Russia Lose Unlucky Vorontsevich

24 August 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

4. Andrey Vorontsevich (Russia)
 Andrey Vorontsevichwas involved in a nasty clash in a warm-up game to EuroBasket on Friday night, and will now miss the tournament

Russia have suffered one more important loss in their frontcourt ahead of EuroBasket 2013, as medical exams confirmed on Saturday that Andrey Vorontsevich will miss the tournament due to injury.

Vorontsevich fell to to floor following a collision with another player under the basket during Russia's friendly game against Finland in Vilnius on Friday.

Due to the fall, the 26-year-old power forward suffered a cut to his forehead, which required eight stitches after the game.

The real problem however was that he also sprained his ankle severely, and after an MRI scan the doctors decided he would have to keep his foot in a plaster cast for the next three weeks - EuroBasket tips off in 11 days.

"For us it is a great loss, Vorontsevich not only was on the final 12-man team, he was a player on our starting five," Russia head coach Vasily Karasev said in disbelief.

"I very much hope that in this difficult situation, the team will come together and will not give up."

Vorontsevich had played both at his natural position as well as at the '5' spot in Russia's preparation games this summer, as Karasev was looking to come up with ways to deal with the absence of his star big men ahead of September's showcase.

Centers Sasha Kaun and Timofey Mozgov, Russia's two first-choice centers, as well as influential power forward Victor Khryapa, had pulled out of the tournament before the start of preparations, following the retirement from the national team of star Andrei Kirilenko.

Ironically, Vorontsevich's injury came in a game where Russia performed well and clinched a 90-73 victory over Finland, their first success in three warm-up games in the Vilnius tournament.

Shooting guard Vitaliy Fridzon poured in a game-high 16 points for Russia and small forward Sergey Monya came up with an all-round display of 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

In the other game in Vilnius on Friday, Lithuania prevailed 69-55 over the Czech Republic and remain the only undefeated team in the run-up to the EuroBasket, together with reigning champions Spain.

Russia and Finland will meet again in First Round Group D at EuroBasket 2013, were they were drawn alongside Turkey, Italy, Sweden and Greece.


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