Italy To Compete In Sopot Basket Cup

02 August 2012

EUROBASKET QUALIFIERS

8. Danilo Gallinari (Italy)
Danilo Gallinari will practice individually in the next days due to a minor shoulder injury.

Italy are travelling to Poland on Thursday to compete in the Sopot Basket Cup with Latvia, Montenegro and hosts Poland.

The Azzurri will then return for a friendly against Croatia on 8 August in Trieste.

The next day they will play in the Croatian town in Porec, before travelling to Sassari to make their EuroBasket Qualifying Round debut against Portugal.

National team guard Daniele Cavaliero was born in Trieste so the occasion against the Croatians will be special for him.

"I've always had in my heart the feeling that the national team was a dream," he said.

"To have the possibility to train with the national team in my home town is a dream come true.

"I will try to give everything I have to be able to play and help this team."

Italy are not expecting any easy games in the Qualifying Round, with clashes coming up against Turkey, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Portugal.

"We all start from zero," Cavaliero said.

"We'll fight against everyone, including Turkey.

"If we go there thinking about what a team they have, how strong they are, that we will face the World Championship runners-up, then we will not win, you will never win with that mentality.

"We have to go into all of our games, aware that every game is going to be very difficult but we will give everything we have.

"All the teams start from the same position."

Italy, meanwhile, have been informed that Danilo Gallinari's right shoulder injury isn't serious.

Gallinari was hurt in Wednesday's training session and underwent tests that ruled out any ligament or tendon damage.

The Denver Nuggets forward will have individual training sessions in the next few days.

 

Familiar Surrounds For Koszarek

Poland captain Lukasz Koszarek will not be a stranger to fans at the ERGO Arena this weekend when the national team takes on Italy.

The city is where he has been playing his basketball last season for Trefl Sopot.

"It's nice that I go back to the ERGO Arena, where I played the whole season and I have good memories from here," he said.

"This is a typical basketball arena and I hope that during the Sopot Basket Cup it will be filled with fans."

Currently in the squad with Koszarek getting ready for the tournament are Adam Waczynski, Dardan Berisha, Damian Kulig, Kamil Laczynski, Lukasz Wisniewski, Mateusz Ponitka, Marcin Gortat, Jakub Wojciechowski, Michal Ignerski, Piotr Pamula, Przemysław Karnowski, Przemyslaw Zamojski, Robert Skibniewski and Tomasz Snieg.

 

Latvia's Recent Form

Latvia have already played several warm-up games for the EuroBasket Qualification Round.

They won at home over Cyprus, 78-61, but then lost twice in Montenegro (94-76 and 94-68) before losing against Serbia (91-68 and 94-85).

In their nine-point defeat to Serbia, Janis Strelnieks and Dairis Bertans had 15 points apiece and Martins Meiers 14.


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