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Aleshkina Breaks Nose

17 September 2003

Ukraine centre Lyubov Aleshkina will have to wear a mask at the European Championships after breaking her nose in training.

Aleshkina, a vital member of the Ukraine team which finished second to Poland in their qualifying group, averaged almost seven points and more than eight rebounds a game.

She has been one of Ukraine's best players this summer but they have not capitalised on her performances by losing several games.

Among her top performances were two games in an Istanbul tournament last month.

She scored 14 points and had eight rebounds in a defeat by Russia and 15 points and nine boards in a win over Slovakia.

The Ukraine women are hoping to lift the country’s basketball fans after their men’s team finished bottom of Group D without a win in the recently completed European Championships in Sweden.

The women are not setting their sights too high for the tournament, though.

National team manager Grigoriy Vul said: "We really understand that we can't take first place at Euro 2003. However, we have enough forces to earn pass to the Olympic games.”

The Ukraine, who have been working out at the Zaporizhzhya Kozachka-ZALK training base, finished 11th at the European Championships two years ago.

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