by: Javier Gancedo,
October 22, 2014
Thomas Heurtel - Laboral Kutxa Vitoria - EB13
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria was the first team to win in the 2014-15 Turkish Airlines Euroleague, defeating Neptunas Klaipeda 88-69 last Wednesday to lead Group B. Laboral won all four quarters and its best player on the floor was playmaker Thomas Heurtel, who set new career-highs in assists (10) and steals (4) against Neptunas to go with 13 points in 33 minutes. Heurtel has kept improving every year and comes off a fantastic summer with the French national team, with whom he played a major role to help Les Bleus to a bronze medal at the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Back in Vitoria for his fourth consecutive Euroleague season with Laboral, Heurtel knows it is always a challenge to face the best point guards in Europe, as he told Javier Gancedo of in this interview. "I believe that the Euroleague is the best competition in Europe, at the highest level and getting better every year," Heurtel said. "It is always challenging to have a good Euroleague season, personally and as a team." more
October 15, 2014
Jordi Bertomeu
As Euroleague Basketball opens its 15th season of managing the top competitions in the continent on Wednesday, the focus on progress in the future remains strong in the organization. After a summer in which the member clubs voted to transition to a new competition model in the near future, Jordi Bertomeu, the President and CEO of Euroleague Basketball, is confident that fans will soon enjoy the same great Euroleague game in a clearer, fairer and stronger structure. "It will become a true European league on the basis of Europe's tradition of promotion and relegation," Mr. Bertomeu said. "By not depending on what happens in other countries and leagues, there will be a natural path to reach the top competitions in Europe, giving fans and the clubs themselves a clear understanding of what it takes. I am confident that fans will enjoy an even better Euroleague and Eurocup." more
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