At just 24 years of age BK JIP Pardubice guard Evaldas Zabas (188-PG-88) is the youngest player in the Mattoni NBL's top-five scoring leaders. Currently averaging over 17 points a game, the Lithuanian native leads his third-place Pardubice club in scoring, steals, free-throw percentage and is tied in assists all while shooting an impressive 58% from the field. In his first season in the Czech Republic the 6-2 Zabas has exceeded fans expectations and helped the club maintain its top-of-the-standings reputation, even with the budget related departures of mainstays Marcus Arnold and Maurice Hampton last season. Despite his age, Zabas arrived in the Czech Republic with an impressive resume, including leading the Swedish Basketligan in scoring in 2011-12 as well as incredibly productive stops in the United Kingdom and Germany. A former member of the Lithuanian U20 National Team back in 2008, Zabas spent some time to talk with Eurobasket.com about his experiences and success so far with Pardubice.
Q. With the basic stage coming to a close would you say you are satisfied with your and team's performance so far?
A. Yes we are definitely satisfied with what we accomplished so far this season, but I believe that the strongest and the hardest competition is yet to come. Now weve played each team a couple of times and there are no secrets. Everyone knows what plays you are going to run and what your game plan is going to be. So while we are satisfied with our performance thus far, we know that there is a lot of work left to be done.
Q. What factors led you to decide to sign with Pardubice in the off-season?
A. I have always heard good things about Czech basketball so when the opportunity came up I didn't think twice. I think its a great league, with great competition and a lot of high quality players. Also, Pardubice was a Euro Challenge team last year so when they offered me a spot I knew that this organization was serious about winning and they know how to treat their players well.
Q. What did you know about the club and the Czech Republic prior to arriving?
A. I didn't know too much. Like I said, I knew they played in Euro Challenge last year and that they were always near the top of the table in the standings.
Q. What has been your biggest adjustment to life here both on and off the court?
A. I would say communicating with players on and of the court has been the hardest things to get through here and I believe that is part of the reason why we struggled at the beginning of the season. With language barriers it takes longer than usual for a team to gel but everyone has worked really hard to come together and to understand each other. Now we are all on the same page, and it shows!
Q. Your teammate Corey Muirhead (197-F-83, college: W.Carolina) is having one of the best all-around seasons in the entire league, what has it been like playing together with him? In your opinion why has his game developed so much this season?
A. Corey is a great guy and an amazing player. Its been great playing with him and learning from him. His experience really shows in practice and games. His game has developed so much this year because he works so hard for this team. I can tell each and every day how much he cares about winning. No one likes losing but Corey is really one of those guys that would do anything to win - no matter what it takes. He can do everything - defend, rebound, score or whatever else the coach asks of him.
Q. Your scoring prowess has translated to every league you have played in, whether in the UK, Sweden or here. Would you like to share your secrets?
A. It's no secret. Hard work pays off and you get out what you put in. Basketball is a game that can't be perfected but as long as I'm getting better every year, thats all that matters to me. Also, it starts with my love for the game. Without that, I could never put in the work that I do.
Q. When you are off the court, what are some of your hobbies and pastimes?
A. Well its not quite a hobby, but I do like my sleep. Other than that, I love movies, music, video games, and Im always studying the game and figuring out ways to get better. In the Summer, my hobby is getting better at the Athlete Institute at ACTS in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. Its where I work on my craft with other pro players.
Q. The A1 group stage will of course pit the top teams in the league against each other. What will you and the team need to do in order to secure a top finish?
A. Just keep working hard and playing like weve been playing. At this point, it is about who wants it more. Also, it will be very important for us to keep trusting each other and playing like a team.
Q. What is your status for next season? Will you continue with Pardubice or look to further your career in another country?
A. I can't tell you anything about next season yet. I dont really think that far ahead because the second you start doing that it takes away from what my mission is right now. I will just keep on working hard and let my agent do his job.
David Skranc (206-C/F-96, agency: Octagon Europe) led Pardubice to the semifinals with 14 points, hitting 3-of-4 from the three-point range. Last summer David Skranc worked on his physical condition and his skills before the long, hard season ahead with his coach Levell Sanders . Now, He is playing his best basketball. This season, David Skranc is the best Draft prospect in the Czech League with a PER of 14.5 David Skranc 14.5 Alexander Madsen (207-F/C-95) 14.4 Radovan Kouril (185-PG-9... [read more]
David Skranc (206-C/F-96, agency: Octagon Europe) led Pardubice to the semifinals with 14 points, hitting 3-of-4 from the three-point range.
Last summer David Skranc worked on his physical condition and his skills before the long, hard season ahead with his coach Levell Sanders . Now, He is playing his best basketball.
This season, David Skranc is the best Draft prospect in the Czech League with a PER of 14.5
David David Skranc is a versatile small forward prospect with good size and length. The Czech Republic native can score from multiple spots on the floor and he understands how to play around the rim, can be a mismatch for smaller defenders as well as challenge bigger defenders. David Skranc is a high level rebounder for a wing. His 4.3 rebounds per game were third-best among draft prospect in the Fiba Europe Cup.
In 2015, The U20 Czech national team showed their best result in history (6th place) where David Skranc played a key role for the team where he played more than 20 minutes per game.
