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Jekabsone Leans Towards Latvian Return

21 April 2015
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015
10. Anete Jekabsone-Zogota (Latvia)
Anete Jekabsone might return to Latvia's national team for EuroBasket Women 2015

Latvian legend Anete Jekabsone is still leaning positively towards the idea of a return to national team duties at this summer's EuroBasket Women Final Round. 

While her name was included in the preliminary candidate list, the guard has admitted that a final decision to play has not been taken just yet - although the signs are positive.

"I think it was maybe announced as if it was guaranteed, but we will see," said the veteran guard.

"It is in my head to play and I do feel I can keep going and offer a little more.

"I know I am getting older and sometimes I do feel my body after games, but I think that is normal."

The overwhelming factor in her decision to even consider coming out of retirement for a swansong, is the return to the helm of Ainars Zvirgzdins.

Having played under the play-caller during one of Latvia's most productive periods and having also won a EuroCup Women title with Zvirgzdins back in the day at Dynamo Moscow, the respect is palpable.

"He is a really good coach," declared Jekabsone.

"I have always loved the way that he has prepared teams for the big tournaments in the past and so this is a big factor in the decision."

If she does decide to sign up for the mission in Szombathely, it looks like Jekabsone will be joined by Gunta Basko-Melnbarde - another veteran who has also made a U-turn and is willing to wear her country's vest once again.

That should be music to the ears of those rising stars in the Latvian team who will benefit from having a wealth of experience inside the locker room and on the practice court.

The pair could help shape the next generation of leaders, although Jekabsone was quick to quell expectation ahead of the tournament.

She said, "We will not be one of the top teams at Final Round, but I think we can give other teams some real problems.

"I am happy Gunta will play because she is a good guard and she will help the national team and the younger players a lot.

"I guess we will see what happens when the tournament comes."

At club level, Jekabsone also confirmed her satisfaction at Dynamo Kursk making the last weekend of the EuroLeague Women season - even if they didn't make it to the title game as they had hoped.

She said, "We are happy that we made it to Final Four and were especially proud that we finished first place in our Regular Season group.

"Third place was also a great result for the club and this team, since it was the first time we played in EuroLeague Women.

"Our heads were down after we lost against Ekaterinburg in the Semi-Final and we didn't play our best game during Final Four like we had showed during the season.

"But I am still very proud that we managed to fight through it and get a third place medal by winning against Fenerbahce."

Next on the agenda for Jekabsone and Dynamo Kursk is an exciting winner-takes-all meeting with Nadezhda in a bid to face UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Premier League Finals.

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