Hello to all of you Euroleague fans! This is my first blog and I am excited to be talking to you about the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds that take place next week in Italy. At this moment I am on the flight from Istanbul to Kazan, Russia. My new team, Unics Kazan, has spent a week or so in Antalya, Turkey taking part in the Rixos Cup Tournament to get ready for our first goal of the season – to quality for Euroleague!
My summer vacation was cut short to join my new team in Kazan on August 1, the reason being that the Euroleague qualifiers are held at the end of September. This qualifying round is a very important goal for us as we will battle against seven other teams for one spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season. Some good teams will be there, all of them eager to quality, too, I am sure. It's difficult playing such important games this early, especially when it's a knockout situation, meaning that if you lose any game, you're out! I am sure it will be a very exciting tournament and I believe that if we play up to our potential we will have a good chance of winning it. Of course we are not 100-percent ready for this challenge, but then again no team I think can be totally ready this early on.
My Unics Kazan journey started early when I came to Russia with my friend and former Panathinaikos teammate...
Ian Vougioukas - Kazan, Russia
September 18, 2012