Dusan Sakota (209-SF-86) former Panathinaikos player spoke to Eurobasket.com:
With scale 1-5 rate the situation in Oostende and tell us few things about.
Payments: 5 Everything in Oostende concerning the payments was 100% professional and on time.
Facilities: 4 Everything in and around the gym was great, except for one detail that I didn't like personally, which is that the weight room was ten minutes by car from the gym, so that makes it a little harder to work out during the season as you'd like.
Fans: 4 Although the gym is rarely full, the fans of Oostende are very supportive of their players and coaches, and always bring a positive energy and atmosphere to the game!
League: 3 Even though many people underestimate the level of basketball played in Belgium, I give it a 3 because of three reasons. Very poor TV and media coverage, very low level of refereeing, and most importantly, very few teams participating in the league (only 9)
City: 5 A great, cozy city by the sea, that makes every basketball player feel comfortable in Belgium, making it that much easier to have your mind only on basketball
Are you happy in Russia now, what plans you have for the new season? Do you want to return to Greece?
I was very glad that I signed for Enisey, Russia for the remainder of the season in January, since it was a great experience to play and live in Siberia for 4 months, and also I believe it was a tremendous help for me to get back on my old level before the injury physically and mentally, by playing in one of the toughest leagues in Europe against teams such as CSKA and Khimki. Of course, I would love to one day return and play in Greece since I have spent 18 years of my life there, but for now my biggest basketball wish and goal is to try and return to the Italian League.
What advice you give to those who have a serious injury to overcome, what you did in your case?
The advice I would give to players overcoming hard injuries is mainly two: DON'T GIVE UP and HAVE A LOT OF PATIENCE! I know for a fact that the hardest possible thing a basketball player has to do in his career is to force himself to practice and rehabilitate as fast as possible, especially when no one is around. Its always easier when there is a coach or a trainer on top of your head telling you what and how to do it, but when you are alone in that gym, thats when you really have to show your love and devotion to the game of basketball, as well as your personal zeal and will to overcome all obstacles in front of you and get back to doing what you love most.. PLAYING!
Who was the best teammate ever had in your career so far.
In my opinion the best teammate player-wise that I ever had would be Diamantidis.
Do you follow the Greek finals? Whats your prediction, Panathinaikos or Olympiakos?
Of course, I am closely following the finals of the Greek League this year. OSFP is bringing a tremendous combination of energy and confidence on the court, especially after winning the Euroleague in a heroic fashion, which makes it very difficult to beat them in any aspect of the game. they dominate on the offensive rebounds, they get many steals and fly to the transition game, and their percentages are sky high due to their incredible confidence, combined with a great desire and wish to finally become champions after 15 years! However, you can never underestimate the heart of the champion, and also since I have spent 5 years of my life there, I know for a fact that PAO is not going to give up without a great fight, using maybe the only advantage that they have over their opponents in this moment...their vast experience in playing games with no tomorrow and winning! So, basically I believe that the best thing to do is not make any predictions but sit back and enjoy the show!!
BC Nizhny Novgorod (VTB) agreed terms with experienced 34-year old American swingman Dijon Thompson (201-88kg-83, college: UCLA). It is actually his comeback to BC Nizhny Novgorod as he has played here before. Thompson just played at Hapoel Jerusalem in Israeli Winner League. He managed to play in three leagues in two countries this year. In 6 Winner League games he had 5.2ppg and 2.8rpg. Thompson also played earlier that season for Petrolina AEK Larnaca in Cypriot league where in two Win... [read more]
BC Nizhny Novgorod (VTB) agreed terms with experienced 34-year old American swingman Dijon Thompson (201-88kg-83, college: UCLA). It is actually his comeback to BC Nizhny Novgorod as he has played here before. Thompson just played at Hapoel Jerusalem in Israeli Winner League. He managed to play in three leagues in two countries this year. In 6 Winner League games he had 5.2ppg and 2.8rpg. Thompson also played earlier that season for Petrolina AEK Larnaca in Cypriot league where in two Winner League games he recorded 6.5ppg and 4.5rpg. He also played 2 games in Basketball Champions League where he averaged 7.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg and 2.0spg. In 2005 Thompson was drafted by New York Knicks (NBA) in second round (54th overall). The former Univ.of Calif.at Los Angeles standoutis in his twelfth (!!!) season in pro basketball. Thompson's team won Cyprus Supercup. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-EuroCup 1st Team back in 2014. Thompson is quite experienced player. His career allowed him to visit three different continents, while he played in eight different countries. Thompson tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia and of course North America. He has played previously professionally in France (ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket), Germany (ALBA Berlin), Ukraine (Azovmash), NBA (Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors), Russia (Spartak St.Petersburg), D-League (N.Mexico T.) and Vietnam (Saigon Heat). On Thompson:
A versatile performer, he can play both forward and guard.
