Azovmash Mariupol Sign Lokhmanchuk

13 October 2003

Ukraine side Azovmash have confirmed the signing of Olexander Lokhmanchuk to a one-year deal.

The Ukrainian national team player became a free agent when his contract with French team Nancy expired after last season.

Andrei Podkovyrov, the Azovmash coach, told PA International on Monday that the small forward will strengthen the outfit in two respects.

“We need an experienced player at position number three,” Podkovyrov said.

“I think he can improve our shooting from outside, and help with our offensive rebounds.”

Lokhmanchuk, who is 2.04 metres tall, recently explained why he chose to turn down a chance to continue in the French top flight.

“I was ready to stay in France, but Nancy’s managers proposed worse financial conditions than a year ago, and these conditions did not satisfy me,” he said.

“I am a professional player, and my wish to earn good money is normal.”

Lokhmanchuk negotiated with several clubs from Greece and Poland before signing for the Mariupol-based outfit.

He felt his bargaining power was hindered by his willingness to play hurt in Sweden this summer for Ukraine at the European Championships.

The Kertch-born player didn’t impress in the tournament, where he averaged eight points and four rebounds in games against Turkey and Croatia.

Azovmash go into the new season looking for success in Group A of the FIBA Europe League. They begin that season on October 15 against Turk Telekom of Ankara.

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