The winner of Ukraine basketball championship Donetsk was given a wild card and will compete in the VTB United League in the upcoming season. The decision was made by the directorate of the League.
One of the best Ukrainian clubs has already taken part in the competition. It was in the 2009/2010 season when "Donetsk" won three of their six games on the group stage and couldn't make playoffs.
In the next season club will play in pool A facing Russian clubs Khimki, UNICS, Spartak, Krasnye Krylia, Lithuanian Lietuvos rytas, Ukrainian Azovmash, Estonian Kalev, Turow of Poland and Astana from Kazakhstan.
- We are pleased to welcome back Donetsk, - general director of the VTB United League Andrey Shirokov said. - The Ukrainian team was not the only one to pretend on this wild card. There were seven requests from six different countries. I would like to apologize for we said "no" to all of them. And I proudly announce, that all the teams that pretend to compete in our League will be able to prove they are powerful enough to join us the next year. That paragraph about teams' rotation was approved by the board of the United VTB League.
Donetsk was approved immediately because the Ukraine is a strategic partner of the League. Since the very first edition of the tournament at least two Ukrainian clubs took part in the championship at a time. We are pleased that the tradition will continue in the upcoming season. During last years Donetsk has become one of the most dominant teams in the Ukraine. They also claimed their first championship title last year. The club has earned the right to compete in Champions League qualification. It is a very ambitious club with a mature roster that can compete on the highest level in the VTB United League. They will show a solid performance.
- Our team has already took part in that tournament and we know there are only strong teams and the highest level of organization, a the president of Donetsk Sergey Dyadechko said. - We haven't considered that we'll take part in such a great championship because of a tough match schedule in the Ukraine. But several changes happened in the Ukrainian Superleague during the last weeks. So we decided to ask the United VTB League for a wild card and sent an official request. We are so pleased the wild card was brought to us so quickly and we are glad to be back. Now we are going to have a successful season in the League.
Profile: Donetsk from Donetsk, the Ukraine Founded: in 2006 Achievements: the Ukrainian Superleague Champion in the season-2011/12, the silver medalist of the Ukrainian Superleague in 2008/09 and 2010/11 seasons Colors: orange, black, white Home arena: the "Druzhba" Hall (4000 spectators) Head coach: Vlada Jovanovic (agency: Beo Basket ) President: Sargey Dyadechko
BC Khimky Moscow Region are still in the market for inside players,and according to sources they are interested in American forward Cory Jefferson (206-F-90, college: Baylor). The Baylor Alumni who was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 draft played last season 6 games at the Phoenix Suns and played most of the season in the Bakersfield Jam in the D-league averaging 17.8ppg 9.8rpg 1.2apg in19 games. Jefferson still looking for a deal from the NBA and may play at one of the Summe... [read more]
Usak Sportlif Basketbol (BSL) signed 28-year old Latvian international power forward Rolands Freimanis (208-106kg-88, agency: Alti Sport). Freimanis managed to play in three leagues last year. He played last season at Kalev/Cramo in Estonian Alexela KML. In 27 games he had 14.7ppg, 6.2rpg and 1.1apg. He helped them to win the league title and the cup. A very impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Estonian League 2nd Team and All-Bosmans Team. Freimanis also played 6 games... [read more]
Usak Sportlif Basketbol (BSL) signed 28-year old Latvian international power forward Rolands Freimanis (208-106kg-88, agency: Alti Sport). Freimanis managed to play in three leagues last year. He played last season at Kalev/Cramo in Estonian Alexela KML. In 27 games he had 14.7ppg, 6.2rpg and 1.1apg. He helped them to win the league title and the cup. A very impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Estonian League 2nd Team and All-Bosmans Team. Freimanis also played 6 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 9.7ppg, 5.7rpg and 1.0apg. He also played 30 games in VTB United League where he recorded very remarkable stats: 16.2ppg, 6.1rpg and 1.4apg. The previous (14-15) season Freimanis played at Unics Kazan in Russian league. In 7 Eurocup games he recorded 4.0ppg and 1.4rpg in 2014-15 season. He also played 15 games in VTB United League where he recorded just 2.3ppg and 