a full season in Czech. The experience has been good since Ive been back, I know what type of coach I am playing for. Also, just knowing the Czech culture, it makes things a lot easier.
Q. Before the season began, the big news was that Terry Smith would not return. Losing the league's leading scorer, as well as point guard Brad Jones, did the team adjust its style of play with you and Rashaan (Ames) and Chad (Barnes)? A. Well, the rest of the team, we had all played together before so we really didnt have to adjust much. Now adjusting to Rashaan and Chad may have been different. Both of these guys are past-first, shoot-second guards. This helps open up all the options we have on the team. Everybody for the most part gets involved in the game.
Q. How would you describe the level of play in the Czech Republic as opposed to Iceland, where you spent the past few seasons? A. The level of play is much higher here in Czech. I went from being the only American on my team to playing with two others here.
Q. What has been the most significant win or performance for you so far this season? A. I think the Decin win because at that time they were ranked number one in the standings.
Q. Goals for the rest of the season? A. Our first goal is to make to the playoffs then once we are there, try to and go as deep as possible.
JBC MMCITE Brno (NBL) tabbed experienced 37-year old Bosnian ex-international center Ermin Jazvin (209-117kg-80, agency: Mansfield and Associates). He played recently at Bashkimi in Kosovan SuperLeague, but left the team last month. In 5 games he averaged 11.8ppg, 6.4rpg and 1.0apg this season. Jazvin also played 4 games in Balkan League where he had 7.8ppg, 8.3rpg and 1.3apg. The most of last season he spent at Kaposvari in Hungarian A Division. In 23 games he recorded 11.4ppg, 6.9rpg an... [read more]
JBC MMCITE Brno (NBL) tabbed experienced 37-year old Bosnian ex-international center Ermin Jazvin (209-117kg-80, agency: Mansfield and Associates). He played recently at Bashkimi in Kosovan SuperLeague, but left the team last month. In 5 games he averaged 11.8ppg, 6.4rpg and 1.0apg this season. Jazvin also played 4 games in Balkan League where he had 7.8ppg, 8.3rpg and 1.3apg. The most of last season he spent at Kaposvari in Hungarian A Division. In 23 games he recorded 11.4ppg, 6.9rpg and 1.3apg. Jazvin also spent pre-season at Vienna in Austrian A Bundesliga earlier that year. In three games he got 10.7ppg, 7.7rpg and 3.0apg. His team won Romanian Cup in 2014. Jazvin also represented Bosnia at the European Championships in Lithuania six years ago. His stats at that event were 2 games: 0pts, 1.0rpg. Jazvin is a very experienced player. He has played also professionally in Croatia (Jolly), Germany (EnBW Ludwigsburg), Greece (Iraklis), Italy, Poland (Energa Czarni), Russia (Spartak Primorie Vladivostok), Spain (CB Granada), Ukraine (DniproAzot), Romania (UBT Cluj Napoca and CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu) and Bosnia (HKK Zrinjski HT Mostar). It may be one of last seasons in his extensive career, which he may end at MMCITE Brno. Let's have closer look into Jazvin's outlook:
He has ease hand what gives him high percent of realisation. Very strong and tough defence player. His speed and technics of the play are on a high level that's why he is good shooting guard.
Blake Schilb selected the top Czech playing abroad in last week's games - 5 days ago
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Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Czechs who are currently playing abroad. This week's number one is an experienced international swingman Blake Schilb (201-83). He could not help Galatasaray (13-5) to beat Banvit (13-5).
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Czechs who are currently playing abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an experienced international swingman Blake Schilb (201-83, college: Loyola, IL, currently plays in Turkey). He could not help Galatasaray (13-5) to beat Banvit (13-5).
Schilb scored 5 points and added 7 passes in 33 minutes on the court.
Galatasaray lost 64-79 on the road to the lower-ranked (#4) Banvit.
Schilb has relatively good stats this year: 10.9ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.5apg, 3FGP: 51.1%(23-45) in 15 games he played so far.
He is a naturalized American.
Schilb is currently a member of the Czech Republic senior national team. He used to play for CEZ Basketball Nymburk in Czech Republic league.
#2. Second place goes to former international center Ales Chan (215-80, college: Seton Hill, currently plays in Austria). Chan was the major contributor in a Raiffeisen Wels' victory against the league outsider Dukes (4-17) 74-56 in the Austrian A Bundesliga last Sunday.
He scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
WBC Raiffeisen Wels (11-9) are placed fourth in the A Bundesliga.
They ended the series of three consecutive loses.
This season Chan has relatively solid stats: 10.3ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1bpg, 2FGP: 55.1%(75-136), 3FGP: 36.4% and FT: 75.9%.
Former USK Praha starter played for the Czech Republic national team in 2014.
#3. The Czech Republic player who performed third best last week abroad was former U20 international forward Filip Halada (198-92, currently plays in Slovakia). He led Rieker KN to a 2-point victory against the closely-ranked Prievidza (20-9) 101-99 in the Slovakian SBL on Tuesday night.
Halada scored 12 points in a mere 19 minutes.
MBK Rieker Com Therm Komarno (17-13) is placed fifth in the SBL.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
Halada has reliable stats this year: 11.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 50.5%, 3FGP: 38.1% and FT: 85.7% in 26 games.
He played for the Czech Republic U20 national team five years ago.
#4. Forward Petr Herman (208-94, currently plays college basketball in the States) contributed to an easy victory against the Pepperdine University (5-9) crushing them 82-61 in the NCAA in Saturday night's game.
Herman scored 9 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and made 3 blocks.
The Loyola Marymount University has rather weak 4-9 conference record this season.
There are only two games left until the end of the NCAA Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
Herman's overall stats this season are: 3.5ppg and 2.7rpg.
He used to play for the Czech Republic U18 national team
back in 2012.
#5. Former U18 international forward David Jelinek (203-97, agency: Octagon Europe, currently plays in NCAA2) was not able to help the Northwood University (3-16) in their last game on Thursday. Despite his good performance the Northwood University was defeated 77-68 in Detroit by the Wayne State University, MI.
Jelinek scored 12 points.
His team will play only one more game in the NCAA2 Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial.
Jelinek's overall stats this season are: 4.5ppg and 2.3rpg.
He used to play for the Czech Republic U18 national team
two years ago.
#6. Forward Jan Svandrlik (201-94, currently studies in the States) was not able to secure a victory for the Iona (10-6) in their game against the Rider University (13-3) in the NCAA.
Svandrlik scored 9 points in only 9 minutes.
But the Iona was badly defeated 103-85 in Lawrenceville by the Rider University.
There are only two games left until the end of the NCAA Regular Season. So now every game will be important.
This year Svandrlik averages: 2.6ppg and 2.2rpg in 22 games.
He is a former U20 international player as he played for the Czech Republic team three years ago.
#7. Former international center Tomas Hampl (215-88, currently plays in Spain) led Estela to a victory against the sixth-ranked Santurtzi (10-7) 72-58 in the Spanish EBA (fourth division) on Saturday night.
Hampl had a double-double by scoring 11 points and getting 10 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Igualatorio Cantabria Estela Santander (16-1) is placed first in Group A-A.
It's Hampl's first season with the team.
His stats this year are: 14.1ppg and 6.1rpg in 17 games.
Hampl used to play for the Czech Republic national team
five years ago.
#8. Point guard Vit Krejci (193-0, currently plays in Spain) managed to help Simply Olivar Zaragoza in a victory against the ninth-ranked JAC Sants (7-10) crushing them 91-65 in the Spanish EBA (fourth division) last Saturday.
Krejci scored only 3 points, grabbed 4 boards, dished 3 assists and stole 3 balls in 29 minutes.
Simply Olivar Zaragoza (5-12) is placed 14th in Group C-A.
This year Krejci's overall stats are: 4.4ppg, 1.6rpg and 1.4apg in 16 games.
He plays currently for the Czech Republic U16 national team.
The list of other players, who all have Czech Republic passport but never been selected to any of Czech Republic national teams:
#1.Jaroslav Tyrna (207-C-86, agency: Octagon Europe, college: New Orleans, currently plays in Germany) contributed to Sixers' victory against the eighth-ranked Rendsburg (5-9) 79-73 in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) last Saturday.
Tyrna scored 7 points, had 7 rebounds and dished 4 assists in 30 minutes.
BSW Sixers Sandersdorf (11-4) is placed third in North group.
