Estonia Ready To Shed Underdog Status

09 May 2014
5. Viive-Kai Rebane (Estonia)
"I would certainly not say that we are outsiders in this group as we have a good composition and a lot can be achieved," - Viive-Kai Rebane

Estonia are ready to pack a punch in Group C of the EuroBasket Women 2015 2nd Qualifying Round and that means forgetting about any notion that they are the underdogs or minnows.

Pitched into a pool of teams including Italy, Portugal and Baltic neighbours Latvia, Viive-Kai Rebane is particularly eager for her nation to seize the initiative and make a big impression.

"I would certainly not say that we are outsiders in this group as we have a good composition and a lot can be achieved," insisted the forward who has been playing her club basketball in Italy.

"Everyone is also full of desire."

Her rallying cry was echoed by head coach Jaanus Levkoi, who believes that if injuries are avoided then anything is possible.

He added, "This summer we have three players for each position and that is a big thing for us.

"If we can find good co-operation and chemistry, then all things are possible.

"The preparation time for us is decent and should be sufficient. We have decided to test ourselves twice against Finland and play in a tournament with Slovak Republic and Germany."

However, Levkoi will have to do without the firepower of Mirjam Nikolai who was the second top scorer last year and that could be an issue offensively.

The team is likely to be led again by the likes of the experienced Merike Anderson and also Valeria Kast who returns, while Rebane and Laina Mesila-Kaarmann should also pose a danger.

Estonia have every right to be confident after posting a good account of themselves last summer when they won two of their three games in the 1st Qualifying Tournament which was an improvement on their winless campaign during the qualification process for EuroBasket Women 2013.

The full roster is as follows: Pirgit Puu (Tallinna Ulikool), Viive Kai-Rebane (Ancon Basket), Kerli Haas (AmEst Rapla), Kerttu Jallai (Tallina Ulikool), Annika Koster (Eclex 1182), Heila Rosenfeldt (Eclex 1182), Merike Anderson (Castors Braine), Laina Mesila-Kaarmann (Eclex 1182), Mailis Pokk (Eclex 1182), Valeria Kast (Beroe Stara Zagora), Trine Kasemagi (Audentese SG), Jane Svilberg (Audentese SG), Kadri Lass (Audentese SG), Marit Maaring (Eclex 1182), Oksana Miil (Tallina Ulikool), Birgit Piibur (Eclex 1182), Kaia Kosk (AmEst Rapla), Liisi Sokman (Brose Bamberg), Maaja Bratka (Loughborough Riders).


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