ULEB Cup Draw profile: Allianz Swans Gmunden

Jan 25, 2008 by ULEBCup.com Print
Allianz Swans Gmunden Perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the ULEB Cup this season comes from Austria, as few people had believed that Allianz Swans Gmunden would reach the elimination rounds if we asked before the start of the season. Gmunden not only became the first Austrian team to reach high in the ULEB Cup, but faces the elimination rounds with the same weapons it has used so far: outstanding defense and the inspiration of Deteri Mayes, a veteran scorer in his ninth season with the team. Gmunden had a strong start of the season with consecutive wins that made everyone start to wonder. The Swans beat Hapoel Galil Elyon 74-79 behind 27 points from Mayes and soon added a 85-71 home triumph against Benetton Olympic Fribourg in which Mayes had 22 points while Ian Boylan and Matthias Mayer each got 16. Gmunden went back to reality with a tough 53-83 home loss against eventual Group E champion Triumph Lyubertsy. It was the start of a three-game losing streak, as Gmunden dropped to 2-2 due to a 74-68 road loss against the Antwerp Giants and soon Deteri Mayes - Swans Gmundenregistered a 72-79 defeat against Buducnost. The Swans did not give up, however, and soon bounced back with a 90-83 home win against Galyl Elyon behind 29 points from Mayes and 25 from Peter Hutter. Gmunden moved up to 4-3 with a 66-88 road triumph against Benetton Fribourg with 28 points and 10 rebounds from Kevin Johnson. Despite a narrow 78-73 loss against Triumph, Gmunden set a make-or-break showdown for the third place against the Artland Dragons in Week 9. Gmunden lived up to the expectations, as Mayes had 32 points in a historical 80-69 win that allowed the Swans to reach the elimination rounds. Mayes has been a solid scorer all season long, as his ULEB Cup career-low is 14 points. Boylan and Johnson has also averaged 12 points or better as well as reaching high in the assists and rebounds standings, respectively. Gmunden are far from being the Cinderella of the competition. They proved everyone wrong and are ready to do it all over again.
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POST-DRAW REACTIONS

Bob Gonnen, head coach of the Allianz Swans Gmunden :"We are a small club and two-thirds of our players are local players. We didn't expect to go this far, so it is an honour for us to be in this round. Badalona is one of the top European teams, they are the big favorite, but we're going to fight like hell and do the best we can."

Allianz Swans Gmunden representative Katharina Wiesenberg:"We think that we are very lucky to reach the ULEB Cup elimination rounds. We didn't expect it, so we are pleased with any opponent we could face. We are more than happy to play against DKV Joventut. We feel like we are representing Austrian basketball in Europe right now. The whole Austrian League support us, as this is very important for Austrian basketball. Even a small country like us that reach far in such a big competition. We didn't expect it but showed we can fight. We played with heart and that's how we made it."