Pozzecco Leaves Italy Set-Up

11 August 2003
From Cindy Garcia-Bennett, PA International, Rome

Skipper Bologna playmaker Gianmarco Pozzecco has been dropped from the Italian team for the forthcoming European Championships.

The Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) confirmed on Monday that the 30-year-old will not travel with the team to Sweden due to a "technical decision" taken by Azzurri coach Carlo Recalcati.

The experienced Pozzecco who was part of the Italian team that finished sixth in the 1998 World Championships in Athens, left the Azzurri training camp in Varese on Sunday.

Recalcati had coached Pozzecco in 1999 with the Varese Roosters and was responsible for the return of the guard to the national team in January 2002 after a three-year absence.
Immediately upon his return Pozzecco showed his value by travelling to Koper with the side and scoring 19 points in an 84-78 defeat against Slovenia.

He was not expected to make the final European Championship squad to be announced next weekend, anyway.

Team-mate Alessandro Tonolli, meanwhile, has been authorised to leave the national team following a right elbow injury picked up last week during training.

The Lottomatica Roma forward is a question mark for the Sweden tournament as he needs to rest for at least three weeks.

"We will evaluate his condition in the next weeks, his presence in Sweden is doubtful," Azzurri spokesman Mimo Cacciuni told PA International.

Italy, who beat Sweden and Turkey but lost to Lithuania in last week’s Bormio tournament, take on Greece in a friendly on Wednesday.

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