Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

EuroLeague star Tornike Shengelia signed with Virtus Bologna, first reported by BasketNews.

Tornike Shengelia

Tornike  Shengelia
Team: CSKA Moscow
Position: PF
Age: 30
Height: 206 cm
Weight: 103 kg
Birth place: Tbilisi, Georgia

A 30-year-old big man reached an agreement for the contract termination with CSKA Moscow. He will join the Italian powerhouse until the end of the season, per the official announcement.

Shengelia had to pay a buyout out of his own pocket to make this transfer, per BasketNews sources.

His contract with CSKA was valid until 2023, but due to the war in Ukraine, Shengelia decided to leave Moscow.

"Last year and a half, I had lots of ups and downs, emotional waves on and off the court, but also had an opportunity to compete and play for a high-level club. I personally want to thank Andrey Vatutin and Natalia Furaeva. From the first moment, they showed how much they appreciated me and did everything possible to make me feel comfortable," Shengelia wrote in his Instagram story. "Most importantly, they agreed to let me compete with the Georgian national team in the FIBA windows, which has always been the biggest honor of my career."

"Also, I want to take the opportunity to thank coach Dimitris Itoudis and the coaching staff and all club members," he added. "Regarding my teammates for this one and a half-season, I am proud of having shared the same locker rooms and courts alongside them."

"It's unfortunate that the reason for my departure is not related to basketball, but in life, you have to make choices, and this was my decision. Now I'm focused on what the future holds for me," Shengelia concluded.

New player registration in the EuroCup closes on March 8th at 18:00 CET.

 

That was the second last-minute Virtus transfer. On Thursday, the Italian champions announced the signing of another important CSKA player Daniel Hackett.

"I believe that there are no more words to describe my feelings and my appreciation to our President Massimo Zanetti for this latest market move and the arrival of a great player like Toko Shengelia," the CEO of Virtus Segafredo Bologna Luca Baraldi quoted in the press release.

"Toko will add a lot of talent and experience to our team. Our GM, Paolo Ronci, successfully negotiated with the player's representatives. Toko had other serious offers, but his arrival and desire to wear our black jerseys show the image that Virtus has in European basketball," Baraldi added.

In 15 EuroLeague games this season, Shengelia averaged 12.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 14.1 PIR.

Virtus currently rank 5th in the EuroCup's Group B and 2nd in Serie A.

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Tornike Shengelia

Tornike  Shengelia
Tornike  Shengelia
MIN: 24.82
PTS: 12.73 (53.3%)
REB: 4.67
As: 2.47
ST: 0.93
BL: 0.27
TO: 2
GM: 15