EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
EuroBasket Women 2011 MVP Elena Danilochkina won't be suiting up for Russia when they attempt to defend their crown this summer, whilst an injury to Aija Putnina has left an already weakened Latvia reeling.
|Russia will have to do without the services of Elena Danilochkina when trying to defend their title in France|
NO RETURN FOR ‘GOLDEN HAND' MVP
New Russian head coach Alfredas Vainauskas revealed the 27-year old is taking a break to get married this year and start a family after her name was omitted from an initial 17 name list of candidates who will arrive for a preparation camp on 12 May.
Danilochkina is the fourth high profile player who will be missing following on from the injured Olga Arteshina and retired duo Maria Stepanova and Svetlana Abrosimova.
As expected, Epiphanny Prince looks to be the naturalised player who will succeed Rebekkah Hammon as the main backcourt presence and even more so if Danilochkina is absent and there is no return for UMMC playmaker Tatiana Popova.
There will be experience on the roster with long serving Ilona Korstin and Irina Osipova both on board, whilst there are no players aged under 22 years old, with 16 the 17 players listed, all born in the 1980's.
Russia will be playing in Vannes against Italy, Spain and Sweden in Group B.
The full 17 player roster as follows: Epiphanny Prince (Dynamo Kursk), Natalia Zhedik (Nadezhda), Evgeniia Beliakova (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje), Ilona Korstin Dynamo Moscow), Liudmila Sapova (Nadezhda), Anna Petrakova (UMMC Ekaterinburg), Natalia Vodopyanova (Dynamo Kursk), Tatiana Vidmer (Dynamo Moscow), Irina Osipova (Istanbul University), Nadezhda Grishaeva (Dynamo Moscow), Natalia Vieru (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje), Marina Kuzina (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje), Ekaterina Lisina (Dynamo Kursk), Maria Cherepanova (Dynamo Kusk), Veronika Dorosheva (Dynamo Moscow), Elena Volkova (Chevakata) and Ekaterina Ruzanova (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje)
PUTNINA RULED OUT WITH SHOULDER PROBLEM
|Will have to get treatment on her injured shoulder: Aija Putnina|
The Latvian roster for EuroBasket Women 2013 just keeps getting thinner and thinner which is a major headache for head coach Aigars Nerips who is rapidly running out of frontcourt options.
His latest blow came when power forward Aija Putnina was ruled out of action with a shoulder injury which was picked up playing with UNB Obenasa in Liga Femenina.
To make matters worse, the injury was sustained way back at the end of 2012 and the player has been playing through the pain barrier, but now needs surgery to rectify the problem.
With a host of players retiring, skipping this summer or injured, only Liene Jansone and Aija Brumermane have any kind of real experience at the elite level in the paint.
Latvia head to Trelaze where they will face hosts France, Great Britain and Serbia.
DIKEOULAKOS TURNS PAGE
Recently installed Greek play-caller Geoge Dikeoulakos has named 18 players in his first national team preparation camp with a host of new faces, but without the familiar face of 2009 EuroBasket Women MVP Evina Maltsi.
Whilst there hasn't been any official word from the 34 year old player, it remains to be seen if she will play another tournament but with this latest omission for the second year in succession, the odds are lengthening.
The roster is headlined by EuroCup Women finalist Zoi Dimitrakou who had a super season with Kayseri Kaski spor and before that, with Bourges in the EuroLeague Women. She will spearhead the charge to grab the one lucky ticket on offer in the 1st Qualification Round for EuroBasket Women 2015 this summer.
Also on board are young players such as the outstanding Artemis Spanou, crowned MVP at the U20 European Championship Division B last summer and her team-mates Aspasia Kalampakou and Anna Stamolamprou who helped Greece win promotion and a gold medal.
The full roster is as follows : Dimitra Kalentzou (Panathinaikos), Olga Chatzinikolaou (Caja Rural, Spain), Aikaterina Sotiriou (UNB Obenasa), Iouliti Lymoura (Athinaikos), Afroditi Kosma (Greece), Zoi Dimitrakou (Kayseri Kaski spor), Pelagia Papamichail (Ragusa), Artemis Spanou (Robert Morris), Aspasia Kalampakou (Asteras Exarchion), Theodora Panteli (Asteras Exarchion), Aikaterini Glyniadaki (Asteras Exarchion), Evdokia Stamati (AO Ellinikou), Anna Spyridopoulou (Solna Vikings), Angeliki Nikolopoulou (Proteas Voulas), Maria Fasoula (Proteas Voulas), Faidra Skiadopoulou (AO Terpsithea), Theoni Tzegiannaki (Icarus Kallithea), Anna Stamolamprou (PAOK)