Shawn Jones gets MVP of the Week award for EuroCup (Top 16) - 6 days ago
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American Shawn Jones (203-F-92) put on an amazing game in the last round for Hapoel J-M and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 2 (Top 16). The 24-year old forward had the game-high 21 points adding nine rebounds for Hapoel J-M in his team's victory, helping them to crush N.Novgorod (1-1) with 22-point margin 98-76. The game was not the highest importance and did not have significant influence on top of the standings. Hapoel J-M was forced-out from th... [read more]
American Shawn Jones (203-F-92) put on an amazing game in the last round for Hapoel J-M and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 2 (Top 16). The 24-year old forward had the game-high 21 points adding nine rebounds for Hapoel J-M in his team's victory, helping them to crush N.Novgorod (1-1) with 22-point margin 98-76. The game was not the highest importance and did not have significant influence on top of the standings. Hapoel J-M was forced-out from the top positions in EuroCup. But it's just the very beginning of the Second Stage and Hapoel J-M won both games without losing any. It's too early to say anything as the standings can be changed completely after next round. It was one of impressive evenings for Jones as usually he does not deliver so high stats.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 27-year old American guard DeAndre Kane (193-G-89, agency: BeoBasket) of N.Novgorod. Kane impressed basketball fans with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Bad luck as N.Novgorod lost that game 76-98 to Hapoel J-M (2-0). The Second Stage is still at the very beginning and this lost game may not be such crucial, of course if they start win the games. Let's wait for the next round. Kane is a newcomer at N.Novgorod and it seems he did not have too much trouble to become one of team's leaders. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 17.6ppg (#6). His other stats are also decent: 7.8rpg and 4.0apg.
The third best performed player last round was Latvian Janis Timma (201-SF-92) of Zenit. Timma scored 27 points and grabbed six rebounds. He was a key player of Zenit, leading his team to a 88-79 win against Lietuvos rytas (0-2). Zenit needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 1 victory and 1 lost game. Timma has a very solid season. In 7 games in EuroCup he scored 16.6ppg. He also has 4.7rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 72.4% and 3PT: 40.7%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Ksistof Lavrinovic (209-C-79) of Lietkabelis - 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Raymar Morgan (203-F/C-88) of Ratiopharm - 27 points and 3 rebounds 6. Drew Gordon (205-F-90) of Lietuvos rytas - 16 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists 7. Bojan Dubljevic (205-PF-91) of Valencia - 15 points and 8 rebounds 8. Curtis Jerrells (185-PG-87) of Hapoel J-M - 21 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists 9. Lior Eliyahu (205-F-85) of Hapoel J-M - 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists 10. Kevin Jones (206-F-89) of Lokomotiv - 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 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)
Group E Lokomotiv - UCAM Murcia 70-60 The most crucial game of the last round was a loss of Spanish UCAM Murcia (1-1) in Kuban. Visitors were defeated by Russian Lokomotiv (2-0) 70-60. UCAM Murcia was ahead by 2 points at the halftime before a 24-8 third quarter run of Lokomotiv. They dominated down low during the game scoring 42 of its points in the paint compared to UCAM Murcia's 10. UCAM Murcia was plagued by 25 personal fouls down the stretch. American forward Kevin Jones (206-89, c... [read more]
