Having reasserted their claim on the Estonian basketball throne, the Tallinn club did have to bid farewell to a number of key players, but managed to retain its Estonian core and reloaded the roster with equally intriguing talent to compensate for the losses.
Quite a few Kalev/Cramo players were out on international duty in the EuroBasket 2017 qualifiers, so the mission of getting the team ready for the Triobet BBL Cup 2016 will be especially challenging for coach Alar Varrak.
“It is very nice that the tournament is taking place again. For us, it is of course important to fight to win the trophy. At the same time, we have to acknowledge that these are our first games of the season”, said Varrak.
Just before the start of the tournament in Valmiera, Kalev/Cramo re-signed two key Estonian national team players, Rain Veideman and Sten Sokk,to new contracts. In addition to these names, the club also retained two other current Estonian internationals Erik Keedus and Martin Dorbek.
There are four new American players on the roster – Mickell Gladness, Demonte Harper, Mark Tollefsen, Robert Upshaw and one of the leaders of the Belarusian national team Vitaliy Liutych.
Although the new squad might need some time to gel, the individual talent on the roster alone will make Kalev/Cramo, who will play the hosts Valmiera/ORDO in the second Semi-Final, a difficult opponent for any team that gets in their way in the Triobet BBL Cup 2016.
The game between Kalev/Cramo and Valmiera/ORDO will take place at the Vidzeme Olympic Center on Saturday, September 24 at 17:30.