Igokea: How about this for a start?

The team from Aleksandrovac suburban area of Banja Luka has surprised everyone early on with a perfect 6-0 start to its 2012-13 Adriatic League season. With a veteran roster under his command, coach Dragan Bajic can only smile at his opponents’ disbelief. BallinEurope contributing writer Marko Savkovic tells us how they’ve done it…

Igokea has never been a frontrunner in the Adriatic. However, it’s a steady contender which, similarly to KK Siroki, is capable of chipping off points from more favored teams. What makes Igokea different and somewhat inferior to the Herzegovinan side is that it relies less on its youth program. Backed by the powerful Dodik family, Igokea enjoys stable financing and is capable of hiring proven professionals. The team’s home ground accommodating 4,000 spectators is one of the few purpose-built basketball arenas in the league.

In this debt-laden season with many teams facing financial difficulties, Igokea management played it smart in the offseason. They brought in two veteran players, Sinisa Stemberger and Branko Jorovic, strengthening their backcourt options. Best remembered by some for the below-shown incident, Stemberger is a refined shooter with solid defensive skills and should add composure when things get tight. So far in 2012-13, only Clifford Hammonds has played more minutes for Igokea.

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Eurocup game three: Besiktas’ first must-win of 2010-11

Gelabale awaits Iverson again

It may seem early on in the 2010-11 season (heck, it’s not even December), but Allen Iverson and his Beşiktaş Cola Turka squad play what appears to be a must-win tonight, as the Eagles face 2009-10 Euroleague competitor Asvel Basket in Villeurbanne, France.

Beşiktaş has already dropped its first two Eurocup games within Group B and, with both BG Goettingen and KK Hemofarm Stada both sitting at 2-0, Beşiktaş would appear to need three wins to comfortably think about advancing to the Top 16 round at very least. On the plus side, Beşiktaş’ losses were by only three and four points, so convincing wins in either of the bottom halves against either top-two team in the one-and-one series could also push the Eagles through – but again, that win in France is a necessary first step.

Expect something of a barnburner tonight, as the hometeam is no. 7 in Eurocup scoring through two, while Beşiktaş is 6th. Interestingly, Hemofarm Stada and Goettingen are nos. 1 and 8, respectively, in the statistic – A.I.’s surely feeling right at home in this bombs-away bunch…

As for excitement stirred up by Mr. Answer’s debut appearance in La Republique, Asvel Basket players and coaches – save maybe one – are playing it cool. “I haven’t heard too much about [him],” said Greens coach Nordina Ghraib, “and I did not mention his name in particular in my [meeting with media] yesterday morning.”

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