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Italy: Basile In Battle For Fitness

02 September 2005

Italy international Gianluca Basile is eager to regain his best form in time for the EuroBasket in Serbia & Montenegro.

The new Barcelona guard is fighting against the clock to be ready for the tournament that begins on September 16.

Basile rested at the start of the summer after an arduous campaign with former club Climamio Bologna, whom he led to the Scudetto.

Azzurri coach Carlo Recalcati has expressed his concern that the Olympic silver medalists have struggled to show their best form in the preparation games, with Giacomo Galanda, Denis Marconato and Basile far from their best.

"I'm behind with my preparation," Basile admitted.

"I've had highs and lows throughout the summer. I'm 30 and I know what I am capable of doing. If I push too hard I risk picking up an injury but if I don't prepare well, I don't feel confident on the court.

"I have 15 days and I will make sure I am ready."

Basile, who had a team high 14 points in Italy's opening defeat against Slovenia in the Efes Cup being played in Istanbul, netted just 10 points in Thursday's 79-69 triumph over Serbia & Montenegro.

"I think the defeat against Slovenia made us open our eyes," he said.

"We have everything against us. No one accepts that a team that has no NBA stars or famous players has clinched a bronze medal at the Eurobasket and a silver medal at the Olympics.

"And the best way to answer our critics is on the court, showing that we can defend well, fight for every ball and respect our offensive strategies.

"Our main problem now is that we speculate too much about what our rivals do and we just ignore our own team play."

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