INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS GARNETT week 15 Player OF THE WEEK! - Feb 1, 2011
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EUROBASKET HAD THE CHANCE TO SIT AND TALK WITH WEEK 15 PLAYER OF THE WEEK, Christopher Garnett (211-C-80, college: Indiana SE), TO GET HIS THOUGHTS ON THIS, THE SECOND SEASON OF THE ABL & ALSO HIS THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE.
EU: Chris, thank you for sitting down with us. How have you found this past season in SouthEast Asia? It was not too long ago that you left your mark on this part of the world playing in South Korea with the KBL sides SK Knights & the KTF Magic Wings. How has this return to this region been to you?
CHRIS: THE SEASON WAS A BIT SHORTER THAN MOST, BUT OVERALL, IT WAS A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. THE CULTURE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA IS VERY FAMILY ORIENTED AND MAKES FOR A REALLY FULFILLING BASKETBALL EXPERIENCE--RETURNING TO ASIA WAS FUN. I REALLY LOVE PLAYING ALL THROUGHOUT ASIA, AND I WAS ABLE TO JUMP BACK INTO MY STATISTICAL PROWESS PRETTY QUICKLY AND EASILY.
EU: With SK Knights & KTF, you were annually selected for post season award, signing a contract to play in the Asian Championships in '09, and also going deep into the playoffs in years past, all based o your on-court exploits. What differed this season for you?
CHRIS: WELL, THIS WAS ONE OF THE FEW TIMES WHERE WINNING DIDN'T COME SO EASY, LOL.....ALSO, THERE WERE A LOT OF DIFFERENT LEVELS OF TALENT, BASKETBALL IQ, AND ATHLETICISM ON THE COURT AT THE SAME TIME, AND THAT WAS QUITE AN ADJUSTMENT.
EU: Please detail for us, why u decided to bring your talents to Brunei after such storied successes throughout the globe?
CHRIS: IN A NUT SHELL: IVE ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY FOR FIBA EXPERT COACH, Ozell Wells . OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, OUR SCHEDULES NEVER ALLOWED THE OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO WORK TOGETHER UNTIL NOW. SO, I JUMPED AT THE DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY. HE HAS HELPED MY CAREER SO MUCH, AND I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM HIM ON AND OFF THE COURT THROUGH HIS COACHING, TEACHING, AND GUIDANCE. IT WAS A NO-BRAINER.
EU: How have u found the level of play here in the ASEAN League comparatively? You have played all over the world and excelled everywhere that you have gone. How does the ABL?
CHRIS: OBVIOUSLY, IT'S NOT ON THE LEVEL OF EUROPE OR KOREA, BUT THE LEAGUE IS QUITE NEW AND WILL GET BETTER OVER TIME. HOWEVER, WHAT''S GOOD TO KNOW IS YOU'RE GOING TOE TO TOE WITH ANOTHER AMERICAN WHO IS JUST AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN YOU ARE. THIS PAST SEASON, I HAVE SEEN AND PLAYED AGAINST AMERICAN IMPORTS THAT ARE HEAD AND SHOULDERS BETTER THAN SOME THAT I'VE PLAYED AGAINST IN EUROPE. SO, THERE ARE NO EASY STATS, EASY VICTORIES, OR GUARANTEES.
EU: The season has concluded for the Barracudas, having missed out on the quarterfinals by 3 games. How close do u feel the team was to reaching the playoffs? What if any predictions do u have on the ABL playoffs, as you did face each team and received a very good view of what can do what?
CHRIS: I FEEL THAT WE PLAYED TOUGH GAMES, TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THAT THE GAMES WE LOST WERE IN OVERTIME, BY 7 OR LESS POINTS. ALSO, ILLNESSES KEPT THE MAJORITY OF OUR TEAM FROM BEING ALLOWED TO PLAY IN AN EASY, WINNABLE GAME. BEING THE ONLY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE TO PLAY ONLY 5 PLAYERS (NO SUBSTITUTES AVAILABLE), WE WERE AT A DISADVANTAGE THE MOMENT FOULS WERE CALLED AGAINST OUR TEAM. I THINK THE PLAYOFFS WILL BE VERY INTERESTING. YOU HAVE SOME REAL GAME CHANGERS IN LEO AVENIDO, NIKEA MILLER, GABE PRUITT, AND JASON DIXON. SO IF THE GAMES ARE CLOSE, GET YOUR POPCORN READY. MY PREDICTION IS SINGAPORE WILL TOP THE ABL THIS SEASON.
