by: Javier Gancedo,
September 22, 2014
Mateusz Ponitka - Telenet Ostend - EC13 (Photo: Telenet Ostend)
Telenet Ostend returns to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds with the goal of climbing one step higher than last season. Ostend knocked off heavy favorites Khimki Moscow Region and Banvit Bandirma before losing against Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in its own court, Siemens Arena. A year later, Ostend hosts the Qualifying Rounds and returns with the core of players that did so well last season, conquering the Belgian double - league and cup titles - and winning three games in a Eurocup Last 32 group that featured both finalists - Valencia Basket and Unics Kazan. One of its main pillars is young, but ready small forward Mateusz Ponitka. At age 21, Ponitka was a key factor for Ostend off the bench last season with 8.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He brings a year of Euroleague experience with him; Ponitka played the 2012-13 Euroleague regular season with Asseco Prokom Gydnia and saw significant playing time (22 minutes per game) to go with 8.8 points and 3.5 rebounds. Ponitka already tasted Euroleague action and wants more, as he told us in this interview. "I played 10 games, not so many, but I know how it feels to play against the best teams in Europe," Ponitka told "It is a great motivation and I am really looking forward to fighting for it. It is something special." more