Veteran Staněk Looks Ahead For BK Prostějov


BK Prostějov will be looking for much better results when they take part in European competition this season after failing to book a place in last year's EuroCup.

The team suffered back-to-back defeats to Tartu Rock and had to be content with their domestic action the rest of the campaign.

The club, which will take on KK Zagreb in the 2008-09 EuroChallenge Qualifying Round 1 on October 14 and 21, has been fortifying its roster and one of the newcomers is Pavel Staněk, who has  returned to the country from Austria where he played for Wels.

The 31-year-old Czech center won in 2002-02 and 2002-03 domestic crowns with Opava, his former club in the Mattoni NBL, before moving to Austria and this summer he had a chance to join his old team but Prostějov's project and potential made him opt for them instead.

The decision to play for Serbian coach Ivica Mavrenski, he says, was not a hard one to make.

"Negotiations with Prostějov were swift and concrete," he said in an interview on the club's official website.

"We quickly agreed on terms. In addition, I wanted to go to a strong team that will play at the top of the table."

Staněk is glad to be returning to his homeland, but he has only "pleasant memories" of his experience in Austria.

"During the four seasons there, we were mostly successful so our performance was total satisfaction," he said.

However, switching teams, and countries, means adjustments must be made.

"It is a little different because the Austrian league teams play a little bit different basketball," Staněk said.

"The performance is more individual. The game plans are not too elaborate. This is the biggest difference."

Prostějov would appear to have a strong squad.

Two key men are back from last season in playmaker Rashaan Ames and shooting guard Goran Savanovič.

The former averaged 15.5 points and 4.7 assists per game while the latter scored 11.7 per contest.

The team has also added Shaun Pruitt, a 6ft 10in rookie center who has joined the team from Big 10 powerhouse Illinois in American college basketball.

Pruitt averaged 12.6 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Illini and should be an important player for Mavrenski.

To overcome Nymburk, winners of five straight domestic titles and the team that beat Prostějov in the final of last year's Czech National Cup, will take some doing.

"Everything must work together, both on and off the court," Staněk said.

"Players certainly will not be chasing after personal statistics."

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