EU: What can we expect from you now that the mid-season transfer period is kicking into high gear?
CHRIS: I'VE RECEIVED OFFERS FROM NUMEROUS COUNTRIES SUCH AS EUROPE, DUBAI, MEXICO, JAPAN, CHINA, AND OTHERS. I'M STILL UNDECIDED ABOUT THE COUNTRY OF MY TRANSITION RIGHT NOW. I'M GOING TO PONDER A LITTLE LONGER ON THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO ME.
EU: How has the adjustment been for you, now that you are a seasoned veteran player? Detail the changes that you have had to make from your first years as a European player? What if any are the differences between European Basketball (Bulgaria/Turkey/Romania) and ball here in the Asian Zone (Korea, Brunei, Mid East countries)?
CHRIS: ADJUSTMENTS ARE MOSTLY MENTAL. DURING MY ROOKIE YEAR IN THE FIBA EUROLEAGUE, I PLAYED WITH A LOT OF EMOTION. OVER THE YEARS, I BEGAN PLAYING THE GAME FROM A MENTAL STANDPOINT. IF YOU CAN CONQUER THE GAME MENTALLY, THE PHYSICAL ASPECT CAN BE A BREATHER. I RECOMMEND THAT ALL ATHLETES AND COACHES READ THE BOOK CALLED 'MIND GYM' BY GARY MACK & DAVID CASSTEVENS. IT DELVES INTO THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MIND GAME. SOME DIFFERENCES IN EUROPEAN AND ASIAN STYLE BASKETBALL ARE THE SPEED OF THE GAME AND SOME OF THE RULES. KOREA, CHINA, AND JAPAN ARE VERY FAST, UP-TEMPO LEAGUES; LOTS OF 3-POINTERS; KOREA AND CHINA USE NBA RULES. EUROPE CAN BE A BIT SLOWER THAN ASIA AS FAR AS TEMPO, BUT THE TALENT LEVEL IN EUROPE IS SECOND TO NONE. I THINK THAT EUROPE IS HANDS DOWN THE BEST TALENT OUTSIDE OF THE NBA. ALSO, EUROPE USE FIBA RULES, AND IT'S A BIT OF A DIFFERENCE REGARDING THE 'NO 3-SECOND RULE' ON DEFENSE. SO, YOU RARELY GET ANY 1-ON-1 PLAY. VERY TACTICAL.
EU: What can we expect from you in the future? There is talk of a development program in the US, we have been told?
CHRIS: A LOT MORE BASKETBALL AND, HOPEFULLY, MORE ADDITIONS TO MY PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP COLLECTIONS.
EU: Are there any last words or thoughts to your many fans both in Europe, Asia and the US?
CHRIS: .I would like to give a BIG Thank You from the bottom of my heart to all of the fans around the world for their time, kindness, encouragement, and tremendous support. You, the fans, make my job much more enjoyable when I step out on that court, and I hear the excitement in your voices and read your enthusiastic signs which will forever plant memorable experiences of you deep into my heart and soul. You have said many wonderful things about me, and you are by far some of the greatest fans in the world, and it has been a great privilege indeed to entertain you from the sports arena. Im glad that I have this special opportunity to thank each and every one of you. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
EU: Chris, thank you so much for taking the time to sit with us!
WE AT EUROBASKET ALSO WANT TO WISH CHRIS CONTINUED SUCCESS & PROSPERITY IN HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS, AS WE LOOK TO HEAR MANY MORE GREAT TINGS FROM HIM & ABOUT HIM IN THE SEASONS TO COME!
