Sasa Obradovic (agency: Beo Basket ) had very successful coaching stints in Germany and Ukraine. After leading Rhein Energy Koeln to Bundesliga Champions title in 2006 he took German Cup the next season. With BC Kyiv Serbian tactician has made an impressive run in the 2008-09 EuroChallenge. Ukrainian club that didnt have any foreigner was very close to reach Final Four of the tournament. This season, as a BC Donetsk head coach, Obradovic has won 5 from 6 Eurocup regular season Group A games. At the same time his squad looks like a team that has a real chance to capture Ukrainian Superleague trophy this time.
Sasa, lets start with congratulations. Donetsk is the only Ukrainian club that goes on competing in Eurocup. More than that, your team booked the place in Eurocup LAST-16 beforehand.
Its really a great success for us, because the group wasnt so easy. Achievements of Cibona are well-known. And the fact that they defeated KRKA, Hemofarm, Union Olimpija and Red Star in current Adriatic League season just confirms its high class. Hapoel Jerusalem is the club with good financial support and roster, the club that had an aim to reach LAST-16. And its not a secret how hard it is to play in Israel. I am must pay contribute to my team for that character that they showed in Jerusalem. Its pity that we lost first game in France against BCM Gravelines with such a big score. That time we still didnt find our rhythm, Darnell Jackson just arrived and Ramel Curry was injured. And Gravelines showed unbelievable game on the level of Euroleague team. And after this I am really glad that it is Donetsk team that managed to beat pirates in Eurocup regular season.
Today Donetsk is doing well, but start of the season one can hardly call successful. Lost games against Goverla, Nikolaev and Ferro, as well as unconvincing games against Dnipro and Dnipro-Azot sparked a lot of rumors: staring from speculations about changes in roster and finishing coachs resignation
I really esteem trust relations between me and clubs management. In the beginning of the season I was told: Your work will be valued in May, and after bad start again: We dont change our mind, nobody wants to change the coach. Same judiciousness was with possible changes in roster. Believe me, a lot of times I was a witness when rushed decision was making only worse. It is easy answer: if we dont have result right here right now, we have to find the guilty one and say him good-buy. No way! You have to read the situation, analyze it what provoked such course of events. Believe me, with that number of injures that we faced in the beginning of the season to start championship on high level was absolutely impossible. You have to remember that national championship consists of three rounds so we have time catch-up and we already proved that. And now just imagine if after bad start we said good-buy to Vule Avdalovic for instance, because he didnt find his game from the very beginning and was criticized a lot. And now Vule is one of the key players brain and engine of the team.
After all, the only player with whom the Club part ways was DeMarcus Nelson. Officially it was made to give more game time to Alexander Lypovyy. In fact his game time didnt grow too much.
Leaving of DeMarcus Nelson could not automatically increase Lypovyy minutes on court. But Oleksandr received a good chance to prove himself. In my team everyone receives the time he really deserves. Nobody will get time artificially. Now Lypovyy receives about 15 minutes in the game in average. But Im sure, that desire he shows at our practices will help him prove that he is ready to play more. Nelsons disadvantage was absence of stable shot. In Ukrainian championship where teams mostly play zone its the biggest problem. Thats why I understood that some day we would say good-buy to Demarcus. So, whats the point to wait? Its better to give an opportunity to Lypovyy to prove himself and not to spoil the season for Nelson, especially that his former club Cholet was interested in him coming back.
In home Eurocup game against Hapoel Lypovyy showed a very good game, but in re-game in Jerusalem you didnt give him a minute. Why?
Usually I use Sasha to play against point guards in defense and to play like a shooting guard in offense. In Kiev game Lypa mostly played against Darryl Strawberry who played a role of playmaker. Second guard in that game was not tall Yuval Naimy who Avdalovic and Curry could cope with. But in Jerusalem game Naimy was injured and second guards were taller and stronger Brian Randle and Dan Grunfeld who automatically would have an advantage playing against Vule or Ramel. Thats why I didnt risk to play Lypovyy in that game, I used Pustozvonov and Gliebov on position two instead.
