Whitey, Sulejmanovic and Rosa are no longer in Bilbao; Hlinason arrives

Surne Bilbao Basket confirmed that Jeff Withey, Emir Sulejmanovic and Ignacio Rosa will not continue in the Basque team next seasonand add to the already announced casualties of Ludde Hakanson, Nikola Radicevic, Agustín Ubal, Francis Alonso and Michale Kyser.

In the case of Whitey, the 2.13-tall American center closes a two-year stage in Bilbao in which he has been the ‘five’ of reference and has stood out for his rebounding and intimidation capacity. Last season he averaged 9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

SulejmanovicFor his part, he has completed his second cycle in Miribilla in a course in which he has gone from less to more to sign 7.3 points and 6.1 rebounds, while Rosa has played a secondary role although he has participated in 31 games highlighting his European matches against Igokea (17 points) or Darussafaka (10). Zaragoza has taken an interest in him. “Many thanks to this club, fans and city for making me feel like one of yours this season. Many successes for the future! ”, He has stood out after this second stage, also ephemeral (after the first he went to Tenerife). With these three confirmed casualties from the squad that finished the last Endesa League, the renewal of Tsalmpouris remains to be made official.

For now, coach Jaume Ponsarnau, renewed until 2025, has eight players for the 2023-2024 season, three of them new: the American center with a British passport Sacha Killeya-Jones, the Estonian guard Kristian Kullamae and the Swedish point guard Melwin Plantzar. In addition, Adam Smith, Tomeu Rigo, Xabi Rabaseda, Alex Reyes and Denzel Andersson will continue to be ‘men in black’.

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Some leave and others arrive. The signing of the Belgian De Ridder will be official shortly. Before that, it was time to announce Tryggvi Hlinason, a 2.16-tall and 25-year-old pivot who will join the Basque team until 2025 from Casademont Zaragoza. He has played the last four years in the tricky capital and in the last one he had his best numbers by signing 7.4 points, 5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game for a PIR of 11.8. He was also the second stopper in the Endesa League, only behind Edy Tavares and leader in the 2 shots ranking, with 78%.

“We believe that with Hlinason we signed an important center in the competition and with a lot of experience in the league despite his youth. He is one of the strongest centers in both areas. In attack, he generates a lot of attention from the rival defenses, especially when he continues towards the basket in ‘pick and roll’ situations”, highlights the sporting director of Surne Bilbao, Rafa Pueyo. “And in defense he is a player with a lot of presence and intimidation. We trust that he is very important to the team. We are sure that Bilbao is the ideal place for him to continue taking important steps in his career”, he adds.

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