|28 October 2010|
By Jeff Taylor
There is a lot of excitement at BC Horizont in Minsk, a club that won its EuroCup Women opener on Thursday at Spartak Noginsk.
The main reason is the presence of the Belarus national team boss, Anatoli Buyalski.
|Yuliana Dureika had 10 points in the game against Spartak - and she sure looked better in the Belarus Tuta uniform than Dmitri Sedov would|
A coach that has taken the women's national side to EuroBasket 2007 bronze, sixth place at the 2008 Olympics and fourth at last year's EuroBasket and this year's FIBA World Championship, has the reins of Horizont this season.
Fans in Minsk are hoping that he and several of the Belarus national team players in the squad are going to win the EuroCup Women.
After the 69-62 victory at Noginsk, Buyalski, who once coached in Russia at Superleague Women sides Enzhe (2004-05) and Dinamo-Energiya (2005-07), admitted he'd had a lot of insight into the opponents.
"I already knew a lot of the players from Spartak because they had played for me when I was coaching in Russia," he said.
"I also want to thank our (Belarus national team) fitness coach Dmitri Sedov.
"Despite being very busy, he's found time to send to me in Minsk the videos about Spartak."
Sedov is the national team physiotherapist who promised to wear a Belarus Tuta uniform dress during warm-ups ahead of the World Championship Semi-Final tie if the side were to upset Russia in the Quarter-Finals.
He is working in Russia but stays in regular contact with Buyalski.
Sviatlana Valko, Tatsiana Likhtarovich, Yuliya Dureika, Viktoryia Hasper and Natallia Anufryienka are all Belarus national team players on the books of BC Horizont.
Horizont led for virtually the entire contest.
Likhtarovich had a game-high 19 points while Dureika, one of the key players in the upset of Russia in the World Championship Quarter-Finals in Karlovy Vary, finished with 10.
In Thursday's win, Horizont provided plenty of evidence they will have a good team in the EuroCup Women.
Buyalski accepts that his squad has a lot of growing up to do.
"We have a young team that lacks experience and that affected the players a bit during the final minutes, so the margin of victory could have been and should have been bigger," Buyalski said.