Austria Optimistic For 'Mission 2015'



24. Rasid Mahalbasic (Austria)
Rasid Mahalbasic was the top scorer and top rebounder for Austria during the EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers

The EuroBasket 2015 1st Qualification Round draw took place in Freising, Germany, on Saturday.

In total, 13 of the nations that did not qualify for EuroBasket 2013 were involved in the draw.

The 1st Qualification Round games will take place next summer and the winning team will be rewarded with a spot in the 2015 Final Round, in Ukraine.

Austria were drawn in Group C, with Switzerland, Luxembourg and newcomers Denmark.

"The organisation of our preparations for 'Mission 2015' begins today," said Austrian Basketball Federation (ÖBV) President Karl Thaller after the draw.

"If we repeat the good performance of this last summer next year, I'm optimistic that we have a good chance to win the group and reach the semi-finals."

Last summer, the Austrians finished in third place in EuroBasket 2013 Qualification Round Group C, with a 3-5 record.

They made both Croatia and Ukraine, the two teams that qualified from the group, work very hard to beat them in both their home and away games and overcame Hungary and Cyprus.

"I think the draw is very positive for us," commented ÖBV Sporting Director Robert Langer.

"We have beaten the teams in our group in recent years, both in qualifying and friendlies and therefore we should have a realistic chance to win the group.

"A minor negative is that we also got Denmark at the end of the draw so we have to compete in the only group comprising of four teams."

The winner of each of the four groups in the 1st Qualification Round will advance to the semi-finals, which will be played in home and away games.

The two teams that prevail will advance to the finals and battle it out for a place at EuroBasket 2015.


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