Turkish Airlines Euroleague
June 20, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
2011-12 Qualifying Rounds Profile: BC Donetsk
Barely five years after it was founded, one of the fastest-rising teams in European basketball, BC Donetsk of Ukraine, enters the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualfying Rounds full of ambition. Basketball already had a long tradition in Donetsk, where Shakhtar had previously reached the Ukrainian League finals and took part in European club competition games throughout the 1990s. In 2006, Valery Plekhanov founded BC Donetsk club and became its first head coach in the Ukrainian third division. Donetsk left no doubt about its power, winning all 34 games that season to achieve promotion to the next level. Center Konstantin Galenkin helped Donetsk to win the Ukranian second division in 2008 and make it to the first, where the team has been ever since. Donetsk made its European club competitions debut in 2008-09 but lost against Proteas EKA AEL of Cyprus in the EuroChallenge qualifying round. Back in Ukraine, with Andres Rodriguez, P.J. Tucker and Demetrius Alexander as its stars, Donetsk stormed into the league finals but could not get past Azovmash to the crown. The club returned to the EuroChallenge in 2009-10 but could not survive the first group stage. Donetsk folded in January 2010, only to reappear last season. An ambitious project was re-launched with Sasa Obradovic as head coach and Luis Flores, Jasmin Hukic, J.K. Edwards and Branko Cvetkovic as the main players. Donetsk delivered from the very beginning and won the regular season with a 37-11 record. The team then swept its playoffs series against Kryvbasbasket and Hoverla to reach the finals against Budivelnik. Despite falling behind 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, Budivelnik ended up rallying to win the title. Although it was left a step away from glory again, that won't prevent Donetsk from remaining ambitious into the future.
With Obradovic back at the helm and a veteran group of players, Donetsk looks to make a strong run through the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds. The club signed a backcourt duo that played together in the Euroleague last season, Vule Avadalovic and DeMarcus Nelson, to help lead the way. Joining them in the backcourt is veteran Ramel Curry, giving Obradovic three like-minded, multi-skilled players who know what it takes to win. Promising small forward Oleksandr Lypovyy could be ready for a breakout season, with the versatile Maksym Pustozvonov ready to help at that position, too. In the frontcourt, Michael Lee packs scoring punch, while Ivan Radenovic is a mobile big man with a good outside shot and power moves inside. Center Vyacheslav Kravtsov remains from last season to provide size and rebounds. Donetsk’s experience, hunger and versatility will play a large role as it takes aim at the Qualifying Rounds tourney in Charleroi.
Friday, September 09, 2011
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