Nestora, initially let me thank you for your precious time to spent with us for this short interview in Eurobasket.com
Eurobasket: So firstly let me say Congratulations for a very good season in two teams this year as you left the Greek league somewhere in February, as the top scorer of the Greek A1 league and right after that you were the main reason of the solid tournament of your next stop, Italys Ass.Pallacanestro Sant' Antimo, a team that remained in the division mainly due to your concrete games in both scoring and rebounding. How do you feel playing in the European courts in compare to the Greek courts? Nestoras Kommatos (203-F-77): Well, the culture in the Basketball courts in Europe is much different than the Greek ones, in the European courts you can see families, kids, nice atmosphere with really great merriment for the athletes as there is not any kind of fear and everybody enjoy the game, both winners and losers. I feel great playing in the European courts and Im honestly very happy every time which a European opportunity given to me to play in some basketball oriented cultures in Europe.
Eurobasket: What are your ambitions as a player having in mind that you have already won a Euroleague back in 2005 with Maccabi Tel Aviv, a Greek cup with Aris Thessaloniki, a local champion in Israel and one Cup in the same country while you have been voted many times as the top man of a number of games and many times as the MVP of the season, do you consider yourself fed up with the trophies and titles or you still have some mood and ambitions to win even more titles today and in the short term future? Nestoras Kommatos: Listen, Im in love with the sport and that is the reason why Im still active and honestly speaking Im not doing bad (laughs), I work very hard every summer and I do some personal trainings over and above my teams training, Im passionate with the game and I want always to win and of course I still have many ambitions for the future and to win more titles especially if I get the chance with a transfer in a team which really has some honest chances to win titles I will be gladly add with my experience to their target as it will be my target too. So, in a few terms Im still full of passion and ambitions to win more and more titles
Eurobasket: You have just reached your 35th year of age but you are like the good old wine (laughs) the older the better, especially this season you did some really amazing things by scoring 40 points against the Euroleague champions of 2011, Panathinaikos and 42 points against the 2012 Euroleague champions team of Olympiakos, you then helped your Italian club to remain in the division as your scoring, defense and rebounding helped them big time. Whats your secret? For how long can you still play in so high level? And how many minutes per game? Nestoras Kommatos: Im working very hard every day, my body is on a great shape, my life is calm, I believe than Im a good professional and that is the reason why I was able to play 38 minutes in the Greek league and 32 minutes in the Italian league, I strongly believe that due to my experience and due to my position in the court I can play some decent basketball in a high level for at least another 2-3 years. I practice a lot, I dont do any exaggerations, I dont drink and im spending quite many hours in the gym, all these elements are helping me to keep up, being fit and play my game so I think that at least 25 quality minutes I can give to any team at this stage without having any problem, of course if my coach wants me to stay more in the court I would gladly do so.
Eurobasket: Have you had any serious injuries in your career? Nestoras Kommatos: I never had any serious injuries in my career and as I was working out very hard all these years I was lucky enough to avoid any serious damages, thats being said in all the 18 years playing professional basketball I had probably the blessings of God and my family
Eurobasket: You have been playing basketball in Greece, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey and Israel most seasons in a very high level, do you have any personal opinion for the French league? Have you ever had any serious offers from France in all these years in the European courts? Do you think you can play in the French league? Nestoras Kommatos: I think that the French Basketball is getting better and better, is a fast break basketball, good Americans, many NBAers, full of passion, many dunks, not so full of tactic (if I may say so) is a physical and powerful style the French style and I need to confess that I like it a lot. If Im not mistaken four years ago I had an offer from a French club (I think it was Villeurbanne) but I had some better financial offer by the Russian club Lokomotiv Rostov so I decided to join forces with Lokomotiv, other than that I never had any other offers from French clubs. I love the French way of playing basketball and I think that I will be a very good match for a French team if there will be any decision to move on my career to France.
Eurobasket: What do you know for the French league in general? Have you had any discussions with your ex team-mate Dimitris Haritopoulos who played in ASVEL this season and went quite decently in the games played? Nestoras Kommatos: As I mentioned before I like the French basketball and I can say from the games of the France National team that is quite difficult and powerful league, Dimitris told me that he has very good memories and the degree of professionalism of the French teams is very high, he was really happy when he was telling me all these, so Im really eager to find out more (laughs)
Eurobasket: So you would have reacted positively in a possible French offer? Nestoras Kommatos: Well, if the offer is good for me and my career and represents what I believe is my part in the game and in the team yes of course, besides France in among the few good leagues I never played and if I have another 2-3 seasons to fulfill my career I would have been more than happy to join forces with a French team..
Eurobasket: From time to to time you have played from the position 2 of the shooting guard and then you moved to the small forward position while in the latest years you do play as a power forward too, which is your favorite post in the court and where do you think you can play better as a natural position? Nestoras Kommatos: My natural position if I can also use this term is the one of small forward but as in the modern basketball the posts are changing I am also a solid power forward and that is the reason why I have quite solid numbers in the rebounds all these seasons, while I can do many other thinks in the court such as defense, assisting and even organizing (in a way) the game of my team spreading my experience to the younger players, do not forget that this season in the Greek courts I had at least 7 team-mates who had more or less half the game than mine so I was their coach in the court too.
Eurobasket: Do you consider yourself as a player a low temper or a calm player? Nestoras Kommatos: Im truly a very clam player even though sometimes my passion and game stress overcomes my calmness, I truly leave each and every game as if its a final and no matter what I want to win it, even if it is a friendly game, so sometimes my passion to win and to help my team and team-mates can be overcoming my calmness but I never in all these 17-18 professional seasons played basketball face any serious incident in the court.
