Hippo's latest Petteri Koponen Watch installment just arrived in the mail. As always it was reeking of fish and soggy from being written in a sauna. Here you go:
Now, the 2009/10 season is officially over after Virtus Bologna lost their Italian league first round playoff matchup against NGC Cantu 2-3.
It can be said that this season was Koponen's breakthrough party. After averaging 3,1 points in 15,0 minutes in his first season with Virtus, his averages skyrocketed to 11,3 points, 2,3 rebounds, 1,8 assists and 1,4 steals in 27,7 minutes a game while starting every one of Virtus' games.
If the aforementioned numbers don't convince you of Koponen's importance to his team, it's also worth noticing that with Koponen running the point, Virtus won 15 out of 23 games, but after his injury, they only managed to win 2 out of 10.
Koponen still has three years of contract left with Virtus Bologna. If Portland Trailblazers is willing to bring Koponen over to their team, the contract includes a reasonable buyout clause.
Finland will face Israel ( Omri Casspi ), Latvia ( Andris Biedrins ), Italy ( Andrea Bargnani & Marco Belinelli ) and Montenegro ( Omar Cook & Nikola Pekovic) in the Eurobasket qualifications Group A. Here's the qualification schedule:
Aug 5th Finland - Montenegro
Aug 8th Italy - Finland
Aug 11th Finland - Israel
Aug 14th Latvia - Finland
Aug 20th Montenegro - Finland
Aug 23rd Finland - Italy
Aug 26th Israel - Finland
Aug 29th Finland - Latvia
P.S. WHERE ARE YOUR FINLAND NATIONAL TEAM JERSEY FACEBOOK PICTURES, DAMMIT?!