|12 June 2013|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
|In a dramatic turn of events, Epiphanny Prince is back on the Russian roster for EuroBasket Women 2013|
In a dramatic twist of events, Epiphanny Prince will help reigning EuroBasket Women champions Russia try and defend their title after being included in the final candidate list.
Confusion had reined over the status of the naturalised guard after she sprained an ankle on debut in a preparation game against China recently.
After returning home to the States for further medical assessment, it was confirmed she would be out for 2-3 weeks and would not play, but doctors have unexpectedly done a U-turn and given her the all-clear to step out in Vannes.
It is likely to be a considerable relief to head coach Alfredas Vainauskas, who is already without a lengthy list of absentees and especially since Prince is a player he knows and trusts due to also being her club coach at Dynamo Kursk.
Vainauskas took time to explain his decision in composing the final roster, which led to Elena Volkova, Mariia Cherepanova and Tatiana Abrikosova, all missing out.
He said, "every time it is very complicated and difficult to make a decision to reduce the composition of the national team.
"If it were not for the rules, I would take more than 12 players to France.
"All the girls who have been invited to the national team of Russia performed well, tried and worked hard in training.
"I want to thank Elena Volkova, Mariia Cherepanova and Tatiana Abrikosova for their hard work and contribution to the national team.
"Mariia [Cherepanova] is a lovely person and experienced player and I'm sorry that she will not be with us at EuroBasket Women.
"However, the situation at the moment is that [Liudmila] Sapova and [Natalia] Vodopyanova look preferable in the third position.
"With Maria, we will keep in touch, she will always be in our field of view, and I'm sure she will still help our team" continued Vainauskas.
"As for Elena Volkova, it was decision taken on our return from the Czech Republic. I thanked her for the effort and work.
"Tatiana Abrikosova, our Russian student team player spent with us a few days of training to try her hand in the main team, and I think it was an interesting experience.
"I believe that this year, Tatiana is much more useful to our team at the World University Games and I wish her every success in this tournament."
In addition to the debut given to Prince, there will also be a first outing at a major tournament for Valeriya Musina, who arrived to the camp late after impressing with CCC Polkowice last season.
The full roster is as follows: Anna Petrakova (UMMC Ekaterinburg), Evgenia Belyakova (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje), Natalia Vieru (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje), Marina Kuzina (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje), Natalia Vodopyanova (Dynamo Kursk), Epiphanny Prince (Dynamo Kursk), Natalia Zhedik (Nadezhda), Liudmila Sapova (Nadezhda), Nadezhda Grishaeva (Dynamo Moscow), Ilona Korstin (Dynamo Moscow), Valeriya Musina (CCC Polkowice), Irina Osipova (Istanbul University)
Russia tip-off on Saturday against Spain and will also face Sweden and Italy in Group B.