By Cesare Milanti / email@example.com
Milan, Italy – When Zenit Saint Petersburg managed to reach the 8th spot in the 2020-21 EuroLeague Regular Season, facing Barcelona in the playoffs, nobody gave them a single chance. But if that team went so close to a miraculous Final Four appearance, a big part of the credit had to go to Kevin Pangos.
After playing very few games with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA, being moved to the Cleveland Charge in the D-League, and trying to come back to Europe with CSKA Moscow before its exclusion from the EuroLeague, he’s now ready to dominate the European landscape again with EA7 Emporio Armani Milan. “These first weeks with Milan have been great, I’ve enjoyed my time here so far. We’ve been doing a good job trying to just get used to each other with this team, a bunch of new faces and guys who have played together before. We’re just trying to build that chemistry and get started the season off well”, he said in an exclusive interview with Eurohoops.
As mentioned earlier, he tried to leave a mark in the NBA but it didn’t come out as a satisfying experience on the court. The former Zalgiris Kaunas player, though, had nothing but good words for this American chapter. “It was awesome, I really enjoyed it. I loved my time in Cleveland, the organization was great, and the team and players were awesome. I learned a tone. I’m happy to be here now this year and play for Milan”, he commented.
When he signed with CSKA Moscow, he couldn’t imagine that just a few days later he would have been forced to leave the country. “I just tried to do whatever I could at the moment. I couldn’t control the situation going on across the water, so I just focused on myself and how I could get better. I spent a lot of time with my family to prepare myself for this year”, he said about how he handled those chaotic and difficult weeks.
In his fourth latest European parenthesis with Zalgiris Kaunas, Barcelona, Zenit, and now Milan, he has been coached by three outstanding basketball minds like Sarunas Jasikevicius, Xavi Pascual, and Ettore Messina. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far with coach Messina. All of them are so competitive, at the end of the day every single coach for whom I’ve played has that same characteristic”, he said about what these three legendary coaches have in common.
“I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. It’s very early and I’m trying to communicate with him a lot. He has done a good job communicating what he’s looking for and the different ways that he sees this team going. I think that’s important, to try to get the best out of our roster”, he added on Ettore Messina’a approach.
PHOTO CREDIT: EA7 Emporio Armani Milan