Eurobasket: Nestora, what can you really give in a team other than your experience and which are your strong points? Nestoras Kommatos: I can offer a package of services which includes defense, scoring, experience and wisdom through the years I spent in the courts. Of course it all depends from the Head Coach, I can and will offer whatever he wants, if he wants score I will give it to him if he wants assists, rebounds, defense or whatever I will be there for him and the team, I have always the team over and above my personality in the court.
Eurobasket: Nestora would you like to send a message to the French Basketball and the French basketball lovers and fans? Nestoras Kommatos: Yes, to the French Basketball I want to say keep up the good job, the European basketball needs a good and solid French league, Its nearly a mast for the Basketball to always have strong French basketball and at this stage also financially solid teams, as at this stage and in my homeland this is something which is quite rear. So all the best to the French Basketball, all my wishes with them and to the fans keep doing what you are doing always in decent manners and avoid all these hooliganism which I know you do not have in your country.
Eurobasket: Nestora Thanks a lot for your time Nestoras Kommatos: I want to give my best wishes for your site /www.eurobasket.com/ and keep up the good work and all the best, I also want to say thank you for the honor made to me with this interview
Panathinaikos sign coach Xavier Pascual, ex FC Barcelona - 2 days ago
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Panathinaikos Athens (A1) signed 44-year old Spaniard coach Xavier Pascual. He has coached for the last eleven seasons at FC Barcelona in Spanish Liga Endesa. Pascual helped them to win the Supercup and make to league final. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Spanish ACB Coach of the Year back in 2012 [read more]
Panathinaikos Athens (A1) signed 44-year old Spaniard coach Xavier Pascual to a three-year deal. He has coached for the last eleven seasons at FC Barcelona in Spanish Liga Endesa. Pascual helped them to win the Supercup and make to league final. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Spanish ACB Coach of the Year back in 2012. Pascual has coached also in Spain for Palma Air Europa II.
Mavrokefalidis may be back at Panathinaikos - 2 days ago
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Panathinaikos Athens (A1) is close to sign 32-year old ex-international center Loukas Mavrokefalidis (207-118kg-84) who currently played atAEK Athens. It is actually his comeback to Athens as he has played here before. In two A1 games he had just 2.5ppg, 1.0rpg and 2.0apg this season. The last season Mavrokefalidis played also at AEK Athens where in 32 A1 games he recorded 13.9ppg, 6.4rpg and 2.0apg. He helped them to make it to the semifinals. A very impressive season as he was voted Eur... [read more]
Panathinaikos Athens (A1) is close to sign 32-year old ex-international center Loukas Mavrokefalidis (207-118kg-84) who currently played at AEK Athens. It is actually his comeback to Athens as he has played here before. In two A1 games he had just 2.5ppg, 1.0rpg and 2.0apg this season. The last season Mavrokefalidis played also at AEK Athens where in 32 A1 games he recorded 13.9ppg, 6.4rpg and 2.0apg. He helped them to make it to the semifinals. A very impressive season as he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Greek A1 League Domestic Player of the Year, named to 1st Team and named to All-Domestic Players Team. Mavrokefalidis also played 9 games in Eurocup where he was the best scorer with remarkable 24.2ppg and averaged 9.7rpg (#2 in the league), 2.8apg and 1.2spg. In 2006 Mavrokefalidis was drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA) in second round (57th overall). The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team won Greek Cup in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015. Mavrokefalidis was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Greek A1 League Most Improved Player of the Year back in 2011. He was also a member of Greek international program for some years. Mavrokefalidis played for Greek Senior National Team between 2010 and 2013 and previously for U21 National Team in 2005. He represented Greece at the European Championships in Slovenia three years ago. His stats at that event were 6 games: 6.2ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 51.7%, FT: 50.0%. Mavrokefalidis is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Italy (Roma Virtus), Russia (Spartak St.Petersburg), Spain (FC Barcelona and Valencia Basket) and Greece (Olympiacos, PAOK Thessaloniki and Marousi). Mavrokefalidis could be described:
(by Vagelis Kotsifis for NBADraft.net in 2006)
Excellent feel for the center position ... A good rebounder and great moves around the basket ... Can play back to the rim or facing the basket with the same efficiency ...
Lacks great athletic ability ... Not a huge leaper or tremendous foot speed ...
EuroLeague: Olympiacos cruise past Anadolu Efes - 3 days ago
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Olympiacos - Anadolu Efes 90:66 Olympiacos recorded the first victory in EuroLeague regular season. They topped visiting Anadolu Efes in Piraeus. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) notched 17 points and 9 assists for the winners. Olympiacos unloaded 28 points in the first term to surge ahead. They secured a 12-point lead after ten minutes. Anadolu Efes cut the deficit in the second term. They pulled within 8 points at the big break 33:41. Olympiacos sank 21 points in the... [read more]
Olympiacos - Anadolu Efes 90:66
Olympiacos recorded the first victory in EuroLeague regular season. They topped visiting Anadolu Efes in Piraeus. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) notched 17 points and 9 assists for the winners. Olympiacos unloaded 28 points in the first term to surge ahead. They secured a 12-point lead after ten minutes. Anadolu Efes cut the deficit in the second term. They pulled within 8 points at the big break 33:41. Olympiacos sank 21 points in the third quarter to regain the initiative. They entered the fourth term up by 9 points 62:53. Olympiacos unloaded 28 points in the fourth stanza and rallied to the win. Georgios Printezis (204-PF-85, agency: Octagon Europe) delivered 15 points, while Matt Lojeski (198-G-85, college: Hawaii, agency: Pensack Sports) added 14 points for the hosts. Cedi Osman (204-F-95) responded with 22 points for Anadolu Efes. Derrick Brown (203-F-87, college: Xavier) and DeShaun Thomas (201-F-91, college: Ohio St.) chipped in 10 points each in the loss.
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