Urban Life Suits Slovakia

25 June 2005

Coach Lubomir Urban has steered Slovakia into a strong position in Division B in their bid to rejoin the elite in European men's basketball.

The Slovaks have defeated Ireland, Switzerland and Malta to lead Group B with contests against all three set for September.

If they end up topping the group, they will take on the side that triumphs in Group A in Division B for the right to win promotion.

The Slovakians are starting to prepare now with three friendlies at Portugal this week.

Players trying to break into the first team have a chance to impress as Radoslav Rancik, David Toya, Juraj Gavlak, Ondrej Soska and Dusan Bohunicky are unavailable due to injury or fatigue.

The biggest absentee is power forward Rancik, who has averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds in their three wins.

Benetton Treviso's highly-rated Gabriel Szalay is on the A list but he will be with the younger Slovaks as the attempt to win promotion in Varna, Bulgaria, for the U20 European Championship Men.

Slovakia squad to face Portugal June 27-29: Anton Gavel (Giessen), Martin Micka (Mattersburg), Vladimir Hovanak (Kunin), Daniel Novak (Groningen), Peter Holubek (Svit), Andrej Cervenka (Levice), Viliam Ridzon (Nitra), Stefan Svitek (Karlsruhe), Peter Praznovsky  (Mons-Hainaut), Michal Opatovsky (Inter Bratislava), Tomas Oresansky (Traiskirchen) and Branislav Tomek (Prostejov).

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