Kayseri KASKI was one of the fastest clubs to build the team of next season so a little assesment needed for the transactions until today.
Kayseri KASKI was the surprise package of last season. The club, named as Panküp Şekerspor Kayseri was on the verge of ceasing operations last summer. However, the city municipality got involved and eventually, “Commissioner of Sewers and Water Distribution” gave the financial support the club that needed and unexpectedly, successful results followed. After the completion of 2010-2011 season they started reinforcements quite early. First, they extended wtih coach Ayhan Avc 2 more years. Avcı helped the team reach Eurocup final; where they won by 14 at home but lost the cup after a 17 points defeat in the hands of Dinamo Kursk. Domestically, they played against Galatasaray in the semifinals and lost despite being very competitive in the first match. During the second match leading player Latoya Sanders got an injury and eventually, Galatasaray eliminated them.
Kaski opened the offseason with many important additions. First, they signed Ashja Jones (1.88, PF-C, 1980). An UConn alumni, Jones played 6 seasons in Russia including Ekaterinburg and finished last season with Rivas Ecopolis. Jones helped the ‘underdogs’ reach to Euroleague final and evenutally awarded the Euroleague Final Eight MVP award. She can play PF or C, a very reliable shooter from either low or high post and a good shot blocker.
Another important addition was Nicky Anosike. Not a great scorer but an important defensive force under the rim and for rebounds, Anosike played for Minnesota Lynx and Washington Mystics in WNBA. In the old continent, she finished the season at Israel, Ramat Hasharon with 9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5 asists. She won the domestic title with Beijing in China while clinching MVP award.
Moreover, Anatolian club added two experienced European players: Nuria Martinez and more recently, Evanthsia Maltsi. Martinez(1,76, 1984, PG) became very well known Spanish guard by the beginning of 2000s with Universitat Barcelona and Spanish National Team. Barcelona was the dominant force in those days and Martinez was one of their young stars. Later on, she played for Halcon Avenida and Ros Rasares Valencia. At Valencia, she played as a backup guard most of the time and last year, she was at Umbertido. In Italy, the team was not so competitive therefore it is an important opportunity for Martinez to revive her career again with potential trophies at KASKI.
Evanthsia Malthsi (1,80, 1978, SF) is a greater player with scoring and leadership abilities. She led Greece National Team from the beginning of the new millenium. Starting her career at Panatinaikos, she left for Zaragoza and then played at Celta. Maltsi improved her skills at WNBA, with Connecticut Sun. Helped USK Praha at Czech and then Polkowice at Polish League to compete with main rivals; Brno and Wisla Can Pack Krakow. Undisputedly, she is the Amaya Valdemoro(SPAIN) or Laura Masciadri(ITALY) of Greece and her name is already written in the history books of Greek basketball.
Moreover, Tuğba Tasci (1,78, 1984, Guard) signed for Kayseri KASKi, after four season with Besiktas. Galatasary youth team recruit Tasci was backup guard behind Courtney VanderSlot and leaving a very difficult season behind where the team managed to escape from relegation. One final addition for now is Begüm Dalgalar ( 1,82, 1988, SF) from Tarsus Belediyesi. Dalgalar got her basketball education at young age groups at Fenerbahce and after 7 seasons at the club, she found minutes in some southern Turkey, Tarsus.
After all those additions, it is fair to say that at least, they are a strong candidate for Eurocup title. It seems, last years’ achivements make the excited even more than ever. With those signings and without doubt, Turkish League became much more competitve but signing too many important players can be an expensive investment and can give harm to the club in long term.