Gdynia participated in Euroleague 9 times. This year, the club makes its debut in EuroCup. The Polish team hadn’t fallen down from the main European basketball championship to EuroCup before. However, it advanced to ULEB Top-16 in 2004.
Today the club is coming through a new stage of its history. The return to big European basketball should help them to gain influence in the domestic championship.
Arka Gdynia took the 12th place in the 2017/2018 season, winning 17 of 32 games. It didn’t advance to play-offs and couldn’t buy very strong players in summer. So the team had to strengthen itself by means of oldtimers who had experience in Euroleague and EuroCup.
In the preseason, Gdynia played against Barcelona. However, the Polish team was hammered – 67:94. You can watch the game here.
Loko is the finalist of the last season and holder of the fantastic record – 20 wins in a row. From the start to the finals. A win over Gdynia in the first game of the season is a point of honour for Obradovic’s team.
First of all, Adam Lapeta catches the eye. He played for Gdynia in the main European championship for seven years. Two previous seasons, he tried to take over minutes on the court in Lietuvos rytas and Stal. Adam is eager to help the club in EuroCup games. It seems the team pays great attention to the championship.
Filip Dylewicz is another interesting purchase for the club. He is 38-year old. He is only one year younger than the head coach of the team. Two years ago, he averaged 11.3 points per game. Last season, he played for Trefl and averaged only 1.3 points in 30 games. However, nobody speaks about old bones. In the preseason game against Barcelona, he got 10 points. Anyway, he is a very experienced and respected player.
The main rivalry of the night is going to be a duel of two brothers – Mateusz and Marcel Ponitka. The elder brother plays for Loko and is considered to be the leader of the Poland national team. The younger one is a new hope of Polish basketball. Even though Arka Gdynia didn’t show great results last season, Marcel was awarded the best young player of the Polish championship.
This season, he has a chance to repeat his brother’s achievement and become the best young player of EuroCup. He is a gifted player but now he has to show his skill. The elder brother is his first examiner on the way.
Loko has no problem with the roster. According to preseason games, we won’t see ‘the bench guardians’ this year. The roster is balanced and flexible. Only Moustapha Fall seems to be a player of one position. However, even he can shoot from downtown.
Obviously, the leader of the team on the court is Dima Kulagin. The captain worked hard in summer and gained great physical conditions. Other roles in the team haven’t been outlined yet but Sasa Obradovic states that the work is in progress. It’s difficult for Wright and Whitehead to start the season so early. McLean is getting used to Obradovic’s demands again.
PARMA game didn’t make the team chemistry clearer but it let fans fall in love with all new players.
The first game of the season takes place on the road against Arka Gdynia on October 2nd at 9:00 p.m. Moscow time.
The game is broadcasted by Lokobasket.com and Match! Nash Sport TV-Chanel.