Our Euroleague team profiles continue as we look forward to the start of the new season next week. Here is Caja Laboral.
Introduction: They lost leading scorer Mirza Teletovic to the Brooklyn Nets this season but for this season, Caja Laboral still have a pretty strong roster. Taylor Rochestie comes in along with guard Fabien Causeur to boost the backcourt and the Spanish side have veteran Andres Nocioni back this season who will no doubt guide the youthful frontcourt.
Caja Laboral will aim to improve on last season’s poor 5-5 finish, thus eliminating them from the regular season and being in Group C, they are one of the favourites to advance.
Coach: Now in his fifth season as head coach, Dusko Ivanovic will look to wipe the slate of last season clean as he guides a relatively new team to a better finish this season.
Liga Endesa’s coach of the year in 2001, Ivanovic has had a successful coaching career since the Montenegrin retired in 1996. He has won the Spanish Kings Cup three times and won the Super Cup in 2008. Ivanovic He has also enjoyed success in the Swiss league with Fribourg Olympic.
Key Player: With his experience and guidance, Fernando San Emeterio will look to make an impact on every stat line as well as guide a new-look Baskonia side to a Top 16 place and beyond. Going out at the regular season stage hurt and San Emeterio will look for more.
A veteran of both the Euroleague and inrternational basketball, San Emeterio has enjoyed a great deal of success with a Eurobasket gold medal and Olympic silver medal. He was named in ot the Euroleague All-First team in the 2010-11 season.
Breakout Player: Taylor Rochestie has no Euroleague experience but with the vast array of experience on this roster, he should not have a problem fitting in. A 2010 Eurochallenge winner with German side BC Goettingen and a finals MVP as well, many have said that Rochestie’s Euroleague debut has been a long time coming.
Biggest Euroleague Moment: A finalist in 2005, Caja Laboral, then Tau Ceramica upset favourites CSKA Moscow in the semi-finals before falling at the final hurdle against Maccabi Electra. While not expected to reach the Final Four in London next May, they are expected to better their performance last season.