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Colombian Basketball (Men)

Phil Brooks's Blog

Liga DirecTV Standings
 1. Academia 21-3 
 2. Cimarrones 16-8 
 3. Bucaros 14-10 
 4. Sabios 12-12 
 5. Halcones 12-12 
 6. Condores 9-15 
 7. Aguilas 8-16 
 8. Piratas 4-20 
Points Per Game
 Jonathan RODRIGUEZ
  Acade.
  (196-F-87)
  Avg: 27.4
 1. Rodriguez, Acade.27.4 
 2. Ortiz, Condores23.8 
 3. Mims, Aguilas23.3 
 4. Sapp, Bucaros21.0 
 5. McGhee, Halcones20.2 
 6. Bradford, Sabios18.5 
 7. Davis, Piratas18.5 
 8. Coombs, Sabios17.7 
 9. Sperling, Cimarron.17.5 
 10. Smith, Sabios16.5 
Rebounds Per Game
 John HERNANDEZ
  Sabios
  (207-C-84)
  Avg: 13.3
 1. Hernandez, Sabios13.3 
 2. Julio, Bucaros11.8 
 3. Jackson, Bucaros10.7 
 4. Goard, Cimarrones10.5 
 5. Brooks, Aguilas10.3 
 6. Martinez, Halcones9.8 
 7. Davis, Piratas9.7 
 8. Mims, Aguilas9.5 
 9. Perez, Academia8.8 
 10. Williams, Sabios8.3 
Assists Per Game
 Tyler MURRAY
  Academia
  (195-G/F-90)
  Avg: 4.8
 1. Murray, Academia4.8 
 2. Caicedo, Cimar.4.6 
 3. Fisher, Aguilas4.5 
 4. Thomas, Bucaros4.4 
 5. Moreno, Cimarrones4.3 
 6. Coombs, Sabios4.2 
 7. Obasi, Bucaros3.9 
 8. Sperling, Cimarron.3.8 
 9. Forbes, Piratas3.8 
 10. Rodriguez, Acade.3.6 
Steals Per Game
 Stalin ORTIZ
  Condores
  (190-G-81)
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Ortiz, Condores2.2 
 2. Bradford, Sabios2.1 
 3. Sapp, Bucaros2.1 
 4. Jackson, Bucaros2.0 
 5. Caicedo, Cimar.1.9 
 6. Forbes, Piratas1.8 
 7. Leon, Halcones1.7 
 8. Fisher, Aguilas1.6 
 9. Goard, Cimarrones1.6 
 10. Moreno, Cimarrones1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Austin WITTER
  Bucaros
  (203-F-91)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Witter, Bucaros2.5 
 2. Mims, Aguilas2.3 
 3. Martinez, Halcones2.1 
 4. Hernandez, Sabios1.5 
 5. Goard, Cimarrones1.2 
 6. Perez, Academia1.1 
 7. Brooks, Aguilas1.0 
 8. Fripp, Piratas0.8 
 9. Aguaslimpias, Sabi.0.8 
 10. Givens, Piratas0.8 
Colombian men teams in Latin cups 2015-2016
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Articles
Interviews
Next Round Schedule

Round 25 (Regular Season)

Cimarrones 63% Jun.3 Condores
Piratas Jun.3 Sabios 73%
Academia 79% Jun.3 Halcones
Aguilas Jun.3 Bucaros 65%
Interview with Nikola Kuga - May 29, 2012


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Nikola Kuga
Nikola Kuga (200-F/G-86) is a 25 years old shooting guard. He was born in Bihac, in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He lived in Croatia , then during the war moved to Montenegro, and finaly to Serbia. So he can call himself a truef Yougoslavian: 'It was a really hard childhood time, but I look at it in a positive way. I can say I was lucky because I met many different people as a kid.'

