|19 November 2012|
|Pianigiani: "Our first objective is to arrive at Koper with the best possible roster"|
If Lady Luck presented herself to Italy coach Simone Pianigiani and Finland coach Henrik Dettmann on Sunday night after the EuroBasket Draw, she would probably not be greeted with gratitude.
Russia and Greece, the last two nations to conquer EuroBasket gold before Spain started reigning supreme in European basketball, 2010 World Championship silver medallists Turkey, and the up and coming Sweden were drawn together with Italy and Finland in First Round Group D.
"Being drawn together with two powerful teams like Russia and Greece, from the first and second pot of seeds, is to be expected," said Pianigiani, in a statement on the Italian Federation website.
"But receiving from the fourth and fifth pots Finland and Turkey has made our group the most balanced in the entire EuroBasket (First Round) and I have to say that qualifying to the Second Round is very difficult."
Dettmann travelled to Slovenia to be present at the Sunday Draw in the spectacular Postojna Cave.
"Russia and Greece are always tough and solid performers," he said afterwards.
"Both Italy and Sweden have been playing in [an] upward trend recently.
"Turkey is undergoing a sort of transition, but keep in mind that last summer (in the Qualification Round) they were without some of their best players."
Both coaches however prefer to focus on their own teams and on things that are under their control.
"It's also true however that we're now ten months away from the event," said Pianigiani.
"Our first objective is to arrive at Koper with the best possible roster, in the best possible physical conditions, with the right attitude and with the best will to compete," the Italian tactician added.
|Dettmann: "This is good for our team because we are familiar with each other and have played against all out future opponents"|
"So much will depend upon which player is fit and healthy, how the preparation is going, what is the condition of the team at the time," was Dettmann's view.
"Differences are small at this level and the little things will be decisive.
"This is good for our team because we are familiar with each other and we have played against all our future opponents."
Finnish fans meanwhile are already looking forward to the clash with neighbours Sweden on 5 September.
The encounter adds extra spice to Group D action.
"Sweden has a lot of good players, and you could say that they have not played in the last few years as well as they could have according to their potential," commented Finland star Petteri Koponen.