At just 24 years of age BK JIP Pardubice guard Evaldas Zabas (188-PG-88) is the youngest player in the Mattoni NBL's top-five scoring leaders. Currently averaging over 17 points a game, the Lithuanian native leads his third-place Pardubice club in scoring, steals, free-throw percentage and is tied in assists all while shooting an impressive 58% from the field. In his first season in the Czech Republic the 6-2 Zabas has exceeded fans expectations and helped the club maintain its top-of-the-standings reputation, even with the budget related departures of mainstays Marcus Arnold and Maurice Hampton last season. Despite his age, Zabas arrived in the Czech Republic with an impressive resume, including leading the Swedish Basketligan in scoring in 2011-12 as well as incredibly productive stops in the United Kingdom and Germany. A former member of the Lithuanian U20 National Team back in 2008, Zabas spent some time to talk with Eurobasket.com about his experiences and success so far with Pardubice.
Q. With the basic stage coming to a close would you say you are satisfied with your and team's performance so far?
A. Yes we are definitely satisfied with what we accomplished so far this season, but I believe that the strongest and the hardest competition is yet to come. Now weve played each team a couple of times and there are no secrets. Everyone knows what plays you are going to run and what your game plan is going to be. So while we are satisfied with our performance thus far, we know that there is a lot of work left to be done.
Q. What factors led you to decide to sign with Pardubice in the off-season?
A. I have always heard good things about Czech basketball so when the opportunity came up I didn't think twice. I think its a great league, with great competition and a lot of high quality players. Also, Pardubice was a Euro Challenge team last year so when they offered me a spot I knew that this organization was serious about winning and they know how to treat their players well.
Q. What did you know about the club and the Czech Republic prior to arriving?
A. I didn't know too much. Like I said, I knew they played in Euro Challenge last year and that they were always near the top of the table in the standings.
Q. What has been your biggest adjustment to life here both on and off the court?
A. I would say communicating with players on and of the court has been the hardest things to get through here and I believe that is part of the reason why we struggled at the beginning of the season. With language barriers it takes longer than usual for a team to gel but everyone has worked really hard to come together and to understand each other. Now we are all on the same page, and it shows!
Q. Your teammate Corey Muirhead (197-F-83, college: W.Carolina) is having one of the best all-around seasons in the entire league, what has it been like playing together with him? In your opinion why has his game developed so much this season?
A. Corey is a great guy and an amazing player. Its been great playing with him and learning from him. His experience really shows in practice and games. His game has developed so much this year because he works so hard for this team. I can tell each and every day how much he cares about winning. No one likes losing but Corey is really one of those guys that would do anything to win - no matter what it takes. He can do everything - defend, rebound, score or whatever else the coach asks of him.
Q. Your scoring prowess has translated to every league you have played in, whether in the UK, Sweden or here. Would you like to share your secrets?
A. It's no secret. Hard work pays off and you get out what you put in. Basketball is a game that can't be perfected but as long as I'm getting better every year, thats all that matters to me. Also, it starts with my love for the game. Without that, I could never put in the work that I do.
Q. When you are off the court, what are some of your hobbies and pastimes?
A. Well its not quite a hobby, but I do like my sleep. Other than that, I love movies, music, video games, and Im always studying the game and figuring out ways to get better. In the Summer, my hobby is getting better at the Athlete Institute at ACTS in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. Its where I work on my craft with other pro players.
Q. The A1 group stage will of course pit the top teams in the league against each other. What will you and the team need to do in order to secure a top finish?
A. Just keep working hard and playing like weve been playing. At this point, it is about who wants it more. Also, it will be very important for us to keep trusting each other and playing like a team.
Q. What is your status for next season? Will you continue with Pardubice or look to further your career in another country?
A. I can't tell you anything about next season yet. I dont really think that far ahead because the second you start doing that it takes away from what my mission is right now. I will just keep on working hard and let my agent do his job.
Edi Sinadinovic (193-88, agency: Aspire Sports), recorder in assists in two leagues (Estonia and Bosnia&Herzegovina) and one of the best point guards in Czech NBL leaves the team because of financial problems. He played very good season with very good percentage shooting from the field. In 16 games in Czech Republic he had 12.6ppg, 2.9rpg and 3.1apg this season. He was the best 3PT player of the team (and one of the top in the league) with 34 scored 3PT from 88 attempts (38.6%). He had al... [read more]
Edi Sinadinovic (193-88, agency: Aspire Sports), recorder in assists in two leagues (Estonia and Bosnia&Herzegovina) and one of the best point guards in Czech NBL leaves the team because of financial problems. He played very good season with very good percentage shooting from the field. In 16 games in Czech Republic he had 12.6ppg, 2.9rpg and 3.1apg this season. He was the best 3PT player of the team (and one of the top in the league) with 34 scored 3PT from 88 attempts (38.6%). He had almost 50% of shooting for 2PT. In 61 attempts he made it 30 to the bucket for 49.2%. About shooting from free throw line he is very stable also this year (86.7%). His best game of the season was against Prostejov, when he flushed 26 points with 5 rebounds and 3 assists with 3/6 for 2PT and 4/7 from 3PT line. He stayed perfect for FT with 8/8 for total index of 29. The last season Sinadinovic played at Sloboda Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina Division I where in 14 games he recorded 11.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 5.0apg (top 4) and 1.2spg. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Bosnia and Herzegovina League Honorable Mention. He also played that season for Zdravlje in Serbian 2MLS. In three games he averaged remarkable 21.3ppg, 2.3rpg and 3.0apg. The other team Sinadinovic played was MZT Skopje in FYR Macedonian Prva Sinadinovic also spent pre-season at Partizan (KLS) in Serbian league that year. His team won Macedonian Supercup in 2016. Sinadinovic is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Bulgaria (BC CSKA Interlogic Sophia), Croatia, Estonia (Valga), Greece (PAOK Thessaloniki and AEK/Argous), Romania (Targu Mures and Pitesti), Serbia (Masinac) and Bosnia (HKK Zrinjski HT Mostar).
