Credit: Yegor Aleyev/TASS - Scanpix
Credit Yegor Aleyev/TASS - Scanpix

UNICS Kazan have been a pleasant surprise this EuroLeague season. Coming from the 7DAYS Eurocup, the Russian team now sits in 5th place. Club's president Evgeny Bogachev was interviewed by a Russian online magazine "BUSINESS Online" where he shared his thoughts and hopes about the current season.

UNICS changed the majority of its team coming into the Euroleague season - only 4 players were remaining on the team from the last season. Remembering the situation, Bogachev was open.

"The team selection process was extremely tense," said Bogachev. "When we decided on the candidacy of Perasovic, there were very few options on the market that would suit us."

The Russian team stunned the European basketball community with the signing of Mario Hezonja last summer. The Croatian superstar, who last played for Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, was instantly projected to become the team leader.

Although sometimes inconsistent, Hezonja has already proved his worth this season.

Asked about the financial commitment to the player, the club's president noted that the UNICS budget hasn't changed for 5 years, and the signing was a significant move for the organisation. 

"I can say that our budget has remained at the same level as last year. Globally, it hasn't changed for the last five years," the club's president noted. "The top clubs in the EuroLeague have much larger budgets. In order to be equal with them (financially), we'd have to double our budget."

"But now we are showing that money is not everything in basketball. How many giants did we beat? Real Madrid, Baskonia, Milan, Bayern Munich, Maccabi in Tel Aviv!" he continued.

Bogachev was also straightforward after receiving a question about Zenit St Petersburg making the EuroLeague two years ago instead of UNICS. He did not want to talk openly about the situation, though.

"We were third in the VTB United League, they were fourth, but they have Gazprom as the sponsor. This is already history, and nothing will change," said UNICS.

UNICS Kazan are currently the leaders in the VTB United League with 8 wins in 9 matches. The club currently sits 5th in the Euroleague standings. The team hosts Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday to capture the 7th win in the last 8 games.

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Free throws this season

Points made: 9,8
Accuracy: 71,4%
Place in standings: 18
Record max: 16
Record min: 1
Most made FTs: Mario Hezonja