|Following the forced retirement of Martin Marek, BK Pardubice coach Jan Slowiak will be happy to have find a replacement in forward Hermann Opoku|
PARDUBICE REPLACE MAREK WITH OPOKU
BK Pardubice have signed 25-year-old Hermann Opoku following the early retirement of Martin Marek.
Marek had to quit the game after the start of the season due to persistent back problems.
Opoku who was born in Vienna, Austria, and has Ghanaian ancestry, is a 2.04m power forward/center.
"Hermann Opoku has excellent athletic ability," general manager Pavel Stara said.
"He plays with a lot of energy and is aggressive in the battles under the basket."
When asked to describe himself, Opoku said: "I think I play with great intensity, with great passion.
"I would say that I am an athletic type of player, especially on defense.
"I just want to make a contribution to our team and help it get the best results."
Opoku, who was last on the books of the Guildford Heat in England, also played for Polten in Austria, competed for George Washington University (in the USA) and played in Spain's LEB with Tarragona.
"Every player's goal, including mine, is to play international basketball," he said.
"The Pardubice club is about to have its first season in the EuroChallenge and this was attractive for me.
"I believe that we will be successful and am very much looking forward to it."
Pardubice will play in Group C with Roanne Basket, BK Prostejov and BC Goverla.
OVERTIME DEFEAT FOR BC NN
BC Nizhny Novgorod coach Zoran Lukic didn't celebrate after his team's 77-71 upset of Lokomotiv Kuban at the weekend.
|BC NN's Semen Antonov fouled out eight minutes before the end of regulation, which proved to be the turning point in the game|
The victory, he said, would need "to be confirmed in the next game with Spartak-Primorye in the BEKO PBL."
Unfortunately for Lukic and BC NN, the win was not confirmed as they suffered an 89-88 home defeat in overtime to Spartak on Thursday night.
This setback was a big one for Lukic and Co because with 8:36 to go, they led 68-56 after a three-pointer by Michal Ignerski.
A big sequence that allowed the visitors to claw their way back came shortly after.
Semen Antonov, the Russia international who played at the EuroBasket in Lithuania, was called for his fourth foul with 8:07 to go.
He complained and was slapped with a technical foul and had to exit the game.
Alexey Golayov went to the line and sank four straight free-throws and added another basket to cut the deficit to 68-62.
BC NN managed to go back in front by nine but a three-ball by Torey Thomas and a basket by Cuthbert Victor knotted the contest at 81-81.
Victor and Ignerski then sank two free-throws apiece as the game went to overtime.
Spartak scored the first six points in the extra period and ended up holding on for a narrow victory as Ernest Bremer missed a potential game-winning shot with two seconds to play.
Oleg Baranov, BC NN's 29-year-old forward, said: "For us, this is probably the worst defeat of the season because in the fourth quarter, we led by double digits but finally gave in.
"We had an opportunity to repair the damage in overtime but in the extra period, there is always tension on both sides.
"Our team failed to hit the open shots in the decisive moments of the fight while the opponents took their chances."
Lukic cut a frustrated figure after the game.
"The key moment came in the last quarter when the difference was plus 12 points we got a technical foul and the opponent scored six points in a row and was able to get back into to the game," he said.
"And we lost a player (Antonov) and didn't regain our balance on the court.
"It was very difficult to watch what happened at the end.
"But in general, we're to blame for the defeat."