Allen's 28 points and 6 rebounds give him Player of the Week award - 3 days ago
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24-year old guard Bryon Allen (193-G-92) had a great game in the last round for league's best team CEZ Nymburk and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 19. He had the game-high 28 points adding six rebounds and four assists for CEZ Nymburk in his team's victory, helping them to crush NH Ostrava (#12, 4-15) with 21-point margin 104-83. It allowed CEZ Nymburk to consolidate first place in the Czech Republic league. CEZ Nymburk has a very good season and are considere... [read more]
24-year old guard Bryon Allen (193-G-92) had a great game in the last round for league's best team CEZ Nymburk and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 19. He had the game-high 28 points adding six rebounds and four assists for CEZ Nymburk in his team's victory, helping them to crush NH Ostrava (#12, 4-15) with 21-point margin 104-83. It allowed CEZ Nymburk to consolidate first place in the Czech Republic league. CEZ Nymburk has a very good season and are considered to have a run for the championship title. They improved their record to 18-1. In the team's last game Allen had a remarkable 77.8% from 2-point range and got three three-pointers out of 6 attempts. He turned to be CEZ Nymburk's top player in his first season with the team. George Mason University graduate has very impressive stats this year. Allen is in league's top in points (8th best: 15.7ppg) and averages solid 57.6% FGP and 47.1% from behind 3-point line.
Second best performed player last round was Dusan Pandula (196-SF-84) of league's second-best BK Pardubice. He is Slovakian in his 3rd season at BK Pardubice. In the last game Pandula recorded impressive 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Of course he led BK Pardubice to another comfortable win outscoring the lower-ranked J.Hradec (#9, 6-13) 112-73. BK Pardubice's second position in the standings has not changed. His team lost just three games this season, while they won 16 matches. Pandula is one of the most experienced players at BK Pardubice and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.
Third place about best performers goes to another BK Pardubice's star - forward Joseph Wall (199-F-89). Wall scored 18 points and grabbed ten rebounds. He was another key player of BK Pardubice, helping his team with a 112-73 easy win against the lower-ranked J.Hradec (#9, 6-13). BK Pardubice is closer and closer to top of the standings. They will still need more victories. But 16-3 record is not that bad... Wall has a very solid season. In 19 games in Czech Republic he scored 13.9ppg. He also has 5.6rpg, FGP: 51.0% and 3PT: 40.4%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Dominez Burnett (196-F-92) of BK Pardubice - 20 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists 5. Ivan Mikulic (194-G-91) of MMCITE Brno - 19 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists 6. Garret Kerr (194-F-92) of BK Kolin - 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Lukas Palyza (202-F-89) of BK Decin - 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists 8. Lamb Autrey (191-G-89) of BK Pardubice - 17 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists 9. Brian Fitzpatrick (203-F-89) of Prostejov - 22 points and 6 rebounds 10. Tony Meier (204-F-90) of CEZ Nymburk - 21 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Champions League: Nymburk defeat visiting Monaco - 4 days ago
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Nymburk - Monaco 76:66 Nymburk celebrated the 9th victory in Basketball Champions League Group A. They upended group's leaders Monaco to gain 9-4 record. Five players scored in double digits for the Czech champions. Nymburk rallied to an 18:13 lead at the first break. The hosts maintained the lead throughout the second quarter. The Czech team piled up a 40:29 halftime lead. Monaco however pulled closer in the third term. The French powerhouse narrowed the gap at 2-point mark heading int... [read more]
Nymburk - Monaco 76:66
Nymburk celebrated the 9th victory in Basketball Champions League Group A. They upended group's leaders Monaco to gain 9-4 record. Five players scored in double digits for the Czech champions. Nymburk rallied to an 18:13 lead at the first break. The hosts maintained the lead throughout the second quarter. The Czech team piled up a 40:29 halftime lead. Monaco however pulled closer in the third term. The French powerhouse narrowed the gap at 2-point mark heading into the fourth stanza. But Nymburk used a 24:16 run in the final term to ice the win. Bryon Allen (193-G-92, college: George Mason), Petr Benda (203-C-82) and Eugene Lawrence (184-PG-86, college: St.John's) chipped in 14 points each for the winners. Billy Ouattara (191-SG-92) responded with 19 points for Monaco. Dee Bost (188-PG-89, college: Mississippi St., agency: Three Eye Sports) banked in 16 points in the defeat.
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