EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 1/7/2009Copyright © 1997-2009 Eurobasket
1. Division (the second highest level) Xmas break will be over coming Sunday. There are 10 rounds left out of the regular season. Karhu (Kauhajoki) with
9-1 record is rolling back to the Top League (Korisliiga). There is no doubt of it. Newcomer JKS (7-3) will play rest of the season with young Finnish roster. Only
Vilpas (Salo) will have a slight chance to disturb Kauhajoki dreams. Vilpas (7-3) got back their own youngster Roope Ahonen (186-G-90) from Helsinki (ToPo) for the rest of the season and team's three American players continue. Korikobrat (Lapua) has recently changed the Head Coach. Team management wanted to wake the
team up and Jussi Immonen had to step aside. Replacement comes from Espoo. Serbian Nenad Stefanovic , 36, will be Lapua's new Head Coach. Lapua's
record is only 4-6 right now though, so Stefanovic will have a tough task to raise Korikobrat among the three best in division 1. The new play-off-games system is however helping Lapua. Serbian Marko Piplovic (207-F-76, agency: Interperformances) played three games in December on Lapua's roster averaging 16,0 ppg - 11,7 rpg and will help also in the future. Tyrwone Still's (196-F-77, college: W.Virginia St.) contract has been cancelled and Baboucarr Bojang (204-F-80, agency: Global Sports Plaza, college: Illinois St.) will return back on the roster. Bojang got on injured list at the end of October.
Ilian Evtimov (201-F-83, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina St.), the 201cm forward of the Deutsche Bank Skyliners is the third top scorer averaging 11,3 points, 3,7 rebounds and 1,9 steals per game. He has become comfortable with the sixth man role and took some time before the Maccabi Tel Aviv game to talk about the Deutsche Bank Skyliners, holidays, Kevin Mchale, Pete Maravitch, China, NBA, and movies
Hi Evti, thanks for taking some time to talk to www.eurobasket.com. How were your Christmas holidays? Where were you and what did you do?
I was in the States in North Carolina with my parents and brother Vassil. I had a very relaxing Christmas with no snow, but 23 celsius on Christmas day.
Have you made any new year resolutions yet?
No I have not! I am still thinking about it!
What was your most prized Christmas gift this year?
It was just being able to spend time with my family. We had a nice Bulgarian style dinner and I had a lot of fun playing with my brothers kids.
You will play twice against the Maccabi Tel Aviv, who are regarded as one of the top teams in Europe. What is your impression of this team?
They are one of the best teams in Europe and have been playing at a top level for years. Their coach Pini Gershon is one of the best coaches. He is a very emotional coach, but really knows Basketball. He is also the coach of the Bulgarian National team, where I hopefully soon will be able to play for with my brother. I met Pini Gershon for first time before this interview.
How is the situation with you and your brother getting permission to play for the Bulgarian National team?
Well we are still waiting for a decision from the French Federation. But I am confident that we will soon be able to play for Bulgaria
What player from Maccabi Tel Aviv are you looking forward to playing against?
Oh I am looking forward to playing against all of them. This is a very good opportunity for me!
Your brother Vassil found a team in Italy in the second league with Reggio Emilia. How can he help this team?
I am really happy that he signed there. We went to the gym to work out a bit in North Carolina, but we didnt really talk to much about it during the break. My brother is a great player, who is a leader and can make his team mates better.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners finished 2008 winning 12 of their last 15 games. Can this team get even stronger?
We can still get stronger. We are all healthy and now we can develop our true chemistry. We have to continue our strong play. As our chemistry continues to develop, the better we will get!
You came into the Giessen game late in the second quarter. The team has no egos! You seem to have no problem with this. How has Murat Didin been able to shape the team like this?
At this point of the season, we are aware that we have 12 good players. We know that each guy will go out on the court and perform and do a good job. Lately we have been joking on the bench, that we can score from anywhere on the court, because we are simply so deep!
Everybody will be eager to see how The Deutsche Bank Skyliners will do in the last two Eurochallenge away games. A win in Moscow will be vital. Moscow lost Nenad Krsitic, who was homesick and returned to the NBA to play for the dismal Oklahoma Thunder and Americans Allan Anderson and Marcus Goree are rumoured to be leaving too. Does this help your chances even more?
That is a difficult question to say if we have better chances. You never know what can happen. Sometimes a team becomes even stronger when they play without their star player. Will will take the game very seriously and if we win advance
Your similarities to the Boston Celtic legend Kevin Mchale seem to be growing more and more. You are a sixth man and your turn around/fade away jumper brings back memories to his play. What other Mchale attribute could we see next from you?
I dont know. I just play the game the way it comes. My specialty is too shoot the ball and not to dunk.
You studied Pete Maravich videos for hours as a kid. What is your favourite Maravitch trick?
Well the trick I liked the most was how he spun the ball on his finger. That is what I learned from watching his videos. In his movie, he has a bet with a bully that he can spin the ball on his finger and walk from a bar to the playground while spinning. Then when he reached the playground, he threw the ball off his finger and made the shot. I work on my streak shots, but only for fun and not in games!
What is your impression of the Chinese league? More and more NBA players are going there. Bonzai Wells is averaging 45ppg after three games. Recently ex Skyliner Chris Willimas signed there also.
To tell you the truth, I dont know much about it. There seems to be a lot of money and sponsors there
The Los Angeles Lakers took revenge after losing the 2008 NBA finals to the Boston Celtics by winning at home on Chrsitmas day. They finished the game with a 13-2 run. Did you find some time between opening presents and playing with your nephews and nieces to watch the game?
