EUGENIUSZ KIJEWSKI, Head Coach
The Euroleague season opens on your home court. How special is that honor for Prokom?
"The choice of Prokom Trefl as a co-organizer, along with Euroleague management, of the first match in the best basketball league in Europe is a great honor for us. It will be a particularly important season for us, because we have done a lot to improve our organization level and build the strongest team in our short Euroleague history."
While building Prokom's new roster in the offseason, what were you trying to improve?
"When we decided to do everything to qualify further than before, it was obvious we had to build much stronger team. To achieve this, we have to improve our defense and offense level. While building the new team, we searched for players who will be dangerous from the arc and from the paint. We have seven new players: that is a risk, of course, but it is understood in sport that you won't achieve anything without taking risks."
What can you tell us about the new guys so far?
"We have been training with a 10-man team only for few days since Dajuan Wagner arrived. I can say that the atmosphere is really good. They have strong personalities and it's a thing for us coaches to build a successful team from them. I will be able to say more after finishing the preseason."
Prokom has already earned respectability in Europe. What is the next step?
"First of all, we are proud of that respectability. That also pushes us to fight for more. As I mentioned before, we are dreaming of qualifying as one of the top eight teams to the playoffs. There are no weak teams in this league, but I have a feeling we are in the strongest group. We have a big respect for all teams, especially for CSKA, Tau and Olympiacos, teams that always fight for the best results. Anyway, we want to achieve our best result so far in our fourth consecutive season in the Euroleague."
The perennial Polish champions from Prokom Trefl Sopot are back for a fourth consecutive season in the Euroleague, and this time brings what is arguably its most talented roster ever. Despite the fact that Prokom has never advanced past the Euroleague Top 16, its current squad boasts former Euroleague, Olympic and world champions. Head coach Eugeniusz Kijewski will have at his disposal seven new players, while the team also brought back three key contributors from last season. Together, they form an experienced veteran unit that knows what it takes to win. The centerpiece could be shooting star Milan Gurovic, a former world and European champion who was the ULEB Cup MVP last season after setting that competition's single-season scoring record. Together with Thomas Van den Spiegel, who will anchor the defense from the paint, the athleticism of local favorite Filip Dylewicz and the playmaking skills of Travis Best, Prokom has all the pieces to make an historic run.
| 2007-08 Regular Season|
vs CSKA Moscow
vs Tau Ceramica
at VidiVici Bologna
vs Montepaschi Siena
at Union Olimpija
at CSKA Moscow
at Tau Ceramica
vs VidiVici Bologna
at Montepaschi Siena
vs Union Olimpija
Prokom will go to battle with three point guards, who will all bring different looks to the team. Best is the playmaking mastermind, who can find the open man or hit the open jumper, as well as defend anyone. Veteran Christos Harissis brings experience and leadership to the point guard position as he begins his sixth Euroleague campaign, skills which could be needed opposite Dajuan Wagner, a lethal scorer in a point guard's body, who is looking to resurrect a promising career after battling illness and having a kidney removed. On the wing, Prokom boasts three-point marksman Donatas Slanina, who should reap the benefits of having three playmakers on the team as he sets up for plenty of shots from downtown. Przemyslaw Zamojski adds extra depth in the backcourt as a shooter coming of age who can hit key shots when called upon.
In all likelihood, Gurovic will become the focus of the Prokom attack. A world-class scorer, his presence will simply make things easier for everyone around him. For toughness, Prokom has Tomas Masiulis, a blue-collar worker who will do whatever it takes to help his teammates and camp out in the paint to get rebounds. Also in the paint, Prokom will turn to the duo of Van den Spiegel, a shot-blocking expert, and Olympic champion Ruben Wolkowysky, who can use his superb shooting touch to make his presence felt. Filip Dylewicz is the best athlete of the bench: his slams, three-pointers and blocks bring the fans to their feet. Small forward Krzysztof Roszyk also arrives from Polish League rival Turow to try to take his game to the next level in the Euroleague.
There is no doubt that Prokom will have a new look and a new attitude this season. With so many winners together on one squad, it is clear that the club won't settle for anything less than victory on every given night. The first measuring stick that the club will look to surpass will be success in the Top 16, where it has already landed twice. Now, Prokom will want to take the next step, earning a spot in the Quarterfinal Playoffs for the first time ever. If that can happen, Prokom could go on to be this season's Cinderella story... and one to keep an eye on from opening day.