In their first-ever EuroBasket appearance, two years ago in Lithuania, Georgia surprised and finished tournament in 11th position. Two out of four key players from previous European Championships, Zaza Pachulia (210-C-84) and Tornike Shengelia (203-PF-91), will have to miss this year's edition of EuroBasket, but Manuchar Markoishvili (196-SF-86) and Viktor Sanikidze (203-F-86) are back and ready for another good tournament. Viktor Sanikidze was excellent in Lithuania - averaged 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game! He had great numbers in last summer's qualifications as well - 13.6 points and 9.1 rebounds. Eurobasket.com talked to him ahead of first game of Georgian national team in Slovenia.
Georgia didn't qualify for European Championships from 1993 to 2009, but this will be second EuroBasket in a row for you and your national team. Also, number of Georgian players in top leagues is increasing. Could you explain rise of Georgian basketball, is there any secret?
There is no secret, there is one big reason for our results and this reason is that 7 guys from our national team have been together for 10 years. We know each other very well, we are like brothers and we have improved a lot as players thanks to our performances in top level leagues.
When have you started with preparations for EuroBasket and where did you spend your preparation period?
We started the preparation in Georgia on July 8, working with our athletic trainer. Later we moved to Slovenia (in Podcetrtek) where we have spent two weeks. Following we have had friendly games in Italy, France, Israel and Lithuania.
Georgia played 10 friendly games, won four and lost six, are you satisfied with team's performance in test games?
We lost 6 games, but one we lost was against Lithuania in overtime, which is great success for our team. We have won against Bosnia, Serbia and twice against Israel. I think we had very good results and we are really confident right now.
What you need to improve in your game in Slovenia?
I think we are going in the right direction as we showed during friendly games, we just need to limit out mistakes and always play the same way.
Unfortunately, Zaza Pachulia and Tornike Shengelia will not play, but you will have Ricky Hickman, could you compare this team with team that played in Lithuania two years ago?
Zaza and Toko are big absences for us and forced us to change our game plan; we play much faster now and it goes to our advantage. We have Ricky; he is great player and he is helping us a lot. We also have two young players, Duda Sanadze and Otar Pkhakadze, that are doing a great job coming from the bench; they are helping us a lot and we need their help.
Your coach in national team is Igor Kokoskov , long-time assistant coach in NBA. What is it like to work with him?
He has been with us for the last 5 years, so we are very comfortable with him. He's a great coach, he is teaching us a lot and we are showing very good results under his guidance. The job he has done with our national team over the past years is going to be appreciated in Georgia forever; we are really thankful to him.
Georgia will play in Group C, how do you rate your rivals - Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland and Czech Republic?
For sure Spain is the best team. Slovenia is playing at home so they have a huge advantage against all teams; Croatia is big team too, but we can compete against everybody. Poland and Czech Republic are both really tough teams and it's not going to be easy to play with them too.
Georgia finished 11th at 2011 EuroBasket, what is your goal for upcoming tournament and which final position would satisfy you?
Regardless of the fact that we are missing two players, we have to reach at least the same result we had at previous EuroBasket; that's our goal.
You will play at European Championship as free agent as you didn't accept new contract offer of Siena. I know that EuroBasket is currently the most important for you, but are you already thinking about new club season? Where would you like to play next season, do you have any favourite league?
All I'm thinking right now is the national team, I am focused at having great performances at the European Championship. I have had some offers and various interest from different teams and after the end of the championship I will decide based on what will be the best for my future and my career.
Player of the Year: Nando De Colo (196-SG-87) of CSKA Eurobasket.com All-Europe Point Guard of the Year: Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) of CSKA Eurobasket.com All-Europe Shooting Guard of the Year: Nando De Colo (196-SG-87) of CSKA Eurobasket.com All-Europe Small Forward of the Year: Rudy Fernandez (197-SF-85) of Real Madrid Eurobasket.com All-Europe Power Forward of the Year: Jan Vesely (213-C/F-90) of Fenerbahce Istanbul Eurobasket.com All-Europe Center of the Year: Anthony Randolph (... [read more]
Traditionally at the end of each year Eurobasket announces the European awards
for last year.
Eurobasket has a network of almost 300 correspondents, while most of them are
located in Europe and participated in preparing the ranking below.
We have the policy of not involving the fans as it may influence the final
ranking and instead of that we rely on the opinions of experts.
The votes were made in two categories: All-Europe and All-Europeans.
All-Europe ranking applies to the players, who played in European leagues in
last (15-16) and this (16-17) season, so it may apply also to non-European
players, who played as imports in Europe.
All-Europeans category applies only to Europeans, but also these, who played
overseas (mostly in NBA).
This year, for All-Europe, votes were dominated by CSKA's backcourt duo - Nando
De Colo (196-SG-87)
who led Russian powerhouse to Euroleague Title last season. Our correspondents
selected French combo as Best Player in 2016. The Regular Season MVP was a
leading scorer of Euroleague with 19.4ppg and had great performance in the
championship game at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany (when scored 10 of
his game-high 22 points), and earned Final Four MVP honors. He also represented
French National Team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (5 games:
15.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-5 (1.6spg)).
For the second time (previously in 2010) Milos
named best Point Guard of the Year. Serbian player finally earned an Euroleague
title in his 5th season in CSKA. Teodosic played great in Rio, where he led
Serbian National Team to the final and named All-Olympic Games 1st Team.
