Turkish Airlines Euroleague
May 23, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
Team Focus 2012-13: Caja Laboral Vitoria
INTERVIEW B. OLESON
INTERVIEW T. PLEISS
SAN EMETERIO, F.
2011-12: 5-5, Regular Season 2010-11: 10-10, Playoffs
2009-10: 11-9, Playoffs
2008-09: 14-7, Playoffs
2007-08: 16-9, Final Four
2006-07: 20-4, Final Four
2005-06: 18-7, Final Four
2004-05: 13-11, Final Four
2003-04: 13-7, Top 16
2002-03: 11-9, Top 16
2001-02: 13-7, Top 16
2000-01: 15-7, Playoffs Final
A new-look backcourt and a shot-blocker in the paint highlight the big moves made over the summer at Caja Laboral Vitoria. Veteran Carlos Cabezas, speedy playmaker Taylor Rochestie and combo-guard Fabien Causeur arrived to restock the guard rotation, while Tibor Pleiss brings much-needed size to Coach Dusko Ivanovic’s young team, which will try to go back to its winning ways after missing the Top 16 for the first time ever last season.
Cabezas and Rochestie were brought to orchestrate the team’s offense; Rochestie is the only man on the roster with no previous Euroleague experience, but playing alongside the savvy Cabezas should more than make up for that. Former All-Euroleague swingman Fernando San Emeterio makes everyone around him better. San Emeterio has established himself as the leader of this team and his ability to penetrate or hit outside shots creates opportunities for others. With last season’s Eurocup regular scoring champ Causeur and three-point marksman Brad Oleson taking aim too, Caja Laboral’s backcourt will create headaches for opposing defenders all season.
Caja Laboral gets a great boost with the experience two-time All-Euroleague forward Andres Nocioni brings to the youthful frontcourt, and with Maciej Lampe back after he missed the entire 2011-12 Euroleague season because of hip surgery. Pleiss gives this unit more size and all three players should help the team improve in the rebounding department; Caja Laboral was the second-worst defensive rebounding team in the Euroleague last season. Milko Bjelica and Nemanja Bjelica boast great versatility, which Ivanovic will surely maximize. Unai Calbarro will also look to make a mark in a reserve role.
With a roster filled with versatile players and with added depth in the paint, Coach Ivanovic and Co. will be looking to make a long Euroleague run once again. The team’s balance, combined experience and hunger after last season’s disappointment make Laboral a natural candidate to return again to the Top 16 and maybe even to go much farther.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Carlos Cabezas
The veteran point guard and former world champion returns to Euroleague action after two seasons away. With dozens of big games under his belt, Cabezas comes to Vitoria to lead Laboral’s new, young backcourt. Cabezas can score in bunches and shines in crunch time, but on a talented team like this one it will be his control of the tempo on offense and determination on defense that make his role a crucial one for Laboral’s success.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
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