Door Opens For Rising Star Zandalasini

02 May 2014
9. Cecilia Zandalasini (Italy)
Zandalasini is rated as one of the top prospects in Europe.

Italy have continued their EuroBasket Women 2013 strategy of putting faith in young players with rising star Cecilia Zandalasini included in a preliminary list for the EuroBasket Women 2015 2nd Qualifying Round.

The 1996-born forward is rated as one of the top prospects in Europe and one of the most talented players of her generation.

Even if this year is still deemed to be too soon, it doesn't look to be long until Italy will allow her to dip her toes onto the senior team stage.

Zandalasini has been dominant at youth levels and is tipped for eventual stardom at the elite level, with Italian coaching and Federation staff no doubt keen to build on the impact made in France last summer by other rising stars such as tenacious playmaker Francesca Dotto, who also returns.

Meanwhile there is also a spot once again for Alessandra Formica who was another to contribute on French soil, as well as a third 1993-born player in Sara Bocchetti.

While the continued injection of youth is palpable, there is also a nice overall blend for head coach Roberto Ricchini to utilise, due to the vast experience of Raffaella Masciadri and combo guard skills of Giorgia Sottana.

There is also a significant newcomer in the naturalised Emily Correal, who should boost the frontcourt depth after impressing in her first pro-season with Fila San Martino Di Lupari.

There are four players from EuroBasket Women 2013 who aren't returning and since that includes Sabrina Cinili, who played with Kayseri Kaski Spor at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight last month - the entire roster is made up of players who play solely in the Italian league.

Benedetta Bagnara, Abiola Wabara and Kathrin Ress are the other players not included from last year, although Ress is available on call if any players sustain an injury.

Italy will play in Group C and compete alongside Estonia, Latvia and Portugal.

The full roster is as follows: Sara Bocchetti (Saces Mapei Napoli), Chiara Consolini (Umbertide), Emily Correal (Fila San Martino di Lupari), Martina Crippa (Gesam Gas Lucca), Francesca Dotto (Gesam Gas Lucca), Martina Fassina (CUS Cagliari), Alessandra Formica (Umana Reyer Venezia), Giulia Gatti (Passalacqua Spedizioni Ragusa), Gaia Gorini (Umbertide), Maria Laterza (Cignoli Broni), Raffaella Masciadri (Beretta Famila Schio), Chiara Pastore (Saces Mapei Napoli), Martina Sandri (Fila San Martino di Lupari), Lavinia Santucci (Umbertide), Giorgia Sottana (Beretta Famila Schio), Laura Spreafico (Beretta Famila Schio), Cecilia Zandalasini (Sesto San Giovanni), Ilaria Zanoni (Lavezzini Parma).


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