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Promotion Dreams Alive For Strong Hosts

21.07.2010

Austria have been hoping to having a shot at promotion to Division A in their home tournament from the start.

8. Moritz Lanegger (Austria)
Moritz Lanegger is one of five players scoring in double figures and a 50% three point shooter

Having the reigning U20 European Championship MVP Rasid Mahalbasic back for another campaign and motivated crowds in Oberwart and G├╝ssing the big goal seemed possible from the start.

Well into the tournament with only one game to play in the Qualifying Round it looks more likely than ever since the hosts sit on top of their group with a clean 4-0 record.

Coach Werner Sallomon was relieved after yesterdays close win over Norway.

In their last Preliminary Round game his men had already taken an opponent lightly and lost a close game against Denmark, which was meaningless with Denmark not advancing to the next round.

"It looks like that this must- wins are very hard for us.

"In this period of the tournament the victory is all that counts and the team was fighting very hard for it today.

"Now the door is wide open for the semi finals."

In order to earn promotion, Austria must win two more games, their quarter final and their semi-final.

Today's game against Poland will be decisive since the Polish have a very strong team themselves and could deny the Austrians the top spot in their group.

But Austria's balanced team attack with five players averaging double figures in scoring and their lock-down defence will at least give them a good shot at beating the team that scores the most points in the tournament so far.

It remains to be seen if they can go all the way but the dream is certainly alive.

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