Yes I watched this game. I wanted the Celtics to win. I remember that Magic Johnson said before the game that the team that is more physical would win the game. As soon as The Lakers started more physical, I said oh no and at the end of the game Magic Johnson was right. The key factor in the game at the end was Kobe Bryant. Even though Kobe Bryant gets most of the attention, it was not him that decided the game, but Pao Gasol, who usually has a secondary role. Bryant is playing more and more unselfish and is playing a lot like Michael Jordan in his old days!
You are a movie buff. What is currently your favourite movie?
Well a movie to watch and what I currently like very much is Righteous to kill with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Another movie that I also like is Takin!
Thank you Evti for the short chat. Good luck the rest of the way this season!
In avenging a three-point defeat in Holland back on December 2, EWE Baskets improved to 3-2 while dropping MyGuide to 2-3.
Hapoel Jerusalem and Olympia are both 2-2 and are set to square off on Wednesday in this week's other Group E game.
German outfit EWE Baskets, playing in Europe this season for the first time, held a 56-54 lead with 6:50 left after a Teddy Gipson (193-G/F-80, agency: 540 Sports, college: Arkansas) three-point play for the Dutch team.
EWE Baskets then put the result beyond doubt.
Cameroon national team center Ruben Boumtje Boumtje answered with a lay-up and Jasmin Perkovic, Je'Kel Foster and Rickey Paulding followed with three-pointers as the Germans opened up a 67-54 advantage.
The Amsterdam team never recovered, getting no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Jason Gardner and Boumtje Boumtje each had 15 points for EWE Baskets.
A Division Standings|
Helios' bench players outscored the opposing team of Elektra Esotech in the opening game of Round 14 and Krka in second half crushed Epic Misel.
Helios-Elektra Esotech 102-60: Helios never trailed and bench players outscored its starters 67-35. Matej Krusic (211-F/C-87) netted 23 points on shooting 9-of-10, Vjeko Petrovic had 13 points and 7 rebounds, Igor Tratnik and Nicholas Jacobson added 12 points apiece, Aljaz Janza 10 and Ziga Zagorc dished out 7 assists. Helios in first half shot 67-percent (18-of-27) and handed out 15 assists while the guests shot just 10-of-33 including 1-of-11 from 3-point range. Dejan Cup was the only scorer in double figures for Elektra, with 17.
Epic Misel-Krka 63-98: Krka trailed at half, 33-38, and shot just 13-of-37 but in second half scored 65 points on shooting 24-of-37. The guests had all starters in double figures. Marko Rakocevic scored 18 points, Jure Balazic collected 17 points and 13 rebounds, Simon Petrov posted 16 points, Ricky Shields 15 and Rolandas Alijevas 13. Epic Misel was outscored 7-37 in the last quarter. David Moro finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds and Vjeran Soldo had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
|TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO|
Sando Petro Jazz came to Port of Spain (Jean Pierre Complex) on Monday night with a winning streak of five wins, so it seemed appropriate for the experience Jazz to force the UTT team into a must-win situation to be in contention for a play-off spot.
For the surging young dynamic student-athletes, it wasn't a problem.
Kenny Alfred scored 29 points and Kensley Sandy added 21 as UTT rallied from an 18 points deficit (53-35) with 8.27mins left in the third quarter for an exciting 86-83 win over the Jazz (5-1).
'We lost our rhythm somewhere between the second & third quarters and Jazz gain control,'' UTT coach Terry Layton said 'They're a good team that played in a lot of big games. Credit to our guys, we got some steals, couple blocks and finished strong. We have been in these situations against the other bigger teams in the tournament.''
UTT got valuable contributions from Kiewan Bacquain who had 15 points & 6rebs; Miguel Sansaviour 7pts, 5 rebs & 3blocks; and Shawn Lawrence 8 points, 4 rebs & 2blocks. For Jazz, Kevin Garcia had 22 points and 9 rebs; Louise Davis scored 20; Michael Pantin 14 points; Curlin Dottin 10 points; and Miguel Williams added 9 points & 9 rebounds.
UTT Led in the first quarter 22-16, however Jazz took the initative by the end of the second half for a 44-35 advantage. In less than two minutes of the third quarter Jazz ran out to a quick 53-35 lead but UTT fought back to finish 59-60 behind.
This set up the stage for an exciting fourth quarter. With 4.58 mins remaining centre Kiewan Bacquain give UTT the lead (78-76) for the first time since the first quarter when he scored a lay-up and a free shot. Jazz got as close as being 84-83 behind with less than 2mins left but UTT held on as Miguel Sansaviour blocked Jazz Louise Davis shot attempt and UTT went on to improve their record (5-2 ) with a 86-83 win.
In the other game of the double header, National Flour Mill (NFM) humiliated the hapless Caledonia Clippers 116-60. NFM led the entire game19-10, 39-29 & 83-38.
For NFM (6-2) Kwesi Julien had a season high 28 points including eight 3-pointers; Jason Delise 23 pts; Darren Eurin 14 pts; Andy Best 13; Kerry McMillan 12 & Kerry Westfield 10. Marcus Hume scored 12 points for Clippers.
|ESTONIA - Women|
|FINLAND - Women|
|LITHUANIA - Women|
|MOROCCO - Women|
|TANZANIA - Women|
|TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - Women|
|ZIMBABWE - Women|