According to Zoran Martic , the head coach of Khimik, his team can withstand stronger rivals. The key to success of the upcoming away games the head coach sees in a discipline, dedication and winning motivation of the players. On the eve of departure to Kryvyi Rih, Martic gave an interview to the press-service of Khimik.
- How do you assess the play of the team for now - is there any progress, in which components precisely? What components does team still need to work over? - Certainly, we have made much progress, especially in defense. If you have noticed, we let our opponent score much less. But still there are many things to work on. I'm not happy with the defense in the last games.
- Can we say the team is formed, or changes are still possible? - I hope that the roster will be strengthened. There is a lack of players for the rotation, and we are looking for those we need. But now there is a problem with the players on the market. We spoke with many agents, the players, but have not found the one we need yet.
- There was Kemani Ffriend on try-out not too long ago, but the contract was not concluded. What was the reason? - Kemani Ffriend - is a good player, I have not had issues on his condition, his professionalism. I had a choice: to replace one or two players. But it's hard to find player who fits into the established team, will complement the missing qualities and become part of the team. I can say Kemani was good for pictures of games in general, but his defense had a little limp. If we took him, we would have had to take a player who'd worked with him. If you have such a player as Kemani on the team, you need to build up a team up to him. So I think that with his coming, we would lose more than gain: we have had neither the time nor the opportunity to make a major restructuring of the team.
- You can say that in this case, the statement 'each player should find his team' remains true? - Yes, there are many different teams, and there is no one right way, how to build a team. But many of these methods. And every time you need to consider how to help the players to show their good sides and compensate weak sides with maximum effect.
- Who of the young Ukrainian players most successfully entered the team? - Many of the guys have talent. But the talent - it's not all. You can be a very talented player, but it is impossible to achieve a high level if not accompanied by hard work. It's obligatory to try to prove that they are ready to play, make mistakes, correct them and work very hard on theirselves. I won't name the players, except to say that all of them need to work very hard.
- What are the chances of Khimik to qualify in the playoffs this season? - The most revealing to us, I think, the games we had against the best teams in the league in which we lost no more than 10 points. Based on this, I can say that if we find players that will help us in defense, will assist in the picture of the whole game, then I hope we have a chance to get into the playoffs.
- What do you consider most important in the training process? What do you demand from players during practices? - It depends on the team. In such teams, as Azovmash, you can give a tasks to players, explain what exactly you want from them in a particular game. The quality of players makes it work. In our team we need to work on so many aspects - physical, technique, tactics, and, above all, the psychology of the players. We have work to do in all aspects. But psychology is far more important than anything else. If psychology is not enough stable, then in a difficult situation, the player will make the wrong decisions, and this may lead to the loss.
- There is an expression in basketball that the team loses the match before the start - in the case of meetings with a very strong contender. Can these factors be overcomed? - Of course, your opponent should be respected. But you shouldn't be afraid of him. Everything is interconnected: if there are no right conditions, there is no chance of winning. But if there are athleticism and technique, but there is no psychological stability, it will not succeed, will not bring result. Therefore, I repeat: be ready to play, going to court, you need to respect the opponent very seriously, but not to be afraid. You can change a lot, but the most difficult to change is a person's character. If someone is a tiger by nature, he will always be a tiger, in any situation, no matter how good he is in a different capacity. You know, I once had a very good impression of Russian circus - I saw how you can teach a bear to dance. Yet even in the circus you cannot teach the rabbit to become a tiger.
- How it is working environment for you in Ukraine? - On the first day when I came here, I said that there are excellent conditions created in the town of Yuzhnyi. This is one of the best sports complexes among all that I have ever seen. I want to thank all those who created the FSC Olympus, factory and club management, for those conditions that are established for the development of basketball here. I think the population of Yuzhnyi should be proud that the city has a sports facility like FSC Olympus.
- Tell us about your understanding of basketball? What should be the path to success of the player and of the coach? - Speaking of coaching, it depends on the thousands of little things, all of which are important. Every coach has good and bad seasons. Even such a recognized authority, as Ettore Messina, along with the brilliant successes and victories, has a disastrous season with Real Madrid, where he had all the best players and all conditions and his own coaching talent, but something was missing. This does not mean that he has become a bad coach. A lot of small details make the big picture in basketball. And for the player - as for the young, and for the one who already has reached a certain professional level, I think the main credo of the professionalism should be there is 'no enough effort in this profession ever'. If you have succeeded at some stage, it does not guarantee your success in the future. You need to constantly work on yourself and improve your skills. One famous musician said: 'If I do not play one day, it will be noticeable only to me. If I do not play for two days - my teacher will notice. Miss three days of lessons - critics will pay attention to it. Four days - audience will see. This is a recipe for failure'. The same way is in sports. You've got to give 100 percent every day, doing the best that you can today and strive to become better tomorrow when you were today. You must be able to work in a team and work for the team result. But if there is no motivation, no hard work - there will be no success in any sphere of activity.
- Khimik has many children and youth teams. Could you give advice to young guys who have just started to play basketball: how to grow up to professional level, so in the future they can play in the Superleague? - For young children I recommend doing more than they are required by coach during practices. It is impossible to think that after you finished practice with the team and can go home, lie on the couch and watch television - and expect that you can succeed in basketball. You always need to do more and work on your skills. We must strive to become excellent, exceptional player.