The most crucial game of the last round was a loss of Spanish UCAM Murcia (1-1) in Kuban. Visitors were defeated by Russian Lokomotiv (2-0) 70-60. UCAM Murcia was ahead by 2 points at the halftime before a 24-8 third quarter run of Lokomotiv. They dominated down low during the game scoring 42 of its points in the paint compared to UCAM Murcia's 10. UCAM Murcia was plagued by 25 personal fouls down the stretch. American forward Kevin Jones (206-89, college: W.Virginia) orchestrated the victory by scoring 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. The other American import guard Matt Janning (196-88, college: Northeastern, agency: Pro Partner Sports Management) contributed with 7 points and 5 assists for the winners. Power forward Jose Angel Antelo (206-87) replied with 16 points and 8 rebounds and Argentinian point guard Facundo Campazzo (181-91) added 14 points and 4 assists in the effort for UCAM Murcia. Both coaches tested many bench players and allowed the starting five to rest. Lokomotiv will play against Baloncesto Fuenlabrada in Madrid in the next round, which may be the game of the day. UCAM Murcia will play on the road against Gran Canaria in Las Palmas and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Lokomotiv: K.Jones 15+9reb+4ast, A.Zubkov 9+2reb+2ast, V.Ivlev 7+3reb+1ast, I.Vougioukas 7+7reb+2ast, D.Khvostov 7+1reb, M.Janning 7+4reb+5ast UCAM Murcia: J.Angel Antelo 16+8reb, F.Campazzo 14+4reb+4ast, B.Baron 9+1reb+3ast, N.Radovic 8+2reb+1ast, V.Faverani 6+1reb, V.Benite 4+2reb+1ast
An exciting game was played in Madrid. Baloncesto Fuenlabrada faced Gran Canaria. Host Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (1-1) defeated guests from Las Palmas (0-2) 85-75. The hosts trailed by 3 points at the halftime before their 36-23 charge in the second half, which allowed them to win the game. The best player for the winners was Mexican guard Francisco Cruz (190-89, college: Wyoming) who scored 16 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Latvian power forward Rolands Smits (207-95) chipped in 15 points. Five Baloncesto Fuenlabrada players scored in double figures. American-Slovakian swingman Kyle Kuric (193-89, college: Louisville) produced 21 points and FYR Macedonian-American point guard Bo McCalebb (178-85, college: New Orleans) added 11 points and 5 assists respectively for the guests. Gran Canaria's coach let to play twelve players, but that didn't help to avoid defeat in this game. Baloncesto Fuenlabrada will face Lokomotiv in Kuban in the next round and it will be for sure the game of the week. Gran Canaria will play at home against UCAM Murcia and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Fuenlabrada: L.Hakanson 16+2reb, F.Cruz 16+5reb+6ast, R.Smits 15+4reb, I.O'Leary 14+3reb, I.Paunic 13+3reb+1ast, B.Sekulic 6+7reb+2ast Gran Canaria: K.Kuric 21+2reb, B.McCalebb 11+4reb+5ast, R.O'Neale 9+4reb+1ast, S.Salin 8+1reb, A.Pasecniks 5+2reb, A.Oliver 4+3reb+4ast
The biggest surprise of round 2 in Eurocup took place in Muenchen where host German Bayern Muenchen (2-0) beat Russian Khimky (1-1) 90-74 on Wednesday evening. The hosts trailed by 3 points at the halftime before their 52-33 charge in the second half, which allowed them to win the game. Bayern Muenchen made 18-of-19 free shots (94.7 percent) during the game. Bayern Muenchen outrebounded Khimky 40-27 including a 27-14 advantage in defensive rebounds. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 21 assists. The best player for the winners was American center Devin Booker (205-91, college: Clemson) who scored 14 points and 7 rebounds. The other American import Bryce Taylor (194-86, agency: BeoBasket) chipped in 15 points. Four Bayern Muenchen players scored in double figures. Guard Alexey Shved (198-88, agency: Alti Sport) produced 16 points and American-Georgian point guard Jacob Pullen (184-89, college: Kansas St.) added 17 points respectively for the guests. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Khimky will play next round against strong ratiopharm Ulm trying to make it back to the top of the standings. Bayern Muenchen will try to continue on its current victory against Lietkabelis in Panevezys. Top scorers: B.Muenchen: B.Taylor 15+4reb+1ast, D.Booker 14+7reb+3ast, V.Lucic 14+1reb, R.Redding 13+2reb+3ast, D.Barthel 10+6reb+2ast, M.Kleber 9+7reb+3ast Khimky: J.Pullen 17+3ast, A.Shved 16+2reb+3ast, E.Rowland 9+1reb+1ast, M.Todorovic 9+5reb, R.Hummel 9+6reb, S.Ilnitskiy 7+8reb+1ast