Kuga's basketball time was also interesting. The 200cm serbian grew up in the famous basketball school of FMP Belgrade (the same youth program of many Euroleague players like Milos Teodosic and Nemanja Aleksandrov). Nikola collected dozens of caps in the Serbia Cadet and Junior teams. He played in Serbia (FMP) , Cyprus (Achilleas), Macedonia (Amak Ohrid), Slovenia (Polzela), Iceland (Skallagrimur) and again in Cyprus (AEK Larnaca) before being a legit pioneer on the other continents: Morocco (Sport Plazza), Dubai (Al Sharjah), the Maldives (RLC). He played in South America (Colombia, the first European ever) and in Asia (Vietnam),and was a top 5 player in the Gran Canaria 2007 Summer League and one of the best in the Malaga 2010 Summer League. Time for an interview:

Hey Nikola, your story is pretty interesting. As a product of the Serbian basketball school you decided early to play abroad. Tell us a little bit about you and your career so far.

I love challenges. As a young player I had a chance to go and play abroad. I left Serbia very early. After Serbia I played in Cyprus, Slovenia, Macedonia, Iceland... after afew years in Europe I was offered to play out of Europe. It was an great chance for me to discover new basketball worlds and start to write the second chapter of my basketball story. My first contact out of the Europe was Morocco. I was fascinated by the different lifestyle, culture, people and history, so I never regretted that decision. I spend one great year and season there, with great success. After that I went back to Europe for one season. At the end of the season I got a lovely offer from the Maldives to play a summer tournament. It was a great preparation for the next season, and a really amazing and relaxing time.

The 2011 season brought big challenges. I went to Latin America, and was the first player from Europe in Colombia ever. It was a crazy
time: four games per week, 24 games in less than 2 months, and play offs. It was a really tough league, with some NBA-players. I can describe it in a few words: games, practice, travel, sleep... Of course I had some days off, but only a few times I was able to go out and see the really amazing girls in Colombia.


After this 3 month competition I shortly moved to Dubai and spend a great time with Arabic 2011 Champion Sharjah . One of the best coaches in The Middle East area, Abdul Hamid, called me to help his team for some tournaments there . I couldn't play the championship, because only 1 import' player is allowed over there, and they allready had a US Point gueard. But it was a great expierience. After that I went to Vietnam, my last stop so far.

You have played in so many countries, from Europe to Africa, South America and Asia. What did you learn from this countries and what are the main differences of the game in these different areas?

Playing basketball in all those countries and experiencing different basketball and cultures made me a really better person and a better player. I feel very blessed and thankful for my basketball experiences. I'm focused on working hard, making teams happy and enjoying basketball. I'm a player who's trying to get better and better, this is my challenge and my job.

There are many differences between the game in Europe and other places I played. Out of Europe the game is much more focused on offense.
Playing as an import means you have to score 20, 25, 30 points. It's more NBA-style, the game is fast. There's more motion, many fast breaks, people like to see their teams score 100 points in a game. In Europe, teams are more focused on defence, tactics, the position game... so that's the main difference. As a player you have to be a bit more athletic and get individual skills, because you can expect to play a lot of 1 on 1 games, and have to create your own space. Also, almost 80 procent of the points come from import players. Teams are expecting points from you each and every game, while in Europe there are at least 8 or 9 players able to have a high score almost every game. It's not an easy job, but every day you learn new things and that is why I really love basketball.


Do you have funny stories about different local cultures ?

Well, you have to be flexibile and adjust your lifestyle to the local culture. There are many more differences then in basketball. My career brought me in so many countries, experiencing cultures and different mentalities and always learn more about the world we live in.
Adjusting is not always easy of course, and there are a lot of funny situations happening every time. People in Asia are so friendly it's always funny walking along the streets every day, where you can just meet people asking you something: it's amazing. It's always a lot of attention. In Morocco it was always funny. Really nice people, but not so organized about basketball. On the day before a game, on the practice all team owners appear and ask the same question: Are you ok?'. Then, the next 5 days, nobody come. The taxi drivers in Vietnam were also funny. They don't speak English. They drive you around the city for 40 minutes, before they drive you to your address. All you can do is wait. Now it's really funy, but there it wasn't .


Food is a special story. You need at least a month to adjust to the local food. In Asia they always make food spicy. On the Maldives, every single meal was spicy. I told them: please bring me an un-spicy meal the next time. Always they answered: sure. And always the next meal was the same as the previous. But hey, now I like spicy food...

