Muursepp Ponders Estonia Future

16 June 2005

Estonia star Martin Muursepp has asked coach Tiit Sokk for more time to decide whether he will make himself available for the national team this summer.

Estonia will be attempting to qualify for the 2005 Eurobasket in Belgrade when they take part in the additional qualifying tournament in August and September, however they may have to do it without their captain and talisman.

Muursepp only recently finished a gruelling season with his club CSKA Moscow, and on Monday visited the national team's training session to speak with Sokk.

I have to rest for a while and then decide.
Martin Muursepp

Muursepp told SL Ohtuleht: "I am thinking that I would not want to play right now. Maybe I will take a leave from the national duties for a year.

"The season was really hard and the next one will most likely be the same. The (Estonia) team has so many young players now, let them play."

At 31 years old, Muursepp is the oldest player in the team, together with Valmo Kriisa.

Despite inferring that he will not play this summer, Muursepp refused to rule out the possibility.

"Time will tell," he said, "Right now it is hard even to talk about it. I have to rest for a while and then decide."

Sokk has so far been sympathetic to Muursepp's concerns, and he is hoping that a short break will recharge his captain's batteries.

"It's still early days," Sokk said, "He has just finished his season and we're already asking him to join us.

"I understand completely that he is fed up, but I am hoping that his holidays go really well and that he will get himself motivated."

Muursepp was the Estonian team's highest scorer in the last European Championship qualification tournament where he averaged 18 points a game.

In addition to Muursepp, there are other doubtful starters for the national team.

Valmo Kriisa is suffering from a hand problem, while Janar Talts, Tarmo Kikerpill and Marek Doronin all have slight injury concerns.

Other players who are recovering from injuries are Vallo Allingu, Silver Leppik and Martin Viiask.

Estonia will begin their additional qualification games for the European Championship on August 19 when they play the Czech Republic.

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