Medvedenko Blow For Ukraine

27.08.2003

Ukraine boss Hennadiy Zaschuk is seething over Stanislav Medvedenko's decision not to play for his country at the European Championships.

The Los Angeles Lakers reserve, according to reports in the Russian Sport-Express newspaper, informed Zaschuk that personal problems were preventing him from playing in Sweden.

"This guy really stabbed us in the back. We have built all of our tactics counting on him playing, and now we need to review our strategies and try new combinations," said Zaschuk.

NBA teams require national teams' federations to take out insurance on their players before releasing them.

The Ukrainian Basketball Federation had already bought 25,000 dollars (£16,000) worth of insurance so the 6ft 10in (207 cm) Medvedenko could play.

Medvedenko just completed his second full season with the Lakers, averaging 4.5 points and 2.30 rebounds in a little more than 10 minutes of action per game.

His absence means that Ukraine will not have their two NBA players in Sweden.

An injury is preventing Seattle big man Vitaly Potapenko from taking part.

The Ukraine could certainly use some NBA firepower. In their friendly against Spain on Monday, the eastern Europeans were destroyed 95-56.

Zaschuk is expected to name his final squad on Sunday.


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