A very close game took place in Panevezys between Lithuanian Lietkabelis and German ratiopharm Ulm. Lietkabelis (1-1) got a very close home victory over ratiopharm Ulm (0-2). Lietkabelis managed to escape with a 2-point win 86-84 on Wednesday evening. The hosts trailed by 4 points after three quarters before their 26-20 charge, which allowed them to win the game. Lietkabelis made 26-of-31 free shots (83.9 percent) during the game. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 25 assists. Guard Mindaugas Lukauskis (198-79) scored 21 points to lead the charge for the winners and center Ksistof Lavrinovic (209-79) chipped in 19 points during the contest. American power forward Raymar Morgan (203-88, college: Michigan St.) responded with 27 points (on 11-of-13 shooting from the field) and his fellow American import forward Augustine Rubit (201-89, college: S.Alabama) scored 18 points and 9 rebounds. Four Lietkabelis and five ratiopharm Ulm players scored in double figures. ratiopharm Ulm's coach tried various players' combinations and tested in total eleven players in this game, but that didn't help. Lietkabelis will meet Bayern Muenchen on the road in the next round and it will be for sure the game of the week. ratiopharm Ulm will play against Khimky and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Lietkabelis: M.Lukauskis 21+2reb+3ast, K.Lavrinovic 19+4reb+2ast, B.Madgen 12+5reb+2ast, G.Leonavicius 11+3reb+1ast, L.Williams 8+7ast, Z.Skucas 6+4reb+4ast Ratiopharm: R.Morgan 27+3reb, A.Rubit 18+9reb, B.Hobbs 13+1reb+7ast, T.Braun 11+6reb+2ast, C.Babb 10+4reb+6ast, B.Rohwer 5+2reb
Hapoel Jerusalem used a home court advantage and crushed the opponent from Nizhny Novgorod 98-76 on Wednesday night. The hosts trailed by 5 points after first quarter, but they stormed back to get the 11-point lead at the halftime and eventually won the game 98-76. Hapoel Jerusalem dominated down low during the game scoring 68 of its points in the paint compared to BC Nizhny Novgorod's 32. They outrebounded BC Nizhny Novgorod 43-24 including 28 on the defensive glass. Hapoel Jerusalem looked well-organized offensively handing out 27 assists. The best player for the winners was forward Lior Eliyahu (205-85) who scored 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. American forward Shawn Jones (203-92, college: Middle Tenn.St.) chipped in 21 points and 9 rebounds (on 8-of-9 shooting from the field). American guard DeAndre Kane (193-89, college: Iowa St., agency: BeoBasket) produced 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists and Estonian Siim-Sander Vene (201-90) added 18 points respectively for the guests. The winner was already known earlier in the game, so both coaches allowed to play the bench players saving starting five for next games. Hapoel Jerusalem will face Zenit in Saint Petersburg in the next round, which may be the game of the day. BC Nizhny Novgorod will play at home against Lietuvos rytas and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Hapoel J-M: C.Jerrells 21+4reb+5ast, S.Jones 21+9reb, L.Eliyahu 19+7reb+4ast, A.Stoudemire 8+5reb, J.Dyson 7+2reb+3ast, T.Kinsey 7+4reb N.Novgorod: D.Kane 19+8reb+4ast, S.Vene 18+4reb+3ast, K.Boynton 12+1reb+5ast, S.Marikhin 7+2reb+1ast, I.Popov 6+3reb+1ast, M.Grigoryev 5+1reb