Who is Nikola Kuga off court in everyday life?

Well, I am not much of a different person on and off the court. I love sports. Off season time, I try to stay at least 1 month out of basketball. But I play tennis and I like to swim. The last few years, I use the summer to go in a Hiperbaric Chamber to recover after the season.

I love to discover new things. I love music, the internet. Not so much different things than everybody I guess . I like to spend time with my family. Summer time is great for that, because during the season most of the time we're not together.

What's your next challenge as a player?

Well , I am 25 years old . My previous expierience told me never to say I will go there'. So I hope I will continue to write new chapters of my basketball story somewhere in the world.
  




Jonathan
Rodriguez
Jonathan Rodriguez claims Colombian Liga DirecTV weekly honour - May 30, 2016

Puerto Rican-Dominican Rep. Jonathan Rodriguez (196-F-87) had a great game in the last round for league's leader Academia and that's him to receive a Latinbasket.com Player of the Week award for round 24. The 28-year old forward had the game-high 35 points adding eight rebounds and seven assists for Academia in his team's victory, helping them to beat Aguilas (#7, 8-16) 89-81. It allowed Academia to consolidate first place in the Colombian Liga DirecTV. Academia have a solid 21-3 record....   [read more]

John
Hernandez
Liga DirecTV Round 24: Cimarrones are upset by Sabios - May 29, 2016

The Regular Season in Liga DirecTV is slowly approaching the end. But there may be still some important changes in the final standings in the last 4 rounds. The most important game in the last round took place in Manizales between second ranked Cimarrones (16-8) and fourth ranked Sabios (12-12) on Saturday night. Cimarrones were defeated by Sabios in a tough game on the road 63-67. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Sabios made 10 blocks. The best player for...   [read more]

Jonathan
Rodriguez
Colombian Liga DirecTV round 22 best performance: Jonathan Rodriguez - May 23, 2016

Puerto Rican-Dominican Rep. Forward Jonathan Rodriguez (196-F-87) put on an amazing game in the last round for top-ranked Academia, receiving a Latinbasket.com Player of the Week award for round 22. The 28-year old player was the main contributor (36 points, six rebounds and three assists) to his team's victory, helping them to beat Condores (#6, 9-13) 94-82. It allowed Academia to consolidate first place in the Colombian Liga DirecTV. Academia have a solid 19-3 record. In the team's last...   [read more]


1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Liga DirecTV Round 22: Bucaros lose to Cimarrones in the game between Top 4 teams - May 22, 2016  
Colombian National Team 2016 - May 20, 2016  
Rodriguez's 32-point game gives him Player of the Week award - May 20, 2016  
Liga DirecTV Round 20: Condores beat Sabios by two after a very close game - May 19, 2016  
T.J. Sapp claims Colombian Liga DirecTV weekly honour - May 19, 2016  
Liga DirecTV Round 19: Cimarrones are upset by Patriotas - May 18, 2016  
Deandre Haskins (ex T71) agreed terms with Cimarrones - May 17, 2016  
Colombian Liga DirecTV round 18 best performance: Tayron Thomas - May 16, 2016  
Liga DirecTV Round 18: Condores lose to Bucaros in the game between Top 4 teams - May 15, 2016  
Thomas' 30-point game gives him Player of the Week award - May 15, 2016  
Liga DirecTV Round 17: Bucaros defeat Condores in the game between Top 4 teams - May 14, 2016  
Dave Boykin (ex Piratas) signs at America - May 13, 2016  
Sabios ink Cory Bradford - May 12, 2016  
Juan Herrera (ex Marinos) agreed terms with Sabios - May 12, 2016  
Interview with National Coach Guillermo Moreno - May 10, 2016  
THE COLOMBIAN FEDERATION RELEASES THE LIST Of PLAYERS NAMED FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM - May 10, 2016  
Liga DirecTV Round 16: Piratas edge Halcones by three points - May 8, 2016  
Colombian Liga DirecTV round 15 best performance: Dwayne Smith - May 8, 2016  
Liga DirecTV Round 15: Cimarrones lose the game and top position - May 7, 2016  
Lucena comes back to Bucaros - May 5, 2016  
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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