The new season is upcoming and the supporters had the first chance to meet the players of Cantu yesterday during the team uninformal meeting in Cantu. The official presentation will be held in a couple of weeks as the team is still missing five players that are currently playing for their national teams in the eurobasket qualifying round. They are Marco Cusin and Pietro Aradori (Italy), Manuchar Markoishvili (Georgia), Johnatan Tabu (Belgium) and Alex Tyus (Israel).
I was there and had an interesting talk with Maarten Leunen (206-F-85, college: Oregon), at his fourth season with the team, who's looking ahead to the Euroleague qualifying round and is ready to welcome all of the new guys that joined the team for the first time yesterday.
For the first time in the last three seasons there were a lot of changes in the roster this year. It seems it is going to be a very athletic team a little bit less technical than before. Do you agree? Well, no question. Last year we had a lot of european players and we had Vladimir (Micov) who's not so athletic and we're kind of replacing those type of players with young and athletic players and it's going to be interesting just because our style of play has always been kind of slow it down, run half court offense, while this year we might get out and run in transition, it might be a different style of play.
It will take a little time to build a good team chemistry as many players don't know each others yet... Yes, for sure, but I think I'll be a big part just because I've been with this coach for three years, I understand his system and I'm pretty sure that he'll fit me in into the pieces where I can get guys in spots that they need to. Moreover some of the key pieces will remain. We got Manu (Markoishvili), then Tabu is coming back and all of the other guys from last season are players that understand what the coach wants.
You had your first Euroleague experience last season. We saw that this competition gave great satisfactions but in the meantime the team paid a lack of energy in some league games. It's great to have the chance to enter the competition qualifying round and try to make it to the regular season again. Will this be a good chance to be taken and a primary goal? Yes, that's our goal number one, at least for me is to get back in the euroleague. I think it's very important for us, it's a great experience for us. I love competing at the highest level, so I'd love to play in the euroleague again. I'm trying to make that happen. I'm gonna tell all these younger guys that haven't experienced what euroleague is alike.
Talking about the league, it seems that the Siena era has ended and that Milano has become the top team in Italy. Which are your sensations about next season. Siena is a top team anyway because of their history and because they're bringing in great players, Milano defintively got a lot of talented players but I think next season will be everybody's opportunity because Siena no longer is the power they used to be. They still got great players but no longer do they have the core nucleus. So i think anyone has a chance next year, everybody has got a hope. Whoever comes in competing and comes in the best shape has a good chance of competing for the italian championship.
Do you think you can be helpful for the other guys from the US who came to Cantu recently? Yes, for sure. This is my fourth year in Cantu and the fifth in overseas basketball so I understand, specially throughout the italian league, what it takes to be at the top so I can just relay down to the other guys and hopefully we'll have a good year and will be competing for the italian championship
Estudiantes La Plata Buenos Aires (TFB) tabbed 31-year old former Argentinian international forward Axel Weigand (200-85). He has a double citizenship as he also holds Italian passport. Weigand has played for the last two years at Boca Jrs in the LigaA. In 55 games he averaged 3.8ppg and 2.3rpg last season. TFB will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. Among other achievements Weigand won Argentinian LigaA championship title in 2004 and 2014. He was a member of A... [read more]
Estudiantes La Plata Buenos Aires (TFB) tabbed 31-year old former Argentinian international forward Axel Weigand (200-85). He has a double citizenship as he also holds Italian passport. Weigand has played for the last two years at Boca Jrs in the LigaA. In 55 games he averaged 3.8ppg and 2.3rpg last season. TFB will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. Among other achievements Weigand won Argentinian LigaA championship title in 2004 and 2014. He was a member of Argentinian international program for some years. Weigand was called to Argentinian Senior National Team back in 2009 and previously for U21 National Team between 2004 and 2005. And here thanks to pro basketball he experienced life on three different continents. He is familiar with European, Latin American and of course North American leagues. Weigand has played previously professionally also in Spain (Meridiano Baza and Meridiano Alicante) and Argentina (Penarol, Quilmes Mar del Plata, Argentino, MH Basket and Union de Sunchales).
Il Globo Basket Isernia (Serie B) landed 23-year old center Simone Serio (205-93) from Nuova Pallacanestro Monteroni. Serio has played there for the last four years. In 5 Serie B games he averaged 3.0ppg and 2.6rpg last season. Il Globo Basket Isernia roster for 2016-2017: Guards: Mattia Norcino Marco Salari Luca Lenti Ceo Andrea Sipala Gabriele Maria Triggiani Matteo Melchiorre Mattia Melchiorri Domenico Russo Forwards: Mario Bisciotti Klaudio Patani Gabriel Cicchetti Antonio Di Nezza... [read more]
GSA Amici Pallacanestro Udine are considering to add Alex Acker to their roster - 1 day ago
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GSA Amici Pallacanestro Udine (Serie A2) is about to sign 33-year old American guard Alex Acker (196-84kg-83, college: Pepperdine, agency: Stealth Sport) who played last time at Scandone Avellino in Serie A. In 37 games he had 8.7ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.4apg last season. Acker helped them to make it to the cup final and to the league semifinals. The most of previous (2014-15) season he spent at ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket in ProA where in 17 games he recorded 11.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.3apg and 1.4s... [read more]
GSA Amici Pallacanestro Udine (Serie A2) is about to sign 33-year old American guard Alex Acker (196-84kg-83, college: Pepperdine, agency: Stealth Sport) who played last time at Scandone Avellino in Serie A. In 37 games he had 8.7ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.4apg last season. Acker helped them to make it to the cup final and to the league semifinals. The most of previous (2014-15) season he spent at ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket in ProA where in 17 games he recorded 11.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.3apg and 1.4spg. Acker contributed to his team making it to the cup final. He also played that season for Istanbul BBSK in TBL. In 9 games he averaged 10.2ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.0apg and 1.3spg. In 2005 Acker was drafted by Detroit Pistons (NBA) in second round (60th overall). The former Pepperdine University standoutis in his twelfth (!!!) season in pro basketball. Acker played in the final of French ProA in 2012. He is quite experienced player. Acker has played also professionally in Greece, Poland (Asseco), Spain (FC Barcelona), France (Limoges CSP Elite, Le Mans and Boulazac Basket), NBA (LA Clippers) and D-League (Fayetteville P. and Fort Wayne Mad Ants). He could be described:
He is a very special player with big hands and great body control. .. His maturity and confidence matched with his talent is a good combination... uses his thin body with great effectivenss in the 1-on-1 offense, he's also improving his outside shooting.
GSA Amici Pallacanestro Udine roster for 2016-2017:
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