Michael Parala (196-F-89) lifted the Labuan Wasps to the final of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League with a come from behind 82-79 victory over the Kota Kinabalu Eagles last night. Parala scored 14 of his 19 points in the deciding period, including the basket to separate the two sides in Kuching. The final will be a repeat of last year's where Kuching Lord Tiger won 86-64 to clinch the inaugural title. The see-saw game was deadlocked at 79-79 with a minute to go. The Eagles had the chance t... [read more]
Michael Parala (196-F-89) lifted the Labuan Wasps to the final of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League with a come from behind 82-79 victory over the Kota Kinabalu Eagles last night. Parala scored 14 of his 19 points in the deciding period, including the basket to separate the two sides in Kuching. The final will be a repeat of last year's where Kuching Lord Tiger won 86-64 to clinch the inaugural title. The see-saw game was deadlocked at 79-79 with a minute to go. The Eagles had the chance to go back up but John Foronda missed his attempt inside the paint with 43 seconds to go. Parala converted a three-point play with 24 seconds left. Argel Mendoza missed a game-tying trey with 11 seconds left and the Eagles had to foul Kennedie Teo immediately. The latter missed both his shots. Mendoza had another opportunity with a half court heave but missed. Courtesy of: bt.com.bn
Blazers fall short against Lord Tiger in EBL - 6 months ago
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THE Beruang Blazers fell short yet again to the defending champions Kuching Lord Tiger after a 94-90 loss in the fourth leg of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League last night. The Brunei side had fallen to a 66-64 heartbreak against the same side at the Kota Kinabalu Community Hall on Sunday. The game looked over as the Lord Tiger were ahead 93-80 with two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter at the Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) court in Batu Bersurat. Lyndon Gudez then went on an... [read more]
THE Beruang Blazers fell short yet again to the defending champions Kuching Lord Tiger after a 94-90 loss in the fourth leg of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League last night. The Brunei side had fallen to a 66-64 heartbreak against the same side at the Kota Kinabalu Community Hall on Sunday. The game looked over as the Lord Tiger were ahead 93-80 with two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter at the Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) court in Batu Bersurat. Lyndon Gudez then went on an 8-0 personal run to give the Blazers a lifeline with over a minute to play. Darren Chai then made two freethrows to bring the game to a single possession at 93-90 with 39 seconds left. The hosts had a chance to go for the tie after Lord Tiger gifted ball possession back to the Blazers as Ramsey Williams was whistled for an offensive foul off the inbounds. The Blazers took a timeout but it never materialised as Benjamin Sim stole the ball off Darren after the inbounds. The Brunei side only recovered the ball with 14 seconds left and Darren, not knowing the time left on the clock, air balled a contested three-pointer three seconds later. The Blazers had to foul to stop the clock and Joon Kang Lee (176-G-99) split his charities with three seconds left to extend the Lord Tiger's unbeaten streak to 10 games. Blazers coach Hj Md Sofrian Hj Md Yusof, who is known as Ryan, was disappointed to finish at the losing end. 'Earlier on they (Lord Tiger) were making baskets and we were slow getting back on defence. But the players tried their best and we did claw back into the game,' said Ryan in an interview with The Brunei Times after the defeat. 'We made it close and just fell short again. It is heartbreaking but I think it is a lesson for us. 'We started strong with some lapses in between. Nonetheless, the effort on the court was incredible. Hopefully we keep the energy up for tomorrow (Saturday night),' he added. The Blazers had all three of their imports in double figures for the outing with Gudez leading the way with 24 points, which included five treys, while Hernal 'Wowie' Escosio added 15 points. Singaporean centre Goh Delvin (199-C-95), who only took eight shots and missed one the whole game, contributed a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Darren was the other in double figures for the Brunei side with 14 points in a losing effort. Lord Tiger had distributed scoring with five players hitting double figures. Chze Hian Chai (180-G-82) was on fire for the Lord Tiger as he was perfect from the field, except a missed free throw, in the first half to tally 21 points. He eventually finished with a game-high of 36 points with only two missed field goals from his 16 attempts. The duo of Sim and Yiek Chai Teck added 11 points apiece while Jessie Collado (193-F-87), who never returned after an injury in the second quarter, and Bobby Balacunag notched 10 points each in the victory. The Lord Tiger got off to a good start as the Blazers were not getting back fast enough on defence. However, the Blazers rallied back to carry a 29-22 lead going into the second period after a Goh putback at the buzzer. Goh and Escosio did