Iberostar Tenerife go for FIBA Intercontinental Cup glory
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA (Intercontinental Cup) - Iberostar Tenerife are going to be taking aim at a second straight Basketball Champions League trophy in 2017-18 but their focus right now is on something else.
The Canary Islanders, coming off a best-ever fifth-place performance in Spain's Liga Endesa, are gearing up for Sunday's FIBA Intercontinental Cup clash with Guaros de Lara.
In a battle of Europe against South America, Iberostar Tenerife's new coach, Nenad Markovic, has a good idea of what awaits his team when it faces Venezuelans Guaros.
"It's a team that tries to run, not only because of its playing philosophy but also because of its own players," he said. "What we have to do is to try to run with good judgment by attacking fast to take advantage and not let them run to stop them from scoring easy baskets."
For the fans of the Spanish outfit, there will be plenty of recognizable faces in the team they'll be cheering for this season.
Tim Abromaitis, Ferran Bassas, Mamadou Niang, Nicolas Richotti, Rodrigo San Miguel, Fran Vazquez, Javier Beiran and Davin White are all back from the side that hosted and won the Basketball Champions League Final Four.
The 30-year-old Beiran, who was in the best form of his career last December when a torn ACL cut short his campaign, is healthy again and eager to make up for lost time. He'll make his first home appearance for the club on Sunday since getting hurt.
"I feel good," Beiran said. "At the beginning, I was a little nervous and I was too eager to start but I complied with the stages (of the recovery).
"I'm still doing extra work, which is something I will always have to do, but that does not limit me in any way. I'm 100 percent physically and now, it's just a case of getting the right feeling back when playing games."
Poland international Mateusz Ponitka, who played for Markovic at Pinar Karsiyaka in last year's Basketball Champions League, and Hungarian Rosco Allen are two of the club's newcomers. Each just arrived in Tenerife after featuring at FIBA EuroBasket 2017.
Iberostar also have 23-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina international Adin Vrabac, who played for Partizan Belgrade in last season's Basketball Champions League.
Mike Tobey, a 22-year-old center who just finished his collegiate career at the University of Virginia, is the Spanish outfit's other new signing.
Guaros, who defeated Weber Bahia Basket in March to capture a second straight Liga de las Americas trophy, beat Fraport Skyliners of Germany in last year's FIBA Intercontinental Cup.