Julian Gamble switching teams, staying in the BCL
BURGOS (Spain) - Last season, they became the first team to win back-to-back titles in the Basketball Champions League. They will be gunning for the third straight with new faces both on and off the court.
Coach Joan Penarroya has left the club, the new playcaller is now Zan Tabak. The 51-year-old seven-footer won both the NBA League with the Houston Rockets and the European Cup with Jugoplastika Split as a player, and comes to Hereda San Pablo Burgos after two coaching seasons with Stelmet Zielona Gora.
He has had previous experiences in Spain as a head coach and as an assistant, taking the bench in Real Madrid, Sevilla, Girona, Baskonia and Fuenlabrada. Tabak also coached Trefl Sopot in Poland and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.
Here are the names on his coaching board:
Power forward Jasiel Rivero left the club, along with Omar Cook, Thad McFadden, Alex Barrera, Miquel Salvo, Ken Horton and Jordan Sakho. That meant a lot of work for the front office, but it seems that they delivered and will be ready to defend their title in the Basketball Champions League.
On November 10, the club announced that it reached a deal with Julian Gamble. The 32-year-old is coming while in fine playing form, having been with Lenovo Tenerife during the time Giorgi Shermadini was injured early in the season.
Gamble started his professional career in France, moved through Belgium, Germany and Italy before finding his second employer in Spain. Wherever he played from 2013 to 2021, he always averaged double digits, including 10.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in the Liga Endesa, and 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in the BCL for Tenerife this season.
Burgos are the fourth different BCL team Gamble will be representing, following Telekom Baskets Bonn, Nanterre 92 and Lenovo Tenerife.
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Here is what the double champs of BCL were up to during the summer:
Aleksej Nikolic is a 26-year-old point guard who is coming to the club after playing the Olympic Tournament with Slovenia. Nikolic grew up with Spars Sarajevo, then moved to Brose Bamberg, and after a couple of years with Partizan Belgrade, he picked up minutes in Italy with Treviso, and France with BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque.
Tyrus McGee is the man who flew high against Burgos in the Final 8 in Nizhny Novgorod last season. The 30-year-old guard has made a name for himself in Italy, winning the Italian League with Reyer Venezia, and playing the first ever Final Four of the BCL with the same club back in 2017. He looked better than ever with Hapoel Holon last season, earning his first trip to Liga Endesa this summer.
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Dani Diez turned 28 in May, a product of the Real Madrid academy, where he spent his first five seasons as a pro, too. Diez is a small forward who also played for Gipuzkoa, Unicaja Malaga, and got a good taste of the Basketball Champions League with Lenovo Tenerife from 2019 to 2021.
Diez will get to talk about the Real Madrid v Barcelona rivalry with Marc Garcia. The 25-year-old comes to the backcourt after spending six years with Barcelona's various selections, and he spent the last three seasons with Urbas Fuenlabrada. Garcia is a well-known name in FIBA Youth Events, winning the MVP award at the FIBA U20 European Championship 2016.
Perhaps the most interesting signing for Burgos is the one that saw Suleiman Braimoh join the club. A career journeyman is no stranger to the BCL, having played it with Enisey Krasnoyarsk and Hapoel Jerusalem. Braimoh is one of the most talented big men out there, he averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds per game last season, and had a 33-point game against Anwil two seasons ago.
Alex Renfroe, Vitor Benite, Xavi Rabaseda, Dejan Kravic, Maksim Salash, Kareem Queeley and Kristian Kullamae are still with the club, giving them enough of championship winning experience on both sides of the floor.