1.4rpg in 2014-15 season. Freimanis also spent pre-season at Laboral Kutxa (Liga Endesa) in Spanish league that year. In 13-14 season he played at Khimik (SL Favorit Sport) in Ukrainian league. In 35 games he recorded 10.4ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.1apg in 2013-14 season. He contributed to his team winning the regular season and make it to the final. Freimanis also played 18 games in Eurocup where he recorded 8.9ppg, 3.7rpg and 1.1apg in 2013-14 season. In 12-13 season he played at Sutor Montegranaro (Serie C) in Italian league. In 28 games he recorded 5.6ppg and 2.9rpg in 2012-13 season. In 11-12 season Freimanis played at Girona FC (1 Div.) in Spanish league. In 34 games he recorded 12.6ppg and 5.8rpg in 2011-12 season. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Spanish LEB Silver Bosman Player of the Year back in 2010. Freimanis has been also a member of Latvian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Latvian senior team since 2009 and previously for U20 National Team between 2007 and 2008. Freimanis also represented Latvia at the European Championships last year. His stats at that event were 9 games: 8.1ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 6.3%, FT: 57.1%. Freimanis has played previously professionally in Spain (Lobe Huesca, Gipuzkoa and Baloncesto Sevilla 2nd team) and Latvia (ASK/Juniors, ASK Riga and VEF Riga). He could be described: Rolands is an efficient scorer on the offensive end with a developing insideout game. Loves to run the floor and has good footwork. His ability to shoot, ballhandle, pass, run the court, rebound makes him very intriguing big man. Fundamentally sound, Rolands is learning to play on perimeter and improving his 3pt percentage. His outside shot has both range and consistency (200910 season shot 58.5% 2PT and 37% 3PT). He is fairly comfortable facing up and taking defenders off the dribble. Can get to the basket off the dribble and finish in traffic. Excellent in pick and roll, both as rolling to the basket or poping out. Working out of the high post, he is a difficult matchup because of his ability to shoot and because he can put the ball on the floor. Rolands also shows the toughness to play inside with contact. His athleticism, length and versatility make him a perfect faceup power forward for European basketball.
Solid rebounder and defender. Rolands is playing mainly PF, but can also spend some time at SF and C. A late bloomer, who still has a lot of potential and upside left.
Tsmoki-Minsk (Premier League) confirmed in their roster 36-year old ex-international shooting guard Aliaksandr Kudrautsau (190-81kg-80). He has played there for the last two seasons. Kudrautsau managed to play in three leagues last year. In 6 Premier League games he recorded 12.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 5.0apg and 2.8spg. He also played 12 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 8.4ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.7apg. Kudrautsau also played 30 games in VTB United League where he averaged 8.1ppg, 1.6rpg and 1.8... [read more]
Tsmoki-Minsk (Premier League) confirmed in their roster 36-year old ex-international shooting guard Aliaksandr Kudrautsau (190-81kg-80). He has played there for the last two seasons. Kudrautsau managed to play in three leagues last year. In 6 Premier League games he recorded 12.5ppg, 3.7rpg, 5.0apg and 2.8spg. He also played 12 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he averaged 8.4ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.7apg. Kudrautsau also played 30 games in VTB United League where he averaged 8.1ppg, 1.6rpg and 1.8apg. He won Belarusian League championship title in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 and the cup in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Kudrautsau was selected to Belarusian All-Star Game in 2015. He also represented Belarus at the Qualifications to European Championships 2015 two years ago. His stats at that event were 6 games: 12.3ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 81.5%. Kudrautsau is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Lithuania (P.Zvaigzdes), Poland (AZS Koszalin, Astoria Bydgoszcz and Energa Czarni), Slovakia (Nitra), Turkey (Royal Hali) and Ukraine (Halychyna and Hoverla). It's very possible he may end his playing career at Tsmoki-Minsk. On Kudrautsau:
Solid combination of a leading and scoring point guard, capable of doing both very well. Incredibly fast. Knows how to distribute the ball well, gets other players involved with the abilty to penetrate and dish as well as successfully leading break situations.
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