Promitheas Patras is back in the 7DAYS EuroCup for the third straight season. After reaching the quarterfinals in 2019-20 - which were then canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic - Promitheas slumped to a 2-8 mark last season. The Greek club made a coaching change with the hiring of Luis Casimiro and entirely reshaped the roster - with hopes of making some noise this season.
The backcourt will be led by Kendrick Ray, who played in Turkey last season for Socar Petkimspor and also has EuroLeague experience with big teams like Maccabi Tel Aviv. He can handle point guard duties, but is more of a scorer. He will get that chance when he teams up with playmaker Gaddy, who will be making his EuroCup debut. Playmaker Nikos Gkikas returns to Promitheas after playing there from 2016 to 2019 and lining up for AEK Athens last year. Do-it-all small forward Loic Schwartz heads abroad for the first time in his career and brings with him two seasons of EuroCup experience with Charleroi. The backcourt also includes a handful of teenage prospects, including 17-year-old Athanasios Bazinas, who appeared in five EuroCup games last season and averaged 6.0 points plus 2.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in more than 20 minutes per game in his last three appearances.
Aside from Bazinas and some of the club’s other youngsters, the only players returning from last year’s team are in the frontcourt in Jerai Grant and Dimitris Agravanis. The 32-year-old Grant was excellent last season, averaging 11.6 points on 62.0% two-point accuracy as well as 5.4 rebounds in the EuroCup. Agravanis will be counted on to deliver excellent play inside and outside - though he struggled a bit from long range in the EuroCup last season. Promitheas will have no shortage of scoring options, including small forward Isaiah Miles, who averaged 15.1 points on 55.3% three-point shooting in the Basketball Champions League last season with Israeli side Hapoel Holon. More depth on the wing will come from 20-year-old talent Nikos Rogkavopoulos, who steadily earned more playing time the last three seasons with AEK Athens. The center spot will be filled by Dario Hunt, a 32-year-old veteran who will be making his EuroCup debut and joins the team from Italian side Fortitudo Bologna. Casimiro will also have the services of veteran Charis Giannopoulos and 19-year-old center Georgios Tanoulis in the paint.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Kendrick Ray is a cold-blooded scorer through and through, especially from long range. Give him any space and he will make you pay. The 27-year-old will beat you again and again, draining at least 3 triples in nine games last season for Turkish club Socar Petkimspor. In addition to his range - whether with his feet set, coming off a screen or step-back threes - Ray is not afraid of streaking to the elbow and knocking down a mid-range jumper. He can also drive to the basket and finish around the rim with both his right and left hand. Now at the prime of his career, Ray will have a major role for Promitheas.
Promitheas took a chance with the hiring of Luis Casimiro, who will be coaching outside of his native Spain for the first time but still has a lot of experience in the EuroCup with parts of seven seasons under his belt. Club management has given Casimiro the tools to be successful both in the short and long term. Now it will be up to the team to respond to him. If all goes according to plan, a deep run in the EuroCup and challenging for titles in Greece are on the table.