most of damage for the Blazers to finish with 10 and nine points respectively in the opening period. The Lord Tiger started the second quarter with an 8-0 run before Gudez nailed a trey to stop the rot. The Blazers were having trouble press breaking their opponents but remained ahead 52-49 at half time after Gudez hit a buzzer beating three-pointer. The hosts scored the first four points after the interval but the Lord Tiger turned things around with a 14-0 run. The defending champions were running the floor and executing their offence to take a 74-62 advantage into the final stanza. Earlier, Labuan Wasps fell 96-79 to the KK Eagles. John Foronda (197-C) had a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Eagles while Nicol Bolos added 22 points. On the other hand, Ng Sing Tee notched 22 points for the Wasps. The Blazers will next take on the Eagles today at 9pm right after the matchup between the Lord Tiger and Wasps at 7pm. Courtesy of: bt.com.bn
Gritty Blazers edge Eagles in thriller - 6 months ago
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THE Beruang Blazers put up their best showing to date in the Yuwang EBL Basketball League to hold on for a 79-76 victory over Kota Kinabalu Eagles in the third leg last night. Filipino import Lyndon Gudez was back to his usual self after recovering from a sprained finger on his shooting hand to finish with a game-high of 29 points to lead the Blazers to their second win in the competition. Captain Ben Sim knocked off his shooting slump from the previous leg to record 18 points, which incl... [read more]
THE Beruang Blazers put up their best showing to date in the Yuwang EBL Basketball League to hold on for a 79-76 victory over Kota Kinabalu Eagles in the third leg last night. Filipino import Lyndon Gudez was back to his usual self after recovering from a sprained finger on his shooting hand to finish with a game-high of 29 points to lead the Blazers to their second win in the competition. Captain Ben Sim knocked off his shooting slump from the previous leg to record 18 points, which included four treys, while Singaporean centre Goh Delvin (199-C-95) notched a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards in the win. On the other hand, Filipino import John Foronda (197-C) produced a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Eagles. His compatriot Argel Mendoza was the other in double figures with 23 points to a losing cause. The Blazers got off to a ferocious start with strong man-to-man defence to lead by as many as 12 points in the opening half. However, the Eagles came storming back in the second period and to close to within 42-40 at halftime. The hosts grabbed the lead for the first time after scoring the first four points after the interval two minutes into the frame. They got their largest lead at 49-45 midway through the third period courtesy of a trey by Helbert Legada. The Eagles were then held without a field goal and the Blazers went on a 12-1 run for the next three minutes to eventually carry a 64-58 advantage into the final stanza. It was a physical affair but the Blazers held their ground and were in front 73-65 with over three minutes to go before back-to-back baskets by the Eagles. The Bruneian side took a timeout to regroup and Sim hit five straight points including a circus shot to make it 78-71 with less than two minutes left. Mendoza then converted a three-point play to cut the deficit and was fouled shooting a trey with a minute to go. He missed the first from the free-throw line before connecting on the next two to make it a one possession game at 78-76. The Blazers came up empty handed at the other end and Mendoza had a chance to give the hosts the lead with 36 seconds left but Choo Yung Jian (175-G-88) came to the rescue of the Blazers to block his three-point shot. The Eagles had to foul with the time winding down and Gudez was sent to the line with 12 seconds to go but he split his charities to give the Eagles a lifeline. However, Mendoza was off the mark with his game-tying three-pointer despite a good look at the basket to see the Blazers win their first in three meetings against their opponents. Blazers coach Hj Md Sofrian Hj Md Yusof, also known as Ryan, was delighted with the win and paid tribute to his players for the strong showing. 'As a team we played tremendously well and everybody did their part. It is the best game we have played and we wanted to make sure that we do everything we can to win,' said Ryan in an interview with The Brunei Times after the triumph. 'The officiating here is a bit different but we held our own but if we focus on what we need to do, we will play a really good game and it showed tonight (Friday night). 'I'm proud of my players. Lyndon was back to himself and both Wowie (Hernal Escosio) and Delvin did well,' he added. 'I also have so much appreciation for the local players for stepping up when I needed them the most. 'I hope that we will carry this positivity into the next game (against the Labuan Wasps at 7pm today) with the same finesse and intensity,' concluded Ryan. In the earlier game, defending champions Kuching Lord Tiger extended their unbeaten run in the competition to seven games after a 108-80 win over the Wasps. Courtesy of: bt.com.bn
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