Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:18 +0300

Basketball Team Eyes GSSE Gold

NICOSIA, 11 May 2009 - The Cyprus men's Basketball National Team has been intensively training for the upcoming XIII Games of the Small States of Europe since 27 April, under the guidance of National coaches Christos Stylianides, Linos Gavriel and Nikos Lambrias. Not to underestimate the strength of the home team's opponents in the GSSE, the only goal for the team, set from the very beginning, is the gold medal.

Traditional opponents at GSSE level in the road to this goal will be Luxembourg and Iceland.

The Cyprus National Team will travel to Novi Sad, Serbia, on 20 May, for a series of friendly matches with the local club teams of Vojvodina, Metalac and Hemofarm, all in the Serbian A League. Negotiations are underway for an additional match against either Red Star or Partizan of Belgrade, who are currently facing off each other in the finals of the Serbian League.

The matches in Serbia are expected to help the Cyprus team achieve homogeneity and to measure its power against such strong opponents. The team returns to Cyprus on 26 May and retires to a hotel as of 31 May, just two days before the start of the GSSE Basketball Tournament, at the Eleftheria Indoor Hall of Nicosia.

"Our main goal is to win the gold medal," said Gavriel. "We know the capabilities of our opponents, although we do not, as yet, have the final rosters of the teams at our disposal. All the boys are working hard with zeal, but our main problem is lack of uniformity as not all our players had the same amount of playing time during the winter season. Nonetheless, we feel we will overcome this obstacle and we call upon the public to come and help our boys in their efforts in the GSSE."

The players called for duty with the National Team are Giorgos Palalas, Michalis Kounounes, Alexandros Liatsos, Christos Loizides, Panayotis Trisokkas, Panayotis Yannas, Christophoros Razes, Giorgos Theocharides, Stratis Stylianou, JoJo Garcia, Giorgos Anastasiades, Giorgos Neophytou, Andreas Sizopoulos, Aris Koronides, Tolis Kaskires and Grigoris Pantoures.

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