Very important is a road loss of Lithuanian Lietuvos rytas (0-2) against Russian Zenit (1-1) on Wednesday night. Visiting Lietuvos rytas were defeated by Zenit in a tough game in Saint Petersburg 79-88. The hosts started the game with a very strong first quarter 27-16. But Lietuvos rytas won second period 24-16. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Zenit players were unselfish on offense dishing 26 assists. They brought some defensive toughness making 8 blocks. Latvian Janis Timma (201-92) notched 27 points and 6 rebounds to lead the effort and Serbian guard Stefan Markovic (196-88) supported him with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Even a double-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists by American forward Drew Gordon (205-90, college: N.Mexico) did not help to save the game for Lietuvos rytas. American-Georgian point guard Corey Fisher (186-88, college: Villanova) added 15 points and 5 assists for the guests. Both coaches allowed to play bench players saving starting five for next games. Zenit's next round opponent will be Hapoel Jerusalem at home and it will be for sure the game of the week. Lietuvos rytas will play against BC Nizhny Novgorod and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Zenit: J.Timma 27+6reb+3ast, P.Sergeev 14+2ast, K.Landry 13+6reb+2ast, S.Markovic 9+7reb+8ast, S.Karasev 9+2reb+1ast, R.Toolson 8+1reb+2ast Lietuvos rytas: D.Gordon 16+11reb+4ast, C.Fisher 15+2reb+5ast, R.Giedraitis 10+1reb, J.Jucikas 9+1reb, D.Logan 7+2reb+1ast, D.Gailius 6+6reb+3ast
The game between closely ranked teams ended with Spanish Valencia Basket's (2-0) home victory over German ALBA Berlin (0-2) 85-80 on Wednesday. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning the initial quarter 24-20. But ALBA Berlin won second period 23-22. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. They outrebounded ALBA Berlin 31-20 including 20 on the defensive glass. ALBA Berlin was plagued by 24 personal fouls down the stretch. The best player for the winners was Montenegrin Bojan Dubljevic (205-91, agency: BeoBasket) who scored 15 points and 8 rebounds. Guard Rafael Martinez (190-82) chipped in 12 points and 4 assists. Four Valencia Basket players scored in double figures. Valencia Basket's coach used an eleven-player rotation in such tough game. Turkish-German guard Engin Atsur (190-84, college: N.Carolina St., agency: BeoBasket) produced 12 points and 4 assists and Serbian swingman Dragan Milosavljevic (198-89) added 8 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists respectively for the guests. Valencia Basket will face Unicaja Malaga on the road in the next round and it will be for sure the game of the week. ALBA Berlin will play against Cedevita and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Valencia: B.Dubljevic 15+8reb, F.San Emeterio 13+4reb+1ast, R.Martinez 12+2reb+4ast, J.Sastre Morro 10+1reb+2ast, G.Vives 10+3reb+3ast, P.Oriola 9+1reb ALBA: E.Atsur 12+2reb+4ast, C.English 12+4reb, E.Kikanovic 12+2reb, I.Akpinar 11+1reb, T.Gaffney 8+2reb, D.Milosavljevic 8+5reb+5ast
Rather expected game when Croatian Cedevita (0-2) was defeated on the road by Spanish Unicaja Malaga (2-0) 73-59 on Wednesday. The hosts trailed by 4 points after first quarter, but they stormed back to get the 3-point lead at the halftime and eventually won the game 73-59. Unicaja Malaga forced 19 Cedevita turnovers. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 21 assists. The best player for the winners was Serbian point guard Nemanja Nedovic (191-91, agency: BeoBasket) who scored 12 points and 7 assists. American point guard Kyle Fogg (190-90, college: Arizona) chipped in 11 points and 6 rebounds. American point guard Ryan Boatright (183-92, college: Connecticut) produced 19 points and his fellow American import guard Ra'shad James (188-90, college: Kaiser) added 18 points respectively for the guests. Both coaches allowed to play bench players saving starting five for next games. Unicaja Malaga will face Valencia Basket at home in the next round and it will be for sure the game of the week. Cedevita will play against ALBA Berlin and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Unicaja: A.Waczynski 17+2reb+1ast, N.Nedovic 12+2reb+7ast, K.Fogg 11+6reb+3ast, D.Musli 8+4reb+1ast, C.Suarez 6+4reb+4ast, J.Brooks 5+3reb+1ast Cedevita: R.Boatright 19+3reb+2ast, R.James 18+3reb+3ast, T.Katic 7+3reb+2ast, L.Babic 4+2reb+1ast, J.Shurna 4+3reb, M.Arapovic 2+3reb+1ast
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