MOSCOW, September 6 (R-Sport) – Cleveland Cavaliers swingman Sergey Karasev said Russia basketball team is sorely feeling the lack of experienced players at the European basketball championships.
On Thursday, Russia suffered its second consecutive defeat 80-71 to Greece and now must win all of its remaining three games to reach the next round.
Russian leaders Timofey Mozgov, Alexander Kaun, Andrei Kirilenko and Viktor Khryapa are all missing from the roster for various reasons and head coach Vasily Karasev, Sergey's father, had to introduce young players into the team.
“We were fighting till the very last seconds of the match,” Sergey Karasev said. “We didn’t score easy throws, switched to individual play, losing concentration in some moments. Today, we lacked experience and some luck.”
Head coach Vasily Karasev said a lack of big men under the basket has made a crucial difference for the second game in a row, as the Greeks made 13 offensive rebounds against Russia’s six.
“Yes, we lacked power under the hoops and that was the key factor,” Karasev said. “Antonov didn’t show his game, it looked like he was too nervous after the big break.”
The coach made the same criticism after Russia's opening 76-69 defeat to Italy.
In Group D, Greece, Italy and Finland lead with two victories after two rounds, while Russia, Turkey and Sweden have all lost both of their first two games.
In the next match, Russia will face Sweden on Saturday.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.