- What are you hobbies besides basketball? - Here I have no free time for some hobbies as the schedule is quite heavy. In addition to working with the team, games and trips there are always a lot of work in the office like watching games, as we are preparing for our next opponent. I can say that I like many things - I love the variety of sports, I like to travel, love music, and books. But I can not devote too much time for it.
- What do you think about questions of our fans, comments on the basketball sites on those or other coaching decisions, on the results of games and players performance during it? - I do not know whether this is good or bad, but I do not understand much of what they write about us. I can say that I respect all opinions, which express the fans. I criticize my players, as they are criticized by the fans, and I'm very grateful to fans for their support and faith in us, for their energy to travel with us in such a long trip, as Mariupol, in any weather - rain and snow. It is very nice, I appreciate it very much, as well as players. I can say that I strive to do everything for victories, to help the team to play successfully. First of all, because I love to win myself!
- We've got a few away games (Kryvbasbasket, Ferro, Dnipro). What are the challenges facing the team? - I don't look if we're playing at home or on the road. In my opinion, if we play well, smoothly, we can beat all these teams. I want to say that we have pretty heavy championship, and it is impossible to predict results of games. Teams of the bottom of the table can defeat the championship leaders - and we have already seen it more than once. Therefore, with good discipline and cohesive team work we can win, and we long for it.
SK Cherkasy Monkeys (Superleague) signed experienced 34-year old Russian-Nigerian center Aleksey Adediran (202-110kg-82, college: Binghamton). He played last season at Energy Invest Rustavi in Georgia Superleague. In 6 games he had just 2.5ppg and 1.2rpg. Adediran also played that season for Khortytsia where in 10 Superleague games he was fourth best scorer with impressive 16.2ppg and averaged 9.2rpg (#2 in the league), 2.0apg and 2.4spg (in top 2). The list of the past achievements is qu... [read more]
SK Cherkasy Monkeys (Superleague) signed experienced 34-year old Russian-Nigerian center Aleksey Adediran (202-110kg-82, college: Binghamton). He played last season at Energy Invest Rustavi in Georgia Superleague. In 6 games he had just 2.5ppg and 1.2rpg. Adediran also played that season for Khortytsia where in 10 Superleague games he was fourth best scorer with impressive 16.2ppg and averaged 9.2rpg (#2 in the league), 2.0apg and 2.4spg (in top 2). The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team made it to the Ukrainian Cup Final Four in 2013. Adediran was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Russian Higher League Player of the Year back in 2012. He is quite experienced player. Adediran has played in seven different countries on three different continents (Europe, Latin America and of course North America). He has played previously professionally in Dominican Rep., Estonia (Valga), Latvia (Liepaja/Triobet), Ukraine (Mykolaiv), Russia (Novosybirsk, Severstal, Elbrus Cherkessk, Dynamo-YUZGU Kursk and Kamit-Universitet Tver), Dominican Republic (La Cancha) and ABA (Georgia Gwizzlies). Adediran attended Binghamton University until 2005 and it will be his twelfth (!!!) season as a professional player. He could be described:
Throughout his career Alex has proven to be a monster rebounder who is extremely difficult to defend as well as a top scorer with great offensive and defensive skills. He earned "Mr. Offense" honors for the ANBL Georgia Gwizzlies team. As a rebounder, he is a beast on the weak side rebound. Alex has strong hands too, if he gets his hands on the ball no one will take it from him.
BC Kremen Kremenchuk (Superleague) confirmed in their roster American point guard Rob Woodson (180-84kg, college: Grand Valley State). He played there last season. Woodson's team made it to the Superleague Semifinals. He was voted All-GLIAC 2nd Team in 2014 at his college time. Woodson is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Denmark (Vaerlose), PBL (Lake Michigan), ABA (Team NetWork) and IBA (Grand Rapids Fusion). Woodson graduated from Grand Valley State in 2014... [read more]
BC Kremen Kremenchuk (Superleague) confirmed in their roster American point guard Rob Woodson (180-84kg, college: Grand Valley State). He played there last season. Woodson's team made it to the Superleague Semifinals. He was voted All-GLIAC 2nd Team in 2014 at his college time. Woodson is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Denmark (Vaerlose), PBL (Lake Michigan), ABA (Team NetWork) and IBA (Grand Rapids Fusion). Woodson graduated from Grand Valley State in 2014 and it will be his third season as a professional player.
SK Cherkasy Monkeys (Superleague) tabbed 23-year old American forward Mike Best (208-98kg-93). He just graduated from Cal-Irvine (NCAA). Best has played there for the last five years. In 38 games he averaged 9.8ppg and 5.1rpg last season. Best helped them to make it to the final after they ended regular season as second best team. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season in pro basketball. Best's college team won Big West Tournament in 2015. SK Che... [read more]
SK Cherkasy Monkeys (Superleague) tabbed 23-year old American forward Mike Best (208-98kg-93). He just graduated from Cal-Irvine (NCAA). Best has played there for the last five years. In 38 games he averaged 9.8ppg and 5.1rpg last season. Best helped them to make it to the final after they ended regular season as second best team. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season in pro basketball. Best's college team won Big West Tournament in 2015.
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