FIBA Europe, LOC Pleased With Event

22.09.2013

EUROBASKET 2013

FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak, Slovenian Basketball Federation President Roman Volcic, FIBA Europe Acting President Cyriel Coomans and EuroBasket 2013 Tournament Director Ales Kriznar
FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak, Slovenian Basketball Federation President Roman Volcic, FIBA Europe Acting President Cyriel Coomans and EuroBasket 2013 Tournament Director Ales Kriznar

FIBA Europe and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of EuroBasket 2013 presented their respective reports on the tournament at a press conference in Ljubljana ahead of the medal games on Sunday.

Acting FIBA Europe President Cyriel Coomans congratulated Slovenia as a country on being an excellent organiser and stated that FIBA Europe was very satisfied with the 2013 edition of the show-piece event of European basketball.

"There were many games where the arena was full but also in areas outside the arena the atmosphere was fantastic, one could not only 'feel Slovenia' but also feel basketball," Mr Coomans said.

"This was a tournament with many surprises, we saw that little countries were not so little on the court, which is very good for the future of the sport in Europe.

"Not so long ago many thought that basketball is only played in 10 or 12 countries around Europe but we saw that so many countries have been doing very good work with young players.

"FIBA Europe organises every year championships for all categories, which cost energy and money, but now we can see the fruits of this work as all countries earn experience in basketball."

FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak joined the President in also thanking the organisers for their efforts and offered an additional view on the tournament.

"I would like to congratulate all seven countries that qualified to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014, I think this is one of the important facts for the national federations," Mr Novak said.

"We are not the only zone that had surprises, as there were also surprises in Asia and Americas, so this is a special year in world basketball.

"I think we can all congratulate the local organising committee and Slovenia but what is more important for us is not only that we as FIBA Europe are satisfied, but that also the organisers are satisfied with all aspects the tournament.

"I think it's important to know that organising such a tournament is hard work, especially in times of financial crisis, but even like that it can be successful for the organisers."

Slovenian Basketball Federation President Roman Volčič referred first to the sporting aspect of the tournament from the perspective of the local organisers and public opinion in the country.

"We didn't get a medal, as we were hoping, but as you could see from our fans and the fantastic support we received from them, that we were satisfied with fifth place," Mr Volčič said.

"Slovenia is the only country together with Spain and France to have qualified for the quarter-finals of EuroBasket every time since 2005.

"We are now in the FIBA World Cup and in the next EuroBasket. I think this continuity is very important for the Slovenian national team and Slovenian basketball.

"At the beginning we were hoping to build more new infrastructure but it was not a reasonable target in the current financial situation in Europe.

"We have however the wonderful Stozice Arena, which was built only three years ago and was actually the main reason we could apply for this championship and this infrastructure will remain in the future for basketball and all world sports in Slovenia.

"This event would not be possible without the volunteers, more than 1,200 volunteers worked hard and I wish they go home with great feelings.

"We could not afford a huge budget but we made up for it with original ideas, starting from the Draw in Postojna Cave.

"Our mascot, Lipko, has climbed to the top of the highest mountain in Slovenia and went under the sea to promote EuroBasket."

EuroBasket 2013 Director Aleš Križnar echoed the general sentiment in Slovenia just hours before the final curtain falls on the big tournament.

"I hope you enjoyed this EuroBasket which we prepared with passion and heart and I hope we proved that Slovenia is a basketball country," Mr Križnar stated.

"Our main goal was to prepare the best championship so far and from the positive feedback we received from players, coaches, referees, media and especially from the fans, I believe we did a great job.

"Keeping in mind that we had smaller arenas than in previous years in Lithuania and in Poland, in terms of capacity, there were over 10% more fans than in Lithuania on average, and a bit below 10% more than in Poland.

"It is a great success as we introduced the single game ticket for the first time.

"It was a risk at first but especially in the First Round many games were sold out and it was a success to decide upon using single ticketing.

"Another of our goals was to prove that a small country like Slovenia can organise a big event.

"EuroBasket was the biggest event in Europe in 2013 and there was pressure from the fans, from the media and I think we were again very successful with that."


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