UCAM Murcia is making its 7DAYS EuroCup debut and has made sure it puts together a deep, strong roster to be really competitive right away. Murcia brought back head coach Oscar Quintana, kept most of its main players from a historical last season and added valuable experience. Newcomers include last season's EuroCup top scorer Billy Baron, experienced swingman Martynas Pocius, playmaker Pedro Llompart, as well as scoring ace Ovie Soko and big man Marcos Delia. With thousands of loyal fans backing the club in its biggest challenge to date, expect Murcia not to be your average EuroCup newcomer.
Murcia managed to keep star playmaker and Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Facu Campazzo for another season, on loan from Real Madrid. Campazzo plays with great intensity, has very high basketball IQ and great passing and driving skills. He is set to be one of the best point guards in the EuroCup this season. His backup will be Llompart, who enters his fourth EuroCup season with three different teams. Llompart is a reliable free throw shooter, as well as a team player who doesn't make many mistakes. Billy Baron and Vitor Benite will split minutes at shooting guard. Baron is a scoring machine who can be unstoppable at times while Benite is also a good shooting but also plays with high intensity on defense. Pocius brings in experience, driving skills and his all-around game. Soko is also ready to fill the baskets everywhere, making the most out his scoring skills. Sadiel Rojas will be the team's top defensive stopper. Physical, aggressive and with great defensive mentality, Rojas will be a key player for Coach Quintana.
Jose Angel Antelo enters his fifth season in Murcia after signing a long-term contract. Antelo likes to face the basket to make the most out of his unlimited range, but can also be productive in the low post and is a very good rebounder. Also at power forward, Nemanja Radovic provides post skills, determination and a lot of talent. Vitor Faverani will be Murcia's main reference around the baskets. Athletic, powerful and ready, Faverani faces a very challenging season, one of the most important of his career. Delia arrives as a backup, ready to hit mid-range jumpers and play with great determination.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Billy Baron arrives with big credentials - he was the 7DAYS EuroCup's top scorer last season. Just as his brother and former teammate Jimmy, Billy Baron can hit shots off screens, but he adds more versatility in terms of generating his own shot and being able to take it off the dribble. With two good passers like Llompart and Campazzo, always a good pick-and-roll players like Faverani and Radovic, Baron faces the opportunity to make history with Murcia. Be sure Baron will keep filling the baskets everywhere in the competition, becoming a fan favorite in Murcia.
With so much talent in every position, it will not be a surprise if Murcia can beat any of the big teams of the competition in any given night. Campazzo is simply an elite point guard and Murcia has all it takes - a balanced roster, great fans and the enthusiasm of a newcomer - to do something truly special in the competition. Murcia, however, faces a tough group with Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, FC Bayern Munich, Zenit St. Petersburg and Unicaja Malaga. Every win will count but staying strong at home against Buducnost and Zenit could be a deciding factor for Murcia in its premier EuroCup season.