Romania: Cluj Confident Before Ashkelon Test

01 November 2005

Romanian side Poli Mobitelco Cluj will be looking to chalk up their first victory of the EuroCup Challenge on Wednesday against visitors Ironi Elitzur Ashkelon from Israel.

In fact, a win would be Cluj's first in international competition since 1992, when they beat French powerhouse Pau Orthez in the Korac Cup.

Cluj had a tough start to their EuroCup Challenge season, dropping their first game to Dentalcon Apoel Nicosia, 76-90.

However, in domestic action Cluj are riding high, having won five of their first six games, enough to give them top spot in the Romanian League. Their latest victims were Petrom Arad whom they beat 100-88 at the weekend.

Manager Mircea Cristescu is confident that his side can beat both Ironi Elitzur Ashkelon and Dentalcon Apoel Nicosia and qualify for the next round of the competition.

“We lost in Cyprus only because of our mistakes. We can play a lot better and I hope we will have the support of the crowd on Wednesday”, he said.

Cluj center Bruno Roschnafsky was a member of the 1992 team that beat Pau Orthez, as was Cristescu and assistant coach Dorin Pintea. Pintea is back in Romania after spending 13 years in Germany and is also confident of his side's abilities.

“I am happy that we have good opponents. But I am not afraid of anyone. If we play good, we can win every game”, he said.

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