MoraBanc Andorra heads into its fifth consecutive 7DAYS EuroCup appearance with a bunch of new faces to try to lift the team to the next level. Andorra signed four new players over the summer, two of them with EuroCup experience. The biggest signing may be Haukur Palsson from Iceland, who started in 11 of his 12 games for UNICS Kazan last season. Oriol Pauli is another player with EuroCup experience; he played four EuroCup campaigns with Herbalife Gran Canaria. Malik Dime is a powerful player in the paint who will make his EuroCup debut this season, while point guard Sergi Garcia arrives from Baskonia with which he won the Spanish League last season. Babatunde Olumuyiwa arrived in Andorra late last season and has not yet played any EuroCup games with the team. Dutch combo-guard Charlon Kloof was the final addition.
Andorra's game starts in the hands of Clevin Hannah, whose debut season in Andorra with 11.1 points and 5.3 assists in the EuroCup made him an important piece right away. Fellow point guard Jeremy Senglin also returns from last season. The trio of ball-handlers is completed by Garcia, who had limited minutes with Baskonia in the EuroLeague last season and plans to be a quality complement at that position. Newcomer Palsson and David Jelinek, who also extended his stay with the club over the summer, will play most of the minutes on the winnings. Small forward Guillem Colom, who also remains with the team from last season, gives Coach Ibon Navarro another reliable option off the bench.
The Andorra frontcourt will be well-supplied starting with new signing Dime, who averaged 8.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in Greece last season. He will be joined by Bandja Sy, Moussa Diagne and Tunde Olumuyiwa, all three of whom are continuing with the team. Olumuyiwa arrived in time for the Spanish playoffs last season and convinced Coach Navarro to keep him as another important player inside. Andorra will also feature a pair of mobile, big forwards in Tyson Perez and Oriol Pauli, who arrives from Gran Canaria with plenty of experience in the EuroCup and even one season in the EuroLeague. Undersized center Nacho Llovet played a big role off the bench last season, his first in the competition and first with Andorra. He is a highly-efficient scorer and should not be overlooked.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Haukur Palsson arrived in Andorra this summer as one of the club's most important signings. He has plenty of experience, having played in several countries including Spain, France and Germany. Last season he made his EuroCup debut with UNICS and started in 11 of his 12 games with the Russian team. He averaged 4.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in a little over 18 minutes on the court. Coach Navarro will surely have big plans for him, and all eyes will be on Palsson in the hopes of him becoming the perfect sharpshooter who can solve difficult situations.
Andorra won't have it easy when the season starts. With strong opponents in group C such as Virtus Segafredo Bologna and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, the margin for error tightens and that means that the team from the small country in the Pyrenees must be up to the task from the start. Coach Navarro managed to keep most of the core of the team from last season and the new signings should provide a bit of everything on all positions, but overall they also bring inexperience, which is always a valuable asset in a competition like the EuroCup. As always, expect a team with hope and expectations going into the games with that nothing-to-lose mentality that has become a trademark of MoraBanc Andorra.