|08 May 2003|
By PA International
Troy Ostler’s hopes of playing for Latvia this summer in the European Championships are fading fast with the player telling coach Armands Kraulins he cannot join up with the national team until August 25.
The American-born big man, having gained eligibility to play for Latvia earlier this year after playing professionally in the Baltic nation, has cited family reasons.
Latvia’s veteran coach Kraulins said: "He [Ostler] has indicated August 25 as the date of his return, but we are not happy with that. I could not wait for (Michael) Jordan himself that late.
"If he does not change his position, we will discard him from the team."
Latvia say they have lost contact with Bruno Petersons, another national team player who has travelled to America in search of an NBA contract.
The two absentees means that Kraulins’ biggest concern is his frontcourt players. In recent times, there was no shortage of competition for the centre and power forward spots. The earliest that leading scorer Kaspars Kambala, the Real Madrid big man, can meet up with the team is the friendly against Australia on August 16.
Kristaps Valters is also uncertain about his own future after trying to latch onto an NBA side.
He is joining the national side this week.
The group of players still in the reckoning for a Eurobasket 2003 place includes: Edmunds Valeiko, Kristaps Valters, Armands Skele, Raimonds Miglenieks, Roberts Stelmahers, Kristaps Purnis, Kristaps Janicenoks; Maris Ljaksa, Edgars Snepsts, Arnis Vecvagars, Troy Ostler, Uvis Helmanis, Ainars Bagatskis, Aigars Vitols; Kaspars Cipruss, Raitis Grafs, Kaspars Kambala, Bruno Petersons.