You are one of the most emotional coaches in Superleague. Is it easy to get on well with your team leaders, who probably didnt use to face such way of communication with coach?
While searching for the players for my team, I made an accent not just on the players skills, but also on their human qualities. I do agree that Sasa Obradovic (agency: Beo Basket ) is not an easy coach; basis of my philosophy is every-day work on the highest possible level. I demand of the players to fight till the end. Thats why selecting players for the team I pay attention to the character of the player, I try to understand does he have a core that will give him enough strength to stand the pressure. Believe me, this summer there were a lot of famous names who wanted to come to Donetsk, but I refused them because of the fact I wasnt sure that they would be ready for that kind of pressure, that they had spirit of the fighters and character of the winners. Now we are almost in the middle of the season and I can say without any doubts that I made no mistakes in my choice. We have true fighters in BC Donetsk. It can be either Curry or Kovalenko, all of them do their best both at practice and in game.
You used to say a lot of times that for you most important thing in game is defense. Will you agree that well-known phrase Offense wins games and defense wins titles is now getting out of date? It was offense that brought Eurobasket title to Spain national team and even Gravelines is known as typical fast-break team
Modern basketball is universal, and I really doubt that you will disagree that offense starts with good rebound and rebound is a result of good defense. I accept that maybe last year my teams offense was not like somebody wanted to see it. This summer while building new season roster I kept that in mind and now we are one of the most scoring teams in Superleague.
Can you say that you are satisfied with the roster you have today? Or you still dont refuse the idea to have six foreign players in your team?
You will never find a coach who would mind to have one more player in roster. Me and teams management constantly keep under control players market and we will make a decision to take one more foreigner only in case of top level player appear on market.
KK Buducnost Voli Podgorica head coach Ilias Zouros has announced at the press conference that Marcus Williams (191-G-85, college: Connecticut) is no longer a member of the team. 'Marcus Williams is no longer a member of our team. This is a decision that we have reached all together, the entire team. With his attitude on the court during the games, as well as practices, Marcus failed to show enough respect towards the club, the jersey, player towards all,' Zouros told. Marcus Williams p... [read more]
'Marcus Williams is no longer a member of our team. This is a decision that we have reached all together, the entire team. With his attitude on the court during the games, as well as practices, Marcus failed to show enough respect towards the club, the jersey, player towards all,' Zouros told.
Marcus Williams played 27 games in the ABA League this season. His stats average was 10.3 points, 6.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds per contest.
The decision came two days before the second game of the semi-final series of the ABA League season against Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd, with home court clash awaiting the Podgorica side.
