BC KHIMKI lands veteran forward Gelabale
BC Khimki strengthened its lineup by signing Mickael Gelabale for the remainder of the season. Gelabale (2.01 meters, 28 years old) has yet to play this season after helping the French national team to the silver medal at EuroBasket 2011. He signed with Belgian champion Belgacom Spirou over the summer, but the deal was terminated due to medical reasons.
Last season Gelabale suited up for Asvel Basket in his native France, where he averaged 12.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in six Eurocup games. He also played the 2009-10 Eurocup with Cholet Basket and helped the team win the French League that season. Gelabale was named MVP of the 2009-10 French League final. Before joining Cholet, he finished the 2008-09 season with Los Angeles of the D-League, where he recorded 16 points in six games. Gelabale played for Cholet at the start of his career and took part in two ULEB Cup campaigns before joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2004. He helped Madrid win the Spanish League title in 2005 and then moved overseas to play for Seattle in the NBA, where he spent two years. Gelabale is an accomplished dunker, who won the Spanish League Slam Dunk contest in 2004 and 2005.
"The season is long, and there are a lot of games. Now everything is fine, but when the load on the players is big, there is risk of injury. At the core of the team are now 10 people... but if we want to fight for the biggest titles, we had to strengthen the squad," explained head coach Rimas Kutinaitis. "After Keith Langford left, we did not rush and carefully searched for suitable candidates and Gelabale suits us perfectly. The problem can only consist of the fact that he has long been without game practice due to injury. Therefore, the contract will enter into force only after we receive the results of his physical examination. We signed the contract right now and because of the holidays we will have a short break — enough time for him to make himself at home and to fit into the team. I hope that by mid-January he will be completely ready."