Tyrna's stats this year are: 10.5ppg, 7.3rpg and 2.5apg in 15 games he played so far.
#2.Lubos Novy (204-C-91, currently plays in Germany) led Vilsbiburg to a 2-point victory over the second-ranked Treuchtlingen (14-5) 80-78 in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) last Sunday.
Novy was MVP of the game. He recorded a double-double by scoring 23 points and getting 11 rebounds.
Baskets Vilsbiburg (13-7) is placed fourth in South-East group.
It's Novy's sixth season with the team.
Novy has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 16.8ppg, 6.5rpg and 1.4apg.
#3.John Boyer (185-PG-88, agency: Dynamics Global Management, college: Buffalo, currently plays in Germany) is a teammate of previously mentioned Lubos Novy and both played together in the last German Regionalliga game.
Boyer led Vilsbiburg to a 2-point victory against the second-ranked Treuchtlingen (14-5) 80-78.
He recorded a double-double by scoring 13 points and getting 11 rebounds. Boyer also added 5 assists and 4 steals.
This season Boyer has very high stats. He averages: 16.1ppg, 6.8rpg, 7.1apg and 5.0spg.
Boyer is a naturalized American.
Worth to mention he played also at Eurobasket Summer League, which helped him get the job in pro basketball. He used to play for BK Decin in Czech Republic league.
#4.Adrian Melski (192-G/F-92, currently plays in Germany). Melski could not help Zwickau (7-13) to beat Coburg (18-1).
He scored 7 points.
The 11th-placed Zwickau (7-13) was crushed 113-83 on the road by the leading Coburg in the South-East group.
Melski's total stats this season are: 7.8ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.2spg.
#5.Dan Milota (201-F, currently plays in NCAA2) managed to help Texas A&M International University in a victory against the Saint Mary's (TX) University 66-53 in the NCAA2 in Saturday night's game.
He recorded only 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 29 minutes.
The Texas A&M International University has a solid 8-3 record this season.
There are only two games left until the end of the NCAA2 Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
This year Milota's total stats are: 6.8ppg and 2.2rpg in 11 games.
#6.Filippo Meccoli Matejca (194-G-92, currently plays in Italy) was not able to help Valdiceppo (4-16) in their last game on Sunday. Despite his good performance the 15th-placed Valdiceppo was defeated 69-61 at home by the much higher-ranked Senigallia (#8) in the Group D.
Meccoli Matejca was the second best scorer with 14 points.
Meccoli Matejca's total stats this season are: 8.4ppg, 2.3rpg and 1.9apg.
He has a dual citizenship: Czech Republic and Italian.
CEZ Basketball Nymburk (NBL) agreed terms with 27-year old American power forward Kenny Hall (206-104kg-90, college: Tennessee). He started the season at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas in Greek A1 league. In 18 games he averaged 13.4ppg and 6.7rpg, while shooting 60.1% from the field and 54.5% from the line.
Three years ago (a year after he left the college) Hall was drafted by the Delaware 87ers (D-League) in fourth round (55th overall).
He attended University of Tennessee until 2013 and it is... [read more]
CEZ Basketball Nymburk (NBL) agreed terms with 27-year old American power forward Kenny Hall (206-104kg-90, college: Tennessee). He started the season at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas in Greek A1 league. In 18 games he averaged 13.4ppg and 6.7rpg, while shooting 60.1% from the field and 54.5% from the line. Three years ago (a year after he left the college) Hall was drafted by the Delaware 87ers (D-League) in fourth round (55th overall). He attended University of Tennessee until 2013 and it is his fourth season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Hall won D-League championship title in 2015. He was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Slovakian League Honorable Mention back in 2014. Hall has played previously professionally in Slovakia (MBK Rieker Com Therm Komarno) and D-League (Santa Cruz Warriors).
The move corresponds with the planned departure of Diamon Simpson (204-F-87, college: St.Mary's, CA), who's last game under contract was tonight in the Basketball Champions League (BCL) versus Sassari (win 84-63, but lose on aggregate 156-157). Nymburk had known that the former St. Mary's big man had a contract valid only until February 22, so Hall had been someone they looked at to fill in as a younger and taller option. The 29-year old Simpson was very solid during his time with Nymburk, averaging 8.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in domestic league play (15 games), while upping his averages in 14 BCL games to 9.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
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