Estonia Seeking A Return To Winning Ways

14 August 2005

The Estonian national basketball team will take on Baltic neighbours Latvia, as well as Sweden and Finland in Rakvere this weekend as their last step before the additional qualifiers for the European Championship.

"These games are important as they will show us the shape we are in," Estonian assistant coach Ullar Kerde told SL Ohtuleht.

"I hope that the co-operation between the players is better than before. The new playing style should make sense to everyone."

Although Estonia beat England in their first training match this summer, they have lost the other games to Israel and Lithuania.

Kerde is hoping for the run of defeats to end in Rakvere. "Nobody wants to lose at home, but at the same time we have to remember that these are just training matches before really important games," he said.

The games are taking place in Rakvere which will also be the venue for Estonia's first qualifying match against Czech Republic next Friday.

From the regular players Estonia have lost Valmo Kriisa to a hand injury.

"Last time it took two-three weeks to heal, I do not hope to get away with less this time," Kriisa told SL Ohtuleht.

Who will take over as a playmaker will be a crucial question which the coaches are hoping to solve this weekend.

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