|14 August 2013|
|Nikita Balashov was left out from the Russia squad ahead of EuroBasket|
Russia head coach Vasily Karasev is convinced of the future potential of 22-year-old forward/center Nikita Balashov, but not enough to include him to the senior national team at this stage.
Karasev announced on Tuesday that he has decided to release Balashov from training camp and that Russia will continue their preparations for EuroBasket 2013 with a 15-man preliminary roster.
"The decision on Balashov was hard to take," Karasev explained.
"However, we are forced to part with some players, trim the squad, as the time to the start of the EuroBasket is running out.
"I note that all our players, with the possible exception of clear centers [Alexei] Savrasenko and [Dmitry] Sokolov, should be able to play at two or three positions.
"As for Nikita, at the moment he cannot compete with the players at his position in the senior national team of Russia.
"He needs to add weight and still work on his concentration.
"Nikita helped us at the Universiade in Kazan and did well on the senior team.
"We will keep monitoring him play and hope that he will continue to work in the future.
"Now everything is in his hands [to earn a call-up in the future]."
Russia have been hard-hit by withdrawals from EuroBasket 2013 of star players Andrei Kirilenko, Victor Khryapa, Sasha Kaun and Timofey Mozgov.
In order to bolster their frontcourt they turned to veteran Savrasenko, who initially had considered retirement at the end of the club season, five years after his last appearance with the national team at the 2008 Olympics.
Balashov on the other hand has only suited up for Russia at U18 and U20 level, and was coming off a solid season with EuroChallenge champions Krasnye Krylia.
Russia were drawn in Group D at the EuroBasket, together with Finland, Turkey, Sweden, Italy and Greece.
GOOD NEWS FOR SERBIA
|Serbia can hope to Nemanja Nedovic going for dunks again soon|
A 15,000-strong crowd in Belgrade had watched in terror on Monday in Belgrade as Nemanja Nedovic slipped on the floor during the third quarter of Serbia's friendly game against Russia and held his left leg in pain.
But Serbia head coach Dusan Ivkovic received some much-needed good news from the doctors on Tuesday after the young guard underwent a thorough exam.
"Nedović sustained an adductor injury in his lower left leg," Dragan Radovanovic, the head of the Serbian basketball federation's medical services, said.
"He will start immediately with therapy and work individually with a fitness coach to recover and return to full training process.
Nedovic will remain in Belgrade and undergo therapy together with Milos Teodosic while the Serbian team travel to France to take part in a warm-up tournament in Antibes, but will re-join his team-mates by the start of the coming week.
In further good news for Ivkovic though, forward Vladimir Lucic has been cleared to board the plane to France and can follow the full training program together with his team-mates.
Lucic had been sidelined for approximately two weeks because of back pains.
Serbia were drawn in First Round Group B at the EuroBasket and will go up against F.Y.R of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Latvia and Lithuania.