Ratgeber Facing Selection Crisis

09.09.2003

Hungary coach Laszlo Ratgeber must be wondering which of his national teams is going to show up at the European Championships this month.

Will it be the side which won their first six friendlies this summer?

Might the side hammered by France and Australia in Grenoble make an appearance, or the side which hit back in style to beat mighty Russia?

He also must be imagining just which of his players will show up - literally.

Eva Seres appears to be over the worst of her foot injury, but centre Krisztina Papp has yet to recover from a nerve problem in her feet and looks almost certain to miss out.

That has forced Ratgeber to consider the late addition of USA-based centre Petra Ujhelyi.

Ujhelyi, 22, is currently on emergency standby for the Detroit Shock, who are in the WNBA finals, and cannot join up with Hungary until the day before the European Championships. She wants to play for Hungary but her commitments in America have prevented her from cementing a place on merit.

Ujhelyi is not currently in the Detroit Shock play-off squad, but is being counted upon by Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer as an emergency reserve with the Shock now in the WNBA finals.

The 22-year-old confirmed that the national side has been in touch.

"Janos Sabari, the Hungarian team's technical director, called me and said: 'It is not certain that I am in the squad.' I still must fight for my place and if Papp recovers, she will be the 12th player."

Ratgeber is not keen on the idea of a player who has missed all of the preparations joining the team one night before a major tournament.

"It's extremely difficult to add one player, regardless of her ability," he said.

Ujhelyi played collegiately at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and has played in 14 games this season for the Shock.


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