Valencia join Unicaja in championship series - 5 days ago
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Valencia - Hapoel J-M 90-75 Valencia entered EuroCup Finals. They rallied past Hapoel Jerusalem in the decisive third game to join Unicaja in the championship series. The game was mostly controlled by Valencia Basket. Hapoel Jerusalem managed to win fourth quarter 25-15. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. It was a great evening for Montenegrin Bojan Dubljevic (205-91, agency: BeoBasket) who led his team to a victory scoring 14 points and 7 rebounds. Guar... [read more]
Valencia entered EuroCup Finals. They rallied past Hapoel Jerusalem in the decisive third game to join Unicaja in the championship series. The game was mostly controlled by Valencia Basket. Hapoel Jerusalem managed to win fourth quarter 25-15. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. It was a great evening for Montenegrin Bojan Dubljevic (205-91, agency: BeoBasket) who led his team to a victory scoring 14 points and 7 rebounds. Guard Rafael Martinez (190-82) helped adding 11 points and 4 assists. Five Valencia Basket players scored in double figures. Valencia Basket's coach used an eleven-player rotation which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. The best for the losing side was American point guard Curtis Jerrells (185-87, college: Baylor, agency: Stealth Sport) with 19 points and the other American import power forward Amare Stoudemire (208-82) scored 17 points. Top scorers: Valencia: F.San Emeterio 15+4ast, B.Dubljevic 14+7reb, L.Sikma 12+4reb+3ast, R.Sato 12+2reb, R.Martinez 11+4reb+4ast, P.Oriola 10+3reb+1ast Hapoel J-M: C.Jerrells 19+1reb+1ast, A.Stoudemire 17+3reb, B.Timor 9+2ast, Y.Halperin 8+3reb+3ast, L.Eliyahu 8+5reb+3ast, S.Jones 6+3reb
Round 2 of Semi-Finals. Unicaja are the first finalists - 10 days ago
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Unicaja - Lokomotiv 74-63 Unicaja overcame Lokomotiv at home court to sweep the semifinal series. The game was mostly controlled by Unicaja Malaga. Lokomotiv managed to win second period 13-10. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. 27 personal fouls committed by Lokomotiv helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Serbian point guard Nemanja Nedovic (191-91, agency: BeoBasket) scored 21 points and 4 assists to lead the charge for the winners a... [read more]
Unicaja overcame Lokomotiv at home court to sweep the semifinal series. The game was mostly controlled by Unicaja Malaga. Lokomotiv managed to win second period 13-10. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. 27 personal fouls committed by Lokomotiv helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. Serbian point guard Nemanja Nedovic (191-91, agency: BeoBasket) scored 21 points and 4 assists to lead the charge for the winners and American point guard Kyle Fogg (190-90, college: Arizona) chipped in 16 points during the contest. American forward Kevin Jones (206-89, college: W.Virginia) responded with a double-double by scoring 17 points and 10 rebounds and guard Evgenii Baburin (190-87) scored 12 points. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Top scorers: Unicaja: N.Nedovic 21+1reb+4ast, K.Fogg 16+3reb+2ast, A.Omic 10+6reb, D.Diez 9+3reb, J.Brooks 7+6reb, C.Suarez 6+6reb+1ast Lokomotiv: K.Jones 17+10reb, E.Baburin 12+2reb+1ast, M.Janning 9+2ast, T.Rochestie 7+1reb+5ast, I.Vougioukas 6+8reb, M.Collins 5+3reb+5ast
Hapoel Jerusalem outgunned Valencia to force the decisive third game in the series. The hosts were ahead by 4 points but lost the second period ending it with a 4-point deficit before their 26-9 run, which allowed them to win the game. Hapoel Jerusalem made 16-of-20 charity shots (80.0 percent) during the game. It was a great shooting night for Hapoel Jerusalem especially from behind the arc, where they had solid 52.4 percentage. They brought some defensive toughness making 7 blocks. American point guard Curtis Jerrells (185-87, college: Baylor, agency: Stealth Sport) notched 17 points and 5 assists to lead the effort and the other American import swingman Tarence Kinsey (202-84, college: S.Carolina) supported him with 18 points. Even 22 points and 5 rebounds by guard Rafael Martinez (190-82) did not help to save the game for Valencia Basket. Montenegrin Bojan Dubljevic (205-91, agency: BeoBasket) added 5 points and 9 rebounds for the guests. Valencia Basket's coach rotated ten players in this game, but that didn't help. Top scorers: Hapoel J-M: T.Kinsey 18+2reb+2ast, C.Jerrells 17+4reb+5ast, Y.Halperin 11+3reb+3ast, A.Stoudemire 9+8reb, B.Timor 8+2reb, T.Peterson 7+4reb+3ast Valencia: R.Martinez 22+5reb+1ast, P.Oriola 12+2reb+1ast, W.Thomas 10+3reb, F.San Emeterio 7+3reb+1ast, B.Dubljevic 5+9reb+1ast, L.Sikma 4+3reb+2ast
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