NBL Round 6 of Quarter-Finals. BK Opava complete semifinal picture - 1 day ago
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BK Opava - USK Praha 73-68 BK Opava rallied past USK Praha to win the quarterfinal series. BK Opava made 22-of-24 free shots (91.7 percent) during the game. They also forced 20 USK Praha turnovers. Point guard Radovan Kouril (185-95) scored 18 points and 6 assists to lead the charge for the winners and the former international point guard Jakub Sirina (186-87, agency: Octagon Europe) chipped in 19 points during the contest. The best for the losing side was Croatian center Mladen Primorac... [read more]
BK Opava rallied past USK Praha to win the quarterfinal series. BK Opava made 22-of-24 free shots (91.7 percent) during the game. They also forced 20 USK Praha turnovers. Point guard Radovan Kouril (185-95) scored 18 points and 6 assists to lead the charge for the winners and the former international point guard Jakub Sirina (186-87, agency: Octagon Europe) chipped in 19 points during the contest. The best for the losing side was Croatian center Mladen Primorac (210-90, agency: PEPI SPORT) with a double-double by scoring 11 points and 13 rebounds and international swingman Jaromir Bohacik (197-92, agency: Octagon Europe) scored 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Top scorers: BK Opava: J.Sirina 19+2reb+3ast, R.Kouril 18+6ast, V.Bujnoch 13+6reb, J.Blazek 10+4reb, V.Cvek 7+10reb+2ast, R.Klecka 4+1reb+2ast USK Praha: A.Madsen 15+4reb+1ast, P.Safarcik 13+3reb+3ast, J.Bohacik 13+5reb+4ast, M.Primorac 11+13reb+3ast, L.Festr 7+1reb+1ast, M.Mares 4+4reb+1ast
Jan Vesely selected the top Czech playing abroad in last week's games - 3 days ago
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Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Czechs who are currently playing abroad. This week's number one is an international power forward Jan Vesely (213-90). He contributed to Fenerbahce's victory against the closely-ranked Panathinaikos in the Euroleague in Tuesday night's game.
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Czechs who are currently playing abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an international power forward Jan Vesely (213-90, currently plays in Euroleague). He contributed to Fenerbahce's victory against the closely-ranked Panathinaikos (19-11) 71-58 in the Euroleague in Tuesday night's game.
Vesely recorded 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 31 minutes on the court.
Fenerbahce Istanbul (18-12) is placed fifth in the Euroleague.
It was his team's first victory after three consecutive loses.
This year Vesely averages: 9.6ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 57.5%(122-212) and FT: 54.2% in 32 games he played so far.
He is currently a member of the Czech Republic senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international swingman David Jelinek (195-90, agency: Octagon Europe, currently plays in Spain). Jelinek was the major contributor in Andorra's victory against the 12th-ranked Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (11-17) 96-78 in the Spanish Liga Endesa last Sunday.
He scored 17 points and added 4 passes.
MoraBanc Andorra (15-13) is placed eighth in the Liga Endesa.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
It's Jelinek's first season with the team.
Jelinek has relatively good stats this year: 10.8ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.9apg, 2FGP: 51.7%, 3FGP: 35.0% and FT: 78.8%.
He is in the roster of the Czech Republic senior national team.
#3. The Czech Republic player who performed third best last week abroad was an experienced former international center Ales Chan (215-80, college: Seton Hill, currently plays in Austria). Chan led Raiffeisen Wels to a victory over one of league's weakest teams UBSC Graz (7-24) 84-65 in the Austrian A Bundesliga on Monday night.
He was MVP of the game. Chan had a double-double by scoring 32 points and getting 16 rebounds. He also added 2 blocks in 32 minutes.
WBC Raiffeisen Wels (15-16) are placed sixth in the A Bundesliga.
Chan's team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial.
This year Chan has relatively solid stats: 11.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1bpg, 2FGP: 57.9%(114-197) and FT: 79.3% in 28 games.
Former USK Praha starter played for the Czech Republic national team three years ago.
#4. Forward Filip Halada (198-92, currently plays in Slovakia). He could not help Rieker KN (24-16) to beat Kosice (34-6).
Halada scored 5 points and added 3 assists.
Rieker KN was defeated 82-74 on the road by the leading Kosice.
Halada has reliable stats this season: 10.3ppg, 3.6rpg and 1.5apg.
He used to play for the Czech Republic U20 national team
back in 2012.
#5. Former international center Tomas Hampl (215-88, currently plays in Spain) managed to help Igualatorio Cantabria Estela Santander in a victory against the 12th-ranked TAKE Tolosa (7-18) crushing them 89-60 in the Spanish EBA (fourth division) last Saturday.
Hampl recorded 5 points in 19 minutes.
Igualatorio Cantabria Estela Santander (22-3) is placed first in Group A-A.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is quite important.
Hampl's stats this year are: 13.2ppg and 5.7rpg in 25 games.
He used to play for the Czech Republic national team
five years ago.
One more player who has never been selected to any of national teams, but has Czech Republic passport:
#1.Filippo Meccoli Matejca (194-G-92, currently plays in Italy) could not help Valdiceppo (9-21) in their last game on Saturday. Despite Meccoli Matejca's good performance the 13th-placed Valdiceppo (9-21) was badly defeated 80-64 on the road by the higher-ranked Ortona (#10) in the Group D.
He scored 10 points.
The Regular Season already ended.
Meccoli Matejca's overall stats this season are: 9.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.7apg and 1.1spg.
He has a dual citizenship: Czech Republic and Italian.
Other top Czech Republic players, who play abroad:
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