From Igor Seliun, Minsk
BC "Minsk-2006" are on a mission in this season's EuroChallenge.
While club president Kanstantsin Sheravera has said more than once that the team's main goal in the competition is to gain experience in Europe, he has also stressed the importance of bringing quality basketball to Belarusian fans.
They have been deprived of the opportunity to see top-level club competitions in the country for almost a decade.
There are plenty of reasons for basketball fans to watch this "Minsk-2006" squad and one is the coach.
The 34-year-old Andrei Krivonos is a very popular person in Belarus.
He was the long-time captain of the Belarus national side and was also a member of the Belarusian team at the U22 European Championship in 1994 that won a gold medal.
Current Minsk-2006 players Dzmitry Kuzmin and Alexander Koul were Krivonos' teammates in that under-22 squad.
Krivonos is considered one of the most promising young coaches in Belarus and is a virtual lock to gain a spot on the coaching staff of the men's national team in the near future.
As for other members of the Minsk-2006 squad, three featured in the Belarus national side that fell just short of reaching Division A this summer.
They are Aliaksei Trastsinetski, Dzianis Korshuk and Kuzmin.
"Minsk-2006" should be in a confident mood for Tuesday's EuroChallenge clash in Russia against Enisey Krasnoyarsk.
Krivonos' men are undefeated at 8-0 in the Belarusian League, and they have locked up a place in the Final Four of the Belarusian Cup which is to be played December 18th and 19th.
Most of the team's triumphs have been by comfortable margins, though they were taken to the wire by Grodno-93 over the weekend before prevailing 73-70.