Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
Post-draw analysis, comments: Group A
Oct 05, 2013
CEZ Basketball Nymburk
Ambitions of the Czech champs are as high as ever, and putting the team into the hands of head coach Kestutis Kemzura proves that. Nymburk’s roster has, traditionally, plenty of firepower with the likes of Tre Simmons and Vojtech Hruban. Jiri Welsch on the outside, and Radoslav Rancik inside, bring all-important experience and versatility, while Petr Benda and Rasid Mahalbasic provide presence in the paint.
On the heels off back-to-back Euroleague appearances, Cantu comes back to the Eurocup to regroup and make a run. Scorer Pietro Aradori, center Marco Cusin and forward Maarty Leunen are the team’s backbone as the key pieces back from last season. Joe Ragland and Michael Jenkins arrive to make up a strong guard trio along with Aradori, while Adrian Uter and Marcel Jones bolster the forward rotation. Spurred on by the Cantu faithful, it could be a great team.
Le Mans Sarthe Basket
After narrowly missing advancing a stage in the Eurocup last season, Le Mans returns several of its top talents and bolstered the roster with new additions too. Alian Koffi and J.P. Batista make for a top-notch center duo. Pape Sy is an intriguing option at forward. Newcomers Qyntel Woods and Dashuan Wood figure to make up a lot of the offensive production, while shooting guard Vaughn Duggins promises to open up space for his teammates to operate in.
After impressing in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds, Telenet Ostend sets its sights on the Eurocup. Dusan Djordjevic, Niels Marnegrave and Quentin Serron form a tough-minded backcourt, while Ryan Thompson gives Coach Dario Gjergja a go-to scorer. Young swingman Mateusz Ponitka is a rising star, while Pierre-Antoine Gillet is a three-point marksman. Rookie center Jared Berggren and Andrija Stipanovic share time at center.
Head coach Neven Spahija has returned to the club where he started his coaching career, and core of players from last year has returned, too. Big things are expected from a teenage phenomenon forward Dario Saric, and he has lots of experience around him. Jerel Blassingame runs the point guard position, while sharpshooter Matt Janning and D.J Strawberry on the wings provide for lost of scoring. Experience of long time Euroleague veterans Davor Kus and Andrija Zizic should help lift Croatian champion, and a former two-time continental champ, to the path of old glory.
Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck
In his debut on the bench, head coach Tyron McCoy called back well-known point guard David Holston, who averaged 5.6 assists two years ago with the Dragons, and forward Brandon Thomas, who was a solid presence previously in Quakenbrueck. Lawrence Hill will provide points and rebounding at power forward, while keeping big man Anthony King was a key to signing young and talented guys Ken Fraser and Michael Wenzl as his back ups.
Cibona Zagreb general manager Domagoj Cavlovic:
"We will face very good teams. There is not a favourite team in this group and that is way ahead of the others. I think it will be a very tough group - two of the teams played the Euroleague Qualifying Rounds and Ostend almost won it. Of course, we want to use the Eurocup for our younger players to make them better and make them help us. We will fight for every win - we had some bad results in Europe lately and need to win some Eurocup games."
CEZ Basketball Nymburk executive director Ondra Simecek:
"The draw was better than we expected. We got a very attractive group which once again will allow us to bring good basketball to the Czech Republic. As for the opponents, it is a tradition that there are no easy groups but the draw confirmed that. Only three teams advance to the next round and it is not going to be easy. We were getting ready to qualify to the Euroleague and therefore, if we get to face tough teams in the Eurocup, we have to play against them."
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