Guaros de Lara

Guaros de Lara Survive Scare TipToeing By The Fraport Skyliners Winning Fiba Intercontinental Cup 74-69

Usually around this time in mid September, Fraport Skyliner captain Quantez Robertson would be going through his normal pre-season routine with the club getting in synch with his new teammates, learning the new plays, finding chemistry with the new point guard that was hauled in late, annoying his teammates in practice with his never ending superb man on man defense and getting reacquainted with the Footlocker store in the NWZ mall where he lives only a short walk from the Skyliners training facility looking for the newest trendy shoes to help enhance his footwear. However September 18th, 2016 wasn´t any other ordinary day in the home stretch of the pre-season, but a very special and out of the ordinary as the Cincinnati native could have been able to achieve something that guys like ex Skyliners  Pascal Roller, Mario Kasun, Robert Garrett or Tyrone Ellis hadn´t done. These great players all won one a title for the Skyliners in one calendar year, but never two in that period. It took Robertson 7 seasons to win his first professional title and almost 5 months later, he had the golden opportunity to win a second with the Intercontinental cup. “It felt good trying to bring a second title to Frankfurt in the same year. Even if it felt like a normal BBL game, we were playing for a lot more. It definitely felt like a playoff game with the atmosphere in the arena”, stated ex Auburn guard Quantez Robertson.  For ex Mississippi(NCAA) forward Zach Graham, he didn´t feel any real pre-season anxiety, but had only title in his thoughts. “I just love to play this game. It is every player´s dream to play in a title game and we had fun and came home with the gold”, added 2016 Fiba Intercontinental Cup MVP Zach Graham.

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Zach Graham (Guaros de Lara) It Would Be Great For Venezuela And Our Team History If We Could Bring The Intercontinental Cup Home

Zach Graham is a 27 year old 198cm forward that is playing his second season with Guaros de Lara (Venezuela-LPB) helping them win the Liga Americas. Last season he played for Movil Estudiantes (Spain-Liga Endesa) playing 7 games averaging 8.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 36.6%, 3FGP: 22.7%, FT: 91.7%, left in Dec.’15, in Jan.’16 moved to Guaros de Lara (Venezuela-LPB) playing 31 games averaging  15.1ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 52.3%, 3PT-1(45.0%), FT-3(85.3%); Liga Americas: 8 games: 14.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 42.1%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 80.0%He started his basketball career in 2007 with Mississippi (NCAA) and played a total of 135 NCAA games until 2011. As a senior he played 34 games averaging 14.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 42.7%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 87.1%. He turned professional in 2011 and was part of the Atlanta Hawks veterans roster after the lockout and also played with the Reno Bighorns (D-League). In the 2012-2013 season he played for Maliye Milli Piyango (Turkey-TBL2) playing 33 games averaging 14.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 49.4%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 76.5%. He also played for Air21 Express (Philippines-PBA) playing Governor’s Cup: 9 games: 28.2ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 77.9%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Soles de Mexicali (Mexico-LNBP) playing  38 games averaging 19.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.3apg, 2FGP: 52.9%, 3FGP: 35.8%, FT: 82.0&. He also played for  Indios de Mayaguez (Puerto Rico-BSN): 5 games: 26.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 65.5%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 96.9%, in April signed at Caciques de Humacao (Puerto Rico-BSN) playing 15 games: 19.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 86.8%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for Soles de Mexicali (Mexico-LNBP) playing 51 games averaging 20.6ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 85.4%. He also played for Brujos de Guayama (Puerto Rico-BSN) playing 18 games averaging 11.8ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 83.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Intercontinental Cup game against the Fraport Skyliners in Frankfurt, Germany.

Zach thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are now starting your sixth professional season and second with Guaros de Lara (Venezuela-LPB). Except for a short stint in Turkey with Maliye Milli Piyango (Turkey-TB2L,  and last season with Movil Estudiantes (Spain-Liga Endesa), you have played mostly in the States(D-league) and Central and South America. Is money and the weather a big factor that has driven you away from Europe?

 

I never consider how the weather is when I am deciding about a team. I am from Atlanta, Georgia and we have all seasons there. I play the game because it´s my passion and so I can feed my family. Important for me is the type of people that I will be around. Another important factor is where I can grow the most as a player and person.

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Can The Fraport Skyliners Make History In Intercontinental Cup Sunday As Germany´s Only Two Time International Title Winner?

Usually titles are finalized in May and June of each year while September is the month where clubs are putting their final touches on the rosters, new American rookies are still getting acquainted with the gear stick in their team cars and in Skyliner country key players being signed late as they have demonstrated in the last three years with guys like ex NBA player Andrew Rautins, Jordan Theodore and new point guard Markel Starks being brought in as prices were reduced. However this season, the Fraport Skyliners have the big chance to reel in the club´s fourth title after the 2000 BBL cup, 2004 BBL League title and 2016 Fiba Europe Cup win with the 2016 Intercontinental cup. If Fraport Skyliner captain Quantez Robertson made any wishes on New Year 2016 about winning the Fiba Europe Cup is unknown, but if someone had told him he might win two titles in 2016, he probably would have screeched “sayyyyyy what”? But sometimes three is a charm as the Fraport Skyliners snuck in through the back door as originally they had no right playing the INtercontinetal cup, but only snuck in because CSKA Moscow and Galatasaray Istanbul were banned from the Fiba from playing this game which is known as the world title as it pits the Euroleague winner against the South American champion. The Fraport Skyliners will clash against South America champion Guaros de Lara. This Intercontinental cup  may not have much prestige, but a title is a title and they don´t necessarily grow on trees for an organization like the Fraport Skyliners so if one can be the beneficiary of a rift between the Fiba and CSKA Moscow and Galatasaray Istanbul, then one takes advantage of the early Christmas gift. If the Fraport Skyliners win, they will be the first team with 2 international titles as the only other German clubs with international titles are Alba Berlin, Mitteldeutscher BC and BGGoettingen with one each.

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