Best Small Forward award went to Rudy
of Real Madrid. In his 5th season he is still their key player in both
Euroleague and Spanish Liga Endesa. He was also one of the leaders of Spanish
National Team at Olympic Games in Rio where he averaged 11.4ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.0apg
and 2.0spg. Rudy was already named best SF back in 2008, 2013 and 2014.
Czech athletic phenom Jan
was once again selected as Best Power Forward of the Year. Thanks to his great
performance during the whole year he helped Fenerbahce to reach Euroleague Final
(they lost to CSKA in thriller OT) and Turkish League trophy.
Best Center Award went to versatile american big man - Anthony
of Real Madrid. Last season he was a leader of an amazing Lokomotiv Kuban team
that managed to reach Euroleague Final Four for the first time in club history
(they emilminated FC Barcelona on their way). In summer he was signed by Real
There could only be one Coach of the Year - Dimitris
finally brought Euroleague title to CSKA.
of the New York Knicks was named Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Player of the
Year. Kristaps is as exciting as any young player in the NBA, has a ton of
potential. The No. 4 overall pick of the 2015 Draft has improved immensely and
is already among league's stars.
Both backcourt positions were "reserved" for CSKA duo - Milos
Nando De Colo.
At Small Forward position we have Giannis
of Milwaukee Bucks. The "Greek Freak" at just 22 years old is proving to be a
special one, like no other, already one of the league's best players. The
stat-stuffing phenom is leading the Bucks in points, rebounds, assists, steals,
blocks, minutes and many other aspects of the game.
At Center position we have Rudy
of Utah Jazz. One of the best athletes in the NBA is still improving his game,
currently averaging double-double in his 3rd year in the league. He also
represented French National Team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
where in 5 games averaged 5.4ppg, 6.2rpg and 2.0bpg.
All-Europe - only players, who played in Europe in 2016 (both domestic and
Eurobasket.com All-Europe Player of the Year:Nando
De Colo (196-SG-87)
Eurobasket.com All-Europe Point Guard of the Year:Milos
Eurobasket.com All-Europe Shooting Guard of the Year: Nando
De Colo (196-SG-87)
Eurobasket.com All-Europe Small Forward of the Year:Rudy
of Real Madrid
Eurobasket.com All-Europe Power Forward of the Year:Jan
of Fenerbahce Istanbul
Eurobasket.com All-Europe Center of the Year:Anthony
of Real Madrid
Eurobasket.com All-Europe Coach of the Year:Dimitris
All-Europeans - only Europeans, including these, who played in Europe or
overseas in 2016
Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Player of the Year: Kristaps
of NY Knicks
Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Point Guard of the Year:Milos
Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Shooting Guard of the Year:Nando
De Colo (196-SG-87)
Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Small Forward of the Year:Giannis
of Milwaukee Bucks
Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Power Forward of the Year:Kristaps
of NY Knicks
Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Center of the Year: Rudy
of Utah Jazz
The EuroBasket 2017 will be the 40th edition of the EuroBasket championship that is organized by FIBA Europe. Tournament will be hosted by four countries: Israel, Romania, Finland and Turkey, and tournament will begin on 31. August and it will be played until 17. September&n... [read more]
The EuroBasket 2017 will be the 40th edition of the EuroBasket championship that is organized by FIBA Europe. Tournament will be hosted by four countries: Israel, Romania, Finland and Turkey, and tournament will begin on 31. August and it will be played until 17. September 2017. A number of 24 qualified teams will play in groups of six; the four best teams in these groups advancing to a single-elimination knockout stage.
Group A: Poland, Greece, France, Finland, Iceland, Slovenia Group B: Ukraine, Israel, Lithuania, Georgia, Italy, Germany Group C: Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Montenegro, Romania, Hungary Group D: United Kingdom, Russia, Serbia, Latvia, Turkey, Belgium
One of the rules was that host countries can choose partner-nation. The partnerships bring together Finland and Iceland, Israel and Lithuania, Romania and Hungary, and Turkey and Russia.
FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Draw seedings announced - 4 months ago
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The official draw seedings for FIBA EuroBasket 2017 have been released prior to Tuesday's Draw. In Istanbul at 16.00 CET Tuesday, the 24 teams that will play in next summer's Final Round will be drawn into four groups of six teams each. The seedings for the Draw are based on the Competition Regulations of FIBA Europe, taking into account the results of the participating nations in their last FIBA Europe competition (s). The seedings are as follows: Seed 1: Spain, Lithuania, France, Serbia... [read more]
The official draw seedings for FIBA EuroBasket 2017 have been released prior to Tuesday's Draw. In Istanbul at 16.00 CET Tuesday, the 24 teams that will play in next summer's Final Round will be drawn into four groups of six teams each. The seedings for the Draw are based on the Competition Regulations of FIBA Europe, taking into account the results of the participating nations in their last FIBA Europe competition (s). The seedings are as follows: Seed 1: Spain, Lithuania, France, Serbia Seed 2: Greece, Italy, Czech Republic, Latvia Seed 3: Croatia, Israel, Turkey, Finland Seed 4: Russia, Slovenia, Hungary, Georgia Seed 5: Germany, Belgium, Poland, Montenegro Seed 6: Iceland, Great Britain, Ukraine, Romania.
The host federations had the right to choose one partner federation, who will be automatically drawn into the same group. The partnerships bring together Finland and Iceland; Israel and Lithuania; Romania and Hungary; and Turkey and Russia. The Draw Ceremony can be followed live on YouTube.com/FIBA from 15.00 CET. FIBA EuroBasket 2017 will take place from 31 August to 17 September and will be co-hosted by Finland, Israel, Romania and Turkey. Courtesy of: fiba.com
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