|26 May 2014|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015 2ND QR
| Zane Tamane is set to make a welcome return to the Latvian national team this summer |
Both Poland and Latvia look set to benefit from the surprise return of previously retired veteran stars for their respective EuroBasket Women 2015 2nd Qualifying Round campaigns.
TAMANE TO STEP OUT WITH LATVIA
Latvia have confirmed that center Zane Tamane has made a U-turn and will pull on a national team vest once again. Having chosen to end her international career to an end early last year, the experienced frontcourt star has agreed to play for newly installed play-caller Ainars Zvirgzdins.
In more good news for Latvian fans, the head coach has revealed that he is hopeful Latvian legend Anete Jekabsone could also make a return if she and her WNBA side Phoenix Mercury, are willing to allow her time to participate in the qualifying games. Jekabsone has not played for her country in five years, last starring at the EuroBasket Women Final Round in her homeland during 2009.
Latvia began their build up for the 2nd Qualifying Round in winning fashion in Arena Riga on Sunday, defeating Greece 73-68.
KOBRYN BACK ON POLISH DUTY
Polish national team coach and recently appointed Fenerbahce play-caller Jacek Winnicki has revealed the influential Ewelina Kobryn will play the last four games of their qualification programme.
The UMMC Ekaterinburg center will end a three-year sabbatical having last represented her country at EuroBasket Women 2011, which was held in Poland. Kobryn, who is also on the books of the Mercury, will certainly be a welcome addition since the team has been weakened by the absence of Magdalena Leciejewska and Agnieszka Szott-Hejmej.
|Katharina Fikiel starred in Germany's weekend win over Great Britain, with the series ending tied 1-1 |
GERMANY AND GREAT BRITAIN SHARE HONOURS
It was a case of honours even for Germany and Great Britain as both teams beat each other in a double header at the University of Worcester Arena. It was first blood to the Brits who won in convincing fashion on Saturday with a 64-42 success, thanks mainly to 17 points and eight boards from the in-form Temi Fagbenle.
However, Germany hit back to gain revenge just 24 hours later. They secured an exciting 56-54 victory as Katharina Fikiel delivered 13 points and seven rebounds.
ITALY OFF TO A SLOW START
After losing twice against Great Britain in the opening two games of their preparation programme, Italian head coach Roberto Ricchini is finding wins hard to come by against European opposition.
His team crashed 74-66 to Bulgaria after a superb 28 point haul from Milena Tomova and lost 79-77 against Israel in a spectacular double-overtime contest.
Italy did however beat China 82-72 thanks to 15 points from veteran Raffaella Masciadri and will now be looking to get some momentum behind them when they face the Netherlands.
TOLIVER TO STEP OUT WITH SLOVAK REPULIC
It looks like Kristi Toliver could play for Slovak Republic this summer in the naturalised player spot after it emerged the guard had been allowed to leave her duties at Los Angeles Sparks to potentially take up her role.
Toliver has played for the last three years in the Russian Premier League with EuroCup Women champions Dynamo Moscow and would boost the offensive options of Maros Kovacik, with the new Slovakian coach hamstrung by a number of withdrawls.
Erin Lawless has previously played for Slovak Republic as a naturalised player.
| Iva Ciglar is the only key missing name from the Croatian roster |
CROATIAN ROSTER REVEALED
New Croatian head coach, Braslav Turic will have a strong roster to choose from after his team prepared to go into their preparation camp. Of all the national team big-hitters, only Iva Ciglar is a prominent absentee.
The preliminary list includes players with vast national team and European club competition experience, including the likes of Ana Lelas, Jelena Ivezic, Iva Sliskovic, Mirna Mazic and Marija Rezan.
There are also spots for some exciting young players who have just made history by lifting a first ever Croatian Championship for Turic at Medvescak. The team will now play friendly games against Hungary and Montenegro.
The full roster is as follows: Lana Packovski (Rockwool Pula), Antonija Misura (Toulouse), Davorka Balic (Le Havre), Emanuela Salopek (Kayseri KASKI), Jelena Ivezic (Novi Zagreb), Ana Lelas (Mersin), Ana-Marija Begic (Medvescak), Nina Premasunac (Medvescak), Mirna Mazic (Kayseri KASKI), Iva Sliskovic (UF Angers), Luca Ivankovic (Novi Zagreb), Marija Rezan (Perfumerias Avenida), Ivana Tikvic (Medvescak), Ivana Seric (Studenac), Carmen Miloglav (Ragusa)