After falling just short of reaching the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals last season, Gran Canaria has re-stocked and is ready to take the next step as it hopes to finally win its first title. Head coach Porfirio Fisac is back for his second season and the club has added a couple of well-known names, including two players who have played for the coach in the past.
Coach Fisac can rely on an experienced and deep backcourt. Point guard Andrew Albicy returns looking to get back to the form that earned him All-EuroCup First Team honors in 2019. He will have a second season playing alongside veteran playmaker AJ Slaughter, who will add on to his 86 EuroCup games over seven seasons. In addition to that pair is the dynamic duo of Dylan Ennis and Chris Kramer. Ennis is one of the most thrilling players in the league and was an All-EuroCup Second Teamer in 2018-19. Kramer, 33, has shown no real signs of slowing down. And his experience of five EuroCup seasons and one Turkish Airlines EuroLeague campaign will be invaluable at the point guard spot - though Kramer can also play off the ball as well.
Gran Canaria’s frontcourt also has two key players back in power forward John Shurna and center Oliver Stevic. Shurna remains an inside-outside threat; the power forward drained 40.4 percent of his three-pointers last season. Stevic is a back-to-the-basket threat and a strong rebounder. Those two won’t have to do the heavy lifting though. Forward Nicolas Brussino returns to the club after playing with Gran Canaria in 2017-18 and the Argentina national team forward has shown at Zaragoza the last two seasons how dangerous he can be, especially with his clutch three-point shooting. Center Artem Pustovyi comes from FC Barcelona eager to dominate in the paint. Gran Canaria added even more experience with Ilimane Diop, who is 26 years old but already has played eight seasons in the EuroLeague with Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Gran Canaria has more depth around the basket with Miquel Salvo and the return of teenager Khalifa Diop, who showed flashes of brilliance in his EuroCup debut last season.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Dylan Ennis is no stranger to the EuroCup. He helped carry MoraBanc Andorra on its fairy-tale ride to the semifinals in 2018-19. The Canadian guard averaged 12.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals to earn a spot on the All-EuroCup Second Team. Ennis can get his shot off at any time – and isn’t afraid of the big moments. Even though his numbers from long range can be low, Ennis seems to hit the clutch shots. He can also get to the basket from the wing and finds ways to finish even from the most difficult angles. Ennis wears his emotions on his sleeve and has boundless energy at both ends. His passion for the game and his big smile endear him to fans too. If Gran Canaria goes far this season, Ennis will be at the heart of it.
Not only does Coach Fisac bring back a handful of key players, but Gran Canaria also added players who know each other and their new teammates. Albicy, Ennis, Shurna and Stevic all played together for MoraBanc Andorra in 2018-19 when the team sensationally reached the semifinals. Ennis and Brussino teamed up at Zaragoza in 2019-20 when the team reached the Basketball Champions League semifinals – with Fisac as head coach. Gran Canaria has plenty of weapons offensively and the energy to defend against the best teams in the competition, making the team a serious title contender.